Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Slave to Beauty

So...I hate washing my hair, because I hate getting my hands wet. It makes my skin more sensitive and makes it even harder to grip things. Wear gloves -- don't even go there.

My latest luxury is going to a beauty parlor, just to have my hair washed -- not dried, not styled, just washed. I've been charged as high as $20 -- I was in LA and was desperate -- and as low as $5. $5 makes me so happy that I usually tip another $5.

Except for today. Today, I left the house intending to head over to the strip mall beauty parlor ("spa pedicures"!) where I got a perfectly satisfactory $5 wash last week. En route, I remembered my sister asking me about the beauty parlor that is here in the park. Yeah, I thought, I should check that out -- it would be even more convenient than the strip mall which is the equivalent of 3 blocks away.

I find the park "beauty parlor", which is a 10 x 12 room in a cinder block building that also houses the laundry, restrooms, and a car wash. The owner/operator is a nice, middle aged white woman who won't let me get a word in edgewise.

I mean, I can sympathize with her -- here's freakgirl on wheels at her door. She says, "$5", and I think, "score!"

I sit down at the sink, and launch into my usual, somewhat dumbed-down description of my disability -- "body makes skin too fast, it doesn't break down properly, yada yada". I can tell she's not listening. I say, "there's stuff on my scalp, but I don't want you to try to do anything about that -- I'm just going for clean hair."

She asks me if I use a special shampoo -- I say, "no". I lean back and she starts running the water.

And then I feel a big raw spot open up on my scalp. I think, "how'd that happen?" She hadn't even started soaping my hair, much less scrubbing too hard. I think, "I must have done it myself when I combed my hair?"

Rinsing. Another rip on the other side. Ouch ouch. "Oh, I'm sorry." Her hose's spout has fucking teeth on it! (Probably feels good on so called normal scalps.) "I'm not wanting to get my scalp cleared -- those are raw spots now." All in a perfectly polite, reasonable tone, I swear to god. I knew she was nervous, and perhaps that's why she wouldn't listen to me when I tried to explain how not to hurt me.

Just another day in the neighborhood.

1 comment:

pricklefoot said...

I think mainstream personal care assistants — the folks who cut other people's hair, or wax it off (why?), or fit you for a new brassiere — inevitably develop a thick protective layer. Some suggestions get through, but not many. A barber almost choked me to death one day — I'd even explained that I go to barber shops, not beauty parlors, because there are fewer fumes to trigger my asthma. When the haircut was done she flings two TBS of baby powder on my neck and I collapsed coughing.

And those teethy hoses: feel like hell on my typical scalp.