The Rachel

Remember back in the day when you ran to you hair dresser (Jennifer Aniston picture in-hand) and asked/begged/pleaded with your stylist to – for the love of god – give you ‘The Rachel’? This was a hairstyle when Friends just took off that all girls seemed to want. Us now twentysomethings can look back and laugh at the short layers we so overly strived for, the same way we’ll look back ten years from now and laugh at all the blow-dry appointments we’ve racked up.


I overheard two girls the other day – and by overheard I mean I was blatantly eavesdropping to the extent that I told the friend I was with to just stop talking altogether so I could listen to these other two girls across the room – talking about their Thursday post-work/pre-charity (social event) gathering hair appointment. I was so drawn to this conversation, because I thought me and my few i’ll-easily-throw-my-money-away-to-look-good friends were the only ones who did the pre-event blow dry. I’m not talking about the obvious I-have-a-wedding/black-tie-affair blow-dry, but instead I’m referring to that appointment you book when you know you want the volume your body so very much so deserves, that you can never seem to get on your own, when you know you’re going to run into someone and want to go the extra mile.

I’m a huge supporter of the pre-event blow dry. Whether it be for a date, for meeting your man’s friends or family for the first time, for a charity/social event or even a friends birthday dinner, I’ve always felt that $25-$35 could go a long way. In a past posting, I discussed blow-dry bars. You can basically walk into one of these blow-dry bars, no appointment necessary (which is a good thing since your mani may just run a little later than expected) and walk out a-whole-lotta-woman in just half an hour. My favourite one in the city is Ritual 2 on King Street West in Toronto. It’s the perfect quick fix on the inside and out. Just like a hot pair of shoes, this spa-like treatment and drop-dead outcome make you feel great.

But Beware…There are some flaws that can occur that you need to be able to accept, once you decide to sit down at the hair dressers mercy. Here are a few things that may make you second guess whether or not to go-all-the-way:

– Your date may cancel. I once made the decision to run into Ritual 2 for an emergency appointment. I had a double date set up with another couple who I had never met. The timing worked perfectly and Michelle (my stylist of choice) was half-way done with my blonde head of hair, when I got a pin informing me the other couple had canceled. My mood collapsed just like my hair would the day following. I was mad at myself for jumping the gun and throwing away money when I had nothing to show. I think I ended up doing late night take out that night. Nothing like drowning your sorrows in chicken fried rice.

– All your friends use the same hair stylist. A number of women I know are going to the same event tonight in the city, many who have blow-dry appointments today. In our small community, everyone tends to use the same stylist. I know a girl who got stuck with an 11:30am-er because all the other women booked before her (to her dismay). Bet we can tell which blondes at the party tonight got the luck of the draw at the 6pm-er appointments.

– The not-so-erotic-extensions. ‘The Rachel’ is dead and long lives the luscious-long-layered-locks. But your hair isn’t there quite yet. Now I’m not calling you a Brittany, but lets face it, many of us wear extensions and when we go for a blow dry, we have the hair stylist put them in and work on them to create a natural look. If you decide to add them in pre-date and the post-ends up hot and heavy, beware that they may not be as secure as you think. Got it?

Now none of these are reasons enough to turn down a little pampering sesh. I’m now done with the days of bringing in a magazine showcasing the latest celeb admired look. So add a little splurge in your budget and a little volume to your hair and join the world of women who do the weekly blow-dries. Hey, they aren’t just for the seventy-somethings anymore!

– Jenny Jen

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