Confession: I hate making small talk at the hairdresser


If you’re blonde like me, you’ll know how much time is spent in hair salons. Oh the places I’ve seen. Actually, let’s take a trip down hair memory lane…

During high school I was quite promiscuous with my hair dressers, jumping from one to the other, never quite willing to commit. Mainly because one once gave me, instead of the soft blonde highlights I’d requested, a prominent Tiger-striped ‘do reminiscent of a manager haircut. Another couldn’t stop teasing the hair on my crown like I was a damn poodle!  

Hairdressers are like restaurants - you return for the service. Only my idea of ‘good service’ at the hairdresser means sitting in peace and quiet while I’m getting my hair did.

Is this weird? Surely I am not the only one who doesn’t bond with their hairdresser to the point where godmother status is introduced?

Read: Why we all dread going to the hairdresser

To me, a hair salon is not the place where everyone should know my name. Rather, where everyone knows I prefer an awkward silence above an awkward conversation.  

I am not here to make friends. I am not here to hear about your cousin’s knee surgery either. And I don’t mean my silence to convey any semblance of snobbery, I don’t feel I’m ‘too good’ to talk to you, I am simply not keen on talking in this situation, ever. Period.

Silence to me is golden.  

During my university days I found a great hairdresser. Unfortunately for me, much like the knee surgery lady, he had an affinity for - let’s call them ‘stories’. *Cough rants cough*. My hair appointment would (and I kid you not) take 5 hours on average.

Holding a pee for that long is hella difficult.

Then, I found a gem. At first intimidated by her cool demeanour, she was the kind of hairdresser that you can just say “Do whatever you want” to, and your hair as if by miracle would morph into something between cool, edgy and ‘so me’.

We would chat briefly and then get down to business: the business of being blissfully silent in each other’s company. It worked for both of us.  But it was short-lived.

Moving to Cape Town after university I found myself having the same hairdresser issue again. I jumped around from salon to salon, desperately trying to find my hair guy or girl. Sometimes, even opting for lower quality hairjobs just because the hairdresser knew how to keep her thoughts to herself.

Then, as if by magic, I found my impossible dreamboat. He is friendly, kind, adverse to small talk and the kicker – a great hairdresser. He’s so rare that I still believe he might be a figment of my imagination. He’s my unicorn.

Do you like talking at the hairdresser? Or if you're a hairdresser, do you enjoy talking to clients or do you do it because you feel you have to? Let us know!

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