A Haircut Horror Story

June 11, 2013


At the beginning of the summer of 1978 Terry Voller showed me a picture of Chris Evert-Lloyd in a magazine.

“You would look great with your hair like that,” she proclaimed.

I insisted upon a real hair salon so that I would look good enough to be in a magazine. Wendy, my best friend, had gotten her hair cut at a real salon and so would I. Mama had me go through the yellow pages and find a salon that would wash, cut and dry my hair for no more than twenty dollars. I dialed a salon in the Bordeaux Shopping Center. A man answered.

“How much does a haircut cost,” I asked.

“Twenty dollars,” he replied.

“Does that include a blow job?” I inquired. There was a pause followed by a “yes” and a little snicker.

At the salon I saw the man. I was embarrassed because as I hung up the phone I realized that blowjob was something sexual. What it was I did not know but I was still embarrassed.

My hair looked fantastic. That summer I spent a lot of time at the pool or riding my bike in the sun. One of the great things about my hair was how blonde the sun would bleach it.

As summer began to cool down and Back To School signs filled the stores my Chris Evert-Lloyd was growing awry.  Time to get my hair cut again. Mama, always the frugal one, said her friend’s daughter had gotten her hair cut at the local beauty academy for only three dollars and it looked great. Defeated, I called Fayetteville Beauty Academy and sure enough, I could get my hair cut and styled for only three dollars.

The girl asks what I want. “Just a trim, maybe take off an inch or two,” I say.

I sat and watched this girl chop and chop all the blonde to the length of about two inches all over. The darker hair underneath broke threw the flaxen chop marks. I was a cubist painting. I walked out to the waiting area tears lining my cheeks. I fell into Mama. She demanded a supervisor. They tried to repair the damage but only time could cure such a disaster.

At home we tried to fix it with a perm. That was when I learned for the first time that the left front section of my hair does not take perms.

That year, eighth grade, I ran for student government. The photo of the school officers is the ultimate awkward junior high photo. My hair still an unintentional work of modern art, I am wearing one of Mama’s blouses, a black silky button up with various colored polka dots. She tried to make it up to me by offering up her grown-up wardrobe.



I never got a beauty school haircut again. 

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