My relationship with my salon and hair stylist is sacred.
You see, I love my hair.
I have naturally blond, and it is, as far as I’m concerned, my saving grace. I may be short and 20 lbs overweight and have saggy, pancake boobs – but I have fanfuckingtastic hair. My hair is to my appearance what my humor is to my otherwise bitchy personality.
I am, as you may guess then, very protective about who and what I let near my hair.
I am Aveda’s bitch, because their products are worth every damn penny I spend on them. They make my hair curly and defined and shiny – and it is damn near impossible to have curly and shiny hair. While I am frugal to a fault in every other area of my life, I selfishly spend hundreds of dollars on hair product every year without even a twinge of guilt because it’s my hair, and there is no cheaper alternative that actually gets results.
It was love of Aveda that led me to Lisa.
When I lived in Iowa, I got my hair cut at an Aveda salon by one particular stylist that I finally found who knew what the hell she was doing with. She didn’t try to “tame” my curls, she made them fantastic. Before moving, the very last thing I did was get one final haircut from my girl. I may have cried a little when I got up from her chair for the last time.
When I moved to Florida and couldn’t prolong the inevitable any further, I went to the nearest Aveda salon. Unfortunately, that is where the Hair Hate Crime of 2007 occurred. BUT! That is also where I found Lisa.
Lisa is the woman at the exact same Aveda salon who fixed me. And in that one appointment, our first meeting, I fell in love with her. Not only because she knew the difference between blond and shit brown, but because she understood my hair. She got me and I got her and we would go on to have happy hair love forever and ever and ever.
Lisa is the one who helped me go short over a year ago (and wow, it’s been over a year? Yeah, I’m totally justified in being so over short hair now and growing it back out.) Lisa is the one who encouraged me to try pink last summer. She is the one who held my hand and helped me find a new way when Aveda discontinued their Sap Moss Spray.
Lisa is, to be clear, a goddess among stylists.
She was mine and I was hers.
And then, this morning, I got the news.
I was perusing the product aisles in my salon while waiting for my eyebrow wax. “Hey,” I asked the receptionist, “is Lisa around? I’ve got a product question for her.” The size 0 blond squirmed a little on her stool and silently shook her head. I should have known something was wrong.
A minute later, I heard someone behind me call my name.
“Britt?” It was one of the salon owners. He looked concerned and reached out to put his hand over mine, as if to say, maybe you should sit down. “We need to talk,” he said.
“Lisa, um…” he hesitated again, searching for the right words. “Lisa is no longer with us. She left abruptly this Saturday.”
“OH NO!” I gasped. All my prior years of bad hair while I wandered around in a sea of average stylists flashed before my eyes and I grabbed the pine table top used to hold pitchers of cucumber and orange water for support. “I can’t… why? What happened?”
He shook his head and I could see my own heartbreak reflected back at me in his eyes. “We don’t know. It was all so sudden. She’s been with me since the beginning and this Saturday… I just… I don’t know.” He shook his head again, unable to make sense of it all for either of us. “I’m so, so sorry,” he told me.
“Man, me too. What am I going to do?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “Teresa is really, really good. She has, too. I know, I know. I really think Teresa will get your hair, I do,” he promised, and I kind of fell in love with him right there for talking about the mop on my head as if it was another person.
“I just… hmmm… I’ll have to think about it,” I told him, and he seemed to understand. There was just no way I could even begin to think about Lisa’s replacement already. It was too soon. Too raw. “I just can’t believe it,” I said again. “I brought my friend from Pittsburgh to her. Who will I send her to now?”
“I know, I know.”
I just can’t believe she’s gone. And sure, maybe this Teresa Woman is fine – but fine? How can I console myself with fine when what Lisa and I shared was perfect?
And while, yes, I can try and track her down – what about the salon that I adore? I love that place. They know me by name. They are… wonderful. Now I may be forced to choose between my love of the salon and my love for the stylist – assuming I’m even able to FIND her!
My poor, poor hair.