In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself
Getting a haircut can be a risky business. Especially for an awkward person.
Aside from the fact that you actually have to trust another human being to not take away far too much of your hair, accidentally dye it orange, or make it wonky at the front – you also have to sit in a chair whilst a stranger stands very close to you with scissors. And that’s just not a recipe for feeling quite at your leisure.
Finding the appropriate balance between polite and firm.
Arguably what any British person has agonised over in every situation they have ever found themselves in, but still.
Because we all know that’s it is a very fine but sometimes critical line between “well ok, take a bit more off if you think that would be best” and “for the love of god don’t make it any shorter”.
There’s also a very fine line between “just a bit of a trim, please” and “just please whatever you do don’t give me your hair style, because that looks awful”.
And a similarly fine line between “thanks, looks great!” and “thanks, I’m going to pay you for this and then go home and weep into a cushion whilst searching for a reputable wig supplier who will do home deliveries!”
Getting shampooed by a stranger.
So far I’ve found nothing in life that makes you feel quite so much like you’re about to be entered in Crufts than getting shampooed by a stranger at the hairdressers. And believe me, I’ve searched far and wide.
Lying back while someone massages shampoo into your scalp and gets slightly-too-hot water in your ears is not really a soothing experience.
But hey, at least you’ll have a good shot at winning Best in Class.
Small talk in any situation is fairly horrifying, but small talk at the hairdressers for some reason can be particularly troublesome.
Possibly because it usually means having to attempt to keep a ridiculous topic of chit chat going for as long as possible because you know that if this one peters out you’ll actually have to think of something else to talk about.
And there’s really only so much you can say after you’ve established that you haven’t been on holiday recently, you don’t have any plans for the weekend, and no you didn’t see that thing on TV that was totally unmissable.
Which might be why you once ended up having a 20 minute conversation about the relative absorbencies of paper hand towels in public toilets. Although on that occasion you may secretly have been a little bit proud of both yourself and the hairdresser for managing to sustain that level of entirely false enthusiasm.
To fringe or not to fringe.
This question, sadly, comes down less to whether or not you actually want a fringe and more to how determined your hairdresser is to give you a fringe.
I myself have been fringed for the last six years because my hairdresser forced me to have one under severe duress. And by severe duress I mean she once said “what do you think about giving you a fringe?” and I panicked and said “Sure!”
Even though it came about largely through my own inability to be assertive in front of someone armed with scissors, I now would not be without my fringe – despite the fact that it does often cause some considerable hat-related consternation.
Fringes should not be entered into lightly, though – no small amount of maintenance is involved in owning one. You can’t take your eyes off it for a second – doze off for a moment and it is likely to exercise its creative flair a little bit too much and form itself into all manner of jaunty shapes.
Whimsical they may be, but it’s not really what you want at 08:54 in the morning when you’ve already been forced to eat muesli for breakfast because you’ve run out of coco pops and you’re about to be late for work.
The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation.