A $1500 Haircut Will Make You Feel Like You Have No Control Over Your Life

Damn, my neck is going to be cold this winter.
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Caitlin
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Damn, my neck is going to be cold this winter.

What feels like a million lifetimes ago, I used to work with a Very Famous Well Known Graphic Designer. If you’ve been in New York City, you’ve seen his work. I would write long, detailed design proposals explaining the project, what I was looking for, and any other relevant information. A better use of my time would have been printing out those emails, using them for rolling papers, and smoking them, because I was going to get whatever the Very Famous Well Known Graphic Designer wanted to do, because he was a very famous well known graphic designer, and I was just me.

That’s kind of how my $1500 haircut happened.

Rossano Ferretti has salons in the most beautiful locations on earth, and a client list that reads like a David O. Russell film IMDB page. I, mere mortal, was going to his NYC salon for a cut (retail value: $1500 + tip) from his own saintly hands.

I know I’m the least interesting part of this story, but some quick context: I recently broke my habit of trimming my own hair while drunk, I still do my own color at home, I will scam a free haircut out of literally anyone, and I had been growing out an angled bob for the past two years, so I was looking to keep my length and add some bangs.

Marci came along with me to film the cut for Facebook Live, and I was already writing headlines in my head (“I Got $1500 Bangs”). After being introduced to Rossano, the first thing he asked me was, “Why this color?” I was there for a cut and not a color, so I replied “I like being a redhead,” which, I guess, to a famous hairstylist is like asking “What do you like to eat?” and hearing the response “Food.” Rossano made what I believe is called by fancier people than myself a moue, and brought me back to a private room to watch a quick video about his life.

(Sidenote: Rossano has invented a lot of things: balayage, specialty scissors, “watercolor” hair color.)

After the film, Rossano sat with me to discuss what I was looking to do. I told him, since I was growing out my hair, I wanted to keep most of my length and also get bangs.

How naive!

Rossano told me that he doesn’t really deal with “inches” or “bangs” and what he aims to do is make each woman who comes into his salon look as beautiful as possible. He put his hands an inch below my earlobes, while I laughed nervously and tried my hand at a moue. Additionally, he said, I couldn’t really have a “lady’s haircut” since my color was so fake. It would be like having a lady’s haircut on someone with green hair.

At which point, Marci chimed in, “I used to have green hair!” (MARCI I LOVE YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN EVER SAY PLEASE LEAVE THIS NOTE IN.)

I was then shuffled off to the sink, where I received the most luxurious hair-washing of my entire life (but not before Rossano asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep my color). I don’t even want to call it “a shampoo” — she massaged my neck! It was an experience. While getting my hair washed I thought a lot about the wildly expensive sushi dinner I had gone to, where there’s no menu — the chef just sends out expertly prepared versions of whatever’s fresh, and your unquestioning trust is rewarded with Santa Barbara uni. Could I handle the omakase treatment on my head?

Turns out that I didn’t have much time to think about it because we went live and the first thing that happened was a solid four inches of hair getting chopped from the back of my head. Damn, my neck is going to be cold this winter.

The full video is below:

Ultimately, I think there are two reasons you go to a stylist instead of trimming your own hair while you’re drunk: translation or inspiration. Normally, when I’m paying $70 to get my hair cut, I show the stylist a picture of early-2000s Jenny Lewis and say “I want this,” and then she questions me about what I like and don’t like (is it the long layers? The side bangs? The texture?) and adapts it for my hair type and my face.

I don’t think the Rossano Ferrettis of the world, despite the schtick about tailoring each haircut to each woman, are really interested in what their clients want. They’re interested in an artistic inspiration or vision of what they think will make a client look best, which, frankly, is not always what we’re coming in for. I don’t have pillar-box red hair because it’s the perfect color for my skin — I have it because I like being bright and loud and I like when Marci gives me Black Widow-branded beauty products because she says they look like me.

By the way, how great is this dinosaur-themed Coach store window?

By the way, how great is this dinosaur-themed Coach store window?

So, yes, of course the cut looks good. It emphasizes my jawline and my cheekbones, and it’s a breeze to style. It’s just not me.