Sporting my hair long for years was not by choice. I’d say that it was more of a need than a want/like. While my husband preferred my long mane, my choice was always what mattered and if I would have wanted to chop it off sooner, he was never a hindrance.
I’ve been living here in New York for more than a decade, and while I’m now for the most part well adjusted to my new environment, it is sad to say that I haven’t really found a hair stylist that I can fully trust. You may find that hard to believe knowing that I live in New York where a lot of renowned hairdressers/hair stylists are based. The truth of the matter is – I have gone as far as paying $450 for a haircut but I’m not contented with the result. From $450 I’ve had haircuts at $350, $250 then $150 and still I’m looking for the result that I used to get from my hair stylist back in Manila. And as you may have guessed it, I’ve tried the $30 haircut – and still I’m not there. Will I want to fork out $500 for a haircut? NO!!!! I’d rather use that money to buy a pair of shoes 🙂 .
Without naming names, currently, I’m going to a salon that charges $150 per haircut and I’m not solved. I refuse to name it because I don’t want to get a severely botched cut the next time I go (who knows, someone affiliated at the salon or my hair stylist is reading this). I’m satisfied with my colorist though, so that is at least a consolation. To make the long story short, I’m making do with what is available and what I have, as I’m now tired of experimenting from one salon to the next.
And who is my trusted hairdresser? Jesi Mendez himself. I went to him for years when his salons were all solely owned and operated by him (I think, some branches are now franchised) . In the 90’s, I used to pay him Php450 per haircut. It took months to get an appointment with him so on the day of my haircut, that very same day I would book my next appointment with him . There were times when I chased him where he was at for the day – to his salon in Alabang, New World Hotel, Evangelista, Robinson’s Galleria or even as far as Tutuban when there was a sudden cancellation by another client (Lisa, his secretary used to call me) so my haircuts were done precisely every two months. He only worked from Mondays to Fridays and his schedule was specific to each branch of the five salons then.
Jesi knew my hair and its texture to a tee. He knew my secret – on the left side of my hair, a thin section has this natural wave that mimics the letter S as the length of my hair became longer. While the rest of my hair is stick straight, that certain section of my hair was just that – even up to now. That is why I became a slave to Japanese Straightening which I get done annually. I only trusted him (Jesi) to cut my hair short and I sported real short hair and was confident that it suited me perfectly. He was the one who made it a rule that I should not have bangs because I should show off my natural (virgin) perfectly arched eyebrows.
my last haircut by JM
Thus, when I left Manila, I knew it was going to be one tough job looking for a JM replacement. True, I haven’t found one. And while I bravely had my hair cut short recently after 13 years, I have to be honest and admit that I’m not too happy with the cut. I’m enjoying the freedom, the lightness and the savings from both time and cost of maintenance but I’m more than glad that I didn’t go shorter than I did because after my first in-home shampoo/blowdry, I quickly discovered that the way it was cut was not that satisfactory.
While living here in the Big Apple, I think I’m now confined to the fact that growing my hair long is the way to go unless I’m willing to get into the $500 per haircut league. Who would have thought, it’s that hard to find a trusted hairdresser.