Zen and the art of hair salons

Whenever my mum came to Tasmania I would go to my hairdresser, Louis, and we would dye my hair whatever colour would most upset mum.

For me hair is therapy, therapy is hair.

China blue to bright henna orange; we tried them all and they worked as a silent protest.

No matter how long it had been between her visits, mum’s first two comments to me, which continue ‘til this day at age 86, – are - ``my, you’re big’’ and ``what have you done to your hair?’’

Yes, my mum is a style nazi.

I really hate to think how many dollars I have put into my hair.

For me hair is therapy, therapy is hair.

About eight years ago a youthful hairdresser commented that the tragedy with curly hair was that a lack of oestrogen made it look and behave like pubic hair.

Actually, her word was `pubes’. Yep. My amazing hair was turning to less than amazing (grey) pubes.

She was right. As I age, my hair becomes less willing to be easy to manage.

Absolutely gone are the days when I could comfortably put my wet head under a hand-dryer and come up looking like I’d just enjoyed some rampant sex with Serge Gainsbourg.

But then, I was never Brigitte Bardot.

I took my hair to Sydney last month to visit my mum.

Historically, I would hire a car, drive to a town called Berry and spend $60 on a wash and blow dry.

This time I was …. trapped … without a car and no hairdresser in walking distance.

After four days I made my way to meet my husband in Sydney.

He’d spent the previous four days with his sisters.

Keep reading.

Four days with his sisters: Four days with my mum. The fireworks were not Brigitte meets Serge; more like the last days of Branjelina.

``My sisters saved $400 on their airfare to Paris by flying via Shanghai and Frankfurt,’’ he said.

``Your sisters are dickheads,’’ I said. (Or words to that effect)

My wise daughter said the writing was on the wall.

HAIR THERAPY: For many, the hairdresser offers a sacred and transformative space not unlike a chrysalis. Some time during the meditation you become someone else.

HAIR THERAPY: For many, the hairdresser offers a sacred and transformative space not unlike a chrysalis. Some time during the meditation you become someone else.

Why didn’t I see it?

``I’m too tired for the Art Gallery (of NSW),’’ he said.

``Well, bend me over and call me cranky. I’ll see you later, when you’re not so tired,’’ I said.

Let me locate us for you: It was about 10am, Queen Victoria Building, second level, dodgy café.

Note: Sydney cannot do breakfast.

I just wanted to be in Melbourne or at Rossilli, Sweet Brew or Mondello.

ANYWHERE but Sydney.

After leaving my husband, I walked until I found another dodgy café at the other end of the same building, where I bought a chai which cost me $8 (I was really emotional!).

What next?

Cranky with the world, I knew what I had to do .. find a hairdresser and get a wash and blow dry.

By the way … my mother has amazing hair and my husband slept through most of our 24 hours in Sydney.

We eventually got to the Art Gallery where we were proud Tasmanians viewing the works of compatriots – Katy (Mrs `Woody’) Woodroffe, Will Rhodes and Michael McWilliam as well as the awesome work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

We even managed to enjoy Peking duck and each other’s company in Chinatown before it started to rain and we flew home to paradise.

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