Belfast Telegraph

New woman in my life is a cut above the rest

By Frances Burscough

After years of searching, it’s finally happened. I’ve met someone. And I wanted you to be the first to know. I’m overjoyed and deliriously happy and giddy with excitement all at the same time.

I know we will be together forever because I’ve been looking for so long and now at last my quest is finally over. It just feels so right.

I’m talking of course about my dearly beloved new hairdresser.

Denise and I ... well, we’re just brilliant together. I can trust her always to do instinctively what’s best for me. She knows when I need a few wee layers, when my ends are a bit straggly, how I might look with a fringe or exactly which “up-do” will suit me the most.

And when we spend time together she makes me feel like the only woman in the world. She knows my precise colours, my preferred products, what magazines I like to read under the dryer and even how I have my coffee. And when we talk, there’s an understanding there that goes without saying.

And never once has she asked me where I’m going for my holidays this year.

Ok, it may seem a bit extreme to get so attached to a hairstylist, but I have my reasons. I’ve had so many bad hair experiences over the years that I thought I’d never trust anyone again. And it all began with my own mum ...

I’d just turned 12 and started at ‘big school’ when mum decided that it was time for me to lose the girlish Rapunzel hair I was so proud of and go for something a bit more grown-up. The ‘page boy’ style was trendy, but I suspect the real reason for my makeover was that she had just got tired of combing out the tangled clumps after every bath night, making me wail like a banshee.

Oh, if only leave-in conditioner had been invented then!

So one Sunday afternoon she sat me down on a high stool in the kitchen and produced a gigantic pair of scissors that she had actually bought for cutting up a carpet a few years back and had remained in the top drawer ever since, deemed too dangerous for general domestic use. Just the job!

I gulped as she walked towards me telling me, ominously I thought, that “everything was going to be alright ... It would all be over within a few minutes and I would feel nothing.”

She tried to keep the scissors out of my sight by approaching me from behind, but I caught a glimpse of them in a mirror which only added to the Hitchcock-type terror I was already experiencing — with good reason, it turned out.

Although mum — God rest her soul — was a brilliant and inspirational multi-tasker, hairstyling wasn’t her forte. And neither was symmetry.

She began by giving me a fringe, which on first attempt turned out sloping quite drastically to the left. So then she tried to correct it by approaching with the scissors counter-clockwise, but it ended up banking alarmingly to the right. Eventually, as she narrowly missed my eyebrows, she finally managed to get it straight, but just one and a half inches long.

“There! Perfect! And very fashionable, too!” she said, trying to palm me off with false enthusiasm. But I could see the truth in her eyes: “Dear God, what have I done?”

Fashionable, it may have been. But not since the Dominican monks of the Middle Ages were the very height of fashion.

And from there it all went downhill, along with my mood, my self-esteem, my street-cred and my lovely Goldilocks tresses, now forming a soft golden blanket on the kitchen floor as mum hacked her way round my shoulder line.

The end result? Remember the film Village of the Damned? From that day forward I vowed I was never going to trust anyone with it again ...

That was 35 years ago and apart from the odd horror story such as a curly perm that looked like I’d stuck my finger in a live socket and a colour rinse that turned my hair the shade of algae, I never really have.

Then I met Denise and I realised just exactly what I’d been missing for so long.

The moral of this story? Never give up searching for The One. I’ve finally found my hairstyle soulmate and you will too.

Belfast Telegraph

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