Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The hair to the throne

My mom used to be a hairdresser in the 60's...beehive era. There's even a picture of me on my fourth birthday sporting a beehive that doubles my little person height.

Until I was 15 my mom cut my hair. I rebelled about that time because I wanted the Farrah Fawcett look and didn't think she could deliver.

She continued to cut my brothers' hair and my Dad's and it hasn't been until recently that I thought it would be financially fiscal to have a hair stylist in the house. Of course, it would be great to have an electrician, mechanic, lawyer, doctor and gourmet cook, too. Luckily for us, in our extended family we have all of these (minus the doctor, but my dad's wife, Gail, is an RN and in a pinch can do an emergency tracheotomy, so there you go).

Given that I am semi-retired I began to think about what it might take to cut my family's hair. After all, I have had the time in the last year to perfect a few artisan breads, with only a few duds. Hair cutting should be about the same, right? Plus, money saved is money to put toward the Earthship. And Chris says he will keep all our hair to compost. Eww! Gross! (That's Katie, Helen and me).

Last Thursday while waiting at the library for all the inter library shipments to be sorted--I was waiting for the third book in the Christopher Paolini series, among others from my friend Maria Yuyitung's book club list--I happened to glance at a display and see a spiral bound hardcover book that proclaimed, "HOW TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR". Wow, I thought, I could learn how to cut my own hair????

After perusing this book which showed how to cut men, women and children's hair, I stopped by the beauty supply shop in Kamloops and picked up a really sharp and deadly sounding pair of shears ( 5 3/4" blade) and a few clips and one of those really fine, long combs with the metal skewer-like handle that can part hair the way a hot knife goes through butter. I left $107 lighter of wallet.

Now, I have to stop here and say that I do have some previous hair cutting experience. One weekend when I was 16 and my brother Tom was 12 our parents had gone away and he let me cut his hair. It was fun. He wouldn't go to school on the following Monday, mind you, but it was fun. Monday night Mom fixed it.

However, I didn't mention this to my family and the night following my home salon purchases, Katie and Helen agreed to let me practice on them. They both had simple cuts (well, turned out one did) and they both promised to sit quietly for as long as I needed.

I started with Helen. Helen is eight. She has straight hair that borders on fine. She is trying to grow out her bangs and the rest of her hair is cut straight. While she giggled a lot and I alternately picked up and put down both the comb and the scissors (how do they do it???) I began to learn about cutting hair. Turns out it's not so easy cutting a straight line. But 40 minutes later I'd evened it up by cutting just a bit shorter until I had it right. In all I took off 1/2" and it looked pretty good. Helen promptly logged onto the computer to write a story called, "My New Hairdresser". I haven't read it yet.

Buoyed by my success I stuck Katie's head under the tap. Five minutes later we had FINALLY got all of it wet enough to start. Katie is almost eleven and has brown blond hair that is very straight and VERY thick. So thick that when you make a pony tail it is about 4" in diameter. I've always known this, but cutting this thick hair would just take longer, I thought. Yup, it sure did.

First I realized after I trimmed 1/4" off the bottom section that the next section up her head didn't even come down to my bottom cut. What??? Turns out her hair was layered a bit. I put down the scissors and consulted the book. Katie says, "what does it look like?" Well, so far it wasn't much different. But, what to do? It was already 8 pm on a school night.

Well layers looked easy enough; pull out the hair from the head and cut straight to the bottom layer. Great. I started snipping away and the zip zip sound of my $50 scissors made me feel pretty smug. Until I reached the left side of her head and realized that side was a full inch shorter then the other. Uh, oh. "What?" asked Katie.

Did I say that out loud? "Nothing, hun, I've just got to straighten this out a little". I surveyed my work. Katie asked if she could get a mirror. Nope nope nope. "Let me just finish first and then you can look," says I, stalling for time. Fortunately I forgot all about taking pictures...

O.K. plan B. Straight cut, no layers. Take it to the shortest length. So I did. And now Katie has a cute bob that probably needs a bit of thinning (got those scissors too). But now it was after 9 pm.

Katie let me blow dry her hair (which she hates, but I tell her this is the only way to see how it turned out). She loves it. Whew.

So I now saved $30 in cuts. I need to do five more kids' cuts to justify the expense of my home salon equipment. I'm already eyeing those rolling cart contraptions that has drawers to put in a multitude of combs, brushes, flat irons, hair spray and rollers...

Somehow the vision of me cutting my own hair is a bit less sharp in my mind.

I have noticed that Chris and Stephen's hair is getting a little long. So I called Gail and she found my mom's hair clippers so I am going to go for it on a #2 clipper cut, just leave it a little longer on top, please! I just have to keep Uncle Tom away from Stephen...


Jennifer said...

James here. Bet you can still buy a flowbee...

Sandra said...

James I had to look it up!!

Don't tell me you have one!!???

Maureen said...

I used to cut my ex's hair in the backyard with number 1 and 2 clippers. I'd strip him down to his shorts, plop him on a chair and go to town. I'd do my now husband's hair, but he's been having his hair cut by the same guy since he was 9 and the dude still charges him the same price - 5 bucks! And my man enjoys the comeraderie with an old friend.

PS Hair does compost nicely.