Saturday, March 24, 2007

Colour Correction

Those who know me, know that I take hair cuts and colours seriously. After more hair dos in my youth that frankly just 'didn't', I used to have more of a phobia about hairdressers than many have about dentists.

General avoidance of salons was largely possible through my student years, but the need to get a job in my 'sandwich' year, meant it was time to face up to my fears. My mother (bless her) decided to help with my therapy, by funding a cut at the salon (not cheap) that a friend recommended.

I've not let anyone else touch my hair since.

Such unswerving loyalty is not unusual amongst their clientèle, which includes many an actor, famous script writer etc, some of whom travel back to Manchester specially.

Accompanying the excellent hair styling, is intelligent, friendly customer care.

While P works his wonders with his scissors, we talk quality films, politics or Manchester's latest restaurant.

S and I rarely have explicit discussions about colour, rather we chat about what's up in my life and in an amazing feat of holistic analysis she prescribes the perfect response.

Unhappy at work and thinking about looking around? Time to be a little tamer in case of interviews.

About to go on holiday? Something manageable and UV resistant.

Relationship in a mess? Time for shocking vibrancy to restore cheer and confidence.

While S works her artist's pallette and I calmly exercise blind faith, we talk life, books, films, family.

The process takes hours, which on the surface of things would normally horrify me, but actually I've come to relish the periods of enforced inactivity. P&S (oooh good initials!) fit me in at short notice when necessary and know in return that I'll happily sit patiently between phases when their schedule gets hectic.

When, like today, they're relatively quiet, they'll often come and chat with me in the more private 1st floor area whilst I'm waiting for the colour to develop (usually there are 2 or 3 phases to the colouring process, due to my nightmare hair being so demanding). When the senior colour technician needs a passport form signing, I'm happy to help out. When P pops out to get a sandwich, he'll ask if he can get me anything. When S opens her M&S box of prepared fruit, two forks appear.

After sixteen years we know each other well. Highs and lows, celebrations and bereavements are shared, but above all, when I finally leave, it's with a hair do that most definitely 'does'.

Today S has taken a 4pm appointment for an urgent colour correction. It's not unusual for even top salons to send referrals, S is a genius. This particular caller has managed to turn her 16 year old sister's hair green apparently.

After consideration, S phones back to say given it may take some time, could they make 3pm instead? The caller replies that they'll try, they're on their way up from Cornwall now, but they expect it to take six and a half hours.

Suddenly my refusal to go to any other salon, seems quite moderate in comparison.

Post haircut, I hit the shops and finish up in M&S foodhall, where I bump into P&S.

In an update on the green hair emergency, apparently the sister had endeavoured to change her natural ash blond sibling to darkest brunette. The result (even after 17 washes), an intense grass green.

Happily S's reputation is well earned (which you'd kind of hope for if you've driven from Cornwall) and I understand the 'victim' was delighted and the sister relieved with the resolution to a mid brown.

As I say, only P and S get to touch my hair. A policy I'm in no rush to change, even or perhaps especially if I had a sister.

1 comment:

sally said...

Mmmm...given my history and feelings about hairdressers, maybe I ought to come up before 'the wedding?'