breaking up is hard to do

There are only a few people in this world who I absolutely need in my life.  There are many I want there, but few I actually need.

My hairdresser is one of them.

Women, the world over, will surely feel my pain when they read the following sentence.

My beloved hairdresser, Angela, has left the country.

Nay. Not only has she left the country. She has left the continent.

Angela has moved to Wales.


When I returned to Toronto after my 6 week break in a warmer climate, Angela was the first person I sought out. I saw her the morning after my return. I spoke to her before I spoke to my children.

My overgrown hair meant that she was my top priority.

She had my wine glass ready when I walked in. Little did I know how much I would need it.

To her credit, Angela ripped the bandaid off quickly. She didn’t beat around the bush. She didn’t placate me with pleasantries or questions about my trip. No, instead she reached into my body, snatched my heart out and crushed it between her well manicured fingers.

She told me she was leaving in one week.


And this isn’t the first time. She left me once before.

It was just over 2 years ago when her wanderlust last hit. She packed up house and home and left for her motherland, England. She stayed away for over a year. The saddest year of my life.

At first I obediently went to her protégée, the one she had carefully explained all my preferences to. The one who held all the formulas.

Sadly, while Vanessa had all the ingredients, she failed to put together a gourmet meal. She was tentative, following all the recipes too closely. She was afraid to take risks. And I’m all about risk-taking.

At least I am when I’m in a fully trusting relationship with my hair Sherpa. This was not that relationship.

Vanessa simply lacked the prowess, that je ne sais quoi, that differentiates a capable hairstylist from a creative master. So I broke up with Vanessa.

And then I wandered aimlessly, formulas in hand, Angela’s descriptions in my head, at the ready:

  • My hair is fine, but I have a lot of it.
  • My hair is straight for several inches, but then develops a wave.
  • My grey is VERY stubborn and needs to have the colour cure in for longer than would seem advisable.

Eventually I found a charming little spa/salon, of the Aveda variety, not too far from home. I was encouraged by the fact that they had a colour technician. Amanda would only ever do my colour. Someone else would do the cutting (Jenn). Experts.

This inspired confidence. I slowly exhaled.

Eventually I grew to like and trust Amanda and Jenn. But it just wasn’t the same. I missed my first love. My Angela.

When she finally returned to Toronto just before Christmas last year, I rejoiced! I wanted to plan a parade! I wanted to cry, the happiest of tears.

Instead I did my happy dance.


Now here I am, coming up on 4 weeks since she last masterfully ran her scissors through my hair.

And I desperately need a cut. (Colour, too, but first things first…)

See, she chopped off all my hair last January. And then she bleached it platinum blonde last March. This hair may be short, but it is super high maintenance.

This is not hair you can just leave alone for 6 weeks or longer. It goes from chic and edgy to frumpy and poofy in the flash of an eye.

And lets not talk about the patchwork quilt-like quality my multicoloured root regrowth creates. White/grey in many spots; nearly black in others. Oh yes, it’s a good look. Said no one, ever.

I need to get a cut. And I need one soon.

But here’s the thing. I have a ‘reunion’ dinner with some ex-colleagues tomorrow night. So here’s my dilemma:

  • Take a risk and allow someone new to cut my hair the day before I see people I haven’t seen in 2 years…. – OR –
  • Go into the dinner with my unkempt, overgrown and poofy hair


Lest you start poo-poo’ing my dilemma and wondering how bad the results could be. Let me present some evidence.

This is the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut – on some beautiful people.

If a bad haircut can make these women look …not beautiful, then imagine what one would do to me.


Exhibit A: P!nk

Oh P!nk…I love you so much, but …I can’t with the bowl cut. I just can’t.


Exhibit B: Jennifer Lawrence

My girl JLaw can go from edgy, sexy, glam girl to frumpy no-style news anchor with one bad style.


And finally, Exhibit C: Michelle Williams

Okay, so I admittedly had to cheat with Michelle Williams. Try as I might I couldn’t find a bad hair pic from her pixie cut days. All were super cute. So I had to use an old bob shot. But, you get the idea.


So, friends, what should I do???

Take the risk and address this mop, but potentially wind up like this:


Or wield my flat iron and ply copious amounts of putty to tame the poof?

What say you?

I realize this is a classic #FirstWorldProblem, and that a large portion of the readership may have long dismissed this post as shallow.

I’m vain and shallow. Sue me.

“I think that the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent, of course – is her hairdresser.”

~Joan Crawford

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

101 thoughts on “breaking up is hard to do

  1. I see your dilemma. If I were you I’d just get it cut, it could look amazing and you might be surprised. If it doesn’t just say you got a terrible cut and blame it on the stylist, your friends will relate bc we’ve all been there with a bad cut. Good luck!!

    • Most of my dinner-mates are the all-male members of my former management team. They will not relate. They will only judge. 🙂

      I am thinking I’m taking my chances with my flat iron and a shit-ton of product. 🙂

  2. Cut it. Put on a cute head wrap if it fails. I haven’t cut mine in years but thought about it more recently. I think I’m cutting out all off. In case you need a wig of course

  3. Ha ha ha! I really enjoyed reading this. The funny thing is I only visit the hairdresser about twice a year, but I do understand the relationship that a lot of people have with them.
    If it were me… no, ignore that. I think you should go for a cut. It’s a gamble on it being worse or better than what you currently have. If better, hurrah! If worse, at least you can blame the stylist and it’s not that you didn’t bother to get your hair cut 😉
    Good luck!

    • Twice a year?…Good God, the money I’d save!!
      In retrospect, having such a high maintenance hairdo was probably a mistake. 🙂

      Not sure if I’m feeling up to the gamble, for some reason. I’m thinking I’ll try to work some magic at home. God knows I have enough product to run a salon myself.

  4. eeeeeeek!!!!! I feel your pain O_o

    I have a hard time finding a hairdresser who knows what to do with my hair!! It is so thick and curly and there is a lot of it…I seem to have about twice as many hairs growing from my head than a normal person!

    I haven’t found a good one near me really I find ones who are ok…but they never quite do what I want…
    I am having trouble with colour at the moment, I want bright and outrageous but on dark brown hair this is hard (but not impossible) to achieve and nowhere seems to be able to manage it!

    I say risk a haircut but go with very specific instructions and maybe a picture of what you are hoping to achieve!

    Wales is pretty…but it rains a lot!! mind you…I guess with all that rain people need a lot of hair doing!

    • I thought of you, Sam, because you have said a few times your hair is very thick and naturally curly. That is very tough hair to cut well. I don’t envy you. That said, you’re not too far from London, and there are some master stylists there!

      Shit, I’ve followed hairdressers 1.5 hour drives away from where I initially met them. In fact, I once considered flying to London to see Angela after she left the last time. I figured I had the frequent flyer miles, so why not? 🙂 Clearly it wasn’t a sustainable plan!

  5. Oh my, we’re in perfect hair-dilemma synch! I also desperately need a haircut. I only do this every three months (don’t faint, pls), but it can be traumatic, nevertheless. I always have to run home, before anyone who knows me sees me, wash it, and pull it into an acceptable shape.

    Good luck 🙂

    • No, I totally get it — with longer hair you totally can go a few months. Mine is super short, so I just can’t leave it. In fact, that last trip to Vegas was 6 weeks long and I was having anxiety attacks daily after the 5th week. I so desperately needed it cut, but I knew if I could tough it out a week I’d see my Angela.

      And now she’s gone. Bitch.

      • Selfish or what!!!

        Two days ago, I took to my own fringe (that would be ‘bangs’ (oh, how I hate that ugly word, I can barely bring myself to type it) in US speak). I always do this. And then my hairdresser has a total fit. LOL.

      • I am a bit of a wannabe Brit, so fringe is my preferred word as well. 🙂

        I have ended up hacking bits off the back of mine, as that’s where it tends to get most unkempt between cuts. Weird little curls start to form at the nape of my neck, so I whip out my scissors and start hacking. Angela was always able to fix any mess I made. But now… GAH!!

      • Given my day involved a 12:15 pm return to BodyPump, followed by 4 hours of working on a massive presentation for a meeting Friday, I’m thinking no haircut today. And doing it the day of is super risky because I won’t even have a chance to re-wash/style the damage if I need to.

        Methinks I’m going to get creative with a lot of pomade and a flat iron.

  6. Just the mention of Pink brought Just Give Me a Reason to my that song!!
    Anyway, this is a serious dilemma Nancy! Don’t diminish! I finally found my soul-hair-mate. Brain. Oh Brian. He is a genius and a motivational therapist at the same time. You need to fly here, get your hair did and fly back to Toronto before you meeting. Seriously.
    if no flights work out, then I would suggest, manage it on your own til you find the right person. Brian is never allowed to leave. I’m going to have to remind him of that next time I see him 😉

    • Oh Kerry, you should have seen her perform that song in concert in January! It was incredible (with the aerial acrobatics and all). We saw her on her last tour date in Vegas. Best show I’ve seen in a long time!!

      Dearest, I’m sure you were joking when you suggested I fly to Florida for a haircut. I can assure you I’ve considered flying farther for one. When Ang moved last time, I totally considered flying to London on points to see her. I’m not kidding.

      I’m thinking I’m going to make do with poof-head, plus my various at-home implements, and not risk a bad cut. Then I will beg and plead for Amanda and Jenn to take me back after I disappeared over a year ago without warning. And then I’ll hope that they don’t exact their revenge on me for dumping them so unceremoniously.

  7. I don’t have an answer for you, but I feel your angst. My hair is long and straight so it takes little to cut it, but losing my stylist means this introvert has to get socially comfy with a new one. Not an easy task!

  8. Are you kidding me?! My hair is a major source of anxiety on a regular basis and I totally commiserate with you. My hairdresser just returned in January from a 6 month health absence. My anxiety was so extreme, I decided to abandon the world of colour and embrace my grey hair rather than trust another colourist. Even my hairdresser, who is a risk taker like me, has had to admit that the grey is rather interesting and I’ve decided to let it continue to grow – for now.

    No matter what you decide, just remember that hair is temporary. No decision is ever permanent. Bonne chance mon amie!!

    • Oh Joanne, my soul sister, thank God somebody gets it!

      And, you’re right, hair decisions are totally temporary, especially with me: my hair grows like a bloody weed. If it wasn’t so damned fine, I’d grow it long and avoid all this maintenance. But it’s so fine that if I grow it past my shoulders it just looks stringy. Like an old Barbie doll that’s seen better days.

      • Me too! It sounds like we have the same hair – fine, but not straight. I have just enough random wave in my hair to be annoying rather than workable.
        Without tons of product, it just lies there flat and without any soul.

      • And then add even the hint of humidity and it grows to 10x its natural size–all frizz. I bought my second home in the desert for good reason: no humidity!

  9. Go get it cut.

    Back up plan: if it doesn’t work out, stop by Sally’s Beauty Supply and buy clip on things – or the big hair clip with the wig attached and slick up your sides so it looks like long hair all pulled up and pretty in a clip.

    • Clip things… You realize that my hair is as short as the pics I posted of P!nk, JLaw and Michelle Williams right? If I added clip extensions to my hair I’d definitely look like an abused Barbie doll head. 🙂

      • Well, it kinda looked like it would work!

        I have long hair – that my hairdresser refused to cut all off when I went in requesting it a few years ago – she said it would be too traumatic. But, she did style it for me.

        I only see her like once a year I cut my own hair in between. I have no valid advice for you!

        Hey – try cutting your own hair! How bad could it be? 🙂

      • Oh trust me, I’ve been hacking off bits at the back, where it tends to get stupid and long/bushy at the nape of my neck in between visits to my Angie. I’m trying to hold myself back as I don’t want my future hairdresser to see some hack job and think that was her work. They need to know I had a REALLY good stylist before. Must set the bar high. 🙂

  10. I’ve never had a real profound relationship with anyone who has cut my hair.
    All I’ve learned is that the only person not allowed to cut my hair is me.
    Seriously, it just looks ridiculous when I try.

  11. Oh no!!! I feel your pain with the tough, patchy (ok more solid than patchy. :() gray/white and random waves all over the place. Humidity is my nemesis and if I go longer than 4 weeks without color I swear I get hives. What could be worse than loosing my colorist and designer? Yep, having to crawl back to the people I left without notice… let us know how your reunion dinner goes!

  12. Ugh, I hate going to the hairdresser 😉 I cut my own fringe too – I like it jagged. Hairdressers DO NOT. I say take the plunge – if it goes wrong, you can always tie a classy leopard print head scarf around it…
    P.S. I had to do a double-take when I saw Pink – she looks like my long-dead grandaunt Joan in that first pic. She was a terrifying woman… 😉

  13. I can relate. Two of my hairdressers have left me and finding a new one was real pain (now finally painless). I’d practice DIY for that dinner and not risk a hairdo in which you might not recognize yourself in the mirror. Not good for the “confident-new-me” image.

  14. I think I’d take a risk and try someone new. (I say this as a person who has not seen her stylist in over a month, and I always go in for a color touch-up every four weeks. I have major grow-out, because, like you, my hair grows like crabgrass. I might be on tv in Nashville, and I am having heart palpitations over the state of my hair. I’ve been going to the same stylist for 23 years. But, I’ve been spending some time online to try to find someone in Nashville who can touch up my roots for real, instead of using the muck root cover I bought.) Could you go back to Amanda and Jenn? At least, you were mostly happy with them. This is so, so sucky. I don’t even want to think about what I’ll have to do if/when Charmaine (yes, my stylist’s name is Charmaine) quits.

    • Ugh. I think I’m going to take my chances with my own tricks and tools tomorrow. My roots are coming through (almost 4 weeks) but they’re not horrific just yet. I’m more concerned about the stupid little curls starting to turn up at the nape of my neck and the growth over my ear area. See ho gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence’s is cut over the ear? That’s how it was. 4 weeks ago. 😦 I’ll figure something out. I’ve got lots and lots of product.

      I can definitely go back to the Aveda salon near home (hoping that Amanda and Jenn are still there)…BUT then I’d have to face them, after unceremoniously dumping them. I’ll feel like a cheating lover, coming back with my tail between my legs after my paramour dumped me… 😦

      Those at-home root touch-up kits are great, in a pinch, Andra. I’ve used them with success when I’ve been away from home for too long. Give it a whirl – just keep in mind you gotta let that shit marinate a looooong time because it’s not as strong as the salon stuff. Good luck!!

  15. I’m going to focus on the phrase “risk taker”….shave your head. Worked for me two plus years ago. Haven’t had a bad hair day since and all the grey is gone. Extremely low maintenance and saves on having to buy shampoo, hair cuts, tips, and the stress of loosing a barber. Does get a bit cold in the winter since your head is where one looses most of their body heat but is cool in summer. Never have to worry about hat hair. Hope this help! 😀

    • You present a solid argument, Patrick. I would possibly consider it if my head wasn’t so misshaped. Good lord, I have a ton of bumps and holes and grooves and divets. A bald Nancy would be a freakish Nancy. I’m confident I would resemble a malformed alien if I shaved my head.

      • I faced the same dilemma thinking I had corners on my head. Now all the scars from my brother trying to kill me show…maybe that is why people think I’m scary? Feedback has been positive. But it is an extreme change…but then male pattern baldness helped the decision making process. I would vote for Jenn & Amanda.

      • Sounds like a solid plan. I may need to come bearing gifts, with my tail between my legs, and shower them with compliments. Also, I may need to lie and say that I left the country for 18 months. 😉

      • I should have noted that I’m the one usually receiving the beer. Make me happy, happy, happy.

  16. I have not had a haircut in 2 years! Because I’m cheap like that. LOL I say give others a chance to beautify your locks, who knows, the next one could be a hair Picasso. 😉 Post a photo when it’s done!

    • Ha! No haircut today Kathy. Too busy with workstuffs and also not feeling 100%. I will not bail on the dinner lest anyone think I’m doing it due to bad hair. 🙂 But I will wield a mean flat iron to tame this overgrown mess. 😉

  17. I see from all the comments you’ve hit the panic button with this one! Don’t do it! Get it colored, maybe. A cut is too risky! Use those products and equipment. My hair is my bête noire. And rules my life. I’m shallow too. So what? The big question is not why is your hairdresser leaving but why on earth is she going to Wales????

    • No cut or colour. I’m dressed, coifed and ready to head out. Crisis averted. I really am a master at disguising the shit that is my current hair state. I think I missed my calling. 🙂

      And re: why Wales… Fuck, it might as well be Mars. It’s not like I’m getting to either anytime soon. 😦

  18. Ahhhhh – I just scrolled through all these comments to find the answer… no hair cut!!!!! Hope you had a good night xxxxx

  19. Hahaha, Nancy, I HAD to read all the comments, looking for the answer! And you ruled – YAY!

    I have had a lot of hair dressers that became friends over the years, making it so awful when I wanted to break up, for whatever reason. The final straw with my last, long time hairdresser/friend was when I wanted to go natural with my color, and stop getting highlights, and she actually fought me about it! Damnation, it’s MY hair, after all. 🙂

    Anyway, she finally gave in and colored me all over the color we thought was closest, and I have been color-free and happier than ever with my hair since! I have some grey coming in but I love it (and I earned it), and my main color is much darker and richer than i would have imagined. I have gotten more compliments since going natural than most of the years before, not that that is why I did it, mind you. But we had to break up anyway because going to her home salon started taking most of a day so I had to look for someone closer.

    I am now going for just a cut every 4 to 5 weeks, since it is short, and it is bliss. I hope you have a happy ending too. 🙂

  20. I’m coming to this late, what was the outcome? And more importantly, where in Wales is your former hairdresser? Wales is not that far from me, and I can’t find one round here that I like! I am considering poaching her!!

    • Bahahaha!! You would love Angela, Helen! Sadly (or perhaps happily for her) Angela’s planned 4 wk visit with her mum in the Canary Islands seems to have extended indefinitely. She met a man who she’s hit it off with, and hasnt left the Canaries yet. 🙂 I believe her job in Wales was to have started early April, so I’m guessing that’s done for now. 🙂

      As far as my hair goes, I went back to Amanda and Jenn – and things turned out brilliantly. All that stress for nothing! 🙂

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