Friday, August 15, 2008

From Hair to Eternity

My hair and I have always had this uneasy alliance. I keep it relatively clean and healthy; and it covers my head. I suppose if I exerted more effort at styling, my hair and I could be best friends: It would be shiny, soft and en vogue, and I would look effortlessly glam. But alas. Like my drawing skills, my hairdressing talent is woefully lacking.

I try, I really do. When I was in grade school, I had this clump of hair by that whorl (puyo, I think it’s called) that refused to stay down flat on my scalp. It was like a perpetual wave on an otherwise calm sea of hair. I would wet it constantly (gel and mousse were still beyond my ken) but it would pop back up. In frustration (and in typical Ree-fashion) I grabbed a pair of scissors and hacked off that stubborn clump of hair. Now I had an inch-and-a-half wide clearing right on top of my head, with spikes sticking straight up. My aunt promptly dubbed me “Chicken Head”. Till I graduated sixth grade my mom would always fix my hair—ponytail, clips, and my favorite: the French braid. My frustration was that no matter how tight and neat she made it, by lunch break, strands would escape everywhere, making me look so untidy. Worse, they’d be all over my face; and there’s nothing I hate more (well, actually, a lot) than having hair in my face.

Fast forward to high school, where I had to stay in a dorm, six hours away from my hair-fixing mom. This was the era of Aqua Net and other cement-hard hairsprays; when towering bangs were a badge of honor (and a sign that you woke up early); and you walked downwind so an errant breeze wouldn’t knock your hairdo over. Again, my hair got the better of me; those pesky bangs wouldn’t just do what I wanted. In another pique, I grabbed some scissors (they are so dangerous to have around when my hair isn’t cooperating), grabbed my hair in a bunch in the middle of my forehead and slashed straight across. This time my roommate, Leah, nicknamed me “Padre Salvi” (if you ever read Noli Me Tangere, then you can imagine the hugging-the-edge-of-the-hairline-upside-down-U-bowl-shaped-typical-monk cut).

I’ve tried permed hair, long hair, bobbed hair, shorter-than-my-husband’s hair—rarely can I sustain a fantastic hairstyle beyond the few hours out of the salon. My friend, Mich—makeup artist extraordinaire—once cut my hair and it looked great for a time (incidentally, Mich did my maternity portrait makeup—she disguised my bloated nose and yucky skin and made me look so sexy and glam) then it was gone. There was a time, when I was pregnant with Raine, when my client, Keren, commented, “Parang di ka buntis—you’re so stylish!” After giving birth, my hair was up in clips or a scrunchi until I had it chopped off. Now it’s growing back—too long to stay out of my face, too short to keep in a ponytail. I look like Princess Di in the 80s. All that’s missing are the shoulder pads.

I desperately want to cut my hair. I don’t think I can survive long hair now. It’s just too much to care for. I just have to find somewhere to have it cut. Is it too much to ask that the hairstylist at least look at me well—at my face shape (I think it’s square, currently rounded out and padded at the cheeks), at my glasses, my head shape, whatever—and really try to suggest cuts that would work well? Is it too much to ask that they ask me what my lifestyle is, if I even own a blow dryer (I used to have one, but it was only used for drying the dogs after their bath), if I have the patience to style my hair (no, I don’t)? Usually, they just say, “Anong gupit? Ay, gusto mo magpa-hot oil?” And till recently, “Saan ka nagpapakulay ng buhok?” Oh, one thing about my hair I love is the color—it’s a mix of light, dark and reddish brown, and it usually changes shades with the seasons. I’m so happy Raine has my hair color. But back to ranting: do you have to pay exorbitant sums to get that kind of treatment at a salon? And even if you pay so much, is it a guarantee that they treat you nicely? I hate snooty salon staff, people who make you feel like, “OMG—who is this creature that the cat dragged in? The cat’s hair looks better!”

Aside from Gemini in Baguio—he’s been cutting my hair since second grade—I haven’t found any hairstylist I can pledge loyalty to. And I desperately need one now. I mean, Gemini is in Baguio—I’m not traveling all the way up to Baguio just for a haircut (when I do go to Baguio, I always plan a trip to Gemini). And last time I was there, I showed Gemini photos of Halle Berry and all these other Hollywood stars’ short ‘dos and he flipped through his catalogue and showed me some old photo of Maricel Soriano—the same one he showed me two years before!—and said, “Yan. Yan ang bagay sa yo!” Well, there’s no denying he knows me and my hair, and when Gemini cuts, it always grows out nicely. But I think I’m ready for a change.

So where to go for that change? And what kind of change? I think Katie Holmes and I have the same face structure (she just has a nicer nose and less padding by the cheeks). So will this suit me?

The Hubby says it’s obviously styled—the fact that it looks so artlessly windblown is proof. And that means I’d have to have it cut often (I guess one reason I can never develop a lasting relationship with my hairdresser is that I’d prefer to see him or her like once a year—that’s all I have patience for). And it will eventually get into my eyes and be all over my face. But I think it looks fab. Where can I go for something like this? How much will it cost?

I’m going up to Baguio next week…and I’ll probably end up at Gemini’s.


Trina said...

Rheea, your sentiments are mine! You&re lucky to have a Gemini in your life, even if you have to go all the way back to Baguio for that haircut. I don't, and I truly believe going to the salon is just about the same as going the proctologist. The only decent haircuts I ever had in my entire life (and we're the same age so you can count the years) were (1)when my mother cut my hair in a no-nonsense bob way back in kindergarten, and when I surrendered all my savings to a tony salon in Japan. This is why I grow my hair long.
Yes, Katie Holmes' hairdresser does a very good job, consistently!

maria said...

I agree with your hair "woes" so to speak. I should say that you are lucky since you don't have curly hair, which is also quite a problem. I also agree with just having short hair. its too much of a hassle and takes a lot out of a woman's day just to style hair that's like below the shoulders[ my personal opinion of course].

i would suggest though that you get a kick -ass , over the top ceramic curling iron. usually does the trick for me.

oh btw. salon in the philippines is so outrageous. i was there on vacation last year and i think i went like 5-6 times at the very least. it wasnt so expensive. i mean comparatively. here to get a style and cut its like 55 bucks, at the minimum. imagine that.

anyway. go for short hair. but ill say, depends on the shape of the face. :)