Downtown Salt Lake City feels like several different worlds. To the right and across the street is Temple Square complete with amazing church spires set within the background of a mountain range. I've never seen so many men in suits and ties.
To the right is the old Union Station which is now part of The Gateway. This is where all the shops are. A whole lot of 'em. And a movie theater. Not quite so buttoned up here. Don't feel quite so alien. Need to kill some time before the movie starts. So walk into Salon H20. Can't tell you how long it has been since I've been a salon. You'd feel sorry for me.
Actually feel just as out of place in the salon as I do hanging around BYU. Try not to gape at all the goings on. Hair gets washed and then it's on to Natasha from Russia. She's been here for 11 years. Quite the beauty wearing an outfit pretty much like mine. Sweater tights and a sweater tunic. Except hers is brown, belted and she's wearing high heel wedge boots that go over her knees. Plus she has the type of haircut you see in a mod magazine.
I tell her to trim it straight across. She doesn't argue. It must not be too uneven because it only takes about ten minutes. She asks if she can blow it out. Sure.
Curly hair is part of my identity. People know me by this hair. When I was in junior high and high school, I tried everything to make it less puffy. My friend Liz and I wore stockings on our heads at night (a few of my mom's African American clients revealed that technique). It didn't really work but we tried. I used a Super Max - a hair dryer with a built in comb. This would make it kind of straightish. But by the time I reached the bus stop, Seattle drizzle poofed it right back up. In college it grew down to my waist and the weight of it somehow kept it straighter. But ever since, frankly, I've just let it be.
Natasha spends thirty minutes blowing it out. I can't imagine doing this everyday. It violates my two minute hair rule. Finally she finishes and voila. Here it is courtesy of my camera in the bathroom mirror of the hotel.