Cutting Remarks

A few days ago I went to the hair salon, and before I went, I mentally prepared myself for the most uncomfortable part of such visits—making conversation. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way about chair-side chats, but I always feel like a dope if I can’t think of something interesting to say. I usually try to think of a good story to tell my stylist ahead of time, but if that fails, I rely on my backup strategy—asking the right questions to keep him talking.

Don’t get me wrong, my stylist is extremely nice and friendly, but if it were up to me, I’d spend the whole appointment sitting quietly and just watching the action going on around me. If I do that, however, I feel both boring and unfriendly. I don’t know for sure, but it could be that my stylist wouldn’t mind a break from the chitchat. I know if I were in his position, I’d welcome a bit of quiet time once in a while. But then again, I wouldn’t say making conversation is my forte.

Of course I’ve had jobs where conversation was required (way too many receptionist gigs), but that’s different from making conversation throughout the day. Although it’s probably not at the very top of my list, I’d have to say that a job that required making conversation would be among the professions I would not like to attempt (as James Lipton asks of his guests on Inside the Actor’s Studio).

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8 Responses to “Cutting Remarks”

  1. Laiane said:

    Thankfully, I’ve being seeing my stylist and my manicurist for a number of years (12 and 6, respectively), and both of them know that there are days when I would rather be quiet instead of chatting through the appointment. The first time I told my stylist that I would be on the quiet side one day (and that she shouldn’t be offended or put off) she said something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s more than all right. I’ve been talking all day and wouldn’t mind some down time myself!” Don’t hesitate to mention it to your stylist if you feel comfortable doing so.

  2. spectatrix said:


    Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Cloud said:

    I used to hate making haircut small talk. But I inadvertantly found a way around it. In an attempt to save money, I bought some clippers and started doing it myself! The quiet, alone time is just a bonus. I imagine this would be quite hard to do as a female, though.

  4. Deborah said:

    AMEN! I hate the chair-side chat! It’s almost as bad as when the dentist asks you 60 questions while you have a suction thingy in your mouth. The only worse thing at a salon is when they hold up the mirror at the end and expect you to oooh and aahhh at the same haircut you’ve been getting for the past 18 months. πŸ˜‰

  5. spectatrix said:


    Good idea! I do know women who cut their own hair, but sadly I do not have that skill.


    Agh. Yes, making small talk while getting a dental check-up is no fun. At least when they numb my mouth I’ve got a good excuse to stop talking πŸ™‚

  6. Carolyn said:

    This is amazing! One of those “I really thought I was the only one with this malady”. I am dangerously overdue for a haircut, but the thought of calling for a half hour of that has me dragging my feet so amusing times two.

  7. Daniel Lucraft said:

    Enoch Powell was once asked how he would like his hair cut, and he replied: “in complete silence.” I’ve never had the nerve to try that one but I’ve always wanted to!

  8. spectatrix said:


    That’s a great line. Thanks for sharing it!