Wednesday, June 2, 2010
A Good Hair Day
Although I don't go very often, today is one of most favorite kinds of days. I've just gotten home from the salon down my street, literally. Jutta Mueller Friseur has been in this town for over 50 years, family run and currently being operated by the second generation, though the third already has her hands in the mix. They all have fire red hair; I love it. As ruling families go, my girl, Elena, does not have royal blood, but I adore her anyway. The first time we met, me trying to practice my primitive German while she practiced her limited English, we learned that we both come from the city of St. Petersburg. The fact that I am a Floridian and she, a Russian, makes no difference as we chat about family and travel.
The first time I went to Elena for a cut I was nervous, as I'm sure most women are when trying out a new stylist. An evil of relocating. Careful to avoid hairy catastrophe, I opted for just a cut. This safeguards against walking out with an oddly-colored, butchered head of hair if things go badly. We talked, we smiled, and then she shampooed my hair. That was it; me and my hair were hers to shape and mold. Now I've always enjoyed anyone playing with my hair, really, even just touching my hair, so sitting in the swiveling salon chair is always a treat. I can spend hours in a salon if it means someone is messing with my hair, carefully separating sections of hair with the tip of the comb, brushing in highlights, cutting it bit by bit and blowing dry. It's heaven, but the paramount moments for my relaxation happen at the shampoo sink. That's where Elena proved to me that she would be my girl for all the time we live here. Today was no different, except there was no reason not to totally trust Elena's expertise. She did the whole nine; cut, color, and style.
She checks in with me often about pressure and temperature, but she doesn't need to: It's all perfect. Her hands move in smooth circles around my head, smearing on whatever goop is necessary, and it's like a cranial hug. Then her fingers reach through the smoothed hair, thick with product, and poised with an ever so gentle claw-like posture, they massage my scalp, pressing and turning, pressing and turning. I sigh in ecstasy every time, and she just laughs. I wish I could visit this place every day.
With the radio playing, the soft, chemical smells of the salon, and complimentary coffee in front of me, this is a severely relaxing experience. It's nice to have a little place so close to home where I feel completely at ease to trust a lady with a pair of scissors and reign over my hair, because as silly as it may sound, that means I get to feel a little pampered while I'm there, and then I get to leave feeling refreshed and a little prettier. Who can't stand a pick up like that?