Why no day 11? Because yesterday my day consisted primarily of going to a Greek épicerie (Kilikio) to buy some olive oil – and if you read my post on the Peloponnese, you will know that I am very particular about my olive oil.
So on to day 12.
Next to summer, I think fall is my favorite season (and honestly, sometimes it gets very close to edging the former out for the top spot). Something about the warm colors of the leaves, the crispness in the air, and the fact that I can go back to wearing as much black as possible makes the fact that vacation is over a little more bearable. And as I am still running on an academic calendar, fall is also a season of new beginnings, chances to start fresh.
And so my back to school shopping this year included a haircut.
I think many people would agree with me when I say that finding the right hair salon – or even stylist – can be a somewhat stressful experience. Compound this with living in a foreign country where vocabulary used in such settings is not necessarily part of your arsenal and you’ve got a situation that almost makes you never want to get your hair done again. Thankfully, during the first year of my Masters in 2013, I went through that gauntlet, and after having an exceptionally ‘meh’ haircut thanks to a Groupon, I managed to find what I think might not just be my favorite salon in Paris but my favorite salon anywhere.
The salon Messieurs-Dames, located in the upper Marais is excellent for many reasons, but two in particular stand out. One : they are bilingual, and although my communication with my stylist both this visit as well as my previous one almost four years ago was in French, it’s nice to know that you can drop in some English here and there to really clarify what it is that you want. Two : they cut the hair while it’s dry. The benefit of this is that you can actually get a better idea of what the finished result is going to look like, and for someone with wavy hair (like me), there is a certain peace of mind that comes with knowing what your hair is likely to look like when you do it at home, especially when you’re rather low-maintenance with it.
Oh and a final bonus : my stylist dried my hair with the curl/wave intact instead of straightening it. “Natural, but better,” he said. And because I really only treat myself to a haircut once (maybe twice) a year, a little primping was more than perfect.
In terms of pricing, the salon is about mid-range, with prices varying depending on the stylist (although average price is about 60eu). As I mentioned, frequent hair appointments are not something I regularly budget for, so I tend to chalk up my semi-annual visits as part of my ‘treat yourself’ budget.
And I know that there’s this sort of stereotypical idea that post-breakup haircuts are usually very dramatic, but for me, I think what I really needed was something that I knew would make me feel good when I looked in the mirror. I take risks in plenty of other areas in my life. Right now, what I want – what I need – is to wake up in the morning, take a look at myself and say “Damn. I look fucking good,” and believe it.
So here’s to haircuts and the power of letting go, of feeling light again, of casting off the weight of 6+ inches of hair and maybe of a few other things as well.