Meer-ay cut !
My wife knows my “interest” in hair cutting and during the five years of our marriage we have always had exceptional relations whenever she got her hair cut. When we were first married she had done the traditional thing of growing her hair from a great angled bob to her shoulders so that she could put it up for our wedding. After our wedding we moved to Europe (I’m an army officer) and wanted her hair short again and agreed to let me do it. Well during our two years in Europe I was her personal hairdresser. The first cut had me removing about four inches and giving her a lip-length bob with graduated nape. After that, she went through all kinds of short styles from that bob, to shorter, angled with close cropped nape, that grew out until I gave her a Linda Evangelista short crop. Anyway, I could go on but this was meant to be about one particular day.
About a year ago, I had been away for a six month period of time and for the year we had returned from Europe, she had been getting her hair cut at a salon. This didn’t bother me because I prefer watching than doing it myself. When I got back from my time away, she said that she had been going to a stylist, who was also a friend by the name of Mireille (pronounced “meer-ay”). Her cut was close crop back and sides with full top and bangs. About six weeks later, my wife said she wanted to get a cut, so off we went to see Mireille.
The salon was your basic $8.00 haircut place, but Mireille was the manager so she welcomed me in to watch. I know that many of you can appreciate that one of the added bonuses of going to the salon is seeing who else might be there getting a cut. Today I was fortunate and this would be a true two-for-one! My wife settled into the chair after having her hair washed and Mireille asked what she wanted done. My wife said that she didn’t really care, then looked over at me, smiled and said “pretty much the same, you know, shave the back and short all over”. Wow. I was in heaven. So anyway, Mireille starts cutting the sides close, taking off about an inch and while this is going on, a woman enters the salon and submits her name for a haircut. She has dark, thick hair in a ponytail to the middle of her back, bangs and the sides are shorter, almost mid ear.
My radar is fully operational at this time. Back to Mireille, she has finished the sides and walks over to another station and picks up a set of clippers. Continuing with the small talk, she plugs them in and my wife automatically leans her head forward as Mireille starts shearing away the hair on the back of her head. There must have been a #2 or 3 on the clippers because some serious clumps of hair were hitting the floor. While this is going on, the ponytail has been washed and is sitting in perfect view of me and is talking to the stylist who is combing her out.
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From what I can hear, the stylist thinks that she is there for a trim and asks “how do you want the sides? Over your ears?” The client nods. ” And about an inch off the back?” The client says “No, you misunderstand. I want a real change, short all over.” The stylist stops combing, looks at her in the mirror, grabs the length of hair in the back and replies ” You want all this cut off? Are you sure?” Client: “Yes. I really need a change. Just cut it short.” (Note: I am going crazy at this point, remember, this is while the clippers are shearing the hair away from the nape of my wife’s neck) Stylist: “Do you have any particular style in mind?” The stylist seems not to believe she wants this done. Client, dispassionately: “No, not really. But… how about like that woman there?” She points to my wife who is now having clumps of hair removed from her top with a straight-razor. I guess the stylist felt that she had to talk her out of this because she told her that they could look at some books and decide. After about three minutes of looking at pictures (I couldn’t see them) the stylist asks one more time “Are you sure?” Client: “Yes, just like that please”. The stylist then walks around behind her and without sectioning or combing anymore says “Well there’s no turning back now” and starts cutting off the back of her hair at the tops of her shoulders. I was on fire as I watched easily ten inches of thick hair fall to the floor. Mireille was still working on my wife, using texturing shears on the top then quickly blowing it dry. Over at the other station, the stylist was scooping up layers of the clients hair and cutting down to two inches. The floor was ankle deep in dark hair. As one large clump of cut hair was thrown to the floor, Mireille looked over and said “Wow, what’s going on over there? Looking good.” I guess that this is to reassure the client. As the stylist kept cutting, it became obvious that there would be no clipper action and although it was cut fairly close, there was still some length at the nape. My wife was just about done as Mireille picked up the small cordless clippers and buzzed the hairline at the perimeter and over her ears. She had been dried, gelled and spritzed and looked incredible! Severe buzz in the back, subtle weightline (she has since had that removed) ears completely clear and full, spikey top. I longed to run my hands over her freshly cropped nape! I knew it was almost time to go so I had to get my last looks at the “former” ponytail. Basically now it was a short layered cut (not as short as my wife’s) with a soft fringe at the nape. That was good, but the amount of hair on the floor was incredible! Anyhow, we paid Mireille, said good-bye and left the salon. My wife never said anything about the other client but ran her hand over her nape and said “Pretty short, huh? Do you like it?” “Need you ask?” I replied.
The rest of the afternoon was ___________ ! (insert positive adjective here).