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Taking a Step Up In the Hair World
As I walked into the storefront salon wearing a Victoria Secret sweat suit that was purple, and had a white heart on the hip including the word pink in white capital letters, I was greeted by the smell of hair grease and freshly blown out hair. I was taking a step up in the world of hair. I was going to change my dark brown hair to fire engine red or Red Hot which is its proper name. The thought of the golden brown bottle with its cone shaped top oozing out all that red lava onto my dark brown hair made me nervous. When I walked into the salon with black and white walls and fluorescent lighting, I had a sense of pride. The Magic Wand, which is the name of the salon, was my transformation station. Upon leaving that salon I would be a new woman.
I had been going to this salon since the age of five. My stylist was a tall woman, with long dreads, named Wanda. She wore blue jeans, a t-shirt, black clogs and her apron every day. She never was one to try and impress anyone but was always so down to earth. She spoke with a welcoming tone and always did what she could to help the community. Along with the salon being located around the corner from my home, she was my next door neighbor, so she knew me very well.
Sitting and waiting for Wanda to call my name seemed like forever, I had arrived a bit early because I was so excited. She was finishing another client’s hair. After she had completed working her magic, it was my turn. As Wanda turned in my direction, her dreads swung around. She called out to me, “Pinky are you ready, go over to the sink girl!” She knew me for so long that she felt comfortable calling me by my nickname, she was my trusted stylist. Wanda followed me to the sink, put a cape on me, to protect my clothes from the dye and leaned my head back in the wash bowl. She then turned on the crystal shaped knobs and began to saturate my hair. Wanda applied shampoo that smelled like citrus, she massaged it into my hair and combed it through. After it was thoroughly washed out, the worshiped liquid was to then be applied. My stylist looked down at me and said, “You ready to do this girl?” Before I could contemplate my decision, she was going to work. The red rinse fell upon my wet curly hair like it was suppose to be there. I opened my eyes and said, “How does it look?” She responded by saying, “You’re not going to see the color in two seconds, I just put it in.”
I stood up from the wash bowl and followed the white and black tiles over to her green stylist chair. She proceeded to retrieve the white plastic cap from its container and put it on my head. This is the part I dreaded the most having to sit under that fiery inferno known as the dryer. I had to sit for about twenty minutes so that the color could set. While under the dryer, I began to drift off into my own thoughts. I thought to myself, “O no! What have I done?” Is this going to look right on me? Is the color going to match my face or my complexion? Thoughts were traveling through my head a mile a minute.
I was brought back down to reality when I heard my name being called by one of the other stylist in the salon to get the color rinsed from my hair. Her name was Cassandra and she was wearing jeans, Crocs and a t-shirt. She also had an apron on too. Cassandra was always the one to liven up the shop and she always had everyone laughing. She always greeted me with a “hey girl!” when I walked through the door. I was so happy to come out from the dryer my butt hurt and the plastic cap was irritating my ears.
Cassandra rinsed the remaining dye out of my hair and then moved me to her chair to have my hair rolled. She rolled the cart with the rollers in it to the front where her chair was and got the spray bottle filled with blue liquid called wrapping spray. She squeezed the handle and out from the nozzle flew the solution. It was cold and I jumped a bit. Piece by piece, she rolled my hair. Red rollers in the front, purple in the middle and grey rollers in the back. The silver clips were used to hold everything in place. After my head was full of rollers and I was practically leaning to one side, it was time to go back to the fiery beast the dryer.
This session under the dryer took much longer than the first. I had to spend at least an hour under the dyer for my hair to completely dry. This was the longest hour of my life. Besides the fact that I was waiting for the big reveal I also wanted to show it off to my friends and family. After a while the dryer became really hot and my butt started to ache, so I went to the bathroom. Then I still had to get back under the fiery inferno. Luckily, I had my IPod and I could listen to music or play games while I waited.
My nerves began to get the best of me and I stuck my head out but heard, “Your hair isn’t dry sweetie.” Wanda had spotted me as she walked back to wash Mrs. Betty. Mrs. Betty was a regular customer just like me. She wore her hair in tight curls that shined in the sun as she left the salon. She wore red glasses and always carried the nicest purse. We often shared conversations on the green couch that made you slouch down and was so comfortable that many people often took naps. We talked about school a lot and she let me know that she was a retired school teacher. When I was spotted, I thought, “O no more time.” Then simply sat back in the chair and pulled the black hood over my head.
Soon enough the dryer rattled off and Wanda walked over and did a dry check. Fortunately, I was dry and it was time to get styled. I walked over to Wanda’s chair and she began to take the rollers out, putting them back in the cart in color order. Grey first, then purple, and lastly was red. After the rollers were out, she greased my hair and ran her fingers through it. Then she asked, “Are you ready to see the color?” I replied, “Of course!” She turned the chair around and I saw the color I so desperately wanted. I was overcome with excitement and happiness. She looked to me for a response but I was speechless.
Then from my lips fell the words “I love it.” She was satisfied. Her job as a stylist was complete; she made me a happy customer. While I soaked it all in, Wanda continued to style my hair and make it look better then it all ready was. After my transformation was complete I thanked her for doing my hair. I paid for my hair which was priceless to me and said goodbye to everyone. As I left the salon I walked with a new attitude and a higher self esteem. I loved my new hair color and it matched me perfectly. I had taken a step up in the hair world and it felt good.