About a month ago, I was driving home from work and decided long hair was exhausting. So, I did what any sane person does. I found a Great Clips coupon and lopped off 7 inches of hair less than an hour later. And man, did things get awkward.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I always go to Great Clips. Or Cost Cutters. Or whatever other bargain chain has the best coupon. I started this frugal tradition in high school when I began paying for my own hair upkeep. My style is fairly simple, and the few times I’ve popped for a $40 or $50 cut and style at fancier places (read: places where they actually wash your hair), I’ve never been more impressed. Once, I was flat-out horrified. I could have done a better job. In fact, I did a better job once I drove home and cleaned it up with the kitchen scissors.
No, this Great Clips haircut wasn’t awkward because it looks awful. It is wonderful. My hair hits right at my shoulders, it’s bouncy and light, and it still goes up in a messy bun. In fact, I’d wager to say that the exact reason my haircut is awkward is because it actually does look great. It just didn’t cost enough.
At the salon
After wading through the gaze of baffled businessmen–otherwise known as the most common Great Clips patrons at 6:30 pm during the week–I made my way past the little tarp-like divider and plopped down in the stylist’s chair. I started to make the obligatory small talk when someone tapped me on the shoulder. “Jake just finished hockey practice. He loves your class, by the way. I didn’t know you would cut your hair here.”
Teaching. All the fame, now where’s the fortune?
Outside my work
When you make a dramatic decision to hack away at the hair that normally falls halfway down your back, people notice. I get that. In fact, I was quite eager to actually be the biggest distraction in my own classroom for a change. So when I scooped up my lunch bag and shut my car door that next morning, I wasn’t surprised when a coworker commented on my hair across the parking lot. I shrugged, said thanks, and then admitted that it was a last-minute decision as I passed Great Clips. Her response: “You went to Great Clips? Why?”
Because it’s fast and convenient, that’s why.
In the hallway
Another coworker, another compliment. Sort of. Having learned my lesson–I can be taught!–in the parking lot, I tried to let the conversation stall out with a simple, “Thanks.” But before I could get in the ol’ switcheroo and redirect to any of the adorably zany happenings in my classroom, I got the question:
“Who does your hair?”
After I shuffled awkwardly, I replied, “Uh. The girl at Great Clips.”
“Oh. I knew someone who went there once and got a nice haircut.”
Imagine that. Two people in the whole world have gotten their haircut there. It’s a wonder they stay in business.
In the library
Towards the end of the day, I was dashing through the library to get back to my classroom. By the time this particular coworker stopped me, I knew what was coming, and I decided to let my frugal freak flag fly. She told me my hair looked great. I thanked her. She asked where I went, and I dove in head first:
“Great Clips. And it was only $8 with a coupon!” I smiled.
She paused. “Oh. Did you know Colorific does really great cuts for $30?”
How convenient. The next time I want to spent $22 more for the exact same haircut, I’ll know where to go.
I don’t know what it is about money, but for some reason, spending less of it doesn’t sit well with some people. I’d like to think that one day I’ll turn the tables and spend $100 on a haircut just to see what the reaction is then. But then again, I’m probably too frugally awkward for that.
So Tell Me…What’s your favorite awkward haircut story? How do people respond to you when you try to save money?