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…)