It’s that time of the month. I have started seriously dreading it! I can only avoid looking in the mirror for a few more days and then it’s inevitable. I can almost feel all that grey hair pushing impatiently and very successfully through my scalp. Catching an unintentional glimpse of myself in the mirror during a morning yoga class leaves me somewhat appalled. Who would ever hire this scruffy person with grey roots? Once I get home, I give in and make an appointment for a hairdresser’s. I have the terms correct now: a cut with a tint regrowth and refresh. But it’s not the actual styling and technical services that I am uneasy of.
I have short hair and it looks unkempt within four-five weeks of the previous cut. At that point, the sprouts of gray hair can no longer be controlled with my emergency treatment – a bit of mascara. So, going to a hairdresser’s is a regular occurrence for me. I have never had any problems with it in Finland. It’s a whole new ball game in Britain.
Finding a new hairdresser is not the challenge either. There are more than ten salons on our High Street alone. Choosing one is hit or miss really. I bring a photo of Michelle Williams’ pixie cut with me to give an idea what I am looking for. My husband’s comment to this is: “But she’s blonde”. Anyways. Naturally I want the outcome to be impeccable, but with short hair, there are no permanent or long-standing catastrophes. The worst case scenario is having to wear a beanie for my next job interview.
My dilemma is tipping. We are not big in tipping in Finland. I have never tipped any of my hairdressers in Finland. As far as I know, it’s not even expected.
I get to the salon. I am greeted by a friendly young assistant. While I reply “Cappuccino, please, no sugar, thank you very much” to the drinks question, I am already speculating, whether I’ll need to tip her. Once she also washes my hair, I know that a tip will be expected. The hairstylist colours and cuts my hair. I cannot concentrate on any of the lovely glossy magazines filled with the latest celebrity gossip and new trends. My mind is occupied with estimating how much the total will be and what sort of logic should be used in calculating an appropriate tip.
I probably have to grow my hair out to be spared from this awkwardness on a monthly basis.