Getting all deep and meaningful on you

I had my hair cut today.

It was a rare couple of hours of solitude in an otherwise hectic schedule. As I sat under a pile of foils, hoping my hair wouldn’t turn green, I ignored the lump of mother guilt sitting in the pit of my stomach, choosing instead to concentrate on my showbiz current affairs magazine.

On being ushered to the basin for my rinse, I brushed away thoughts of not spending enough time that day with my toddler, turning my attention to the twinkly lights set deep in the ceiling.

And as the raw guilt and feelings of stress started to recede I was left with a huge question staring me blankly in the face.

With the deft massaging fingers of my hair guru doing their work on my scalp, the question started flashing before my eyes, in bright neon. I couldn’t believe that in the space of all my (nearly 29) years, I had never stopped to consider this burning issue before now: when having your hair washed at the hairdressers, should you sit with your eyes open or closed?

Clearly my immediate response to this question was to snap my eyelids open, meeting my lovely hairdresser eyeball to eyeball. Awkward.

So I clamped them shut again and feigned relaxation as I debated the issue in my head. That was fine until the water stopped and everything went quiet.

Assuming the hairdresser was busying herself preparing solution to be massaged into my follicles, and not wanting to look like I’d fallen asleep, I hesitantly opened one eye.

It was then I found my tormenter standing over me, leaning in to rearrange my towel. This time I was winking at her. Without question. Again, awkward.

Nonchalantly opening my eyes into a half open, half closed state seemed the best option. Until I realised that looked like I’d broken wind.

If only I could remember the unwritten rules of the hairdresser. It’s been far too long since I actually sat in a salon and was pampered. I don’t recall it being this stressful before.

So what’s the deal? Eyes open or closed?


  1. says

    Personally I like to relax and close. But that always leads to a ‘close shave’ (ha) as I generally nearly fall asleep. Embarrassing, you’re right.

  2. says

    I’ve always struggled with hairdresser etiquette, especially as I can’t do small talk. Hence I now get my hairdresser friend from church to ‘do me’ at home. Tea, biscuits, chat and no stress, and only a tenner a trim.

  3. says

    haha I love this!! I also feel your pain.I HATE going to the hairdressers (for much the same reasons as you I’m afraid) and hate making small talk.I choose to stare at the ceiling like a really rude, uncommunicative so-and-so but at least they eventually stop talking to me!!!

    • says

      Ah yes, the small talk. I don’t mind that so much. I quite like a natter. Unless I have a particularly good magazine to get my teeth into. And then I just want peace and quiet!

  4. says

    Oh the torment of those scalp massages. Every time I go I wrestle with the issue of whether to sigh and relax into it (after all it is lovely) and look like I’m having some kind of inappropriate sensual experience, or stare at the ceiling and seem ungrateful!

    • says

      “Inappropriate sensual experience”… ha ha ha ha! Now I have ANOTHER thing to worry about! I thought it was bad enough they’d think I had bad wind or had fallen asleep…

  5. Grandma from the North says

    Eyes shut definitely: having hair done is bliss. Do I need to get out more?
    Scarey thought: what to do at dentist – eyes wide open!!!

  6. says

    I tried to comment on this on my phone the other night but it didn’t work. It made me laugh! I always keep my eyes open as I like to see what is going on around me and would feel a bit uncomfortable with my eyes shut but I don’t think either way is ideal! x

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