The temptation is to say “Back home,” or “Up north” when starting a story. But this is where I live now so I will just start by saying: In Maine, I got my hair done every 8 weeks, no matter what. It’s my one concession to a personal indulgence, a cut and color, ever since my hair started going gray at age 34. I remember when day spas became popular and all the rage. Before I worked a lot, I had time to drive to Portland and have my hair done at a fancy spa. Hair salons went from a cut and run place to a place of potentially all day extravagance with aromatherapy and a boutique inside and overhuge mugs of green tea being offered and winged-haired stylists talking in hushed tones, not unlike a funeral home.
Then the day spa idea came to smaller towns like Gray and I started going to one there. It had sophisticated decorations like gilt mirrors and high end products and city-styled hairdressers in uncomfortable looking clothes.
For the second time since I’ve been here I got my hair done at a local beauty shop in town. I like the place. The hairdressers wear jeans and their hair looks normal. The vinyl on the chairs is cracked and the gals take cell phone calls from their husbands while spraying customers’ hair and they talk across the floor to each other and the customers chime in too. They complain about the country song that’s playing on the radio and they finish putting on their makeup after they get the chemicals on your hair and they are jovial and themselves.
It’s a homey place. And now, it’s home.