U: The Unknown
Will it ever grow back? It’s going to take forever! No one will talk to me! .. an excerpt from the hysterical screaming, hyperventilating and cries from my 7-yr-old daughter after a recent haircut was a bit shorter than she envisioned. At least she held it together at the salon.
Both kids – my daughter, Ava, and 5-yr-old son, Calvin – have always been impressively good, sat still and followed up, down, side directions from hairstylists. I don’t know why this is. I recall going to Kids Hair for Ava six years ago. A lot of hype, sitting kids in front of tv’s and candy – - too much stimulation for this mom. We’ve typically went to Mastercuts for kids’ cuts. They used to have a one-night-a-week deal for like $11.95 and we’d run over to the Mall of America location, no appointment necessary. And while you wait, please do shop. This was about all their haircuts were worth at an age-appropriate price.
When Ava turned five, after a series of not-so-good cuts at any new stylists whim, we upped our game to more professional salons. She loved getting her hair washed at the salon and we found the Aveda salon – Bella – in my husband’s home town to be a good value if it coincided with a trip to Luck, WI. We also checked out Miyagi in Northeast Minneapolis where they don’t accept tips, but stylists seemed to change every month so couldn’t find someone consistent for her. Then we found Rue 48 Salon. A neighborhood salon to us with kids cuts for $25. While I’m still not ready to graduate Calvin to that level, Ava is ready to have a consistent hairstylist, a convenient location and a cut that works for her.
On Thursday, Calvin and I headed to Mastercuts MOA. Always easy to get in on a week-night. Everytime we go, a stylist confidently describes what they’ll be doing while Calvin is mesmerized by the spikiness of their hair, streaked with hot pink to purple. Calvin’s got a colic that is the determining factor for how to cut his hair. This particular stylist, Liz, assures me she understands the colic. She leaves that area longer so it has a chance at lying flat – it is on the top of his head after all. Instead of a 3 setting on the clipper, we go for 4. I’m okay with the cut. You never quite know what you’re going to get. Calvin is happily chatting it up – wondering if Liz is married, wanting to see her engagement ring. When we checkout, we get a tattoo and pay $13.95 for the cut with a $3 tip. We’re still looking at $17 monthly.
Ava’s appointment is two days later at Rue 48. Ellie is her stylist she’s seen about four times now. She trusts her. Ava is generally talkative and happy, openly sharing embarrassing stories about our family life and such. After the wash and rinse, I come over for the cut consultation. Prior to the appointment, Ava agreed to get more than just a trim for her past-shoulder-length locks. She makes a cut mark with her hand, I move it up just a bit more. We’re talking chin length, a little longer. I am nervous about how it will go. As Ava sees the shortness of it all, she continually asks to be done with the cut. She’s holding it together. Ellie finishes up quickly while I talk about the weather and such, trying to keep Ava’s mind off the shortness and pending breakdown.
We get to the car to leave and the streaming tears begin. It gets worse at home. She wants no one to look at her. Perfect timing to go to her dance competition with all the girls with their long hair in fancy buns. Timing is way too tight – she chokes down a piece of toast and some eggs. I help her with her costume in silence. We arrive. She hides behind me and doesn’t want to see her dancer friends. She is not yet ready to face her Grandma who drove all this way to see her perform. We sit through the hour-long Just For Kix show, awaiting her dance to Breakthrough which is last. She’s smiling, her chin is up. Thank goodness.
Later in the day, she is checking the cut in the mirror, brushing, tossing, getting used to it. By mid-day she is optimistic and liking her new look, citing other friends at school who have shorter cuts. She also wants to let Ellie know that she survived the experience and things are looking up.