I Go to Santa Monica and Come Back 2 inches and $209 Lighter, Now with Pictures
Today I went to get my hair cut at Fred Segal Beauty. As you might imagine, it was all terribly glamorous.
If you’re not familiar with Fred Segal, it is a sort of marketplace for all manner of overpriced goods, be they clothing, accessories, housewares, or beauty products and services. I will introduce it to you by saying that it is the kind of place that shows up in episodes of Entourage more than once a season. And where you are equally likely to run into a celebrity as you are to walk by somebody filming a segment for Access Hollywood on lipgloss. Or $100 t-shirts. And the like.
It is the kind of place that can make you feel less-than if you think about it too much. Everyone seems thinner, richer, more beautiful than is imaginable. It is kind of like walking into the pages of W Magazine, and the models on the pages opposite you keep looking you up-and-down, trying to determine why you are famous. Or if you are famous enough.
And if you are me, it is like walking into W magazine dressed in faded, stretched-out khakis, a pit-stained white t-shirt, Mom sandals, and at least ten pounds too many.
So what I like to do is, walk in there, and pretend like I totally belong. Because I finally figured out that’s what everyone else is doing. It is the only way to survive in LA.
I have been going to Sean James, hairdresser to the stars, for a few years now. No, I’m not a star, but I do like to play one on my blog. Since I only get my hair cut every six months or so, this really only translates to about six haircuts. But since Sean is a friendly and outgoing guy, and since he has that knack for forging a quick intimacy that is the mark of a master hairdresser, we always manage to delve into all the important topics right off the bat. Like Paris fashion shows, hair extensions, bears and beards.
No, I’m not going to elaborate on the bears. Or the beards. Google is your friend, if you let it be.
So I got there around ten minutes early, and I knew Sean wouldn’t be there yet. I had planned it this way. You see, Sean is almost always 1) overbooked, 2) running late, or 3) both, and the combination of my annoying habit of being early for everything I do and the impossibility of his being on time has resulted in several gratis Kérastase deep conditioning treatments for me in the past. And me likey the freebies.
Since Sean didn’t roll in today until 10:25–wearing red wayfarers, a polo shirt, skinny jeans, and kicky, half-off half-boots–I thought today would be no different. Sadly, though, he had a different assistant from the last time, and though she was very nice, I don’t think she was familiar with the protocol of Sean late=Anna’s hair extra soft. Oh well. Maybe next time.
At Fred Segal, they like to offer you lots of drinks and other apéritifs up front so that you don’t notice as much when they rip you a new asshole at the cash register. So while I waited for Sean’s arrival, seated on the cowhide couch and reading British Vogue–because, naturally, the “a/w” issue of British Vogue is the Thing to read on the West Side of Los Angeles in August–I had my choice of vitamin water, Orangina and sundry espresso drinks. Despite being asked three separate times if I wanted anything, I declined all of these simple luxuries. I had to keep a hand free for twitter, since there was some kind of drama going down elsewhere.
Today Sean had one of those those magazine tearout pieces framed in lucite at his station. You know what I’m talking about, those publicity blurbs that are all over the walls of service providers in the greater Westside area, those vanity pieces that demonstrate the worth of the stylist/makeup artist/surgeon/attorney/dogwalker at hand by discussing the various celebrities to whom he or she provides services. These are all over the wall, for example, at Damone Roberts, where I’ll be going tomorrow, so that you know that you are in THE place, even though you will inevitably notice the line of tourists outside Anastasia around the corner on your way in. The only way to know THE place to go is to pay attention to the magazine tearouts, people, not by what Oprah tells you. By the time Oprah gets it, it is already over.
So today, Sean’s magazine tearout says something like “Zac Loves Fred Segal Beauty.”
“So, you’re doing Zac Posen’s hair now?” I say.
Even though I know that’s not right. I’m pretty sure that Zac Posen is the one who makes the cool pants that I can’t afford. Or fit into.
“No, that is Zack Efron, but I have done Zac Posen’s shows, too. So that’s a valid question” Sean says.
I nod. Thinking, who the fuck is Zack Efron?
We decide on layers and start talking about the Bravo network. And how I love it. We compare notes on all of the relevant Life on the D List episodes. And Sean tells me he might have a reality show in the works, “but on The Learning Channel.” He just shot a pilot yesterday. He doesn’t know if it will get picked up yet, and doesn’t want to get too excited.
“So you’ll be like Jonathan. Only better. More pleasant.” I say.
“I wouldn’t say better. Different.” Sean is noncomittal. He has this PR stuff down pat.
“I will say it, then–different, and better.”
We agree on how exciting this is. Sean worries that he won’t be controversial enough for his own show. He thinks maybe you need to be hated to have your own show. He wants to focus, instead, on the Paris fashion shows he’s being flown in to work next month–Versace, Chanel, among others. He is going to be representing Balmain, which is a couture house that is now delving into the (lucrative) business of hair extensions. Again, it is all terribly glamorous and exciting.
As I am leaving, Sean loads me down with products and gadgets to review. He gets stuff like that all the time. And though he is a self-proclaimed media whore, well, it’s not like he has a blog to do product reviews on. I tell him I will be writing off his fee. We chuckle. He tells me to say hi to Mr. Right-Click, whose hair he cuts as well and in whom–I’m absolutely certain–he is far more interested than he is in me. I pay the exorbitant bill, pocket the receipt, and head home.
Oh yeah, did I mention that he cut my hair also?
Edit to add: Look at the movement on this cut, people!
Sure, the face is crazy, but check out the hair!