I believe I can come out now.
For years when I've gone to get a haircut, and the stylist asks me how I'd like it cut, I've wanted to say, "like Keith Richards." But I haven't said it, because I was afraid of the resulting look. And also, when I did say it once, the hairperson looked at me like I needed to up my meds.
I don't take meds; I am totally serious.
So today I went to a new place. I get my hair cut twice a year. I wash it twice a month, maybe three times. Let's say I'm low maintenance when it comes to my hair. Mostly, I pull it up into some sort of situation. Lately I've been wearing it plaited, but I started to worry that I might end up one of those old women with braids, and with that vision in my head, I couldn't wait any longer to get it cut. I heard from a good friend, a visual artist, that John Chao was the man for long hair in Houston. So I made an appointment with John Chao. Turns out, the rumor that he's the guy for long hair is fallacious. He's also the guy for short hair, medium length hair, curly hair, gray hair, hair color, etc. Apparently, people go to him all the time because they've heard that he's the guy for ______ hair.
John Chao did not ask me how I wanted my hair cut. He simply began cutting it, dry. He said that he was going to cut for a while to get a feel for my hair and then he would figure out what to do. I liked him immediately.
While he cut, he told me tricks for how to bring out the natural wave in my hair. He said, "You must begin preparing your waves in the shower." Then he launched into a step by step description of how to prepare my hair for waves. Only shampoo the scalp -- never the ends. Wash with just water at least once a week. While you're in the shower, separate your hair into sections, and let the hot water hit your scalp while you pull the natural oils that normally live on your scalp all the way from the roots to the ends. There was even more arcane knowledge imparted by John Chao, more than I've ever heard or read before. He applauded me for washing my hair only twice a month. I was charmed. Because he speaks with a thick Asian accent, I had to listen veeeery closely to absorb all his hair wisdom.
To cap it off, I left the salon looking like the rock star I used to be but never was. In fact, I look a little like Keith Richards. A ladylike Keith Richards. It was as if John Chao read my mind, discovered my secret hair wish by feeling his way through my hair.
John Chao cured me of my everlasting bad mood. I heartily tipped him. As I left, he walked me to the door, opened it for me, and said, "Enjoy your new life."