Topic: Food

Hair Lessons

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When I was in college, musician Billy Ray Cyrus was popular as a one-hit wonder for his horrid song (which came with its own dance steps) “Achy Breaky Heart.” I remember him for his mullet. It was a really fine example of how one should never wear one’s hair. I’ve never wanted a mullet, but last weekend I had one briefly — self-induced, but not on purpose.

Last Friday I was on NECN’s “news quiz” on Jim Braude’s show Broadside. Before going to the studio, I had a good look in the mirror. I try not to do that too often. I really needed a haircut. At the very least, I needed to trim my bangs. I took a shower, combed my hair out, and with my sharpest fabric scissors, “trimmed” my bangs. You know where I’m going, right? I overtrimmed and I trimmed unevenly. So I kept trying to even things out, and it got worse and worse. I decided to stop and fix it later, because I had to get to the studio and it was pouring rain – and I assumed no one would notice. If anyone noticed, they said nothing.

I watched the show with friends and decided that when I fixed my bangs, I should lighten my hair, too, because my natural color hadn’t been served well by lack of sun. In the spirit of saving money, I stopped at the market and bought a box of hair coloring.

I waited a day, and before I bathed, I mixed the dye with the accelerant, carefully combed the stinging cream through my hair, set the timer, and then went into the shower. I used the special conditioner as the package suggested. Got out, combed my hair, took another whack at trimming and evening things in bang-land. Trimming turned to serious cutting, and I knew I was in trouble – but couldn’t stop. I had a mullet on my hands. Adding insult to injury, the mullet was a horrible shade of reddish-orange. Perhaps you’ve seen the comedian Carrot Top? I wish my hair had turned out his color.

So there I was with a flaming-red mullet and no hair salon open. Most are closed Mondays, too. More insult to injury, I was scheduled to be on the Today show Wednesday morning (https://newengland.com/issues/2009-03/food/brisket-recipes), which meant I had to leave Tuesday morning. A fine pickle indeed.

Being the resourceful gal that I am, I called my hair stylist extraordinaire Patrice Vinci on her cell phone. This woman works hard, but I coerced her into coming to her salon on her day off to “fix” my hair. And she had a cold. She asked me to bring the scissors with me (I assumed so that she could hold the weapon in her hands and do a little CSI-type work).

I got to the salon and handed her the scissors. She took them away from me and told me she would fix my hair if I promised to never do such a thing again. I promised and then helped her make us some coffee – this wouldn’t be a quick fix.

My hair is many inches shorter and blonde now — a nice blonde.

As for Billy Ray, these days he’s famous for being the father of Miley Cyrus, a.k.a. Hannah Montana. I hope I’ll be remembered for my children and not my misguided hair don’ts.


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