A Simple Haircut - Not!!
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A Simple Haircut - Not!!

I lay awake last night wondering if what happened yesterday did really happen.  That morning I had a haircut at my local shopping centre. 

I arrived 5 minutes early for my appointment; I was kindly asked to take a seat at the mirror.  I was told the hairdresser would be with me shortly.  I asked this woman about having my hair washed because of my difficulties; cerebella atrophy. Usually you are asked if you would like a cup of tea etc. But this woman looked uncomfortable with me and walked away and stood in a corner.  I'm not imagining this!

When the hairdresser arrived the 2 women talked in low voices and they were looking over at me.  I heard myself being talked about.  I felt uneasy to say the least.  Then the older woman came over to me and I asked her if she would wash my hair because of my cerebella atrophy.  What happened next you know.  The other woman watched from her corner.

I find it despicable as it was 2 women who were responsible....they put their heads together and came up with I don't know what.  Did they think I was drunk?!! 

I asked the hairdresser if she could wash my hair before the cut as I had a disability, cerebella atrophy and sometimes found it difficult to wash my hair. I was going to pay for the service and I didn't think it was an unusual request.  My hair is naturally oily so appears to need a wash regularly.

The woman in her early 50s sighed and said "get over to the sink then."  She spoke to me gruffly and proceeded to roughly pull my hair around as if I was being difficult.  It reminded me of a situation years ago where I witnessed an elderly lady being bullied by a caretaker when she was being bathed.  I was shocked then and spoke out in defense of the elderly woman and today felt very uncomfortable feeling that I too was on the other end of the stick.

The hairdresser roughly tossled my hair with the towel and then proceeded to comb out the knots.   She didn't apply conditioner to make it easier.  I wanted to say, "don't wash my hair if you haven't got the time".  I was puzzled by her behaviour.  I thought she was just having a bad day, but then she was talking to others in the salon in a cheery manner.

I said to her that I was growing it long for 'one last time'; I'm 54 years old.  She replied, "we get people like you in from time to time."

When she gruffly finished cutting my hair she said," if it was cut short it would be so much easier for you to manage."

The woman's behaviour baffled me; I decided to not take it personally.  I did wonder how she perceived my disability.  Is it because my disability doesn't show although I walk with the aid of a cane?  Is it because I used the words 'cerebellar atrophy' which relates to the brain?  I felt as if I was being a  'problem' because of my disability.

Anne Midgley
29 July 2008

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