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Yes…. I am a Closet Hairstylist

March 1, 2012

To say I “Do” hair is a like claiming I know how to install cabinets or replace the transmission in my car. What I “Do” when it comes to styling my wife’s or my daughters’ hair is more like me planting my flower beds or staining my wood fence – someone asks me to do it, I do a good job, but I avoid it if I can.

It all started years ago when we were newly married, I was in graduate school and we didn’t have a lot of extra money for my wife to in for a buff and puff. So, she came home one day with a hair highlight kit and asked me if I would do it for her one Saturday. So, after carefully pulling her hair through the cap, mixing the color, and applying the solution (and ruining a chair in the process since it’s like bleach) I instantly vaulted myself into ranks of a noted closet hairstylist. I can use the word ‘noted’ because of the compliments my wife got on her hair in the following weeks. When a friend asked her who did her hair I knew I had earned my ‘street cred.’

And so began many years of home highlighting. I think maybe you get less feedback if you color someone’s hair who isn’t your wife. “You’re hurting my head.” “Don’t leave the color on too long – I don’t want it to be WHITE.” “Make the highlights around my face really look like the sun kissed it.” My response – “Uhhh… I’m an analyst not a magician.”

After I finished graduate school, I retired for a few years only to come back many years later. My comeback was marred by an incident that was not my fault. We had two kids under the age of 3-yrs-old, hadn’t slept in years and my wife wanted to “go for something different.” So, we went through the routine and when I mixed the color it looked a little different than it did years ago, but I didn’t say anything because I learned by this time not to provide too much feedback on decisions regarding hair styles or hair color. In the end, she ended up with purplish-brown hair and resembled an older version of Wednesday Friday Addams. It only cost me about $400 to get that fixed.

So, aside from the occasional hair bun for ballet class or side pony tail for school I have been in retirement until a few weeks ago, and I am once again back in the game. I’m not allowed to do color anymore, but I have mad skills with a curling iron. The only problem is that after you do your wife’s hair, then your daughters want you to do theirs also. I have a ton of respect for how well the pros ply their hair skills because it is not easy and it takes a lot of time. When my wife’s friend asked if I would do her hair I had to explain that we would need to work out a separate compensation arrangement since we work on a barter system in my house… and I keep careful accounting.

So, much like the cowboy poet who pens his limericks on the open range with only his faithful mount and a few hundred head of cattle as his audience. I too hone my hair styling craft in relative obscurity.

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved


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  1. So proud of you Johnny! My husband used to do my highlights for me and he was really good too!

  2. jannath permalink

    WOW!!! Well good for you! I think its awesome that you do (and love to do) your wife’s highlights. I think I’d be terrified if I let my husband loose on my hair (actually there is an incident but i’ve been saving that for a blog post hehehe).

    Thanks so much for the follow, I really look forward to reading more about your adventures as a dad 🙂

    • Thanks Jannath! She doesn’t let me loose on her hair anymore either after our little ‘incident’.

      • jannath permalink

        awwwwww well thats a shame.

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