There is a reason I have had, essentially, one hairdresser since 1986.
In all that time, I have only been unhappy (and by unhappy I mean mildly annoyed but I got over it) with Nick's results once. And this is the same hairdresser who convinced me to cut my hair short by cutting a chunk of my hair short.
He took care of me through all lengths and styles, and was the first one to color my hair. It came out beautifully. I like to call it magazine hair. Even when I lived in Paris, I managed to get home twice a year to have Nick do his magic and then just muddle through in-between.
But if it were just a matter of finding someone to cut my hair, it would be no big deal. Hair grows back and I don't get too agitated about it. But as I am, ahem, aging a bit, I'm in need of a good colorist these days.
Make that desperate.
This summer I was made an unintentional blonde -- a Lebanese thing, I think. A lot of Lebanese women here end up blonde, it's like a thing or something. I was going for highlights, I thought. I know blonde covers the gray, but I didn't need that much coverage!
When I went to Paris in October, I had my Australian hairdresser there fix it. She did my hair for my wedding and is a rock star. She put on a color that covered the blonde and all was good.
And when it was time for a touch-up, I thought I had a fail-safe system. I would take the instructions from the Paris hairdresser and give them to the woman here.
How hard would that be? It's just paint by the numbers at this point.
Harder than I thought, obviously. I came home with nearly black hair. You know when the managing editor of your newspaper walks by you as you walk in with a new haircut and says "Hmmmmm, interesting" that you're in trouble. I can't say nobody noticed. Everybody noticed.
I hated it. I hated it every day for the last month plus and finally I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to do something about it.
I asked a few people for recommendations and came up with Waleed. I have seen Waleed's work (although I should mention the last place had been recommended as well, but not for color). The last place was frequented by demanding Emirati women. Maybe they don't go for color?
Waleed works in a fancy Western-style salon in a fancy Western neighborhood I didn't even know existed.
In order to fix the problem, first he had to destroy it. He stripped out all the color in my hair, and then re-colored it. That can't have been good for it. But it's shiny and smooth and, essentially, my normal color. No highlights. No blonde. Just a chestnut brown with a little auburn in it as the sun hits it.
It cost a bundle, even by Western standards. All I can say is I sure miss Nick.