Monday, March 27, 2006

My ears are burning

No, seriously. I'm sitting here waiting for the remaining 21 minutes of my time to be up, and then I can go rinse my hair. I went to the mall today and I bought "L'Oreal Couleur Experte" (that's L'Oreal Color Expert for those of you who don't speak French). I am a big fan of this hair dye even though it costs almost $20 a box. At least, that's what it costs here. I think in the states it's closer to $15. I love it because I really can't mess it up, and it comes with highlights. Twenty dollars is still a heckuva lot cheaper than getting them done professionally. And here's the secret: if you dye your hair on the same day you get it cut, everyone will think you paid lots of money to have the good people at Franck Provost do it for you.

So that's what I did. I bought my hair dye and went right to Franck Provost. I always get my hair cut there even though it costs $44 once you do the conversion. I don't trust cheap hairdressers with my hair. It's short enough so that if someone bungles the job, I look like a man. I don't really want to look like a man. I said that to Will and he said that he didn't want me to look like a man either. I was glad we were in agreement on that one.

Getting your hair cut there is an experience. I've never been to any other place in Paris so I don't know if the routines are quite as elaborate, but here's how it goes chez Franck.

You go in and tell the receptionist what you want. You have to specify if you want your hair to be shampooed and blowdried, because if you just say you want a haircut they do just that: cut your hair and send you on your merry way with dirty hair that hasn't been styled.

The receptionist then takes your coat and puts a robe on you. And no, it's not one of those plasticky things that looks like a tacky picnic table kind of table cloth, it's actually a robe. And these are SPECIAL robes. They have a plastic pocket on the sleeve where the receptionist puts the paper that has what you want to have done written on it.

She sends you over to the row of sinks where a row of girls wander up and down, pull our your card, look at it, and then walk away. One of them will eventually come over and wash your hair. Be careful here, if you go to Franck Provost. There are two kind of washes: one with a SPECIAL conditioner, one without. If they ask, tell them that you just want a normal shampooing. If you go for the deluxe version, they charge you two euros more.

After you're done with the shampooing assembly line, they send you to a one of those spinny chairs where you will sit and dangle your feet and look rather dumb sitting there in your robe with a towel wrapped around your head because if you are as short as I am your feet don't touch the floor. Eventually a stylist will realize you are there and will come over and ask you what you want.

At this point, an elaborate pantomime and a mix of broken Franglais ensues as you try to convey to the stylist what you want. "No mullet," you try to say, but then you realize you don't know the word for mullet. You say "comme ça" a lot and make lots of gestures like your fingers are scissors. The stylist will look at you, slightly bemused, and then do pretty much whatever the hell she wants to your hair. But it always ends up looking good, so I don't complain.

After she cuts and blowdries your hair (provided you remembered to specify blowdrying to the receptionist) she will lead you back to the front desk and hand over your card. She will walk away and you will pay the receptionist and leave, all the while wondering if you were supposed to leave a tip.

And that is how it goes chez Franck. Now after all that, don't you want to see the results? Of course you do. Now this picture was obviously taken BEFORE I dumped a bottleful of dye on my head. I will take a picture of the dye job tomorrow and post it. It won't be too much different from the color I have now. It'll be reddish, I guess auburn would be a good description, for a couple days but it will calm down to a dark blondish color with highlights, I promise. At least, that's what I've assured Will will happen. He doesn't like it very much when I dye my hair. Just a personal preference, I guess.

I just rinsed the dye and put in the highlights. Those will be done in 20 minutes. And I think that's all I have to say about my hair.

On an unrelated note, IT'S FINALLY SPRING!! I define it as being spring because I went to the center and back today WITHOUT WEARING A COAT. So exciting, I cannot even tell you. It was sooooo beautiful today and I really, really hope the weather holds for when Mom is here. The warm weather really has me itching to buy new clothes. Almost all of the warm weather clothes I have hear scream "mug me, I'm an American." Seriously. In the beginning of the year it was really hard to tell what was "in" in Paris and what was not because there are SO many people wearing so many different styles. Not like back at home where if one person starts wearing a popped collar pretty they'll be EVERYWHERE within a week. So the whole time it was warm I just resigned myself to look really, really American.

I refuse to do that for the rest of the time I'm here.

I went shopping after I got my hair cut but it was really disappointing. I must say, the spring fashions don't really suit me all that much. Even though I like to pretend I'm leggy and have a tiny, tiny waist, I do have to keep in mind that I'm actually pretty stumpy. Parisian fashion does not look good on stumpy people. Sigh. Guess I'll just have to keep shopping until I find some dresses that don't make me look like I'm either 12 or 80.

Ok, I think that's enough about fashion related stuff. I'd like to scrap tonight, but it's already 11:30 and I probably won't finish whatever I start. Either that or I will finish but won't go to bed until 2.

Oh yeah, there's supposed to be a huge manif tomorrow. That's what the French people call the demonstrations, or manifestations. And we're talking HUGE. The students have conspired with the transport people, who are ALWAYS on the lookout for a chance to strike, and only 50% of the metros will be running. Same goes for all the trains, planes, and automobiles. Ok not really, I just remembered that book title and felt like using it. But seriously, my host dad told me that a lot of the air traffic controllers as well as some of the people who work at Air France at going to be striking tomorrow, so the airport will be affected. Ugh. This is really irritating. Not only that, but the people who were burning cars in the riots last time have piggybacked onto the student's cause and are following them around breaking stuff and stealing people's cell phones. Yes, tomorrow will be a fun day. I only have one class but it'll probably take me at least an hour and a half to get there. I'm not too thrilled about going to that area, because it's sort of-kind-of-roughly where the manifs are going to be, but I'm sure it'll be fine because the metro stop is only a minute away from where I have class. So no worries.

Ok really that's all.

8 Comments:

Blogger Margie said...

Your post had me in stitches!! I started reading it last night but Without A Trace came on so I had to run! I totally know about the hair salon!! But, here -no robe and really gross utensils. I refuse to step into one now. My hair has gone through the color wheel since being here-I have to hold out on vanity til May when my CA friend can do it!!! Don't you just hate shopping for clothes!! Ugh!! If you aren't a size 0 here you can't find anything! Austria is the best! THey have normal clothes sizes.
Ok-I think I wrote a book rather than a comment LOL-stay safe!!!

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