Pauline in Toronto has been cutting my hair for years. For so long now that I can't even remember the last time someone else cut it.
Like most women, I have a special relationship with my hair stylist. I trust her implicitly not to make me look like an idiot, and she pretty much knows that she has complete control over me when I sit in her chair. Plus, we have really good conversations.
At some point during the long lead up to my move to Poland, Donna, who also gets her hair cut by Pauline, turned to me with a horror stricken look on her face and said, "but who will cut your hair in Krakow?"
I laughed because at the time I thought, "I'll find someone to cut my hair. No problem."
A few weeks ago I decided that 4 months between haircuts was probably long enough. I got a recommendation from my friend Magda, who actually called her hair stylist and explained to her that I didn't speak Polish and booked the appointment for me.
However, Magda was busy the day I actually got my hair cut, so I went it alone. How hard could it be?
It's harder than I thought. Just try and mime to your hair stylist how you want your hair to look.
And hair cutting techniques in Poland are different than in Canada. At one point I had to stand up while she cut my hair. Then I had to turn my head in different angles while standing. Finally, I was allowed to sit down again.
So far so good. But when we came to blow drying and styling things got a little tricky. At one point she showed me a picture of a woman with incredibly curly hair. I thought perhaps they have really advanced styling products in Poland if they could make my hair look like that.
Then they showed me another photo of a woman with straighter hair, but flipped out on the ends. I thought that might be manageable, so nodded my assent.
Yet, the reality didn't quite look like the picture. And trying to explain that I didn't want wings at the side of my head (complimenting my brand new straight across bangs) was beyond my abilities. The stylist and I just looked at other, neither really understanding what the other was trying to convey.
It all worked out in the end, and Magda says that the stylist will take me again. I just miss my conversations with Pauline.
Maybe I'll even post a pic of my new bangs.