I am a silly person. This much I know, and fully admit to. The type of person whose actions seem always to be a discussion opportunity for others - not a thing I can say, not a move I can make that doesn't seem to draw some deal of comment.
For years now, I have taken a large amount of shit from friends and family alike as to the expense of my haircuts. Since moving to Manhattan, I have never spent less than $200 on a haircut - occasionally spending far above - and when I lived in Scotland for a year, I'd even schlep all the way to London for the salon Kate Middleton went to. No color, no treatment, just a cut. Now that number I recognize is ridiculous to many a people and for many a reason. But in my own way, it's always been completely validated.
First, I hate haircuts. There's something so horridly boring and unnatural about sitting in front of a mirror for an hour and a half, forced to stare at yourself as you feign small talk with little Mr. Snippers back there. As thrilling as talking to a mirror is, and oh - it is, I can only bring myself to do so about twice a year. So all in all, my annual spend probably isn't that much more than the more economical of you out there judging me.
Second, God knows my hair is 55% of my personality. Eyebrows are 40%, and the remainder - well, who's to say? I've a thick head of hair that when left to it's own devices has this Wuthering Heights / Italian countryside thing going where it's like I just had a walk on the moors, or picked a bucket of grapes and am off to go make some mozzarella. Thus to say that I've not a cookie cutter, suburban situation just anyone can work with.
Third, when you find somewhere that works for you, of course you're going to hold tight. That somewhere for me has been The John Barrett Salon. Though all the way on the Upper East Side (insert finger in mouth here), it's in Bergdorfs, so there's at least the entertainment aspect of shopping to factor in prior and post appointment.
But just recently, when, as is wont to happen, I found myself desperately close to 16 year old Miley Cyrus hair length territory and could no longer deny the fact that I was in need of a cut, I decided to, for the first time ever, and against all better judgment, show my judgmental friends and family up by going ahead and grabbing a cheap cut.
And what a mistake that was.
Going to an academy environment, where the stylists are students, may be a valid and easy option for some, but there are many things I'd warn against.
Personally, I couldn't give a shit about amenities. Tea, champagne, sweeping park views. But if that's important to you, this is clearly a no-go.
Aside from that, no matter how promising your stylist may be, they're still learning. And learning by the book. Which means any haircut you receive will be formulaically fit onto your head. A direct order from a Not-So-Happy Meal menu of styles.
If you're one of those blessed-tressed who could take a sheering from a five year old with scissors, and somehow your coiff would still fall well and hang just so - again, head on over to this affordable party.
If you're tight on time, or just extremely impatient, buckle up. All in all, I was in a chair for a hair under 3 hours. During which lifetime I stared at my stylist, stared at myself, stared at my stylist giving myself a look which I knew was just all wrong, stared at the clock and mentally punched the seconds along.
Did I leave with less hair? Yes. Did I spend barely no money at all? Yes.
Have I already made an appointment at my tried and true hair home to fix this Supercuts situation I've been left to make the best of? You bet your ass.
And so, in the spirit of all that is good and Gwyneth Paltrow in the world, I'd rather smoke crack AND eat cheese from a can than get my hair cut anywhere but Bergdorf's.