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Wellington Hair

March 22nd, 2010 by the_lifer

Winona sits in the chair at her mother’s salon.

This is not half as cozy as it sounds.

Wilhelmina may be 67, but she is a fashionable Wellington woman, and her salon is one of the city’s many ateliers of avant-garde hair. Winona wonders how much its pressed raw concrete walls and deliberately industrial sinks cost, and is privately relieved that her mother, having her hair washed, is picking up the tab “as a treat for us girls”.

A stylist comes over, somber and chic. Winona takes in her black dress, striped stockings, and cobalt-blue shoes. After a little breath, she says, “I’m looking for something more…”

She circles a hand around her head, the deep brown hair coming down to her shoulders. She ironed it flat this morning, but the wind tore at it cruelly, and it’s not looking half as good as it did in London.

The stylist says, “Something with more movement?”

Winona yelps in agreement.

More karate-chop type gestures take place around Winona’s head, to show her a part direction, where the new length will end. Then, the scissors come out.

Half an hour later, Winona has a whole new head.

Her hair is sliced into feathery layers, cupping her head like plumage.

She gazes into the mirror. “I love it, but…”

The stylist understands. “You can have it sleek, or like this.” She reaches out and ruffles Winona’s hair. Disarrayed, it becomes kittenish, witty. Hair that can move. Hair that will, after fifteen minutes battling a gale, still look presentable.

Winona hits the street, smiling, no longer afraid of the wind.

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