haircut-collage

For the past few years I have been living in a small town in Germany where, try as I might, I cannot seem get a good haircut. The last time I tried to get a haircut in my town, it was so bad I decided to just stop messing around and declare it time to Treat. Yo. Self. I was going to stop messing around with student specials and salons that make you leave with wet hair. I was going to get my hair cut someplace fancy, and there is no place fancier than Paris.

(Related: 25 Things You Will Only Understand If You Have Had A Bad Haircut )

As much as I want to tell people that I travel to Paris just to get haircuts, it’s not actually true. I am only three hours from Paris on the train, and I was meeting family there at the time. But let’s pretend that’s not true, because it’s more fun to pretend I went to Paris just for a haircut.

Because the Paris trip was a family vacation, I expected my mother to put up a fight when I said I wanted to take a few hours to go get a haircut. Instead, she took one look at my head when I got off the train and said, “Do you want to get a haircut while we’re here?”

It really was pretty bad.

hair-before-liz-licata

It was a shaggy, damaged, bi-level mess that was simultaneously too long and too short. From behind it looked like the hair of an evil medieval wizard who had been shunned from society and was living in the remains of a Roman aqueduct while plotting revenge on the aristocrats who had wronged him.

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With a long, shaggy mess like that on top of my head, I figured it was a good time for a complete re-do. There would be no “keeping the length” or following the lines of the old haircut. I was just going to cut it all off. I sat down with Paul at the Dessange St. Germain Des Pres salon and said I wanted it changed. Just make it not suck. If he wanted to do a pixie, I would do a pixie.

Of course, what I really wanted was the trendy haircut Heather referred to recently as “Kate Middleton with bedhead.” In fact, I brought up that post and pointed to her pictures, like this one:

A model walks the runway at the Ralph Lauren fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson SQ. on February 19, 2015 in New York City.

(Via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

He nodded at the length that was just below the shoulders, and at the long layers bent slightly towards the models faces, then sent me off to get a shampoo.

The shampoo made me feel like the fanciest lady at Fashion Week. It went on forever, and she treated the ends with hot argan oil while an impossibly beautiful young blonde woman with bright orange-red lipstick brought me a bottle of sparkling water, a mini croissant, and a couple copies of British Vogue.

Click here to see how awesome it all turned out.

Back in the chair with my croissant and three copies of British Vogue, Paul started slicing several inches from the bottom of my hair. Then he had me stand up so he could see the way it fell and cut with me standing for a few minutes. When he was finished, he sprayed my hair at the roots with Phytodess Spray with 10 Minerals. Then he blew it dry upside-down, then right-side-up.

He blew it dry by wrapping the hair in two-inch sections loosely around his fingers, some in one direction and some in the other. It came out glossy and wavy but not too “done.” Basically it was perfect.

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Paul even had the salon makeup artist put a bit of makeup on me. She mixed hot pink and orange lip gloss to make this color, which I will basically be wearing all spring.

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Of course, all haircuts look good in the salon. The real test is what they look like a few days later when you’re left to do them yourself. I kept my blowout going for about three days with dry shampoo. But when I finally washed and dried it myself, it still looked like this:

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It feels soft and has that “gentle bend” everyone was talking about during Fashion Month. Basically, I’m sold. Next time maybe I’ll even do color!

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Photos: Elizabeth Licata