Monday, June 15, 2009

She Bangs, She Bangs

The summer before 6th grade, I chopped off the long golden locks I'd been growing for many girlie years into a pixie cut so that I might look like one of the hottest singers of the 1990s...Chynna Phillips.

Shut up - she and her group Wilson Phillips are still totally relevant and if you don't believe me, ask me to play you a cover of "Hold On" from my friend Scott's short film THE ASSASTANT and once you've successfully ripped yourself away from the computer, and willed yourself not to play it for a fortieth time, we'll talk about how "stupid" it was that I wanted to look like Chynna Phillips. She bagged Billy Baldwin, for crying out loud! How hot is that?

Anyway. As you can imagine, since I was 11 and had not even half a breast, or pierced ears, or an inclination to dress myself in anything other than the unisex looks of Gap, Esprit and Benetton that were so hot at the time, I was sometimes mistaken for a boy. Mostly by waiters at ethnic food restaurants, but still. Strangely enough I also got my first date out of this haircut. Yes, I shook my sassy cut at the Eatontown, NJ roller rink and was promptly asked to the Fireman's Fair by a popular kid. I can't really reconcile that low and that high and I've finally stopped trying.

That haircut and the weirdness associated with it made me a little gunshy. I really haven't tried anything ballsy with my hair since then.

Until now. Saturday, I marched down to Hazel at the Purple Circle (whom you all would love, I recommend her above everyone else - her $60 cut outshines the $120 ones at even Ken Paves) and got...layers and bangs.

I know, that doesn't sound so ballsy to you, but to me, that's like getting tattoo Hazel, the awesome chick cutting my hair had. She also had one of those little nose rings that make you look like a terribly cool bull.

This time - 18 years later - I brought another picture of a singer with me. But this time, it was Jenny Lewis. And already, I think this cut's going to fair a little better against the test of time:

As I handed the photo to Hazel, I calmed her down.

"Don't worry. I'm not one of those delusional people who thinks that by asking you to give me the haircut of someone beautiful you are going to make me actually look like that beautiful person in all other ways."

Only I totally am.

Hazel studied the photo and said, "Oh. Jenny Lewis. She's around this neighborhood a lot."

Suddenly I got a little nervous. I feel like if Jenny Lewis walked into the salon where I was asking Hazel to cut my hair like hers, I would die. Like actually die - stroke out. And then I'd be there all slumped over in the cool barber shop chair with cool music from the 1930s playing softly in the background and I'd have the tell-tale messy, chunky bangs, and - much worse - probably still be holding the photo of her I printed at work on the color printer (and stupidly left out on my desk, prompting my boss to ask why I had it and inadvertently revealing that I'm that girl who brings photos of pretty girls to hairdressers and asks them to make me look like them).

So that colored the rest of the cut with a tinge of fear that was only soothed by Hazel's awesome stories about her starving artist roommate and Argentinian boyfriend and living in San Francisco and getting hit by a car on her bike and doing wedding hair (which sounds like a NIGHTMARE - maybe even more so than the shoulder surgery and recovery associated with getting hit by a car on a bike). We also had the entire salon to ourselves as the rest of her coworkers - all of whom were apparently close friends - had taken off for Vegas together for the weekend.

Does this happen where you work? Because it doesn't where I work.

When all was said and done, I was super psyched with how it all turned out. If you know me and aren't a creepy internet skulker (she said, as if more than 6 people read this blog), I'd like to direct you to posted photos on my Facebook.

I was thankful she'd convinced me to go not only with the bangs but also the slightly wild layers -

"Please just don't give me hipstermullet," I had begged her. And sure as shooting, she listened.

Sure I sometimes pull my hair back and think I look a little like Moe from the Three Stooges. And last night our close friend Andrew told me I looked like a little Teutonic youth - like a Von Trapp family singer:

But I like my new non-business casual tresses. And as Shley, Cara (another best bud) and I readied for a night of pool at 7 Grand (the bar where Michael Scott bags a hot Canuck concierge in "The Office"!), we joked that we were going to look like some bizarre trio because all of us now had heavy bangs. And then they actually admitted - first one, and then the other, as if it were catching - that they too had brought in a picture of Jenny Lewis to their respective hairdressers. My first thought was "phew" and then my second thought was, "we all have the same hair and that might be creepy."

Like every time I'd ever busted out into Michael McDonald's soul-rattling opening lines of The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" (the count for this is far higher than it should be) I felt at once so cool and so retarded. What an auspicious beginning to my non-business casual future.

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