I’m in mourning.
My hairdresser, Shane, is moving to New York.
I can do the math: the cost of airfare from San Francisco to New
York—even deeply discounted on Jet Blue—would blow my maintenance
budget, unless I kept the haircuts to only four times a year and said
goodbye to mani-pedis altogether.
Oh yeah, and conquered my fear of flying. Otherwise the Xanax prescription alone shoots my finances to smithereens.
And so now, just as spring had sprung me from my unspoken
fashionista mandate of seasonal black and into a brighter, more
colorful palate, I will now don it again out of respect for Shane
passing out of my life, and into that of some snooty Manhattanite with
a larger shoe collection, a less authentically boho wardrobe, and (dare
I say it?) hair that won't frustrate my darling Shane with its
Of course I applaud him for this brilliant career move. At
twenty-six he is already a master of his art: the cut, color, curl, and
confidential conversation that take place behind the closed doors of the salon post moderne.
Needless to say he looks the part: waif-thin, chicly ragtag, subtly
inked and flagrantly pierced. And now that he’s cut his teeth in one of
San Francisco’s trendiest salons, I’ve no doubt that he’ll have his
pick of a multitude of offers from hair havens anywhere from Chelsea to
the Upper West Side. Coupled with some well-placed connections to
fashion mag stylists, no doubt in time Shane will make a name for
At the expense of my naturally dry, horrifically curly hair.
He broke the news to me today while streaking my hair with a custom
shade he concocts just for me, one similar in tone to the leaves of a
liquid ash tree while in full fall glory. This hue lend its subtle
brilliance to my own dull locks, and is the crowning touch on a
signature look we’ve molded, tinkered and tweaked in our three years
together—practically a lifetime, as far as client/hair stylist
Through thick and thin, (emotions, not hair) we have both stuck it out—
What have I done to chase him away, I wonder? Bored him silly with
my movie critiques, or used the wrong hair care products between
Omigod! Omigod! Is it because I once allowed someone else to cut my hair?
In all fairness, it only happened once, and it was an emergency
situation: Shane had called in sick, and I needed to keep the
appointment that usually takes a month in advance to secure. Shane’s
boss and pal, Jai, did the honors—with flair that would have made Shane
Too proud, as it turned out. Rather than trust me to any fickle whim
born out of Jai’s artistry, Shane gave me my next cut for free. I felt
so guilty that I left him a tip in the amount that the cut would have
Now, that’s loyalty.
In truth, during our short time together, Shane’s hair went through
just as many (if not more) changes than mine. When I first plopped down
in his chair, he was sporting more blonde ringlets than a Valentine
cherub, albeit an angel who easily answered my prayers for unnaturally
silky straight hair, cut to a manageable length. The next time, though,
he was shorn as smooth as a cue ball. Every six weeks or so I was
greeted a new look, but his careful attention to my needs was as finely
tuned as ever. He might have been a chameleon in his own style, but he
never failed to get mine just right.
And that is why I now mourn his loss.
I dread the thought of what will happen six weeks from now, when I
spot errant glints of gray, or find my sideswept bangs in my eyes, like
some shaggy dog…
When that happens I will finally have to admit the inevitable: that I have to find Shane’s replacement.
A great cut isn’t cheap, that’s for sure. Then again, that old adage
“you get what you pay for” isn’t something you want to test in public.
Mullets are not a good look, no matter how adamantly your new
stylist claims that this is so. We fashionistas aspire to role models
more trendy than Jeff Foxworthy; say, Jessica A., or Nicole K.
Oh well, as Scarlett O’H. once blithely countered, “I’ll worry about
that tomorrow…” Today I’ll just put on a smiley face, which will be
worn under Shane’s farewell cut.
Our promise to keep in touch is sealed with the exchange of our
yahoo email addies: the only permanence left to us in this
ever-changing world. And yes of course I will look him up whenever I
make my way to NYC—so that he can berate the massacre of my hair at the
hand of another….
Hmmm.Just for a moment, I revel in the fantasy that the mere
thought of my hair being touched by anyone else—even Jai—will have him
winging his way back to the mist-kissed shores of the Golden Gate….
Who am I kidding? One Chanel photo shoot with Nicole K. and it will be “Josie who?”
It’s time to face facts: Shane is gone for good.
And with him goes the secret combination for my signature highlights.
Warning to Shane: You’ll rue the day I see them on Nicole K.
Hair today, gone, tomorrow,