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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hair Diaries: Step Into Liquid

As Becky over at WAZO News eloquently commented a few months back, finding a place to get your hair cut when you move to a new town can be a real challenge. It took me about nine years to find someone I really liked in San Francisco, and then we up and moved. So it was with trepidation that I began my salon quest in Boston.

First I tried a local place called Judy Jetson, thinking its space-age industrial decor boded well for someone who wanted something a little more modern than the typical Cambridge-lady-in-loose-linen look. It wasn't horrible, but the cut seemed amateurish to me, and the receptionist was snippy, so I moved on.

Next, at a friend's suggestion, I tried Harvard Square's "Diego" (something about that name makes me need to put it in quotes), and things went wrong, very wrong. I think the place has a decent reputation, so maybe I just had a run of bad luck, but first they got the day of my appointment wrong, booking me two weeks out without saying so. Then the woman who cut my hair gave me layers way above my ears, not a good look for straight shoulder-length hair, lopping off a fringe of side bangs I had not requested for good measure. (I told friends I felt like I had a mullet, but they kindly insisted I was wrong.) And finally, another stylist did a very nice hair color on me that unfortunately was nothing like what we'd discussed. And so I bid Diego adieu.

Today, thinking it might have something to do with the Ladies-in-Linen influence, I crossed the river and headed for the South End, hoping for something a little more edgy and fun.

I found it at Liquid. My stylist was Cheryl. Somewhere in her late 40s maybe, but not letting that cramp her style one iota, Cheryl was decked out in a little red rocker girl dress and a big studded belt with a silver handcuff buckle. Her hair was dyed black and cut in a sort of shaggy-yet-coiffed short do. It was like having a really, really nice version of Chrissie Hynde cut my hair.

As I got into the chair I set down my ground rules: no layers shorter than my ears, please, and I really never wanted these side bangs. I explained that I wasn't happy with the current proportions of my cut. Tentatively, not wanting to hurt my feelings, she gently ventured an opinion. "The way the last stylist did it, it kind of looks like a mullet." Thank you, Cheryl! Thank you for putting it out there and calling it like you see it. I knew it was a mullet. It was a risky move, but she earned my trust.

A few brief snips later, balance was restored and the mullet was banished. Cheryl eschewed complicated styling products, just going with a little bit of yummy-smelling soy-based pomade. Lovely! Just what this under-employed, can't-be-bothered-to-style-her-hair mullet survivor was looking to smear into her air-dried locks and make them manageable. And Cheryl's $30 fee (unheard of back in San Francisco - can you imagine?) left me with plenty of money to buy a little magic soy paste jar of my own to take home.

As an added bonus, the lavatory was decorated all in Elvis pictures, and a framed photo of Marcia Brady graced the front counter. The receptionist was not snippy to me, au contraire, in fact, she complimented me on my bag. Oh, and the salon chairs are upholstered in leopard print. Cheryl actually hugged me goodbye. Kind of crazy, but when Chrissie Hynde wants to hug you, do you tell her no? "Welcome to Boston!" she said in farewell.

I left Liquid a happy customer, noticing only cheerful things on my way home.

Spring flowers!

Easter-egg-colored buildings!

Sun-dappled historic homes!

Followed by mini shopping sprees at Anthropologie and Sephora. There's nothing quite like a good hair day.



At 3/14/2006 7:57 PM, Blogger RBG said...

Congratulations on your find! I honestly think (and I write with some authority on this topic) you could expand this humble blog entry into a feature-length narrative - and women around the country would understand, whether they'd relocated or not! Informative and inspiring!

At 3/14/2006 9:06 PM, Blogger marshmallow soup said...

i'm sold! I too am going to bid "Diego" adieu and cross the river over to cool land.

At 3/15/2006 5:59 PM, Anonymous christina said...

Way to follow your intuition to the South End!

At 3/18/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger dantobindantobin said...

I considered Judy Jetson for boy hair and called to ask the price. They put me on hold for ten minutes and I went somewhere else.

At 3/20/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger marshmallow soup said...

i was walking by judy jetson on saturday and noticed that they are advertising for a new receptionist. The power of the blog?

At 3/22/2006 12:55 AM, Blogger Chrissa said...

Judy Jetson has some grumpy reviews on Citysearch, too. Read the writing on the wall, Judy!

At 4/12/2006 10:14 PM, Blogger marshmallow soup said...

i want new content!

At 5/10/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Deanna said...

Thanks for the Liquid rec. I just made an appointment there. I have been bouncing around to different salons in the 6 years since I moved here from San Francisco -- I too had a great stylist there! I hope I have found a stylist to stick with at Liquid.

At 5/13/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i LOVE judy jetson...she's been cutting my hair for 12 years and i've had nothing but the BEST haircuts...i've moved from cambridge and still travel 4 1/2 hours for someone who knows what she's doing...


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