Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chez le Coiffeur

I have never been a big fan going to get my hair cut. Until a few years ago when I found Stephane, of Coiffeur in lower Manhattan, a friend and the husband of a friend, and a fabulous stylist (and French by the way), I always dreaded the interminable sitting and staring at myself in the mirror. I always looked hung-over or really tired and pale and having to face that for an hour was not fun. Also, I never really knew what to say. Did I have to even say anything? The awkward chats about the latest celebrity gossip or the nightlife with often stereotypical seeming characters was fine and fun, but I generally kept my hair really long so that I could go twice a year for a trim and let it be. Always it seemed I would also just go in for a cut and end up 2 hours later with someone removing foils for the highlights I told myself I wouldn’t get. Recently however I cut my hair short, which requires maintenance and as I won’t be heading to NYC soon enough to visit Stephane, I had to bite the bullet and find a coiffeur in Paris.

Through I friend I was recommended Renato, who has his own, salon in the 11th. So I booked the appointment and went. I was nervous. I cannot even explain how I want my hair in English. It’s like a mental block for me to comprehend hairstyles, (sad, I know). I tried thinking of various phrases, like keep it simple, nothing dramatic. I wondered, what if he is some total Parisian snob and is aghast to have an American in his barber chair and charges me double?

Well of course, that was not the case. I arrived early on the scene and Renato came out soon after. He asked what I wanted and sputtered out a few phrases to explain no hair dryers, just wash, product and go. Un peu simple et messy (in a French accent), not coiffed, as it were. Ok, he said, I think I understand. We started the uncertain conversation. He asked if I go out at night and suddenly feeling totally old and lame tried to cough up a few places I had checked out. He smiled and probably feeling sorry for me, said, well Paris nightlife is not like New York I imagine. Reassurance took over and I felt confident with Renato. Plus the head massage during shampooing was phenomenal. Of course I ended up getting the highlights (it was soon my birthday after all, so why not?) He didn’t charge me double and in fact for a cut and color it came to under 100 Euros. Pas mal. I feel relieved and even a bit more Parisian now that I can claim to also have a coiffeur in Paris. Renato Baldi, 48, rue Folie Mericourt.

1 comment:

zunzips said...

Oopsy. Happy Birthday to you and your hair!