handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...


high school and high-end salons: a change for all reasons

I'm going to cut my bangs, and am looking for help on finding a good place to get it done so that I look Chique for HighSchool. I'm also thinking about Hi-Lights also.
you be muy... muy... Helpfull! YAY

dear ema,
high school is an entity of it’s own. it’s a place where nearly all people in our culture go, during a time in our lives when we are undergoing big changes on every level of our existence. it is a place to take what we have learned in life so far and embark on a journey to define who we are.
every single person who goes to high school thinks about how they will be perceived by others, and the three m’s, media, marketing and money, play a huge role in defining what mainstream culture will look like at any given time. the best thing anyone can acquire in high school is one good friend.
in high school i was teased terribly. big bad bully boys ritualistically picked me up and threw me into the dumpster behind the school. black eyelinered, blue frosted eye shadowed, camel toe girls, tripped me up in the hallway, pulled my hair and spat on me. preppie prom peddling perfectionists pursued pastimes of poignant intellectual mocking.
teachers quipped, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘don’t be a tattle tale’ or ‘if you were as smart as them you wouldn’t have so many problems’. none of them knew my brain actually had an extra lobe for organizing karmic clutter.
it was 1980, disco was dieing, and shoulder pads, bold prints, big belts and big hair were being born. as an artist and sensitive creative person with aesthetic values, i could not bring myself to submit to wearing something i considered hideously ugly and repulsive.
i chose to create my own style instead, rejecting the trends of the time. looking back, i see why classmates questioned such individuality, but standing here in present time, individuality is still a major driving force in the continued expression of our true selves.
a couple of years ago, i attended my 20 year high school reunion. people didn't recognize me, except for my one good friend, who looked fabulously gorgeous and happy. i walked through the room and talked with people; some were content, some were full of regret, some looked old and grey and tired and weary and some apologized for what they had done to me so many years before. everyone talked about the struggles of high school.
this one guy told me that after school one day, he kicked the crap out of a bully who had been notoriously tormenting me. then, a girl told me that the reality of my life, and the fact that i pursued a career doing what i love to do, was now an inspiration for her to change her own life.
nobody denied anything, and nobody held judgement. it was high school, an anomaly, both significant and insignificant at the same time, the ultimate paradoxical place in the space time continuum.
scared yet? well don’t be. things are much different nowadays, what with the metal detectors and gang wars and all. seriously though, the youth of today have many more rights and schools have zero tolerance for bullying. teachers take sensitivity training and students have more choices for what they want to learn.
high school today can be a very positive experience, as long as you do these three things: stay committed to learning about what interests you, what challenges you and what makes you tick, eat healthy food and exercise your body, and make sure you have the right hairstyle.
i had a haircut five years ago that made me look like i was going to a head-banging kiss concert in the eighties. i made two mistakes. i deviated from my regular salon to try and save some money and i did not trust my gut reaction to the appearance of the stylist himself. needless to say, i wore my hair short for a while. it cost two haircuts and a honking slab of humble pie to repair the damage.
i woke up sweating buckets one morning, with my long, thick hair wrapped around my neck. while walking to work, a big gust of wind blew my hair into my mouth, just as i chomped down on a wad of gum, leaving me with a mouthful of hairy gum for the dealing.
it only took me a split second to march on over to thumpers salon, and as perfect timing would have it, they’d just had a cancellation.
my stylist told me that it is every stylists dream to give a short haircut to someone with really long hair, but that most long haired people who come in looking for short hair, decide against it during the consultation.
she told me that it’s risky business because people often aren’t really ready to alter their appearance so dramatically and they end up regretting it in the end, crying or freaking out. it was her lucky day, and mine. i walked out of there with a feeling of weightlessness, and she lived out a fantasy in real life.
so, to make long words shorter, to cut to the chase, the handiest advice i have to offer is this: please go to a high end salon. it will cost more money, but you will never, ever have a first day of high school again. make the appointment for two weeks before school starts so that your hair has time to settle and you have time to adapt.
if asking your parents to spend that much cash on a cut and colour is problematic, then approach them with an offer to earn the money by doing chores and other jobs for them. explain to them how important it is for you to look and feel your bestest best. be very thankful if they agree to cough up the cash.
to find a good stylist, ask around. if you like somebody’s hair, ask them where the had it done. high end salons will not employ stylists who aren’t tuned in to interpreting what the client is looking for, so collect pictures of styles you like and bring them with you to your appointment.
talk with the stylist about yourself, and get a feel for who they are, because trusting them and how they wear their own hair, is very, very, very important.
adding highlights is a better idea than all-over colour because you don’t have to keep going back to get your roots done. choosing the right shades depends on your personality. stay with shades that are slightly lighter than your hair colour if you want it to look natural, or add some hues outside of your range to spice things up. your stylist will show you samples of what they have available, and this can really help you to decide what’s best for you.
if you’re thinking about getting bangs, think very carefully. bangs are often drastic if you’re not used to them, but they also have charm and help to frame the face. it’s easier to wear your hair down when you have bangs because you don’t have all that front hair falling in your face all the time. another good thing about bangs is that you can clip and pin them, tuck them under a hair band or slick them back with product, whenever you want to go for a full faced look.
high school is all about change and i imagine you’ll go through many different ways of wearing your hair. sometimes we need to make the changes subtly or slowly over time, and other times we’re ready for something more drastic. a good stylist is going to be able to gauge just where your head space is at any given stage in your life, and when you find one, make it a permanent relationship. stay faithful and loyal to the end and they’ll help you out through thick and thin.
* * *


Blogger LJ said...

I think the most important point here might have been to trust your instincts about the stylist. High End doesn't hand out any guarantees that you won't get some snotty princess (male or female)who considers themselves an artiste - and you a tasteless bimbo.
I loved the two week get-used-to-it advice. Definately! And the same could be said of the dress, the shoes etc. Wear 'em around the house so you don't feel (and look) like you have been suddenly thrust into a stranger's clothing at the time of whatever event.
Keep up the great work, handy girl!
And lord. I thought high school sucked for me?

9:11 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

yes, i agree. trusting your instincts is most important...and watching out for snotty princesses who may just turn out to be frogs in stylists clothing...
thank you for the words of encouragement. i will keep filling up the pages with what keeps filling up my mind...

11:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awww~ i cant believe they threw u into the dumpster?!
naughty boys! (^o^);;;
highlights soound interesting!
thank u very much for ur hilarious post!!!!

11:02 a.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

hey niki,
thanks for visiting....one good thing about the dumpster is it taught me about finding empathy and compassion for other people, even if they behave in negative ways....

4:58 p.m.  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Hallo from Oz, HG,
Thankyou for your kind comment on my Blog. It's great to have found you! I have been 'lurking' ( having read you via LJ). Love your advice and you make me smile.
Had my long hair cut extremely short after 2 very hot summers here. I wouldn't have it any other way now and having found the best hairdresser, will stick with her for as long as poss.

11:15 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

hello back! glad that lj hooked us up and that you are enjoying the words falling out of me. i was fascinated with australia as a child, and then learned a while back that my great grandfather spent twenty years there, living in the bush, writing and publishing sci-fi stories and novels...maybe there's a wordy gene in there somewhere...

12:04 a.m.  
Blogger Cavalock said...

Hi there….cool blog! Can totally relate to what you r saying bout not fitting in during school daze….and getting a bad haircut too! hah

1:22 a.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

good thing school only lasts a few years and that hair grows. thanks for visiting...come on back anytime...

10:07 a.m.  
Blogger pinknest said...

i cut my own bangs! and it's not as disastrous (sometimes) as i thought it would be.

7:16 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

you are excellently handy indeed, and confident to boot...you go, girl!

7:56 p.m.  
Blogger ghee said...

oh "yes" for the highlights,too!

ohh,too bad to hear some bad high school experiences,but good to hear that they apologized to you and regret wht theyve done.

i used to go to diff. hair salon,now i think ive found my style and stylist,too.
ill stick with "her" :)

1:47 a.m.  
Anonymous imp said...

a change in style is always refreshing!

ahh...high school. all those aches and pain. and some happiness.

3:36 a.m.  
Blogger LJ said...

Dear Handy Girl...
Here's something weird and funny. You were going to magic my computer? Well, suddenly my computer told me that my Mozilla profile was "in use" (try that for scary)and wouldn't let me in. So I shut down, rebooted, found my files were (suddenly)badly fragmented & cleaned THAT up...checked for bugs and viruses etc...
And since then? Well the sound still doesn't work, but SOMEthing happened.
All I can say is..."the truth is out there."

6:31 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

hee, hee, hee...
i lit a candle. i sat, closed my eyes, and visualized your computer. my mind travelled to its inner workings; i could see the wires and bits and pieces, almost like a 3-d road map. my head voice said something like, 'you are lj's computer and you aren't working well for her. lj needs you to run smoothly. please, do a self-diagnostic, find the problem and repair it. clear out the bugs and tune yourself up. lj has amazing words to write. she needs you. she will treat you kindly and you will function perfectly. nothing is shitty'. i guess i should have said it out loud....then maybe the sound would be working...hee, hee, hee...

6:56 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

ghee, glad you've found a style and a stylist you can trust.

and hey there imp, i'm sooo in agreement with the word refreshing!

there was some happiness in high school...perhaps worthy of illustration in a future post...hmmm...

thank you both for visiting...

7:15 p.m.  
Anonymous zingtrial said...

cool blogg reading through it and thought better write and let you know your blog is nice
real nice

10:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello again Mom
I read your post like you told me, and no I am not doing chores to get my haircut *glares* I saw that hint.. lol.

10:20 p.m.  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

looking into my crystal ball, i see lots of babysitting jobs in your future...i hope the advice helps you to decide...

10:55 p.m.  
Blogger Darkmind said...

Back in 1998 I bought a set of electric dog shearing clippers for $7. Except for the occasional shampoo, I haven't spent any money on my hair ever since...BWA HA HA HA!!! This is a very good blog. You have great writing skills and have good use of imagery. I surfed here from Mella's blog, also a fav of mine. Peace.

4:20 a.m.  

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