La Peluquería

It’s bound to happen at some point when you’re living abroad…you’ll need to get your hair cut. The main concern I had, however, was fixing my hair color. My hair has grown rather quickly in the past few months, and my roots, for whatever reason, did NOT blend nicely at all with the color I had done just before leaving the states. I loved the color of my hair. My friend Sarah has been doing my hair ever since I moved to Dallas 2 years ago, and she is extremely talented. She could easily balance red tones and blonde tones to make the result FANtastic. I didn’t trust anybody else to try and mix the same color.

Well, since my natural color has apparently changed from what it used to be long ago to something darker, I have had a distinct line of contrast on my head the past couple months. It bothered me a lot, especially as my roots started getting longer. I kept looking in the mirror trying to decide, How embarrassing is this? Can I get away with it a little longer?

And so, here I am about one week away from returning to the states and I decide to make an appointment in Chile to fix my hair contrast problem. Why on earth did I do that? Why not just wait a little longer? There’s a couple reasons, really:

  1. My roommate told me it would be much cheaper in Chile. Not only that, but she recommended me a place that had many pictures of color treatments they had done.
  2. The experience. Why not? Get over your vanity and live a little. Do yet another something outside your comfort zone while living in another country. When else will you have the chance to do this?

So the appointment was made and off I went. I’m really glad I didn’t have anywhere else to be that afternoon, because I was in that salon for 3.5 hours!

When I walked in, the place was unmarked from the outside and tucked inside a little entryway from the main street. I wouldn’t have been able to find it if I didn’t know the exact address. I ducked down a hallway located behind an open door, and slowly wandered into a room that looked like a place where they did hair. There was a moment after I stepped inside where I must have looked a little lost, then I spotted a small chalk board with the name of the place. A girl stood up and asked, “Tienes una hora?”

“Sí.” So far so good.

She took me to a desk, confirmed my name, and asked what I wanted to do about the color. Then I was trying to figure out how they would pronounce “balayage” in Spanish as well as explain my current predicament. The end result I wanted was something that blended nicely with my natural color and didn’t require frequent touch-ups.

She seemed to understand rather quickly, and once I was in the chair she asked, “De qué país eres?”

And the questions started.

I always get a little tense when talking to a new person in Spanish because I don’t know if I’ll be able to understand them or if they will be able to understand me – it takes me a minute to get comfortable. However, I soon felt very much at ease and even began asking the questions that prompted further conversation. We discussed traveling, stereotypes of Texas, her trip to Buenos Aires, and public transportation in hot weather, just to name a few.

While the conversation was relatively smooth in the beginning, remember that I was in there for over three hours. After about the first hour we found a comfortable silence, and I waited expectantly as she put dyes and chemicals in my hair. I had no idea how it would turn out.

Once she started to wash my hair, she paused for a moment, and I could sense her examining my head. Without a word, she vanished, leaving my head uncomfortably bent back into the sink. Returning after a couple minutes, she explained something about how she needed to add something to my hair to make it darker at the top and leave it in for 15 minutes. It was at this point that I started to worry. My hair was already wet and this was not standard procedure.

After the second washing, she started asking me some questions, but the new round of questions were not registering in my brain. I had no idea what she was trying to ask me, and not a clue about how I should respond. I felt really bad because we’d hit a wall in our communication, and she wasn’t able to explain it to me in a very different way. Then she made a reference to the photo I had shown her with a balayage look I wanted and asked something to the effect of: “do you want it like the photo?” So I responded, “Yes.”

Her next move was to curl my hair, which was a little surprising. Then I realized the photo had curled hair, and I must have accidentally asked her to curl mine too. I laughed a little to myself, and was happy to walk out with pretty, bouncy curls!

We were both so preoccupied about the color that she forgot to cut my hair and I forgot to remind her. By the time I was done, however, I couldn’t imagine spending more time in that salon. After I paid and was about to leave, the other lady working asked me to wait as she fished for her cell phone, discovered there was no storage left for pictures, and asked to borrow the other’s phone to take a picture of my hair. I stood facing the wall as she snapped the pics, then she kissed me goodbye and I left!

My current phone doesn’t take the best pictures, but here is the final result:

I probably need some pictures from the back in order to see the full effect, but oh well. I’m happy with it! Yay Chile!



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