It started out as any other day: clients coming in for appointments, a couple blowouts here, a few snips there, I tried choppy angles on Martha and a bob for Latisha. Then, a brush of wind entered the salon as the door swept open and all seemed to go silent. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t his eyes I noticed first. His round, testicular-shaped eyes that look perpetually lined with a dark, smoky liner. Bobbi Brown? Maybe, but I’d put my money on Nars.
It was then that I felt it coming—the word vomit so familiar to Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. I felt it coming and I knew right then and there that I couldn’t stop it, “Jordan Catalanoooooo!!!!” I screamed, running up to him. I went straight in for the hug because, what did I have to lose? About an inch away from his long lashes he stopped me. “Hush, dear,” he said. “No one must know I’m here. You see, I came to you because I heard you’re the best. The Golden Globes are tonight and, well, I want to re-emerge into the movie industry with a bang—no! A bun! A man bun, is what I meant.” I was dizzy with jubilation. Finally, my stars had aligned; everything I’d been working towards was finally about to be justified. Years spent twirling my hair into a messy bun, then polishing that ‘do for ballet recitals. Hours spent poring over photos of John Mayer, of mixologists in south Williamsburg, and of long-haired lumberjacks walking in and out of Beacon’s Closet. I knew what I had to do. And no one could stop me.
But first, I had to establish a relationship, which meant being completely honest with him.
“Jared, I’m not sure you entirely know what you’re getting yourself into. Your total will come to around $3,000. And yet, you’re paying me to style your hair in such a way so that it looks like it wasn’t professionally styled at all.”
“I know this,” he responded, gravely, “and that’s exactly the point. I want my hair to reflect my speech, which I’ve told everyone I haven’t prepared, but actually have, just in case I win. I want to look GOOD when I say ‘Brazilian bubble butt.’ I want a hairstyle that depicts how hard I’ve worked—that I’ve been through the ringer. That’s why I came to you.”
“Okay…” I said, “You’re the boss…”
“First thing’s first,” I told him, “we’re makin’ you ombré.” I went at it—I caught a sniff of the nape of his neck as I massaged his head with shampoo; I trimmed off only the dead ends (just like he asked!); I mixed sunshine paradise with a dollop of lemon squeeze and then I doused his ends in the color. I took out the foil, rinsed out the dye, and gave him a quick blow-out. “Now for the magic,” I said. I took my special, homemade hair gel—made from pimple puss and duck sauce—and I slicked his hair back while whispering in his ear, “If anyone asks you about your hair tonight, just say it’s ‘pulled back.’” He gave me a complicit wink and went back to playing air guitar. And then, in one fell swoop, I gathered his locks in one hand and fashioned them into a bun.
“I love it,” he gushed, “I just need a second opinion.” And with that, quick, lightning-like flashes began going off as his friend and confidante Terry Richardson sauntered into the salon.
“So what do you think?” he asked Terry, eyes begging for approval.
“You’re a creative person,” Terry said, “you need a bun to match. God knows if I had enough hair I’d make a man bun out of it. Let me just feel its buoyancy,” and as he fingered Jared’s bun, he gave a nod of approval, and I knew—this time for sure—that I had finally made it.