Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Friday 7 September 2012

If at first you don’t succeed... or the hairdresser’s apprentice part ii

You’ve got to admire the man’s tenacity, or maybe it’s just stubbornness.

I am sitting in the hairdresser’s with my sister. I was sitting here last night at half past nine... four hours after arriving, wondering why my sister’s hair was sort of blue... I think by that stage we were all sort of wondering that.

My sister visits four or five times a year. There is a room in our house that we refer to as hers, complete with tea making facilities and a gideon bible, because that’s how we rock. When she visits, she gets her hair cut by my hairdresser’s apprentice. He isn’t an apprentice anymore. He’s a charming young man, a fully fledged hairdresser and a bit of a protege. The boy has some stones in this field, or that’s what they tell me.

On this occasion, my sister was booked in for a cut and colour, and she and the lovely apprentice had decided on purple slices, because... well... why not?

It didn’t go well.

There were skin tests for the tints, but it was actually the bleach that made my sister’s throat constrict, and, of course, she didn’t have her industrial strength antihistamine’s in her handbag. No matter, it was only a brisk walk home for me to find the meds, and all was well. The hairdresser’s apprentice struggled manfully on, phone at hand, ready to dial three nines... you know... just in case. He kept her spirits up with chatter, and his too I suspect.

Had I been my sister, I probably would have stopped there, but she laughs in the face of anaphylactic shock, more than a little accustomed to her ridiculous allergies, so the hairdresser’s apprentice ploughed on with the tints, mixed and tested and mixed some more. The purple was Urple Purple and it looked fierce... nay... regal!

The elaborate configuration of foils finally came off, and the hair beneath was blue.

We decided not to pass judgement until the hair was dry, because, you know, the tint was most definitely purple, and the hair wasn’t cut yet.

Good hair cut. Awfully good hair cut. Really like the hair cut. This boy can cut hair.

Trouble was the hair really was blue, only sort of ‘meh’ blue... not vibrant, not interesting, not awfully good.

The hairdresser’s apprentice was not happy.

He was, however, extremely professional. He was ready and willing to put the thing right... right there, right then, free of charge and at my sister’s very limited convenience. So, here we are.

The hairdresser’s apprentice, the charming young man, his reputation enhanced, in my eyes, freed up his schedule so that he could spend a couple of hours with my sister this morning sorting out her hair.

I’ve been around hairdressers for a long time. I like getting my hair done and, over the years, I’ve had just about everything you could imagine done to it. I sat with my sister for those four hours last night while this man worked, and he did it by the book. It wasn’t his poor judgement or poor practice that turned my sister’s hair blue, and yet he took full responsibility for the unfortunate results.

Good man, I say.


I’ll be here for an hour or so, and, tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it goes, but, before we leave, I’ll be making my sister’s next hair appointment. 

Not for nothing, this isn’t the first bit of bad luck I’ve seen her have. I suspect she’s a bit of a jinx, poor love. Nevermind, we’re off handbag shopping after this, and, who knows, maybe we’ll find something purple.

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