Odds and Ends: What, like you’re not vain?
girlfriday: I don’t know if it’s the heat wave, but I’m suddenly DESPERATE for a haircut.
javabeans: It’s not the heat wave, because I am equally desperate and it’s way cooler up in these parts. I… just have a really unfortunate habit of waiting till I look like a scraggly homeless person before I get my hair cut.
girlfriday: It can’t possibly be longer than my holdout period. You’ve seen my hair. It sometimes reaches my waist.
javabeans: My hairstylists have forgotten who I am! It’s so weird when I’m all happy to see them and they’re so polite, all, “How may I help you, agasshi?”
girlfriday: Wah waaaah. I don’t have that problem because I’m a chronic salon-hopper. I can’t commit to a stylist.
javabeans: When I left LA, I was maybe the most sad about giving up my hairstylist, whom I had finally found after years of salon-hopping. You know, you go in, give ’em a picture of Han Ye-seul or Jeon Ji-hyun or whatever, and walk out vaguely dissatisfied that you are still not Han Ye-seul or Jeon Ji-hyun.
girlfriday: Yeah, Han Ga-in and Ha Ji-won aren’t any better, I’m afraid.
javabeans: Dream-crushing bitches.
girlfriday: You’d think that after a lifetime spent of being disappointed that you don’t walk out of the salon looking like Song Hye-gyo, you’d just stop bringing in celebrity pictures.
javabeans: And yet, hope springs eternal. You’d think I learned, because I did figure out pretty early on to not bring in any more photos of white chicks. The Rachel? Not for me.
girlfriday: There’s definitely a learning curve when you’re a teenager and the standard of beauty around you is so not compatible with your Korean face.
javabeans: But even Koreanness can betray you!
girlfriday: Yes, beauty is universally cruel that way.
javabeans: The thing is, even when your stylist is awesome and delivers exactly what you asked for? …sadly, the realization you’re left with is: But my face is not Lee Yeon-hee’s face. And then you leave feeling sad (and poor), with only ice cream to comfort you.
girlfriday: Ain’t it the truth. On the upside though, a lifetime of this actually DOES lead to some lessons learned. Once you figure out that no matter what you do to your hair, your face remains your face, well… you just have to accept that your face is your face.
javabeans: It’s simultaneously empowering and deflating. Although I guess one day you do wake up and embrace yourself. It’s just, you gotta stop taking in those Kim Tae-hee photos to the salon.
girlfriday: I’ve always wanted to find that one perfect stylist to go to every time, but why is that so hard to do?
javabeans: I’m pretty sure that’s one of life’s perversities. You know, mocking you with its challenge and never delivering.
girlfriday: Like Moby Dick, but different.
javabeans: It’s like fashion’s big meaning-of-life quest. And lemme tell ya, finding a Korean hairstylist in a new city is a surprisingly stressful endeavor. ‘Cause Korean people don’t really advertise on Yelp—it’s all word of mouth, except you don’t know the secret password so they won’t tell you. I swear, there was a time when I was so at a loss that I contemplated walking into the Korean market and asking the ajumma ringing up my groceries which salon she went to.
girlfriday: But then you risk walking out with ajumma hair. This is lesson number two of Korean salons: You can’t go to your momma’s stylist.
javabeans: So what it ends up being is a lifetime of salon-hopping. And when you find your holy grail, you cling to it like manna, and also, don’t tell anybody about it so they can’t horn in on your big secret.
girlfriday: Thanks for being part of the problem.
javabeans: Well duh, you can’t just give it away.