I Can’t Go to the Hair Salon

by xcannedx



I can’t go to the hair salon.

I am fully admitting this.

This isn’t something that I’m proud of nor am I happy about.

If there was one thing in life that I could say that I liked to do in my spare time it would be going to the salon and getting my hair done.  Nothing beats someone else washing, drying and styling your hair.  I have a LOT of hair on my head and it’s a huge break when someone else deals with it. I had short pixie-style hair for 15 years and spent a pretty penny on changing my hair colour and cut all the time.  I had several people I’d trust with my head of hair and I’ve rarely been let down.

About 3 months ago I realized that it had been almost 6 months since I had my hair done.  My roots were border lining ridiculous and my ends were destroyed.  So, I booked an appointment.  No big deal – or so I thought.

When I arrived to the salon in Tribeca I was already talking myself into a panic attack because I hadn’t taken my medicine before heading into the city. Not because I thought I needed it but I didn’t think that I would have any problems going somewhere I enjoyed.

I sat down in the chair with a new colourist. He was a sweet and patient man. I pretended to be happy and requested a lemon ginger tea.  We discussed what I wanted (well, I said very quickly “I want to stay blonde” and then he went on a long explanation about what he was going to do and I didn’t really care because I was too concerned with myself).

We got about 4 foils into my hair when I said, “Please, I can’t do this right now.  I have to be honest, I’m having a panic attack and I don’t think I can do this,” meanwhile I have bleach in my hair processing. The look in his face was priceless. He didn’t know what to tell me. I HAD to wait. Deeply apologetic I paced the cafe area for 20 more agonizing minutes until the poor colourist could rinse my hair. I’m surprised I didn’t run out of the salon – foils and all.  Instead I moved from seat to seat furiously playing Tetris on my phone and ignoring responses to texts I had sent out begging for some help.

I managed to sit down long enough to rinse out my hair. Apparently while I was pacing the floor, most likely making people uncomfortable, he had rescheduled me to a few days later and set it up so I could leave as soon as possible.  As soon as I stepped out of the salon – with dripping wet hair – I breathed a gigantic sigh of relief and shed about 50% of the panic away immediately.  I was so disappointed.

A few days later I bashfully returned to the salon and finished my hair – and it looked great by the way.

Last week I booked an appointment to get a simple wash, trim and over all clean up at a different salon.  I found a neat Groupon that was perfect.  The reviews were great. I did, however, clearly remember my experience from before and set myself up for disaster.

I arrived a little early to my appointment so I decided to browse a few shops in Soho.  I made it about 20 feet into a shop and I could feel the tingling in my fingers and the nausea.  I was moving quickly into a panic.  Again.  Because of my hair.

I went into the salon thinking, “Candace you can’t give up now.  Keep going. It’s not the right time to turn around,” as the other part of me was thinking, “You better get out now because you are really stuck in a full blown attack and are trapped in the city with no escape, no privacy, no where to calm down,”  I filled out the paper work and sat there with a glass of water wondering when was the right time to just run out and forfeit what I had already paid.

It was my turn.

We discussed what I wanted, very quickly.

I sat down to get my hair washed. After it was wet I knew it was the point of no return so I blurted, “I can’t do this I’m actually not feeling well and I need to leave.”

So here I am wondering if I’ll ever be able to enjoy the pampering I used to love for years. I am also wondering if I’ll have to learn to be my own hairstylist.

I can tell you that I won’t give up.  I have rescheduled – again – for Friday. Will I make it?  I don’t know. Will I reschedule another 5 times?  It’s very possible. I can’t help but feel completely defeated. I can’t help but feel utterly disappointed in myself. But I won’t stop believing that I’ll make it through to the other side of all the things that make me feel anxious, panic and uncomfortable.