A History Of Great Mistakes

The luck of the Irish – pt 9
March 16, 2009, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , , ,

(Yaaar Jimlad! New to the web-ship are ye? Then ye may not have read part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8… Best ye have a shifty before setting sail below – lest ye want to walk the plank of confusion!)

As I entered the barbers, I had a feeling that you only get once or twice in life – if you’re lucky.

Something bad was going to happen in here, but I had no idea what.

My eyes scanned the room and fell upon razors, unusually sharp scissors and discarded newspapers with red blotches on them.

Bad things happened in here on a regular basis, I could feel it.

“Hello!” cried the Australian hairdresser I’d met when booking my appointment. “Here for your trim?” she said with an innocent smile.

“Er…” I looked at the stained sink opposite her, it was an uncomfortable shade of crimson. “Yes…” I replied, slowly taking a step backwards.

“Well come on over here and sit down!” she said, beckoning me towards a chair near the stained sink.

I moved cautiously forwards.

“So what is it that you want exactly?” she asked, as I eased myself into the chair.

“Well, I’m thinking about something a little different… Maybe bleached blond?” I replied, looking at her smiling face in the mirror.

“Great idea!” she replied, pressing her hands into my shoulders and touching my neck slightly. “Cut first?” she asked, quickly snatching the sharp scissors from the side work surface.

I gulped.

“…Go on then…” I said, watching the blades of her scissors glimmer in the mirror’s reflection.

Fifteen minutes into the haircut, I wasn’t sure what I’d been worrying about. The lady hairdresser was nice, she had interesting stories, and knew a lot about Dublin for the relatively short period of time that she’d been there.

“I came over here to be with my boyfriend, but that didn’t work out, and so now I’m cutting hair until I can afford a ticket home…!” said Miranda, who’d introduced herself shortly after her first snip into my barnet.

“Aw, hey, I know what you mean about things not working out when you expect them to… I had this really bad date awhile back…” I replied, telling her my tales of Sky and Thai waitresses.

We talked as she snipped away, and I found myself quite liking Miranda’s company. Although whether that had something to do with her being Australian, and me having a bit of a ‘thing’ for Ozzies (due to past events) I wasn’t sure.

Either way, I enjoyed her company.

As she tidied up the back and sides, Maranda asked me how bright I wanted my hair to be.

“Bright?” I asked, unsure if she’d meant to say ‘blond’.

“Well, you see, with your hair being dark brown and pretty thick – we’re going to need to bleach it at least twice to make sure it doesn’t look golden. Unless you want it golden?”

I didn’t want it golden.

What I could have won

What I could have won

“Erm… Quite bright?” I replied.

“Well I tell you what – I’ll bleach it twice – and if you like it as is, we’ll leave it there. If you want it brighter, we’ll do it again. Ok?”

“Ok” I said, foolishly.

As she applied the first set of bleach to my scalp, I found myself wincing.

“I’ve made the mixture a little stronger than normal, to speed things up for you…”

‘No s@!t’ I thought to myself. ‘Don’t remember it being like this when I did it before at home’ I muttered to myself as my head sizzled, ‘maybe it’s because it was a home kit…’

Miranda washed the mixture out of my hair after 15 minutes and span my seat around to show the most golden hair you ever did see.

“God, that looks awful…” I found myself saying.

“It really does, doesn’t it” said Miranda, agreeing far too quickly for someone who’d just created the monstrosity in front of her. “Let’s do another” she said, applying more mixture to my scalp.

The hair on my arms stood on end, and I felt every nerve ending in my head set alight all at once.

“Faaahh!!” I blurted, moving sharply forward in my seat.

Yeah, it’ll do that the next time too… Your scalp is a little raw from the first bleaching. Truthfully, the next one may be a little… Uncomfortable. If you go for it that is!”

Another fifteen minutes later, and I stare into the mirror again.

My hair was slightly less golden.

Third time’s the charm?” said Miranda.

I nodded.

My face went white as Miranda applied the third ‘coat’ to my head. I felt a lone tear fall down the right side of my face as whatever nerves left on my scalp were obliterated by another wave of peroxide death.

I was in serious pain territory in that chair – the likes of which people create large red and white ‘danger’ signs for.

Hell was on earth, and the devil was toasting my bonce to prove it.

Mercifully, 15 minutes later – I was looking at a blond haircut in the mirror, which I felt had been worth the effort.

As I made a movement to stand up, Miranda said something crushing that only a hairdresser who’s just cut your hair could say to you.

“Looks a bit… Yellow Doesn’t it…”

I looked in the mirror again.

It did look yellow.

‘How had I missed that before?’ I asked myself, bemused.

“I’ve got an idea” said Miranda. “Now this may sound a little out there, but bear with me…”

“Ok…” I said.

“What you need is another colour to slightly take the edge off that one, and make it more natural…”

“That’s not so out there…” I said, looking at her in the mirror.

“I think it needs some purple rinse” she said.

I began to stand up.

“No no! Trust me! If I leave it on for no more than a minute, it’ll give a nice effect, and look great…!”

I looked at her skeptically.

“It will! I’ve done it before!” she pleaded with puppy dog eyes.

“Ok…” I said, sighing. I never could resist an Australian girl.

“Right – I’ve just got to pop out to grab the rinse from another hairdresser I work at – be no more than 5 minutes” said Miranda, grabbing her coat and dashing out of the door.

I sat back in my seat and grabbed one of the discarded papers blotted with an unnerving shade of red. Peering closer, thankfully, the red appeared to be from hair dye.

For a few minutes, I sat back, enjoyed my own company and read the business section of the paper in my hands. ‘I need a new job’ I thought to myself as I read about massive bonuses and contracts awarded to city workers across Europe.

“Back!” said Miranda, walking through the front door and hanging up her coat. In her hands, a small purple tube could be seen.

“Is that it?” I asked, never having seen a purple rinse mixture before.

“It is! Now all we need to do is lie you back, put this on and wash it off in a minute’s time…!”

Trusting her, I lay back, closed my eyes and let her apply the rinse. After three sets of bleach, it’s surprising how cooling a rinse can be to the scalp.

As I leaned over into the sink basin for the fourth time and let Miranda wash my hair, all felt (and smelt) good in the world.

“Oh s@!t” said Miranda.

“What?” I asked, face still in basin.

“Don’t look up whatever you do” pleaded Miranda.

Of course, I looked up.

My hair was bright purple.

Something similar to my expression on the day

Something similar to my expression