Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hair, Glorious Hair

And if you don't recognize that line, then, dang nabbit, you're just too young!

While I've discussed many aspects of life on the road, one thing I've neglected to mention is hair.

There are those who say that keeping it long is the way to go. Then you never have to worry about hairdressers and haircuts. But then you have the hassle of washing your long hair in the rig. And if you're dry camping, well, that's another consideration. Long hair uses a lot of water to shampoo and rinse. Then, there's the way that long hair seems to work its' way into every nook and cranny of the motorhome. Not to mention what it does to your vacuum.

For the first few years we were on the road, I kept my hair long. Then one day I looked at it and realized that I ALWAYS wore it up, and really wasn't washing it as often as I'd like. I asked myself, if I was always wearing it up, never letting my long locks flow as it were, why was I bothering?

Besides, it was heavy and hot and tangly and, well, you get the idea.

So in a fit of desperation (we were at Manzano State Park at the time, at least forty miles from a reliable hairdresser) I grabbed my scissors and started chopping away.

Not my finest moment.

And thus started my quest for a decent haircut.

I broke down and went to Albuquerque and got a REAL haircut, reverting to the undercut bob I've worn for so much of my life. Not a great haircut, but certainly better than my feeble attempt and much easier than my long hair.

As we've moved from place to place, I'm continually faced with the challenge of screwing up my courage to put myself in the hands of yet another stranger . One who may or may not understand exactly how I'd like my hair to look. It isn't fun, and in my mind is right up there with looking for a clean, working laundromat or a decent grocery store in a town where you can barely find the nearest gas station.

After a year of mediocre hair cuts, I finally got the truly horrible 'do, and have been miserable with it for the last six weeks or so.

Apparently, the last hairdresser I went to was aurally challenged and completely missed the direction to undercut my hair. Instead she bobbed it right off with a blunt cut, not good when you have a lot of hair (think the Dutchboy Paint mascot). As she had squeezed me in, I opted out of the free blow dry and didn't realize the catastrophe till I was miles away. And it continued to get worse. After a week or so, this cut resulted in my hair sticking out in every direction. The look was similar to that of a poor creature deserted by the side of the road, waiting for the pound to come and take them to their final reward.

Did I say I hated my hair?

To add to my discontent, lately, I've been playing with the idea of cutting my hair even shorter. But of course this is a ridiculous idea, since I haven't even been able to find someone who could look at a picture and replicate the results.

How could I ever expect to find someone to give me a whole new look? It seemed truly hopeless.

Hopelessness aside, I woke up this morning and could take it no more.

I hightailed it into Santa Rosa and started asking around. Everyone I spoke to, the woman at the library, the woman at the market, the woman in the car next to me in the parking lot, all told me there was only one Hair Salon in Santa Rosa. It was called Rosalie's Beauty Salon.

I screwed up my courage and went looking for Rosalie's. I walked in to find one lone hairdresser and when I asked if she could cut my hair, she had me sit right down. I told her what I wanted and what a disaster my last haircut had been. She looked at my hair and immediately told me what the previous hairdresser had done wrong.

Things were looking up!

She washed my hair, then began cutting. We chatted and we certainly seemed to have a good rapport. Before I knew it, she had given me the perfect undercut bob. We discussed life and the ways of the world while she continued to clean me up, and she mentioned that I sure had a lot of hair. I mentioned that I was considering cutting it, but wasn't sure which way to go. She mentioned that we had similar hair (wavy to curly when cut short) and mentioned that if it were her, she would take a whole lot off the back.

And I said just go for it.

Before I knew it, she had whipped out he razor and was going to town on the back of my head. Now I couldn't see at all what she was doing, but somehow I felt comfortable in her obviously capable hands. After thinning the back of my hair, we discussed it and decided to go for the whole new look.

And boy, does Rosalie know what she's doing. I LOVE my new haircut!

So if you're ever in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, don't be put off by the fact that there's only one salon in town. Just hotfoot it over to Rosalie's Hair Salon, located right next to the Post Office. Then you too can have this talented woman work her magic on your hair.

You won't regret it one little bit.

Hey, I'm a happy camper and my Life is Good.


Judy said...

So where is the picture (of your new cut) that we're so accustomed to seeing with your commentaries? BTW, I predict that one of these days you will do what I do and start cutting it yourself in this same style and never have to worry about hair dressers anymore.
Judy Wms.

Beverly Barnes said...

Hi Kate,
I have been a lurker on your blog for quite a while. I also travel and have been awed by some great scenery. But it wasn't until you wrote about cutting your hair that memory was really stirred. Something like a madeleine, and there I stood, naked in my previous rig where the shower and toilet were one with my long hair plastered to the shower curtain. I too had an epiphany and cut it. Now I look forward to having my hair cut in strange places by strangers. No matter what it always grows back.
Will definitely look up Rosalies when I am NM. I can recommend Alma on 3rd and Ave B in Algodones. I speak no Spanish, couldn't tell her what I wanted and got a really terrific haircut. Maybe that's the secret.