I used to hate going for haircuts. My mum would insist that the hairdresser cut my hair till really short, and I’ll end up looking like a boy. For a young shy girl, that was a trauma that I suspect still lingers.
When I first got back to Singapore almost two and a half years ago, I got a Groupon voucher at Essensuals Orchard for a haircut. I didn’t have a preference for a hairdresser, but just got one of the most junior staff to cut my hair.
The thing about having a haircut at a proper salon is that it usually takes quite a while. At least half an hour sitting in the chair in front of a mirror, staring at your face (and wondering who is that person in the mirror and why on earth does she look like that) while someone hums and haws and makes tsking noises at the state of your hair–which tends to be too dry and with dandruff. Sometimes the hairdresser tries to make small talk to fill the silence and those conversations can get pretty painful.
But with this hairdresser I got, I felt comfortable. And so I’ve been going back to him thereafter. I’ve only gone to cut my hair at one other place once, but all other times, I’ve gone back to Orchard Central and requested for him. The quality of the haircut is just one factor, but the more important one (to me) is that he makes the dreaded agonizing hour much more bearable.
It almost feels like an hour catching up with an old friend.
And perhaps theres a really important lesson to learn from this, one that had been said to me before–it isn’t so much the end result that matters, that’s just the icing on the cake. The real ‘cake’ is the process that you’ve been through. Do that well, and you’ll already reap most of the rewards.