They say that beer is good for the hair…

She joked about it last time I was there and I laughed. I didn’t think she was serious.

I love the salon where I get my hair done. It’s like… It’s like… OH! I know! It’s kind of like that salon in the movie Steel Magnolias where everyone knows everyone and it’s the place to catch up on what’s going on around town. That’s what my place is like, sort of.

It’s fun at this salon. There’s always something entertaining going on. I like going to get my hair done. Patti’s my stylist and I met her several years ago when Pam, the person who had been doing my hair for something like fifteen years? QUIT! I was so devastated that I went about seven months without a haircut. I told people I had made a choice to grow out my hair, but the reality was, I didn’t know what to do without Pam!

Several friends of mine suggested the salon I now patronize. They recommended a particular stylist and I called to make the much-needed appointment. The recommended stylist wasn’t available, but Patti was. And I desperately needed a hair cut. And it was fate. I loved Patti from the first moment she sneezed and announced, “WOO! That one was a leg-crosser!”

And she did exactly with my hair as I had asked. And the rest is history. I’ve been going to Patti ever since. She’s easy-going. She knows her customers well, because she takes the time to ask questions about their lives. And she remembers what they tell her about their families and jobs and hobbies and lives. And some of her customers are people she’s known throughout her life. Patti listens when her customers describe what they want and she always seems to come through with exactly what is asked.

The salon is a welcoming little local place, with bright aqua walls alternated with brown walls and coordinating decor. There are inspirational sayings on the walls in a few places and there are always flyers for local fundraisers and benefits on the glass door. Sometimes there are old ladies having their hair set, but you’re just as likely to see high school girls, middle-aged women, men or children in the chairs at each station.

When I walked in tonight the place was nearly empty. Patti poked her head out from the back room and said, “I haven’t mixed your color yet, so if you want something different, now’s the time to say so.”

“Nah,” I said. “I’ll just go with the usual.”

“Okay,” Patti said. “Just give me a sec. Go ahead and sit in my chair.”

As I plopped down in Patti’s station, she poked her head out again. “Can I do something just a little different with your color this time?”

I didn’t even think about it. “Sure!”

Patti smiled and said, “Cool. I’ll be right out.”

When she came back with my color, I asked, “So what are we doing different with my color?”

“I’m just going to put in some accent color between the chunks of blonde.”

I shrugged. “Okay,” I said. Patti wasn’t very specific, but I’ve learned to trust her like that. And besides, it’s just hair. Even if I hated it, it can be colored or cut or grown again. But I’ve never hated anything Patti has done with my hair.

Another stylist was in the shop when I got there and her two little boys were running around. One of them, Evan was “five and one years old,” he told me. The other looked to be about three years old and they were eating the Dum-Dum suckers from the jar on the front counter like they were going out of style. Evan came over and asked me if I’d ever played paper toss.

“You try to throw a wad of paper in the trash basket and try not to let the fan blow the paper back at you,” he said.

“I’ve never played that, but it sounds really fun,” I told him!

“I played it on my aunt’s phone,” he said.

“Oh, it’s a cell phone game,” I said, realizing it wasn’t a “real” game.

“Yep,” he said, skipping across the laminate floor making thumping noises with the winter boots he was wearing. I was kind of disappointed about the game. Evan was too busy working off his sugar-high to notice.

Evan and his brother explored all of the drawers at the empty hair stations and played with the phone at the front desk. They ate more suckers and Evan told us he had already eaten ten or twelve. His mom finished what she was doing in the back and announced they were leaving. Suddenly it was quiet and Patti and I were the only ones left in the salon. We talked small talk for a while until another customer came in.

“Oh, hey Greg,” Patti said, turning to the man who had just walked in. “Greg, this is Terri. Terri, this is my friend Greg. We went to high school together.”

Greg and I said hi to one another and then Patti said, “Terri and I were thinking we were kind of thirsty.”

I raised my eyebrows, wondering what she meant. Greg said, “You want me to go grab one?”

“Yeah, if you don’t mind,” Patti said. “Terri, you like beer, don’t ‘cha?”

Ah! BEER is what she meant! I thought she was kidding the last time she mentioned it. I guess not. “Um… yes,” I said.

“Ok, I’ll go get some,” Greg said and he turned, apparently to walk a couple of doors down to the liquor store. When he returned, he had a twelve-pack of my favorite kind of beer. Greg pulled out a bottle, twisted one open and handed it to me. I smiled, a little hesitant. This was odd, but I wasn’t opposed. He went to hand one to Patti but she said she thought she would wait until she was done coloring my hair.

“Oh, have one now,” I said. “I trust you.”

“I’ll just sip mine, then,” she said while Greg grabbed one more for himself and sat down to talk, sip his beer and wait his turn to have his hair cut while my color set.

So we sipped our beers and Patti foiled my hair and she and Greg talked about their 30-year reunion coming up this summer. When she was done with the foils, she said, “Okay. You just need to set for a while, so I’m going to cut Greg’s hair while we wait.”

And so she did. I picked up my book and relaxed, enjoying being able to read for a while. I turned the pages, reading the story, vaguely aware of Patti and Greg chatting at the next station. And every once in a while, I’d reach over and enjoy another sip of my beer, laughing a little to myself!

I think Patti may be onto something here! Oh, and the something different was something fun – just a little streak of really dark hair, here and there among the blonde. Subtle, but not too subtle. Patti knows I don’t do drastic with my hair. It was just enough to mix it up a bit. I love it!

Really thought she was kidding about that beer though!


Update: Pic of new hair color – Pardon the untamed (as of yet) hair:

16 thoughts on “They say that beer is good for the hair…

  1. That’s an awesome story. Haven’t heard of a stylist doing that before.

    Remember a commercial a while back for “Body on Tap?” Tagline was, “But don’t drink it,” because it had beer in it. Here’s the video of it. Believe it or not, that was Kim Bassinger! – my new blog site


  2. Sounds like my kind of place! This post is making me thirsty, especially since that truly is my favorite kind of beer too! :-)

    I would never waste a good beer by putting it in my hair, but I remember there was a time when it was cool to put a raw egg in your hair after shampooing. I think the egg was suppose to make the hair more shiny, but as best as I can remember, I do not think the egg worked for me.


  3. What a great sounding place! About 10 years ago my hairdresser started her own business out of a ‘garage’ next to her house. It’s a cute little place, and usually it’s just me and her, and maybe another person getting a haircut while my color sets. As the years go on, however, I’ve not been real happy with her. She talks a ton, so I’m always nervous that she won’t remember what I asked her to do, and whenever I ask her for suggestions, or explain something that I don’t like about my hair, she never seems to have a good answer. Isn’t she supposed to be the pro? I’d love to have a hairdresser that tells me “this is what I think you should do….”, and then bring me my favorite drink. :) Lucky you!


  4. Beer and a hair cut. That’s my kind of place. No wonder you are happy with her results. Patti definitely may be onto something there. I’m still out trying to find a new stylist since Nihiti up and left a few months ago.


  5. What?! Places like that exist? Friendly conversation? BEER?!

    Geesh, I go down to the same place in the mall about every 2 or 3 months, tell them to take an inch off everthing, pay and leave. I’m doing it SO so wrong!

    And I like what she’s done with your hair, from what I can tell from your photo! But I knew I would like her even before that and the beer because of the “WOO! That one was a leg-crosser!”


  6. It’s been awhile (like since the 80’s) that I’ve been to a salon that offered an alcoholic drink. Some of them I went to brought out the wine bottle after 5–but beer would have been nice too. The salon I go to now offers tea or filtered water. Pretty tame, but they are nice. I just had my hair cut yesterday. It needed it! I’m very happy with the cut. I’m sticking with this one because everyone is nice, they seem happy to be there and my stylist is everything you describe as ideal. It makes such a difference!


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