samedi 7 novembre 2009

Revenge of the Euromullet

Sounds like a bad B-movie, doesn’t it? When I studied abroad in Spain, I made the mistake of going to the hippest, trendiest barrio (neighborhood) to get my hair cut (at the uber trendy salon in the basement of Mercado Fuencarral), and telling the girl “just do something stylish.” I walked out with the same mullet that the girl before me had gotten, and I was pretty sure the girl sitting down in the chair as I paid my bill was also going to leave with those same awful layers. . .

Anyway, my euromullet grew out, and in the meantime, more people than ever stopped me to ask for directions, thinking I was a real madrileña. All in all, the euromullet was a good cultural experience.

And now it’s back.

Quick parenthesis: unlike people I know who have a great unique style—like my rockin’ hipster brother Steve, who will wear pretty much anything as long as no one else is wearing it—I just want to blend in. Not that, if given the choice between the ability to fly and the ability to become invisible, I would pass on flight, but I don’t like to stick out too much. So, to go down to the university here, I’ve stopped wearing colors (unless it’s one colored article of clothing and everything else I’m wearing is black or brown), and majorly upped the beige, black and grey content of my wardrobe, because that's what everyone else does. No joke--one day I sat in a class with about 40 people and counted how many of them were wearing a color other than brown, grey, or black. Seven. Seven people were wearing colors.

So once I had the no-colors thing down, all I needed was a trendy haircut. (And a scarf, but I still haven’t found one that I like.) I realize I sound completely superficial and trend-focused, but I hadn't gotten my hair cut in two years and it was so bad my mom was dropping hints like, "So, how do you like your hair these days?" when we talked on skype. So, when I had last Tuesday off, I meandered around town to choose a salon. I settled on “The New York Salon,” decorated with giant canvases of taxicabs and the Empire State Building (and of course, Marilyn Monroe), since they offer a good student discount. And massage chairs at the hair-washing sinks.

My conversation with the stylist was rather illuminating. Not only did I learn quite a bit about her self esteem as I watched her check herself out in the mirror the entire time she cut my hair, but I discovered one more reason the French have such a reputation for being stylish: it takes FOUR YEARS to get certified to cut hair here. And it showed: I got a gorgeous, trendy haircut. And then I asked her to make the layers an inch shorter. And then, as Marilyn Monroe smirked at me from above, I walked out with another euromullet. But that’s okay. It will grow out. And I really, really liked those massage chairs. . .

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