As you’re probably already learning from this blog, I think of hair as an important accessory to be styled along with your look. And if you know me personally, you’ve heard me say more than once how important my relationship with my hairstylist is. Here follows a beautiful story of commitment … and many, many hair styles.
In 2001, I moved back to Austin after a two-year stint in the DFW metroplex. I had a hairstylist I found and liked up there, and I continued to see her for a while despite living in Austin. I had recently cut my hair super short, and with that kind of high-maintenance hair, I knew it was time to find someone in town. A new hairstylist can be a scary proposition.
I had heard good things about Wet Salon, so I took my chances and called. I still remember that phone conversation with the receptionist. I explained my short hair situation and how I needed to find a stylist in Austin. She listened carefully and was sympathetic. She said she’d book me with Mark, also relatively new to Austin from the Dallas area. He sounded like a great match. And so in 2002, Mark and I met for the first time. No one else has cut my hair since.
I think of my hair as a collaboration between the two of us. My hair grows pretty fast, so I’m not afraid to try new styles. And for a few years there, I was trying a slightly different hairstyle every time I visited Mark. In the past 10 years, my hair has been pixie-short to down the middle of my back long, had a veritable rainbow of highlights, and was previously straight but is now more naturally wavy.
And for two years, I didn’t even live in Austin. I was in grad school at the University of Oregon from 2003-2005, and rather than find a new stylist in Eugene, I simply waited to cut my hair during my trips home to Texas. Mark has always done a great job of cutting my hair in such a way that it grows out well. He and I are very compatible, coincidentally the same age, sharing similar tastes in movies and music. Plus, he always remembers to hunt down the trashy gossip magazines in the salon for me to read while under the dryer.
Yes, we get along famously, and he’s easy on the eyes, but the main reason I’ve stuck with Mark for so long is because he knows how to handle my hair. I have fast-growing, thick-stranded (as in he and I have both gotten Jenn-hair splinters) hair with a slightly wavy texture. And there’s a lot of it. While I like wearing my hair big, I certainly don’t want to look like a mushroom head. He knows how to properly shape my hair lest it gets too unwieldy. After years of togetherness, it’s no longer necessary for me to say that I want my hair to look sexy, never boring, and a little rock star.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been growing my hair long. And two weeks ago, after a six month haircut hiatus due to budgetary restrictions, I had Mark take a considerable amount of length off. I’m feeling much lighter after chopping 4-6 inches of my mop.
I don’t know exactly when Wendy started, but she also sees Mark. Her hair is fairly opposite of mine (a testament to his versatility), and I know she also gets him to do her color, as well as her cut. Maybe if we ask nicely, she’ll share her hair story. 🙂
Mark knows that he’s not allowed to move out of Austin, and someday when I’m extraordinarily wealthy, I’ll hire him to come to my house and do my hair every morning. Oh, to dream! Is anyone else out there as stylist-loyal as me?
Images: all author’s own