The Hoodrat Guide to Achieving Aesthetic Passability in a Wildly Expensive Big City

I am not qualified to write this post.

I notice that people in New York City are immaculately well put-together. Bitches. A fortnight ago, I was sitting in cafe, across from a girl with perfectly shaded-in eyebrows, full, red lipstick, and beautiful, wild, natural curly dark hair. She was stunning, without even trying too hard (or, at least, it appears that way…). A very ‘New York’ chic.

Then… there was me, looking like Squidward on meth in a knockoff Burberry trenchcoat, with greasy hair (because I went from cold sweats to mid-tropical sweats back and forth the night before, opening and closing my window to get a breeze going in my overly heated apartment) and Amy Winehouse-styled eyeliner. Like, what the hell am I doing with my life? I need to get my shit together.


GROUPON GROUPON GROUPON. That’s the secret to life-hacking for any broke bitch in the history of modern America. Otherwise, your normal haircut of $45 anywhere else in the country will be at least $65 for a maniacal chop-job with hedge clippers from some up-their-own-ass senior stylist of a not-that-bougie-looking salon.

But dis mane is my best asset (aside from my sparkling personality). It’s the moneymaker. I know that. So if I need a little sprucin’, I spare the expense and eat a little less that day (psh—yea right). But this is an expensive city, and I don’t have the pesos to go to Rihanna’s hairstylist a cartwheel away from my new digs. So, I did a discount-hunt…and learned the hard way that some things ya just can’t Groupon.

Earlier that FINE New York morning, I’d gone to a hair consultation at a salon off Union Square to see which Groupon deal of theirs would best suit my needs. The salon had rave reviews (bar one – there’s always one hater) on Yelp, and since Yelp is gospel, I thought to throw all my eggs in that basket.

I went in, sat down, and ended up waiting 20 minutes for one of the four staff to acknowledge my presence. In that time, I was observing the girl at the shampoo station: she had gorgeous blue eyes but sullen sockets, and, more importantly, her weave was horrific (She didn’t actually have a weave, but her hair was just limp strands of washed-out highlights). No me gusta. Is this an indication of their caliber of hairdressing? She’s nice enough to get me some water, though. Except not nice enough to hang up my coat when she hung up everyone else’s. Is she racist? Or maybe it’s because I look like Squidward on meth? In which case, fair play, my little crackmouse.

Then, a formidable bottle-red Eastern European woman approached me. “Consultation, yea? Come this way.” I struggled with all 16,000 bags I was carrying (I carry my work with me everywhere I go. My spirit animal is a pack mule.), and she just … watched. I sat down.

My consultation was more like a frat hazing where two staff just beat me bloody with critiques as to why my hair was so unfortunate-looking.

“Look at this, your hair is so flat.”
“When was the last time you got it cut, like, a year ago?”
“Your forehead is too short.”

At the time, I thought, “Ok, these people are kind of Regina George’s, but they seem to know what they’re talking about. Why not.”

A few days later, I went back in after work. I’d had the worst day, and honestly, I just needed someone to pet my head and tell me I looked pretty, which is effectively what hairstylists should do, in my opinion.

First attempt: (imagine with color instead of a trim)

tangled hair

Second attempt:


The first two attempts were in one sitting, which took a grand total of 2 1/2 hours. Because I had to go BACK TO WORK, I just said, “Fuck it, I guess this is my life,” and left. The morning after, I decided I wasn’t going to stand for it. I phoned up the salon and said, “Look, you have to fix this because I’m not comfortable with it.”
Salon Manager: “Well, what’s wrong with it, because it’s an ombre. That’s what an ombre is.” And so ensued a battle of who’s right and who’s wrong.

Third attempt (at my insistence–I won!):


Nope. Definitely didn’t win. The reverse Rumpelstiltskin effect: my once-brassy ombre now turned into a tricolored Niagara Falls of over-processed strands that have the same crunchy sound as hay. Hay is for horses.


Alas, I concede. My expectations were far too high anyway.

Disney Hair

Post-Script: I realize that this was an incredibly stupid post, but if I have to suffer, so will all of you.

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