From Where I Sit – Lovely

Is there anything quite as lovely as a good haircut? The kind of cut that does exactly what you ask of it: it flatters your features and falls naturally without a ton of product and hours of fussing. It maximizes what you’ve got in terms of thickness and texture, and doesn’t rely on gimmicks or extraordinary measures.

In a world of mediocrity with a whole whack of hairdressers who finished in the bottom half of their class, finding a stylist who ?gets it? is akin to winning the lottery. She’s part shrink (the good listener), part technician (understands the geometry, tools, and products) and part sorcerer (turns vision into reality).

After an absence of many years?during which I had dalliances with many others?I recently returned to Sheila. During my lifetime of getting haircuts she is the best I’ve encountered, with Diane running a close second. I left Sheila years ago because of the no small matter of money. Her haircuts were approaching $40 16 years ago, and it was more than I could comfortably pay. Today, $40 looks like a bargain; of course, now the cut is $55.

In a masterful act of rationalization, I decided that if I could spend a bundle on my acrylic nails, surely my hair was worth the splurge too. Roy will retire today as my colourist, because this grey hair isn’t going anywhere and it needs the technical skill of a trained professional using quality product. Not a good guy blundering through with a drugstore box of colour.

The colour correction, foil highlights, haircut, and about three and a half ounces of Aveda protector for use with straighteners set me back four hours and $210. The next round will be cheaper because it’ll just be root touch-up and a few strategic highlights. The highlights are intended to give an overall lighter look and provide more camouflage for the unrelenting grey. The salon’s loyalty program means that after six cuts, the seventh is free. Woohoo.

With her 25 years of experience, Sheila knew how to ask questions?and listened intently. She switched my part from the right to the left to hide a cowlick I didn’t know I had. That little bugger had ruined many a hairdo because no one had ever explained it before and I had no clue. Sheila reduced the bulk and sharpened up the profile of the style. She gave me bangs that weren’t laughable anymore. She explained what she did and why. Lovely.

Equally lovely are two bouquets of tulips: one gracing the corner of my desk, the other in the living room. Delicate purple, bright orange, and soft baby pink blooms combine to make me smile. They carry a message of hope and renewal. They scream spring. Forty stems for $20 is a great deal.

Whether we spend a little or a lot, we all need a bit of lovely in our lives, from where I sit.

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