The “Greatest” “Show” on “Earth”

Aside

People are always curious about hair shows that we attend. The way that they even ask the question like, “Oooh, what’s it like?” alerts me to the fact that they are imagining it like Fashion Week or some kind of amazing Carnival of aesthetic grace, grandeur and amazingness. Like a Victorias Secret cat walk is happening everywhere, being led by Bob Dylan (remember that? Wtf??). It’s always a bit painful to think that you’re about to crush their image with a cold dose of reality. “Have you been to Vegas? Yeah, well, it’s like Vegas. Did you want your fringe rounded?”.  Im not talking Bellagio Vegas with tickets to Rain and Celine. I’m talking Circus Circus Vegas with tickets to Thunder Down Under and Brittney (no complaints here!). When I go to a hair show I feel like that commercial in the 70’s where the American Indian is looking at the litter the white folks have spread everywhere and sheds a tear of real and deep sadness at the fate of the earth. Well, that’s me. I’m like, “These are my people! These are my people? Uh oh”.

The Vegas metaphor is the best one I can come up with. When I go to Vegas, I have to prepare, talk myself into it. Vegas can be great or horrible, depending on your perspective and what you choose to see or not see.  You can easily think, “Ack! Is that man not wearing pants?”, “Did I just see a little person dressed as a leprechaun pulling vodka shots at an “Irish pub?”, “Uh, is this child with anyone at the Casino? Should I call Social Services?”, “Ok, I guess I’ll just step over the throw up to get to my room”, “I think that that  80 year old woman has been at the slot machine since I went to my room 12 hours ago”. OR you can talk yourself UP, so to speak and think, “Wow, was that Charo I just saw having a latte?”, “Aw, that Roy is SO cute, even if he is disabled from a tiger attack. Now that’s passion!”, “Gosh, how in the world did they do THAT?”, “Upside down monkey fur cape? Now that’s inspiring, Liberace!”

Basically, In Vegas, you can either walk around the strip aimlessly while men hand you porn cards every 2 feet or you can have purpose, ignoring  the loudest, most obnoxious sights that are screaming “Pornography, alcoholism, bedazzling, faux hawks and Euro-jeans on men are NOT irrelevant!”. Or, like me, you can try to enjoy both for what they are. In short, you can choose to be depressed and see all the negatives or inspired and look for the fleeting and harder to find positives. I usually see the negatives, not because I am negative in nature but because I always love a good freak show and come from a family of reverse snobs. But this year, I became inspired to connect with people, just regular inspiring people and I had a great time, made friends and generally felt much better. I tried to see all the trees and not so much of the litter. But not to worry, my faithful followers (Dad), I will for sure be inserting some reality checks throughout cause I know you wouldn’t read my blog if you didn’t love a good freak show as well!

The Classics

The men at the show were really the fashion headliners, in my opinion. I was turning the corner having passed the fashion smocks that say “Keep Calm And Get Your Hair Done” when I ran into the first fellow and I was like, “Now, what in the world are you doing here?”

Uh Oh, Clean Up On Aisle 4!

I had to do this with just a bra on cause I forgot my underwear. I tried to get a pic of my self-tanning experience but I was solo and couldn't find anyone willing to take the picture. Ah, well.

I had to do this with just a bra on cause I forgot my underwear. I tried to get a pic of my self-tanning experience but I was solo and couldn’t find anyone willing to take the picture. Ah, well.Beards, Bears and Barbers, Oh My!

 

Beards, Bears and Barbers, Oh My!

Barbering is back and so is the straight male hairdresser now that being a stylist has a certain cache and it’s more accepted as a profession. Back in the day, being a hairdresser was more like, “That’s alright, honey, you can always do hair”.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…….

IMG_6614

I like to imagine these two sitting around the kitchen table one Sunday morning and she says, “Laird, I was thinking….”. “Yes, Darlene?” “Well, Laird, seeing our kids are all grown, the house is almost paid for and Ginny’s finally married and all, well, maybe it’s time. Time for us, you know, to follow our dream. Really do this. Whaddya say, Laird?” And, well, the rest is history.

The Naturals

Shout out to these ladies because I love to see natural texture and they were really bringing it, especially the first lady who’s smize was so fierce that Mr. J felt the ripple and tripped over his long toenails, wherever he was.

The Beautiful People

Hair models can be found walking around or awaiting the stage. I could really look at this all day. Pretty always wins…….. Or, on second thought, maybe I should skip that and get my teeth whitened:

awkward….you have to take this picture like, "don't worry, I'm not taking a picture of you at one of your lower moments, I'm just confounded by this damn camera. Oh good, it's fixed now. Your teeth are gonna look amazing!"

awkward….you have to take this picture like, “don’t worry, I’m not taking a picture of you at one of your lower moments, I’m just confounded by this damn camera. Oh good, it’s fixed now. Your teeth are gonna look amazing!”

 Alternatives

Say What?

Whatever these guys are selling I’m smelling it and checking the date. Now there are 4 (or more) boner killers for me: Crocs, actors, cowboy boots not on cowboys (sorry Toby, boner killer for your sister), and 14 pack abs, unless I’m doing tequila shots off them. But seriously, WHAT are they selling?

 Our hero’s, the educator’s

Now, really, I end it here because this is really why we come. For the education (if not the freak show) and thank God these educators still show up. I have been to half filled classes with Trevor Sorbie and Orlando Pita, who Lord knows had bigger fish to fry. But they still came (not that I saw them again, mind you). And while you can walk a show floor and get inspired, as I did, by just the other stylists walking around as well as the models and stage presentations, education is the reason for the season. Supporting these educators and their classes at the shows allows them to keep returning and being accessible to everyone who has saved a little bit of money. So please come and support when you can. So I want to say thanks to all the educators who keep coming around and pushing us along to something better and broader…..and I ran into just a few while I was wandering.

 

The last word……

 

Mama Mia, can this Italian lady come home with me and look at me like this all day? Jesus, who looks that loving? SHe's probably a bitch. Lol.

Mama Mia, can this Italian lady come home with me and look at me like this all day? Jesus, who looks that loving? She’s probably a bitch. Lol.

Moshi Moshi means *%$#@$#%&%$!! (or, how to not get a job without really trying)

The down side of owning a business is that you are never off of work. I spend most of my nights falling asleep to struggles, accomplishments, to-do’s, funny stories, financials, things to be fixed and anything else that’s on my plate that day or the next 50 years. I will wake up at 2 in the morning in a cold sweet remembering that I had forgotten that 12:30 clients cup of coffee with 3 creams having left it in the microwave not to be discovered until tomorrow (note to self: get coffee out of microwave first thing before you pull it out later believing it to be your coffee that you’ve microwaved 6 times that day and microwaving it again and actually drinking it) or that I forgot to email the name of a repair man that a client asked for or, like 3am this morning, I write and rewrite responses (in my head) to random emails I get throughout the day. A client recently asked me if I ever got prison mail (by the way, apparently some inmates will see your picture on a web site and just write to you based on your appearance which seems quite promising for the singles! A great addition to ChristianSingles.com or Match.com. You don’t even need to fill out that silly sheet with all your hopes dreams, weight, and height which mean nothing in the end after your potentials have judged you solely on your web pic anyway. Seems kind of the same thing with inmates but they skip all that crap and go straight to the chase. Maybe that’s how they get all the ladies. Seems refreshing, in a way). I said, “No but mine are scarier. I get job inquiries. Job inquiries from stylists still in school (I guess maybe it is kind of a similar inmate thing).

We have an area on our site that has our picture with a silly questionnaire attached which is just James Lipton’s 10 questions from Inside The Actor’s Studio. One of the questions is “what’s your favorite cuss word?” which is funny to have someone like Meryl Streep answer and it’s really just supposed to be silly and fun, especially when queried by the haughty/pretencious James Lipton himself. I have only had 2 comments about this being a question on our site. One came from a woman who found it horribly unprofessional and the other from a budding cosmetology student who wrote this:

“I looked on your website and was so happy to see the staff picking their favorite curse word. Just a few days ago we had our break room taken away because we were caught cussin’. We were told if we ever cursed in our salon we would be immediately fired. My response… I’ll never work anywhere that I can’t cuss.”

Repsonse #1 (3am):

Whazzup and hallef*ckingluyah! Finally, someone who really gets what this friggin’ salon is all about! Cause you know what we specialize in? Color? Oh, hell to the f*ckin’ no! Razor cuts? Oh, get the f*ck out of town. Balayage? Bitch, puleeze! Everyone knows what our specialty is. We specialize in no holds barred, d*ck out of the pants, @#@ damned m@#th*f#ckin’ straight up cussin’!  No advanced education necessary. You are gonna save us a bunch o’dollahs! Trouble in school just for cussin”? That sh*t is whack, dawg! Well, you are gonna get your graduate degree here, amiga. When you work here, you are gonna be all, “What kind of m*th#f*ckin color ya want?”, “How do you like your b*tch ass hair cut?” “Oh, hell to the f*ckin no, we don’t have wine. We’re out. Damn.””

Ok, i will stop here because this is a never ending response for me. It can go on for days or at least hours, as it does at 3 in the morning. I think this woman has given me tourettes of some sort.

Response #2 (4:15am):

“Hired!”*

Response #3 (4:21am as I always try to avoid 4:20, it’s just too stupid but hey, it’s always 4:20 somewhere…GAH! Tourettes’s!):

Dearest Madam, I, as the owner of this establishment, am the only one contractually permitted to curse inside of this salon and I can assure you that I only reserve it for my employees and it is never celebratory.

Response #4 (4:20am):

Hiya, Have you ever heard of the Wiener’s Circle? It’s in Chicago but hitchhiking is relatively easy these days. Please go there immediately. You don not even have to finish hair school. These are your people. My advice to any young person emailing a possible job request or actually writing a cover letter is to ask your Grandma to write it for you and send that. If you don’t have a Gramma, go to the senior center and find one, preferably (in this day and age) over 75 and somewhat well-heeled. You don’t need a hippy Gramma writing it, you need old school. Get some interview advice from them as well as any life advice they wanna dish out to you whether they’ve ever had a career outside of the home or not. Listen even if they do not have a 3 ring circus of tattoos and piercings. Listen even if you think they’re out of the loop and have never used the Good Lord’s name in vein. They will give you all the basic information for well, maybe not GETTING the job but at least not blowing it before you’ve gotten your foot in the door. They know all the good stuff like not cussin’, not chewing gum, basic introduction, how to sit patiently and look interested. Older people have knowledge that is still useful and applicable, even for you. Just find friends outside of your age range and LISTEN for JUST ONE HOLY %$&^%$^&^**$#@ second and you’ll get farther faster.

*This is similar to what I think when I’m being catcalled which has happened at least 10 times before 1988, stopping when I turned 17. I always felt like yelling back, “Yeah, come and get it! All yours! Right now, take your hat off, let’s just do it in that fork lift over there!” I have always been sure that this is the correct response that would freak them out but have never been willing to try it. But let me know if it woks for you, in whatever way that means).