Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Would you like some product Sir?

If you're a regular around these parts you may remember that I had decided to grow my hair. Well I'm still doing it. Growing it that is, not deciding.

Last week I went to a hairdresser's, a proper poncy men's hairdresser with music, tea and coffee, soft drinks, Mazda MX5s parked outside and an interior that looked as if it had been designed by Tracy Emin when she was having one of her more eccentric days.

This was my first visit to a hairdresser's for a long time. For the last few years I have nipped into my local barber's and had my hair clippered to a grade zero, an in and out job that takes about 10 minutes.

There I was, sitting in the chair having my hair washed by the stunning looking blonde. After the wash bit she asked me if I'd like conditioner in my hair. This is a question that has always puzzled me. I don't know any men that would admit to putting this conditioner stuff in their hair ever. But no man, faced with the prospect of conditioner and a damn good head massage, is ever going to say no to it.

I discovered that head massage place in Crescat a couple of months ago and I was fortunate that it was towards the end of my week in Colombo. Had I discovered it at the beginning of my sojourn I would have gone there every day, probably never would have met Indi and Electra and them, probably wouldn't have seen the drum hero that is Shiraaz Nooramith play and certainly wouldn't have bought the dodgy shirts from House of Fashion that I'll never wear. I'd recommend the place wholeheartedly, I think it's called "Head Massage" or some other type of name that says what it does. Can't remember that term but something like palindrome. I know it isn't a palindrome though, that's another term for a rotavator.

Wash, massage and drying over I headed off to the chair. Frankly I would have happily paid my £30 and left at that stage but I felt that I should get the grown out mess tidied up and styled slightly.

"What would you like done today Sir?", said Akheem, the trendy fellow who had been assigned the old bloke with the mess on his head.

"I don't really know", I said, then explained to him the history of my hair and how I wanted something that would make me look like some sort of music God, that was easy to look after and that looked a bit rough at the back. And in the daytime it has to look reasonably respectable and tidy for work. I thought that it was probably one of his more easy assignments.

He started work. They do all those movements don't they, when they lift your hair with their fingertips and hold it out while they look at you in the mirror. Lots of cutting, blowdrying and shaping went on, some of it on my head even. I was offered more coffee or tea and made to feel as if I was a customer, which is nice but unusual in these parts.

Then, when he was about half way done, he was finished. I mean, I thought he was about half way done, but he had actually finished. My hair just looked a bit different but he had failed abysmally on the "Music God" look. I was hugely disappointed, particularly as he had so much in the way of raw material to work on.

"I'll just go and get some product", said Akheem.

This term "product" never ever ceases to make me smile when it is used in the context of hair. Product used to be something made in a factory, like widgets or staples. Container loads of it were shipped all over the world and economies were based on it. Unions striked over it, towns, schools and whole communities were built around the factories that made the product and most things were in black and white.

Alas those days are gone. Now "product" is a catch all term for something people put in their hair. No longer do hairdressers talk about hair wax or gel or mousse, it's just "product". Recently I was out with my best mate for a few beers (I've blogged about it already) and during the course of the evening I asked him about his hair. We had a slightly stilted and uncomfortable men's conversation about hair and he mentioned that he puts some "product" in it every day. Then we went back to talking about women, cars and gadgets. We spent about 5 minutes talking very loudly about these things to ensure that any eavesdroppers didn't question our masculinity.

I've digressed. So Akheem came back with some kind of stuff in his hands and started to put it in my hair. I don't really know what it was but he seemed like a nice trustworthy fellow so I felt at ease. However, if you go to a hairdresser and the chap is from Kazakhstan and called Borat, when he offers you some "product" then disappears and comes back after a few minutes, I would be very, very wary, particularly if he is slightly out of breath.

He worked wonders with the stuff. Within seconds I took on the appearance of the funky sexy drumming stylish musical overlord that frankly I am not. He did the thing with the mirror and showed me the back of my head, he told me how to look after it and replicate the look each morning and then he sent me off into the crowds and busyness of Kingston town centre. I wandered around for a while, glancing in mirrors at every opportunity and trying to look casual and nonchalent about it. Go on admit it, you do that too don't you?

Then I went home to present my new look to the wimmin'. I thought I'd be coy and wait for one of them to say something.

After about an hour I got impatient and told them that I'd had my hair cut. They looked at me and laughed. In unison. The 10 year old said that she thought I had not washed my hair that morning and that was why it looked "messy". Words of scorn about wasting money, did the shop have big windows, those kind of statements all followed.

Still, I don't care. I don't have to wear a hat to keep my head warm and I look a bit different to last year's look. On the other hand I can't shower and dry my head with one swoop of the towel and I have to allow an extra few minutes in the morning to put "product" in my hair. I can only mange two styles, totally messy and totally spikey and I can't actually predict which one is going to come out on any given morning.

Some people say that the "haired" look suits me. I'm still undecided. If I was a brave and sterling type I'd put some pictures up and ask what you think.

I'm not. So I won't.


Anonymous said...

foot rub at crescat?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Yep, that's the one, thanks.

Darwin said...

My mom had her hair cut in SL and the stylist guy asked her if she'd like some product (so it seems to be a global phenomenon). Only, he pronounced it 'prow-duct' because he wanted to impress with his 'accent'. She thought it had something to do with eyebrows (prow=brow). Needless to say it was hilarious for me to listen to.

nazsansoni said...

I don't think I ever seen a picture of you, so yea, post one.

product on hair? on a daily basis?a bit tiring, no?

I just cut my hair short and am loving it.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

No way Naz. There'll be screaming wonmen all over the place and crowds and all sorts.

A bit tiring - yep, a grade zero shave is looking more attractive every day.

I notice there are no funk drummers at the Literary Festival. That's pure discrimination and I demand to know exactly which ones have been invited.