And, as with 85-90 percent of all the witty observations made here on The Anti DC, this post will also be based on my incredibly narrow experiences and on no way, shape or form on any sort of "scientific research." I mean, having only lived here since May, I've had the occasion to have my hair butchered by just two local salons. Anyway, let's just cut (get it?) to the chase.
I should've effing known with this one. I mean, any salon with "Lab" in the title cannot be a good thing (as those of you in Moscow familiar with the mullet-tastic Persona Lab could testify), but I read a few online reviews and decided to give it a go. M-I-S-T-A-K-E. Those are the only seven letters that I think could even begin to describe the overall USL experience in one brief word.
The mistakes were twofold: It was my mistake not to trust my instincts about the whole "Lab" thing and it was several of my stylist's mistakes for not knowing how the hell not to make my hair look like a retarded squirrel taking a four-month nap on my scalp. Put simply, my hair was a serious gnarly mess after I left that place.
But let me break it down even more because I'm sure those of you who just LOVE my mentions of SHOES on this blog will equally love to hear about my hair type and texture and the corresponding instructions that make for a good cut. (You know who you are, ahem, TDF.)
Anyway, I keep my hair long. More importantly, I have a sh*t-ton (two eloquence points!) of it (ON MY FACE! LOL! J/K!), which means if there's one style my hair should never endure, it is a blunt cut (i.e. when all of your hair is one length -- think Supercuts). That is, if my hair isn't layered or chipped or razored or some other slightly advanced cutting technique, it will be huge, unwieldy and downright wig-like, especially with bangs, which I also have. To give you a visual, I left "Urban Style Lab" looking a bit like this, but blonder:
So, I pulled back my bangs for four months while I saved up enough money to get another haircut at a different place. (Oh, my bad, did I forget to mention I paid someone roughly $100 to f*ck up my hair? Yeah.) Having settled into Washington a bit more, I did some word-of-mouth research and found numerous recommendations for Andre Chreky's eponymous salon. What clinched my decision to give AC a go was my BFF
Rose L, who gets her hair cut by Chreky himself. However, being the impatient (yet charming) bitch that I am, I couldn't wait the two-plus weeks to get an appointment with him so I settled for whatever bottom-of-the-barrel stylist was available. And that's exactly who I got. Worst. Haircut. Of. My. Life. What Urban Style Lab is to Supercuts, Andre Chreky is to hobo with a hacksaw.
Not only did I get a blunt cut, but I also got the other big no-no for long, naturally big-ass (three eloquence points!) hair -- a blow-out followed up by volumizing mousse. I had some serious helmet hair. We're talking Peggy Bundy (see above) times two. That sh*t was not tight. But what really gets me is that the woman (whose name for the life of me I can't remember) was so proud of herself. I (politely as possible) disagreed with this seemingly blind stylist, pleading with her to put in "at least a couple" of long layers. She failed.
After the trauma was over, I debated whether to actually pay the $90 (!) or just make like the victim I was and run. Alas, crime apparently does pay, as I settled the bill. And making the whole experience even more mortifying, nearly everyone in the salon told me my hair looked "amazing" or, worse yet, "divine" as I made my way to the door. I begrudgingly acknowledged their compliments, but refused to accept them as the women doling them out were all middle-aged lobbyist types with shorter versions of my new politically correct 'do. Ugh.
But Jebus! I get the aesthetic here, DC. I understand everyone actually wants to look like a tool and strives to become that middle-aged douche, but honestly, is it too much to ask to have just one go-to salon for those of us who don't enjoy looking like assholes? Seriously, are their any?? Anyone???
My hair situation has gotten so desperate that I decided to jet-set up to Boston to get my hair cut by a man who not only attended, but actually graduated from beauty school. (It seems some stylists in DC have yet to enroll.) Of course, I'm not so psychotic about getting a good haircut that that's the only reason I'm flying up there at the end of this month, but, hey, why not kill two birds with one stone? Or, more appropriately, why not pick up your Master's dilploma that's been sitting in the registrar's office for nearly a year (zoinks!) and get a haircut in one big ol' bitch of a trip? (Four eloquence points!)
*While the cut was ghastly, I also had my hair colored here. The colorist, Johannie (sp?), did a fabulous job (I say this with no sarcasm -- her sh*t seriously is tight), which made getting the horrible cut even worse. The cut did nothing to highlight the, well, highlights. Anyway, for serious, if you want an excellent colorist, call Johannie. For a cut, I'd steer clear unless you can go directly to Chreky himself, apparently.