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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

All I want is a perfect haircut -- is that too much to ask?

By Kelly Greenwood

November 11, 2008 | I must admit it -- I've lost faith. Maybe I've just been chasing an unfalsifiable premise this whole time. Because as far as I'm concerned, I cannot prove that the perfect hairdresser exists.

Sure, we read about her/him in books and magazines. This propaganda feeds us stories about how Mishayla found the perfect stylist and now she is never going back to her old ways -- she has reformed. And of course, there are those girls who always seem to have the perfect haircut that suits their pretty little faces and pretty little personality to a T. Naturally, all of this has led me to conduct my own search. It seems possible for other people to have great hair and stylists, so why can't I?

I once thought I found my stylist soul mate a couple years ago. After receiving a particularly horrible Utah Girl haircut and subsequently crying for about a half hour (as my dad rolled his eyes), I asked my friend Sally for her stylist's number. Sally had been telling me good things about this coiffeuse, so I went ahead and asked her to fix my hair. And she did, though the first haircut had left some irreversible damage. The most important thing was, though, was that the Utah Girl had disappeared. Whew! This stylist must be magic, I thought.

For the next few years, I went to her whenever I could (she was in Bountiful, I was in Logan). Everything was going perfect between us, and my faith in finding a perfect stylist was at an all-time high -- I had found her! But January 2008 rolled around, and I came out of her salon with a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde haircut. The front half of it was cool, the back half was scary and stacked into a horrible layered poof. OK, maybe it wasn't that bad. Maybe I just can't pull off extreme, short hairstyles, and that was not the stylist's fault. (She's not responsible for my chubby face and my much-too-round features!) Still, I wanted an A-line cut, but she refused, cut it squarely across in the back, and 'stacked' it. I felt my faith dwindling as I walked out of the salon. But I sucked it up and moved on.

I felt a fresh glimmer of hope one sunny October afternoon. After not having my hair cut for months, I decided it was time to risk it all again and put my heart out on the line, er, get a haircut. I randomly made an appointment at the Arkana salon in Logan, not knowing who my stylist was -- now that's a risk! I ended up having to come back an hour later than my appointment was scheduled because the stylist wasn't finished putting mounds of smelly goo atop foil on a lady's hair. And she asked me to come back like it was no big deal. Whatever, I needed my hair cut. I came back, and I still ended up waiting for about 20 minutes until she finished the now un-foiled lady's hair.

The stylist finally tended to me, but at least she was apologetic. And she was nice and chatty enough. But as she began to wash my hair, she began rattling off all sorts of information about hair proteins and the best hair products on the market and beauty school. She gave off a sense of self-importance as she explained every single thing she was doing, and why she was great because she was doing it, and why she was ignoring her boyfriend's calls. I ignored it, though, because I still had hope for our relationship and because she told me I was prettier than Jessica Biel. (Whatever, it was a line to make me like her. But still -- the audacity to say such things! Impressive.)

I had brought in the picture of Ms. Biel in because I really liked her haircut (yes, it was from a cheesy celebrity hairstyle magazine with an outdated picture of Britney Spears on the cover). But what she gave me was not a Jessica Biel, but a mop-top shag that mimicked a snooty art student's hair. Thank goodness I'm not an art major, otherwise I'd blend right in if I made the right kind of snide-looking face whist tipping my head to one side! Though I didn't look horrible, I was unhappy, and my faith in finding that perfect stylist was lost.

Thirty dollars and three hours later, I left the salon, feeling discouraged and disoriented, wondering why I could never just be the girl with sexy, effortless hair. At least my bangs looked good though, unlike after another Logan salon experience I had where I left looking like a wet kitten or Don Knotts. Yes, they looked good, and a favorite man friend of mine insisted that my entire hair looked good. Several times, in fact. After much hesitation, I finally tried to believe him. The man is sincere. After all, he wasn't trying to tell me I looked like Jessica Biel.



Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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