Toni and Guy might be high profile, but versatile and creative? A big fat no! Don’t go to them if you are looking for smart, short locks…
By Fareeha Qayoom
here is some kind of unwritten rule floating around in the cyberspace and the world at large that women over thirty shouldn’t sport long hair…There is a reason why – apparently, it’s the onset of age – your hair is turning gray, it’s thinning out and your life is usually taking a serious turn – you know, career or home and kids or combination of both and all that jazz, so most women over thirty prefer going short as its low maintenance and more professional the world over.
Recently, I decided to cut my waist length hair short too…no major reason except I was bored with the same old, same old plus my hair is turning gray and yes, dandruff and hair fall was also a factor and yes, it was time since I have also heard of the unwritten rule – women over 30 “should” have short hair – its more age-appropriate, blah, blah, blah. Not that, women in my age group follow this golden rule in Pakistan; in fact, women in their 40s and sometimes even 50s keep their hair long here. No wonder!
My friend took me to this hair stylist in Gulberg – unfortunately, I can’t remember her name right now. She had her training from Vidal Sassoon apparently and charged around PKR 1,500. If you got a cut from her assistant, Ruth, it would cost you only PKR 900. Well, it was worth a try. She did chop my hair off and she did follow my instructions – sort of. I wanted longer hair at the front and shorter hair at the back. I hate having hair on my face so told her no bangs; I wanted longer layers on the front but she could go as short as she liked at the back. She gave me a short layered bob. It looked great right after the cut because she ironed my hair. However, after the wash, the styling washed off and the mistakes began to show. I didn’t go to her salon again.
I went to a different stylist for trimming. She was a little better than the original. However, she only charged me PKR 250. I had to go to her every one and half month for a trim since my hair would grow out of style very quickly. PKR 250 added thrice came to be about PKR 750. My friend who had short hair only went to her stylist twice a year….here I had to go every couple of months and still it looked pretty bad.
I was at my wits end – it had been only five months since the original cut and two different hair stylists and loads of money, but no style! I was having a series of bad hair days and I simply hated that. By the way, short hair suits me. I have known that since I was very young. Long hair suits me too. I have that kind of face and even putting on weight has not changed that.
Another friend of mine empathizing with my plight suggested that we should go to Toni and Guy…they have been open in Lahore for the past year. They charge heavy $30 for a basic hair cut which is steep but what the heck, I was willing to spend that kind of cash to remove the kinks! (PKR 2,500 if you get it from a regular stylist, PKR 3,500 if you get the cut from Senior Stylist and PKR 5,500 from creative director.) And yes, they accept credit cards. I obviously took the cheaper option.
So off we went. They were between appointments and they could take both of us on. I told the lady stylist that I wanted low-maintenance, short hair that would require minimum of styling and I wanted no mistakes since I have straight hair and mistakes are glaringly obvious after one wash. She showed me a picture – apparently, it’s called vertical layers and loads of texture and spikes…it was not low-maintenance and it wouldn’t look very feminine on me – I didn’t want to end up looking like a boy. I told her that very diplomatically. She listened and called her creative director for a consultation. The guy was not very helpful either. He listened and told her to continue with vertical layers in spite of my reservations. By the way, they were doing 4 cuts on everyone. My friend got the other option. The longer vertical layers cut I think.
The style called for hair all over the face and loads of products to maintain the style. She went ahead and simply spent hours cutting my hair short. Don’t forget, it was already short and didn’t require three hours of cutting. I had to call my office to get an extension on lunch break. (Fridays usually have two hour lunch breaks for prayers and lunch).
My friend had also opted for a haircut. She had beautiful shoulder length layers that didn’t need a lot of styling. The guy who did her hair cut them in weird uneven spikes that looked horrible after one wash.
We both hated our cuts.
It’s been two months…it started looking a little better after one month – not a mistake exactly, as I stopped parting them and left them to their own devices. It actually looked better that way. In two months since the cut, it’s started growing out of style…in three months; it probably would be ready for a cut. I certainly hope so. This time, we are planning to try Nabila’s salon. Apparently, her assistant charges PKR 1,500 per cut. I am willing to give short hair another try.
At this point, spending PKR 1,500 is looking like a soft option as long as they know what they are doing. Otherwise, I will have no choice except to grow my hair long again, which is a big no, no. Short hair is definitely low-maintenance as long as you can find a good stylist in town who doesn’t cost you the earth!
Finally, I got my friend to arrange an appointment with her stylist (Saagar) at Nabila’s Hair Salon. I was the original client from hell but the guy was even tempered and put up with all my demands.
They charge 2K for a hair cut – yes, the prices have gone up! Yes, you have to set up an appointment – you can’t just walk-in. But what the heck, at least they give you value for your money. Check out my hair cut – its a modern variation of graduated bob…not bad – huh?
The hair is shorter at the back with longer, sharper angles at the front…you can also tuck it in behind your ears if you want….However, you do need to know exactly what you want. Go with a few ideas of your own because otherwise, the stylist might start cutting some generic layers…:)