So the big day came. Last night I dutifully packed the Vanessa La Jay into my bag and made sure I got an early night in anticipation of My New Hair - a charity funded day which offers cancer patients the chance to have their wig styled by top hairdresser, Trevor Sorbie. I wondered what the day would be like. Would I be the only cancer patient there ? Would he cut my hair in the same salon as he normally did real hair styling ? Would my wig (which is about a size too big) even stay in place while he did it ?
I make my way to Covent Garden and find his salon at the end of Floral Street. Stepping into the all-white pristine reception area which seems to teem with a variety of very young, very fashionable looking stylists, reminds me of my early years in London. The days when I had dreams of becoming a fashion editor and used to find myself at castings, model agencies and other hang-outs where the seemingly ageless always were. The reception area is filled with a range of different clients. All looked fairly well-heeled. There is a bowl of complimentary fresh fruit and pastries and a couple of very slender looking models who sat next to me talking haircuts and portfolios.
I look around the salon. No-one working there looks under 30. A few minutes later a man in his late fifties turns up. He shakes my hand, introduces himself as Trevor and surprisingly looks a little nervous. Or maybe I mistake his uneasiness for busyness. His eyes dart around his salon and he asks me if I mind being observed by another stylist. I tell him that I have a few friends coming and he says that's fine. We go to a separate room away from the busy salon and I sit down and pull out my wig. I put it on. He remarks on how big it is. He tells me that it reminds him of Diana Ross.
I show him a picture of my old hair. Using this a semi-guide, he cuts the wig into a very round 70s afro shape. I really like it and when my friends M and R turn up, they're amazed at how different I look. I'm pleased with the result but when I get up to go, I suddenly look at my reflection in the mirror and with my skinny body, I think I resemble a lollipop. I ask him if he wouldn't mind cutting a little more off. He does so, but cuts a hell of a lot off. I instantly regret asking him. The wig now looks more natural but much less stylish. If I could have bit my tongue at that point, it would have been in two pieces on the floor.
Outside, M and R agree with me. They preferred the previous version. I feel distraught. A day with the big man and I mess it up by getting too assertive. My wig looks good, but it could've looked amazing. It's a lesson well learnt today. Sometimes it does actually pay to be reserved and taciturn - two adjectives that are normally associated with inability to express oneself. I know that I should post pictures up here, but I'm too shy. I realise that I really love the wig's colour (a hue of tawny brown) and make a decision to order another one in the morning...