Today, I did something that I had never done before. I went to the hairdresser’s as a model. The hairdressing salon is one that I have patronised for a long time and, normally, one of the owners cuts my hair. However, he was busy this time and I had noticed a board asking for models, so I decided to try it out.
There was a little trepidation on my part when I booked the appointment about two weeks ago. The bad traffic in Kendal, where the salon is located, plus my unsuccessful attempts to find a parking space meant that I was late for my appointment by a quarter of an hour. On the plus side, this inconvenience overcame any nervousness about my impending haircut by a student, replacing it instead with a desire not to be later than I was already.
On entering the salon, I was whisked up to its teaching floor and made to feel relaxed. I was gratified to see the instructor, a co-owner of the salon with 25 years’ hairdressing experience, being very hands-on in her teaching style. One student was cutting hair on a plastic model, and I watched her being taught while waiting for my hair to be washed.
When it came to my turn, the student asked all the usual questions about hairstyle preferences and then called her mentor over who asked me, quite separately, what I wanted done. After I had explained my ideas, she turned to her student to ask if she and I had come to the same conclusion. Then I was prepped for the haircut with a heavy plastic shoulder shield placed around my neck in order to prevent the hair from falling down my back.
Before she started cutting my hair, the instructor came by again and told the student that she should re-adjust the shield to sit flat on my shoulders. Next, the student separated my hair into a series of clipped bunches so as to start cutting. Again the instructor came over to check that she had secured my hair correctly. The student had not, so the instructor showed her how to do this.
By this time, I was starting to feel just a little nervous as the instructor walked away to help the other student cutting the fake hair on the plastic model. Then, just before the student cut my hair, the instructor came back to check that she knew how to begin. In the event, the instructor started on the cut in order to make a template for the student to follow.
Thus the session went on, with teaching going above my head as the student meticulously cut my hair. Finally, it was done, and I could see the end result. It was not bad! As I went downstairs, I saw my usual hairdresser sitting on the couch and went to say hello. I don’t think he was pleased that I had let one of his students cut my hair, but I did ask the receptionist before I booked whether it might upset him if I were to do this. The answer was a resounding ‘no’, so I went ahead. I really did not want to hurt his feelings at all.
Would I do this again? It depends. It took two hours to have my hair cut where normally my stylist would have taken 45 minutes. I usually get my hair cut in the daytime so that I have daylight to drive home in. This haircut started at 3:15 pm and finished after 5 pm, when it was already dark, which meant that I had to drive through some pitch black parts of the road, which I dislike as my night vision is poor. There are specific time slots for model haircuts which happen at set times on set days; thus I did not have a choice of timings.
On the positive side, I saved more than £30 by letting the student cut my hair. I was also very pleased when she and her instructor told me that this was only the second time she had had the opportunity to do a precision haircut like mine – it felt good to have contributed a little to her training. My conclusion then? Perhaps when the days grow longer again in the summer and I have the time to spare, I might well go for another model haircut. Otherwise, I am quite happy with my present hairdresser.
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