Beauty School Drop In

My ears are cold.

Guess what I did?


After growing it long enough to learn to cut it myself, I went back to the pixie. And I went to my local beauty college and let a student cut it. Oh yeah, a pixie — the most unforgiving of any haircut mistakes — by a student stylist. Who does this?

Folks who practice financial wellness. And adventurous spirits who don’t demand perfection. In other words, the same badass who assumed the risks of cutting her own hair all this time. If I was willing to risk jacking it up on my own you can imagine how little I was concerned that a trainee would do any worse.

Although I’ve mastered self-cutting the Bisexual Bob well enough to suit me, I wasn’t inclined to try the Lexie (Lesbian Pixie). I could probably learn to trim it with a razor comb once it’s shorn and shaped but to go from chin-length to over the ear? Nope. Too big a leap.

You may remember the reason I grew my hair to the DIY length was to avoid shelling out $40 – $60 for monthly pixie trims. Let me lay this on you. The cost of a shampoo, cut, and style at the beauty college? $12.

Yes, that reads twelve dollars. By a student training to be a licensed stylist. Supervised by an instructor but practicing nonetheless. In advance of the appointment a coworker told me, “That’s either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.”

It is incredibly fabulous. The trainee selected to crop my locks did a fantastic job. Every bit as good as my former $60 stylist. For $12, y’all.

Understand the difference here. I didn’t get a cheap haircut. I got an expensive haircut for a bargain. The student who cut and styled me graduates in five weeks, whereupon the same service will immediately jump to $60. I didn’t get a $12 haircut. I got a $60 haircut for $12.

The Hipstamatic app randomized a dirty film filter for the cold ear image above. It’s not debris. I decided to leave it because you never know how the shot is going to turn out when you let the camera decide. I didn’t know how the haircut would turn out either, so it seemed appropriate.

Why go back to services rendered if doing it myself was working so well? Pitta dosha, mostly.  In ayurvedic terms, I have a fiery constitution. I need a cool head. And I live in a land where the temps hit triple digits in June. Even the Bisexual Bob was too hot. We’ve already discussed the failure of ponytails. Last weekend I got so nauseous in the heat I had to excuse myself and seek shade. Even shellacked in sunscreen and wearing a hat, I wilted. While traveling. While attending a paid event, aka spending money to do a thing and then not being able to do it because of extra head insulation.

And also simply because I love it. It’s my personal fave. I love the pixie above all others. I got my first pixie in high school and no matter what else I might have tried over the years, I always return to it. Time and again I default back to my signature. I feel more of all the good things in the pixie, which is to say I feel my best and most well. It brings out the sparkle. I’m buoyant. It’s not a stretch to call it hair joy. Yes, joy.

For $12.

So the pros of the experience are obvious. The cons? It took longer. As anything done by a student versus an expert naturally would, it look longer to get it done. But the next time I go back I’ll only need a trim; not such a drastic cut. Even so I’ll spend the extra time to save the extra money.

Also, the beauty college is subsidized by the state, which means those grant dollars have to stretch as far as possible, which means keeping overhead low. So the school salon wasn’t swanky and it was located in a low-rent part of town. The owner/operator wore a gun on her hip. I kid you not, a sidearm was holstered on her hip. I asked about it. There was some trouble a few months ago with shady folk coming in off the street with ill intentions. The firearm on her hip made a visible statement preferable to putting up a sign, and one less likely to be ignored. So there was that.

The one con specific to the style is that most of the students were afraid of the pixie. Apparently there aren’t many requests for it so they don’t get to practice it much on live heads. Most of them didn’t want to try it. I was given to the trainee with the most confidence with the cut while the others came over to watch. One budding young stylist-in-training joked that it would have taken her four hours and her anxiety would have been off the charts. I got lucky and landed the one student in the class who wasn’t nervous about it and relished the challenge. It’s a given that when I go back in six weeks or so she will be gone. So I’ll also have to deal with that.

Let me also say that I did my homework. You know me. I always do my homework. I checked out the school beforehand. I read lots of articles online. I knew what to expect, or rather, how to adjust my expectations. The experience exceeded my expectations on the first visit. This may vary over time, especially if I get a different student on every visit, but helping people hone their skills and build their expertise feels good. Community, symbiosis, mutual sustenance and support. Wellness in practice.

Let’s get it on.

— Mercy

Oh, and you didn’t think you were getting off this page without hearing the song, did you? Mwahahaha …

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