I have lots of memories of the two different salons to which my mother was very loyal.  The first was in Kilgore; but when we moved, Mom switched to a place called Rumours, where a woman named Debbie (someone she’d known before she got married) fixed my mother’s hair.  For a while, Debbie did my hair, and my sister’s hair, too.  Then Debbie’s daughter, Chelsey, who is my age, mastered her mother’s trade and moved back to work at Rumours.  After the first time Chelsey cut my hair, I knew I’d found someone who understood me.  Laugh if you want; but I find that is the REAL key to getting a great hair style:  the stylist had better have great skills, yes; but that person should also understand the customer.  That means knowing the personality behind that head of hair, and figuring out what he or she really wants.  Chelsey knows what she’s doing, and she knows me.  One of the testaments to this is the fact that she cuts my hair with the understanding that I live in New York, and she works in Texas, so 6 months to a year may lapse between haircuts.  She always gives me a cut that grows out gracefully and maintains a shape.

But the best testament to Chelsey’s skill is my latest style.    Now, a few months ago, I decided that I was tired of my long hair; that it was rather ho-hum, and that I should donate it to Locks of Love again.  I also decided that if I was going to go short (and having to take ten inches off would definitely make it short), that I didn’t want anyone but Chelsey cutting it.  I called and booked an appointment with her for the short weekend when I’d be home to surprise my Daddy on his 50th birthday.  I also knew, however, that I can be a difficult customer; Chelsey knows I can be a bit impulsive, and that I tend to make crazy changes from haircut to haircut.  Since I’d never had really short hair, I was afraid she’d try to talk me out of cutting everything off, so I decided to do it myself. 

Here’s what it looked like beforehand:

Length, sure; but not much style.  Very bland.  So, in my friend Cassie’s apartment, in the middle of the night after a long flight home, I attacked myself with scissors:

That’s right:  just me and a pair of cheap scissors.  Which is how I ended up with this:

Something between white trash and punk rock. 

Needless to say, when I walked in the salon the next day, Chelsey was horrified, and said, “Oh my Lord, girl!  What the h*** did you do to yourself?!”  I told her that it was for a good cause, and that I’d been afraid she would try to talk me out of it.  She replied, “Are you kidding?!  Of course I would have!  You should have let me do it!”  Ah, but I hadn’t, and I didn’t chicken out in the barber’s chair, either.

And this is where Chelsey showed her skill:  she turned my hack job into this: 

A cute, fun, “artsy” cut with a faux-hawk in the back.  It was a very specific style, and I LOVED it.  As I said, this is the shortest my hair has ever been, so I was ready to play!  I got lots of compliments on my new style.  However, I felt the color was a boring, mousy color; not the blonde I was born with, but not actually brunette either.  So I dyed it.  (Perhaps I’ll post a pictoral step-by-step of that process later.)  Voila!  Strawberry blonde. 

As most women can attest, short hair usually requires seeing your stylist for a follow-up trim every six weeks.  I had my hair cut in Texas in April.  It is now August.  You do the math — I should have funky layers that I don’t know what to do with and no semblance of style!  Lucky me, though; Chelsey’s skills shine through, because it’s actually gotten easier to style.  I have naturally wavy hair that’s now curlier than it’s ever been, and this cut is growing out really well.  Here’s what it looks like today:

It’s blurry.  I know.  It’s a camera phone, and I’m not a photographer. 
The back:

And the side:

And that’s just the every-day look.  I’ve still found all sorts of things I can do with it.

 Chelsey, you rock!!

This last one is for my mom, who wanted to know what the color looks like now (taken with a better camera):

 So anyone in the Longview area in search of a salon, look no further than Rumours.

I swear this wasn’t a paid plug.  I just admire Chelsey’s work.  😉