August 2nd was Happy Hair Day for me. I had a 10:15 am appointment to get my super long hair chopped off. This is something I had been thinking of doing for over a year. Talk about procrastination! I didn’t know what hairstyle I wanted or who I wanted to have cut it. I just kept waiting, expecting the answers to magically fall in my lap. That I’d see the exact hairstyle I wanted somewhere or someone would recommend the perfect hairstylist. I didn’t just sit idly by, I spent time looking online. Anyone who’s ever looked up businesses on Yelp! knows that those reviews are so subjective. A place will have mostly 5 stars and then have a few 1 star horror story reviews. I just wasn’t comfortable taking the risk this time.
Chop Chop: Happy Hair Day!
August 4, 2012 by almostakiss
5-6 yrs ago I had donated 13 1/2″ of my hair to Locks of Love. That time I found a hairstylist online by looking at the Locks of Love website. (They have since taken the links to salons down off their website.) Her name was Madeline and she was an older woman who worked part time. The salon was in the town I live in but on the south side. It was a good experience and I was happy with the initial cut. I went back to her a few times later but then eventually started letting my hair grow out again. Since I was stuck in a rut and couldn’t decide, I figured I’d go back to Madeline. I knew what to expect and I felt pretty comfortable with her. I had no pictures of the before, during or after that time so I had my husband come along to photograph Thursday’s session. He volunteered, I didn’t force him. 😉 I went overboard with the pictures this time and posted most of them to Instagram who sent them to Twitter for me. I am going to attempt to put pictures in this post. If you don’t see any, you’ll know I failed. If they are screwed up, you’ll know I tried.
As I said in my previous post, I was tying this hair cutting event to my milestone birthday which is happening on Tuesday. I’d built it way up in my mind, to the point where I was as nervous as if I was going to the doctor. And that’s pretty nervous! There was nothing to be nervous about except the unknown. I had a few pictures on my phone of short haircuts so I showed them all to Madeline and explained what I liked about each one. My hair is naturally curly so I used to just scrunch it when it was long and wet and it would curl right up until I combed it.
Madeline is such an expert at cutting hair, she can talk a mile a minute and her fingers are just automatically working in tandem with her tools of the trade to cut the hair. It was great to be back in the hands of a professional. First she put a cape on me and got some rubberbands to ponytail up my hair. She didn’t have a ruler so used a comb marked 6″ to measure how long my donation was. It was 6″ twice plus at least 3″ more. So 15″ total. The salon was now taking hair donations for Wigs For Kids and already had 4 other ponytails to send along with mine to the charity. Madeline then cut through the hair above the rubberband. She placed it on table of the station next to hers. She had my husband fill out all my info to mail in with the donation while she took me back to be shampooed.
At this time she told me my haircut would be free! That was such a nice surprise. At the end of the haircut I thanked her and tipped her $20. I hope that was fair. I’m not familiar with going to salons and what they charge and how much most people tip for a haircut. I wanted her to have something for her time. It took about 40 minutes total and she’d alotted 45. Anyway, after the shampoo she worked her magic and actually listened to what I said and did it! That really impressed me. She made it as short as I wanted while giving me a soft feminine look which was important to me. It felt so good to have it short. Like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Today it is even more noticeable. I look in the mirror and I feel like I was hiding behind all that hair.
I love being able to help someone in ways other than money. I could have not donated my hair and just let it be swept up on the salon floor and put in the garbage can. Instead, it made me feel good to get a fresh start and give back to someone else who needed and would appreciate the hair. I recommend anyone who’s thinking about doing it to give it a try. If only I’d started doing this when I was younger, I could’ve made it a hobby and done it like 6 times already! 🙂
To make the day bigger and even more memorable, we left from the salon right over to the Driver Services Facility, also known as the DMV. The closest one to us is in the next town over, Niles, IL. It was ridiculously crowded so I had a 1 hr 35 min. wait. For renewing a driver’s license and getting a vision test. I barely passed the vision test which scared me half to death. I know I can’t see as good as I should. It was exactly 2 yrs ago I got an eye exam and glasses and thanks to genetics, I’ll be getting new glasses the rest of my life. 😦 Anyway, I need to get in and get a new prescription in the next few months. At least something went right and I passed! I then had to go wait in line at the cashier and pay my $30 renewal fee. Then wait in line to be sent over to the seating area for photography. There was only one open seat there so I sat squished in with a bunch of people and waited. They called us up in groups of 8 people to stand while they had one person at a time sit in front of a blue background. I didn’t wear any jewelry because I didn’t want to worry about the earrings while I was getting a haircut but it would’ve been nice to have some on for the picture. Thankfully, my new license is good until 2016 and hopefully longer! The last time I’d gotten my pic taken there was 8 years ago. 4 years ago they had let me renew through the mail. I paid and they sent me a sticker that I affixed to the back of the license to extend the expiration date another 4 years. All this because I was a Safe Driver and their facility is overcrowded.
We rounded out the day by having lunch at Dick’s River Roadhouse in Mount Prospect, IL. It’s a sports bar that serves food. They have the best ribs anywhere! They had sent me an email certificate for a free entree for my birthday so I wanted to make sure we went on a day they had ribs. It was a great way to celebrate feeling short hair sassy! 🙂