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Scenes From the Beauty Parlour

Ever since her bout with cancer, my hairdresser only works three days per week (can’t say I blame her, quite frankly) – usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Occasionally, she’ll switch her Saturday for a Friday.  More often than not, I get an appointment on Tuesdays (nice and quiet), sometimes on Thursdays (a bit more action); I avoid Saturdays because, frankly, I just do.

Last week, I called Françoise to see if she had any openings and she could only give me the next Friday morning at 9:00 am.  I accepted (gawd that is early!) since I usually have Fridays off and if I don’t, I probably won’t start until 4:00 pm which just so happened to end up being the case.  I know for most people 9:00 am is no big whup but when you work the night before until 11:00 pm or later, you just don’t really want to have to put the alarm clock on…

There was just Françoise, waiting for me, and one of her colleagues, let’s call her Yolande, because I have no clue what her name is, and she is taking care of one client whilst another waits in one of her chairs.  Yolande talks loud.  No, I mean LOUD.  And she sounds like a dock worker.  I asked my sister if she knew what her name was and her response was:  “The one with the potty mouth?  No clue.”  😉  So. Yolande it is.

Another customer comes in –  Yolande’s.  The noise level has gone up more than a decibel.  Not long after, in comes Pierre-Luc, owner of the shop and requisite gay coiffeur – walk and talk as one has come to imagine as well as the expressive hands.  What can I say? Stereotypes were not born of the air.

Pierre-Luc’s customer comes in.

During all this coming and going, at the other end of the salon, Françoise and I exchange looks and smiles, with the occasional laugh at the conversation behind us, while she does my own roots in a shade of exactly my natural colour (coz I’m wild like that) and if she wants to speak to me, bends down close to my ear otherwise must shout above the din.  She is not the shouting kind.

Dye applied, she leaves me to read for my 45 minutes as her customer comes in.  Or rather, attempt to read.  I go through comments on my last post, chat with a friend on messenger, and then try to get into my book.  I, at first, keep my back turned to the circus behind me in said attempt.   Finally, unable to concentrate, I give up and turn around to enjoy the show fully.

One woman, who is trying really, REALLY hard to “keep it young” is sitting in the third chair.  Her flaming red hair is standing up in chunks all over her head, while her roots are being refurbished with the appropriate shade of “You Can’t Miss Me”, giving one the impression said chunks are pulling her face up though we know it’s the result of one visit too many with Dr. Nip and Tuck.  Her face is painted to match her hair, clothes appropriately loud – ’nuff said.  Trying hard to look sophisticated and worldly until she opens her mouth and the trash talk that emits is enough to make one take a step back.  She is Yolande’s customer.

The door opens and a man pops his head in, letting Ms Flashy-Red know he saw her car and knew she must be close by and hoped to see her.  Then leaves.  Well THAT starts a whole rush of “What was that?” and she admits the man seems a tad smitten with her and basically follows her around.  The comments of “Did you call the police?” are mingled with the “Look at you with your admirer!”  One can’t help but laugh.  The man is in his early 70’s or well-used late 60’s…

Just as my timer pings, Mr. Loverboy pops his head in to check on his “sweetie”, well hidden behind Yolande, who is just finishing up one of her ladies – you know the type who comes for her weekly wash and set, now properly pouffed and spray-netted and sent out the door..  He says: “I get to see you in your pre-beauty stage!” and leaves.

Ms Flashy-Red says, “Oh my God, he won’t leave me alone and he can’t see me!”

To which I retort:  “If you want to get rid of him, maybe you should let him see you like this!”  Everyone cracks up.

By now, I have had my hair washed and have moved to Françoise’s chair for my cut.  In the mirror I can see Pierre-Luc teasing (they still tease?) the hair of one of his weekly-wash-and-set ladies and find myself wondering if all of this should end up in a post.  Of course it must as here I am.

The conversations are one one top of the other; a true cacophony.  The customers know each other; the hairdressers (we are not in the “stylist” business here) interjecting their two cents’ worth…  I feel I’m in the middle of a mix of “Coming To America” and “Steel Magnolias”.  Everybody knows everybody and their business and I’m just sitting here enjoying the show

Oh… and, before you ask… end result (once I re-wet it and removed all the gunk…)



43 thoughts on “Scenes From the Beauty Parlour

  1. Pure Steel Magnolias, fabulous write-up, Dale. Stuff is important in those places that is hard to explain. I remember someone asking Dolly Parton what the hot wax was for in her Steel Magnolias beauty salon and she simply replied “to make you pretty”. Since I let my hair be what it thinks it should be, I am in and out of the salon in 45 minutes only every eight or ten weeks. I do miss the longer wait, for the colour to take while I was eavesdropping on the other clients and trying to remember to catch a glimpse of her over there when her do was done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed. I am not quite at the letting my hair be what it should be but am darn near close. Only thing I do is go for a dye and cut every 2 months or so (I’m that lazy) and the cut must be wash and wear coz I ain’t gonna style and putz around with it… Yesterday’s visit was particularly wild, that is for sure…


    • First off… Thank you, dahlink!
      And yes, there are some that are more animated than others… this one was straight outta nutsville!
      And me too, I love that movie.


  2. Q,

    Brilliantly captured scenes inside the stolen scenes of shop talk. There’s a civic duty a writer owes to its readers, to document the passages that would otherwise go unheard. So pluck, minister and sublime those things until you get . . . this!
    The devil really is in the details.

    Plum job, and sexy ‘do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      You are the bestest at this genre and have inspired me to pay more attention to my surroundings and to try to bring the ordinary out to the fore. For that, I thank you.
      That it is… and it was a devil of a time to get it out there!

      Muchas gracias, mi amigo… and thanks… it shore is short… but I’m already getting used to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your hair looks–well, you look– so chic, Dale!
    That place sounds wild. I like to eavesdrop when I’m getting my hair done. One time I was there when they were having a sort of Christmas party for their clients. I didn’t drink anything there, but one woman next me was feeling no pain at all. It was pretty funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You look MARVELOUS, Dahling!! I love it! You should tell Gaudy Lady that she should take advantage of a guy following her around. I would send him on errands and have him do stuff for me. Not everyone has such a devoted fan. 😂😂 At this particular moment, my car needs a pre-winter cleaning and an enthusiastic fan could prove himself quite valuable.

    Great story, Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dahlink! I’m getting used to it.. It’s been a while since it’s this short.
      She definitely should… I know I sure as hell would! I got me loads of shit to do in the house…

      Glad you enjoyed, SFAM

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your end result is great! Wonderful story! It never occurred to me to write about my barber shop visits every five weeks for a haircut – period. This is a real barber shop that you know is open when you see the barber pole revolving. No appointments. It has its own version of camaraderie, more like an English pub. To be continued.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Dale,

    The perfect shade of “you can’t miss me”. 😀 😀 😀 I had to stop and wipe my eyes just to read on. I worked with a Yolande. OMG. In a grocery store. You could hear her clear back in the bakery and she worked in the floral shop in front of the store.
    I can imagine trying to read with all that going on. BTW love love love your hair. Of course it compliments your lovely face. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Going to try to tame my hair now. I think I should just put it on a leash and forget a bout it.

    Shalom and hugs,



  7. This is a wonderful standup-comedy act, you know that, Dale, don‘t you?! 🙂
    And washing out the ‚gunk‘ – I had to do that for years and years. No laquer or anything stronger than the lightest ‚hold it together‘ on my curls….
    As a matter of fact I‘ll have my second rendez-vous of this year with my hairdressen on Wednesday. You would NOT believe how hard this was – I wanted to go for over 5 weeks now, but first on the 3 days I called regularly, I got the answering machine telling me simply Pls call later….. peep peeeeeeep peeeeeeep. THEN, the woman in question was still on hols, then she was booked up and only free when I was abroad and if nothing else happens I will get my former goldylocks cut in 2 days time. I see already her face she will make: Why didn‘t you come a month ago???? And I shall shake my mane and tell her the naked truth 😉
    I LOVED this post and I dearly wished to have more time to myself to read all of yours AND all the comments, I really do…. Bisous (= kisses)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It could be, at that! Sometimes I think I should try my hand 😉
      I love Françoise dearly, but loathe the way she places my hair. I always look like a “matante”…So off it comes and I non-style it myself.
      How annoying for you. Though mine works only three days per week, rarely do I have to wait more than two weeks…
      So very glad you loved it! Bisous to you, too! (Je parle français, ma chère…)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The things you overhear. My favourite is to listen to people on public transport. This used to be confined to the more elderly ladies, travelling uptown for the weekly treat. Of course now it’s the kids with their cell phones SHOUTING to their friend on the other end of how EXCITING, or DODGY last night’s goings, or comings were. Rather like your crimson-bonnet lady at the hairdressers, I suspect it’s done to prove to anyone listening that they’ve GOT IT. A contrast to the elderly town-going ladies who talked of Bill’s operation, and her down the road being knocked up again.

    Liked by 1 person

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