Friday, 6 October 2017

Chop, Chop! Facing My Hairdressing Fears


There's two things in life I'm scared of - spiders and hairdressing salons. Last Sunday, having a wash before setting off for London, I grabbed a towel and a massive eight-legged bastard ran across my face. All I can say is thank feck it was 3.30 am and I was barely awake or the entire population of Walsall would have been awoken by my screams. 

Underneath the raven locks lies a natural blonde. I didn't dye my hair for a couple of months over the summer as I was curious about whether I'd gone grey but no, I'm still the same old blonde. These photos were taken in 1986 (at a student house party) and 1992 (on a Club 18 - 30 holiday to Faliraki).  I'm wearing vintage in both photos!

Having enduring Sunday morning's horror and living to tell the tale, I decided it was time I faced my other fear, the salon. I don't know what it is about going to the hairdresser but once I'm inside, draped in a polyester gown and confronted by a giant mirror, I come over all submissive & feeble minded, invariably talked into something I really didn't want. I've had serial killer fringes, pink highlights, poodle perms & just about everything in-between. 


I loved my first spiral perm, I only used to wash it once a fortnight and it formed dreadlocks as I never combed it. Both photos taken in the 1980s - as if you couldn't tell - in one of my shared student houses.

On my last visit, back in 2005, I went into a well-known hairdressing chain for a trim and came out with the most atrocious layers that made me look like a poor imitation of that woman from Friends (and to make it worse I wasn't even a fan). I couldn't put my hair up properly for over a year. After that indignity I bought a pair of 50 rupee hairdressing scissors from a chemist in Mumbai and got Jon to give me a trim when the ends started to look a bit ratty.  After twelve years without professional attention I knew that my hair was looking scruffy and unkempt but was terrified about going into a salon and being told off about the state of my DIY cut and dodgy home dye job.

High maintenance? These are the only hair products I use - Karma solid shampoo, Jungle solid conditioner & American Dream deep conditioner, all from Lush. I only wash my hair once or twice a week so they last a year.

Yesterday I grabbed my coat, breezed into Walsall and, being thrifty, headed straight for the town's hairdressing academy - only for them to be fully booked. As I passed the newish hipster salon around the corner I saw a cool looking young woman pulling up the shutters so asked if they had any walk-ins available (I knew that if I didn't get a haircut there & then my resolve would crumble). Luckily for me she had a vacancy and, as it was my first appointment, there was a 25% discount, making it work out only a tenner more than having a student cut it at the academy.

Dixe hair powder, I think cost just under £10 three years ago, perfect for hiding my blonde root regrowth when I'm too lazy to dye it.

I needn't have been scared of a telling off, she said that my hair was in great condition, complimented me on its shine and told me that I only needed a couple of inches lopped off the ends. As for my home dye job - half a box of Superdrug's Semi-Permanent in Natural Black (£5 for 2) applied to the roots every few weeks -  she thought it was my natural colour! I didn't get talked into layers, a fringe or any expensive products, the soundtrack was excellent (Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana & Red Hot Chili Peppers), the massive mirror wasn't as off putting as it used to be (maybe I'm used to my face after eight years of Jon photographing me for my blog) and she dried my hair so it looked undone & natural and not typically "hairdresser-y", poker straight and stinking of product.


I was so impressed that I gave the hairdresser a generous tip and promised not to leave it another twelve years until my next visit.


Especially for Vronni, I'm wearing the Frank Usher maxi I wore to work on Sunday. A fiver well spent!

We're trading in Chester tomorrow, if we don't see you there I'll see you on the other side.

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

91 comments:

  1. Did you get her name?!? What a relief that must have been. I hate Doctors, Dentists and even hairdressers for the exact same reason, judgemental mentality to make me feel like a 2 year old. I thought the Optometrist was going to do the same thing to me the other day as I hadn't been in 6 years but he was very pleasant and told me to come back in a few years or if my vision changed. I like when people treat you like grown ups and just give you what you came for. It looks great and probably feels better now that things are all evened up

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    1. I did get her name, I'd definitely visit her again!
      I don't mind the dentist but I can't bear being fussed over, probably why i've never had a manicure or a pedicure or gone to a spa! xxx

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  2. WOW look at your legs in that picture sitting on the floor fantastic , I loved my spiral perm too but i liked it better when it was growing out , I wish i was not grey underneath it's horrible but i have booked the appointment at the hairdressers like i told you for the 24th , Going to have the works this time as the shop colours are getting more and more resistant to covering the grey lol xxx

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    1. Spiral perms were always better a few weeks after they were done and the less washing the better!
      Good luck for 24th! xxx

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  3. Love these photos, you look wonderful in that Frank Usher maxi! Glad you had a good experience at the hairdressers, what a relief that must have been. I feel the same way about hairdressers, too many negative experiences with judgemental types, I even had one rip a chunk of my hair out at the root because he got narky at it's condition. It's great you've found someone you know can trust.

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    1. Argh! How rude! When I had my disastrous, unwanted layers the hairdresser made a big deal of combing my hair and asking a trainee to help her before trying to flog me some expensive hairbrush.
      I'm relieved this visit didn't end in tears, I was dreading it. xxx

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  4. I LOVE old photos - they're ace. Can't believe you're a natural blonde - my natural hair colour is a mousy non-colour (I think some people refer to it as dishwater grey, which is...charming) and I've been dying it since I was about 12. As for the spiders...urgh. I walked around in a towel turban a week or so ago only for a spider to emerge when I unravelled it. I shake my towels REALLY well now before use. Bastards.

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    1. After reading your comment I gave my turban a damn good shake before I washed my hair this morning. God, I hate this time of year! xxx

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  5. Love the hair and the lush Frank Usher. Have not been to a hairdresser in years. V. scary places. I have Wahl clippers and the Grade 12 comb means that I now keep my curls. xx

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    1. Thanks, Julie!! Jon swears by his Wahl clippers. You do a brilliant job cutting your hair, its lovely. xxx

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  6. If I didn't know you were a natural blonde, I'd never have guessed! Your raven locks define your look, which is utterly fabulous, and the blonde girl in the photos looks like a different person, even though I can see it's you! Good for you, though, to have overcome your hairdressing fear, but it seems you have found one to suit your needs. I'm so glad my hairdresser understands me and never tries to talk me into something I don't want. The Frank Usher frock is fabulous, by the way! xxx

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    1. I'm sure being born blonde was nature's joke, I don't resemble anyone in my family!
      Your hair always looks fantastic and you shared a photo of your hairdresser on your blog recently, didn't you?
      1980s frank Usher stuff is very dodgy, his 1960s & 1970s stuff is lovely. xxx

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  7. I can totally empathise with your hairdresser fears. I have a fried who trims mine once in a blue moon (she's a hairdresser) and the rest of the time I tip my head over a sink and do it myself. Yours does always look in great condition and it's a wonderful mane so I'm not surprised you want to protect it.
    I think you looked good as a blond...but brilliant with raven tresses, they look lovely.
    The spider story gave me shivers down the spine. One ran in front of me on the loo the other day urge. xxx

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    1. You're lucky to have a hairdressing friend who obviously understands your hair, I've seen it in real life and it's gorgeous.
      Oh no. Imagine being on the loo and having a spider run past, talk about trapped! xxx

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  8. Yay! You found a good master to work with you - keep her contacts! I totally understand your feelings. I wasn't keen on hair salons myself until I found my first excellent master (back in Krasnoyarsk, his name was Rafael). I wanted to bring him with me to America!! :))) It took me a few years to find a good master here. Once I just asked a woman in a park (we both had little kids then) what salon she went to, and she gave me a number for her master. That master was not available at the time (having a baby), but her "replacement", Carla, became my hairdresser for years, until we moved to another state. I used the same technique then - I saw a woman whose hair style I admired, and she gave me Erica's number. I go to her salon for 10 years now. Once you found a good one, don't let her go, that's my experience. :)

    Your dress is awesome! You look gorgeous! I love seeing your old photos - you were different, and at the same time you were the same Vix we all love now!!

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    1. I think that's the best way, to ask a woman whose hair you admire where they go, not only a great compliment but pretty fail safe, too! Your hair is always perfect in colour and cut! xxx

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  9. That Frank Usher dress is divine! I don't mind the hairdresser so much but it's always hit and miss getting a good cut even with the same hairdresser and same instructions. Glad your experience turned out okay xx

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    1. Thank you! I know you appreciate a good Frank Usher!
      I don't understand how a trim, no layers, no fringe has gone spectacularly wrong so many times. thank goodness I found someone with an understanding of their client's needs. xxx

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  10. those 80s shoots - could be me - vintage clobber, spiral perm, wild party - beside of that i was a natural raven!
    i´m totally happy for you that you found a great hairdresser. i have similar fears, was´t there for 20 years until lately. but this lately event was as disappointing as it could be - now the BW has to trim my head until the locks are long enough to do it myself.......
    love the pic of you sitting in the window - fab dress!
    xxxxx

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    1. A natural raven? No way! I'd love to see a photo!
      Oh no, I'm sorry you weren't happy with your recent experience. It looks fantastic. xxx

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    2. now! - since it did grow out a bit and the hubs did cut it in a fashion i like.... luckily my hair does grow very fast........
      will search a pic for you :-)

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  11. OMG!!! I don't think I'd be able to sleep again after a spider came out of my hair! LOL What a fecking nightmare!

    You and I were literally twinsies when we were younger. I also had a spiral perm that I loved. I kind of wish I still had it. My natural hair colour is also blond. I see some white hairs coming in now on the sides so I'm sure I could be platinum blond now if I wanted but the reality is that it washes me out and I'd look like a ghost.

    I LOVE that maxi dress! Wow! one of my all time favourites of yours...and you have some museum quality pieces.

    I have a brilliant young stylist that I adore. She often looks after Zoë when I go away. My hair is very high maintenance so it is great that I found a stylist that I enjoy visiting who does an excellent job every time.

    Have a super successful show!

    Suzanne

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    1. I remember the first time I saw a photo of you in your 20s and thinking how alike we looked. I'm with you on the blonde, I think it would make me look insipid and ordinary, too. let's stick to the red and black!
      Your hair always looks so healthy and shiny. xxx

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  12. I was never a fan of hairdressers either. When you have naturally curly hair it can be a nightmare. Have just had my first ever set of pink highlights done....one of the perks of being self employed and no longer having to deal with the public in a corporate context! Have grown to love spiders, but was terrified of crane flies for years.
    Arilx

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    1. Curly hair needs lots of tlc, doesn't it? Yay for being able to have unconventional hair now you've escaped corporate hell. My first move was getting my nose pierced! xxx

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  13. Although I love your image, you could easily go back to being a blonde and would look fabulous, you know!

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    1. Thanks, Betty! I have nightmares about waking up and being blonde. I like it so much more now. xxx

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  14. The dress is just as gorgeous on you as I thought it would be! Thank you, it is a stunning dress and you look very Rapunzel like in the first photo.

    You look exactly the same in your 80s photos as you do today except for the hair colour of course. I think you look fab with blonde hair and with black and I bet there aren't many people who would suit both colours so well.

    I'm so pleased your hairdressing experience was positive. I tend to find a hairdresser I like - and then stick to them like glue!

    Happy trading at the weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Vronni!
      I did go a mid brown between going black and it looked awful, I think I can only do extremes! xxx

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  15. I started going to the hairdresser again when we could afford it, but I still dye my own hair too. That dress is absolutely the best, just gorgeous! :)

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    1. Dyeing at home is so cheap, isn't it? There's no way I could afford to pay a professional every five weeks! xxx

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  16. Nephew Number One is also a natural blonde but always dyes his hair dark. Dear god I wish I could say there was no grey in mine I'm riddled with it!?!

    I absolutely HATE going to the hairdresser after a terrible experience where they burnt my scalp doing a perm and a load of my hair fell out. Thankfully I now have Caron who knows my hair and it's quirks and me and my quirks. There is nothing to beat having a hairdresser you trust.

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    1. We never want what we were born with, do we?
      God, your experience sounded dreadful, I'm amazed you ever went back! xxx

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hi Trixie! I read your comment before it got deleted. all I can say is that I'm glad I wrote about my hairdressing visit after I went rather than before. Your horror story would have put me right off! xxx

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  18. I have not been to a hairdresser for over 35 years. I thought if they can do it so can I. Not even for my wedding did I get a decent look. Once I got a perm and they 'experimented on it. They over heated and my hair came out like wool. I went to another salon to get a fix and they wouldn't touch it. Said it would break off at the roots. For months I just had to gently wet it. No rubbing. I am very happy the way I cut and colour. Hairdressers,doctors and dentist freak me out.
    You look fab Vix blonde or black.

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    1. 35 years!! That's good going, Sally. After that many years of experience I bet you do as good a job as any pro. The perm sounded terrible. xxx

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  19. I always wanted a head of blond curls but I'd have ended up looking like the guy from Twisted Sister. Not that you did-it looked great on you.

    I'm hairdresser phobic too. Now that it is falling out in clumps I might just go have it chopped off into a pixie or something. Ah, who am I kidding-I'll do it myself.

    That dress is magnificent.

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    1. Twisted Sister! Good god, I remember how bad he looked!
      Your hair is falling out in clumps? That sounds nightmarish, like those dreams where all your teeth fall out. xxx

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  20. So fun :) I just love getting my hair done <3 You look gorgeous, as usual!

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  21. Whew...I was a little concerned that the spider trauma was going to segway into a hair horror!

    I'm happy the salon visit went well. I've had a few nightmarish cuts from stylists that don't understand curl, but my current stylist is definitely a magician. And, she makes me feel so pampered.

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    1. Ha! thank goodness the spider was the horrid part of the week and I don't have to wear a hat for the next 12 months! xxx

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  22. Gosh, 3am or not, I would've shrieked uncontrollably if a spider was on my face! That made me laugh! Glad you had a good hair dressing experience. I cut my hair too, sometimes its hit and miss. Xxx

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    1. Home hair cutting must be okay, the hairdresser didn't tell me off about it! I suspect I'll be back to trimming my own (or Jon!) for the next year now. xxx

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  23. Spider incident - grew! Hair, your hair is sleek, shiny and fab condition. I was very impressed.

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    1. I know! Vile creatures!!
      Lush is worth every penny! xxx

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  24. I never fail to be amazed at how different you look blonde! Still utterly gorgeous though. I had a fear of hairdressers for years, as they would either layer my hair and give me a fringe (which looked absolutely terrible), or they'd not understand that curly hair gets longer when wet and if you then cut a large amount, it'll dry shorter than expected as the curl gets tighter! My current hairdresser is the only person I trust with my hair, but unfortunately it comes with a higher than I'd like cost.

    Your spider story reminded me of my friend who had a similar experience, except the spider ended up stuck to her face with water. We got home last night to find a huge spider cowering in the bunny pen extension. It was just lucky Belle, with her enormous thumpers, was in the pen part.

    xxx

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    1. You've got a fantastic hairdresser and well worth the expense when he gives you confidence and makes you happy!
      Your poor friend (shudder!) Well done Belle for scaring the spider, our cats managed to kill a massive one this morning. xxx

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  25. I hate going to the hairdressers too! Your haircut is lovely though and I love your dress too. My friend's mum always cuts my hair, and then we start talking, and the snipping gets quicker and occasionally she says 'ooops' and I don't know if she's joking or not! But she only charges me £8 and there's no scary mirror - I get to look out of her kitchen window into the garden, which makes up for the odd too-short hair cut!

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    1. £8! That's well worth the odd ooops moment!! I detest having to look into a massive mirror, it's often a worse experience than the end result! xx

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  26. And all these people dyeing their hair blonde!
    I remember feeling too scared to ask for a shaved head, so learnt to do it myself.
    I looove the sleeves on that dress. Fascinating woven effect.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Jon did the same - bought a pair of clippers and never looked back. He's offered to do a mate's hair this week, that could be fun! xxx

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  27. That happened to me the other day!....the spider thing. I grabbed a towel when I got out of the shower, went into the bedroom to put some cream on my face, came back and started drying myself, removed the towel and saw something big and black on my stomach. I didn't have my glasses on so didn't realise immediately, when I did I screamed the fecking house down and did a mad dance and spider stomp. I bloody loathe them!
    Top marks for braving the hairdresser. I don't get mine blow-dried as nobody can give it volume, so I just run home and do it myself. Fab frockage. xxx

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    1. Eurgh!! What's got into them lately? It's bad enough they invade our houses without getting on us, too. I have to inspect the bed every night before I get in it otherwise i convince myself there's a whopping bastard inside with us. xxx

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  28. I regularly get rude comments, and have yet to find someone I am comfortable with. I will self color this weekend too, but need a trim and thinning, so will prepare for snark. You are lovely-we all are, right?

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    1. I commented on how lovely and shiny your hair was when you met up with your blogging friend in the Summer. Good luck! xxx

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  29. I am 100% with you on the spider phobia. I hate them and we've had some monsters this year. The other month I had to jump into the bath to escape a bastard massive one that was coming towards me and my brave sister managed to trap it with one of those glass cake domes until my dad came to get rid of it (it was that big our usual trapping device wouldn't do). I couldn't sleep properly for days after!

    Your hair looks great! It's so nice when you finally find a hairdresser that listens to you. My hairdresser is fab and loves the 60s just as much as I do!

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    1. Thank goodness your sister was there to help! I've been known to put an upturned bin over them and a pile of books if I'm on my own in the house, 'cos I'm so worried that the bastard will escape and get me.
      Your hair is perfect! xxx

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  30. The spiders I have in my place are pretty small, and I will usually just leave them alone unless they make a nuisance of themselves.

    We have the complete opposite hair issues! I've lost track of how many different stylists I've gone to in the last 30 years. Now that my hair is crew-cut short on most of my head I have to get it cut every 3 - 4 weeks, but at least I don't pay to colour it anymore, at least for now. I'm glad you had a good hair cut experience!

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    1. Does Sylvester trap the beasts for you? One of ours had manged on up this morning and left it on the doormat, I was so pleased I'd got my flip flops on.
      Your hair is fantastic, you must have an absolute gem of a hairdresser. xxx

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  31. Love your story!!! I hate going as well. Invariably, the day I'm scheduled to go, my hair looks better than it has in months. Right now I'm tempted to forget the whole thing, wrap it up on top of my head, and wake up 10 years from now with a straggly mess down my back. Either that or cut it off and cry for several weeks. Instead, I timidly go see a lovely young lady who assisted me in growing out my color, and currently gently trims it. So glad you had a good experience!!!! I enjoyed your pics from back in the day, and have to agree that dark hair suits you sooooo much better. xoxoxo

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    1. Hello, darling! I was tempted to do the same, wrap it in a mahoosive bun and leave it until I was 60 and see what had happened - I think I'd get bored with having to wear it up all the time, though! xxx

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  32. You are delightfully funny with your hair stories, I have done similar ones over the years myself. I am not a regular visitor of saloons either, but a good friends daughter is an amazing hairdresser and works from her home due to have 3 small kids. She never fusses and faffs, more laughs at my attempts that she tidies up for me. I probably go twice a year for a tidy up.

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    1. Another lucky girl with a hairdressing friend! Better to giggle at your mishaps than kiss her teeth and grumble at you! xxx

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  33. My daughter has a kind of spiders phobia. Even a toy spider can make her scream and nearly faint. It was fun to read you hairdressing stories. Stunning dress!

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    1. Poor thing, I feel for her. My brother is even worse than I am! xxx

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  34. You have great hair Vix. Agree with the other comments - the blonde perm looks ace. You can do anything! x

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    1. Thanks, Alyson! Yours is looking pretty fabulous lately, too! xxx

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  35. glad that you found a fab hairdresser, it's so important to have a good communication, and good vibe with your hairdresser! that saves your hairstyle!
    I've been using that Lush shampoo, thanks to your advice, for a while, and I think it's the best product when in travel or when having to use showers in a public swimming pool. I'm very grateful for your advice!
    Lovely dress indeed, and you look gorgeous!
    besos

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    1. I'm glad I went with the cool girl rather than the students!
      I love that Lush shampoo, it's so good when your travelling and smells divine. xxx

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  36. I once didn't go to the hairdresser for about 5 years, when you find one you like/trust don't let them go. I don't mind sitting in front of the big mirror, because I take my glasses off and I literally can't see past the end of my nose! xx

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    1. Thinking about it that's probably why I didn't hate my reflection as much as i used to, I'm so short-sighted these days! xxx

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  37. Vix, if a spider had crawled across my face you would have heard the screams all the way across the Atlantic! BTW, you look great as a blonde too. That perm does bring back memories of my own hair back in the 80s. My my, what we wouldn't do to have our big hair back then! Glad your salon session went well. And that Frank Usher dress is utterly spectacular.

    Theresa
    www.vintagestylefiles.com

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    1. I think our big 80s hair is responsible for that massive hole in the O Zone layer! How I loved my perms. I remember Julia Roberts's hair in Sleeping With The Enemy being the ultimate in curls!
      The more I think of Spidergate the more incredulous I am that I survived it! xxx

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  38. I never would've guessed you were naturally blonde, black suits you but the blonde looked good too!
    I hate hairdressers, I have fine hair and not many hairdressers know what to do with it. I'm pretty good at going regularly now that I've found a stylist that seems to know what she's doing. I tried a similar bar shampoo once, also from Lush, but I had to wrestle it out of the tin everytime, it was always stuck solid, I gave up in the end!

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    1. I'm glad you've found a good stylist. I'd never have guessed that you had fine hair from your photos.
      That Lush shampoo is supposed to stay in the tin, just put it under a running tap or a shower, work up a bit of lather and put it on your scalp. It does take some getting used to but normal shampoo feels really slimy when you've mastered it. xxx

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  39. I just went to a new hairdresser this past weekend and *phew* she was a talented colorist and stylist.

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  40. You're totally gorgeous as both a blonde and a brunette. So glad you had a good experience, and high-fives for your simple hair routine. Oh yes, amazing dress too! xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! I feel almost like a grow-up now I've braved the salon! xxx

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  41. Wonderful dress! I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to a salon in my life. My mom was a hairdresser so I only went to a salon when her carpal tunnel syndrome was giving her problems. As an adult, I had to go to a salon to fix what she did because she had clearly lost her touch after having been retired for almost 20 years at the time. The other two times I've been was to fix the terrible experimental chop jobs I had done on myself.

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    1. Hello Hollie! No way! Fancy your mum buggering up your hair! xxx

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  42. Vix, I stopped in today on my lunch break at work, but I don't think my comment "took." Your hair is gorgeous! And I Love the trim. I know how you feel. I have been sat down in a hairdresser's chair before and then walked out with something I did not ask for. Anyway, the long hair and eye-catching outfit in the vintage magazine made me think of you. You are more stunning than she is though. xoxo Lynn

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    1. Hello, Lynn! Your blog post made my day.
      I was really nervous about the hairdressing trip, I'm so relieved I didn't end up with a bob! xxx

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  43. Hi dear Vix! I easily understand how fearful you must have felt yourself before heading to salon. I've visited the salon only twice within a couple of years. Last time I visited the salon in July. It started hilariously: I was the only woman whose hair wasn't dyed, as I'm a true red head, and what comes to my hair dresser, she kept on complimenting my looks and my pin up styled outfit. As we progressed into the point of the actual hair cutting/trimming, she sort of lost it. I realised I didn't fit in her normal procedure with me asking her to give me semi vintage hair cut. I left the salon with a heavy heart. The visit cost me a lot and she didn't even finish properly my hair do. Now I'm desperately needing some trimming and I'm wondering where to go. But your hair itself is very beautiful! ! I'm happy you're happy with your hair. :)

    Have a lovely week with Jon!

    A-M xxxx

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    1. Hello, A-M! What a disaster. I'm sad that you weren't happy with your cut, you'd think the hairdresser would be thrilled to work with someone who didn't look and dress the same as everyone else. xxx

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  44. That Frank Usher is lush. And a hairdresser who won't muff up your hair is worth more than rubies; my last one went and put unwanted layers in mine. What *is* it with them and layers? Your hair always looks lovely. Mine's shagged from permanent dye!

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    1. Thanks, Mim!
      What is it about layers? Don't they realise that if they did as the client asked they'd have a regular customer? Idiots.
      Your hair doesn't look shagged at all. xxx

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  45. You look so different with blonde hair. Fabulous but different. It is unusual to suit both colours so well. Hairdressers are scarier than the dentist (but not spiders. What an experience!). If you have long hair they have a tendency to thin it or do odd things. I have had some terrible cuts that left my hair on a slant at the bottom or just looking crap. I wish your hipster hairdresser was here. I need to find somewhere good soon. Your hair is lovely and really does look natural. Xx

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    1. Yes, why do they insist on thinning the ends or adding layers? I suppose it's so you look crap when it grows out and you have to keep going back.
      xxx

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