Woman to Women
Seeking a vanity affair for her hair
By: Margaret Jaworski
For the first time in my life, I’m considering an act of total decadence. Hold on, I’m not talking about the decadence seen on grainy films or surreptitiously taped videos – I’m talking about splurging on a haircut.
Yes, I – the woman who prides herself on finding the best cutter at the local $30 cut/no-dry salon; the one who resists, as a matter of morality, the salons of New York and their overpriced lowlights and highlights – am seriously toying with the idea of flying from New York to San Diego for a haircut and the aforementioned lowlights and highlights.
It’s all about vanity. Last November, while staying at the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California, I was invited for a hair consult at the Billy Yamaguchi Salon (www.yamaguchibeauty.com) at the hotel’s spa. I learned that Yamaguchi’s hair couture incorporates the ancient art of feng shui and that his clientele includes the usual celebrity suspects: Julia, Jennifer and her friends. You understand.
“So he’s pretentious, even a bit arrogant, isn’t he?” I asked the receptionist at his salon. Her smile never wavered. “No, not at all. He’s a listener. He’s a spiritual guy.”
A spiritual stylist. I was intrigued.
Billy Yamaguchi looks the part. When we meet, he’s wearing a traditional-style Chinese tunic. His black hair is pulled back into a long braid à la José Eber.
He looks me straight in the eye, listening carefully when I tell him my style likes and dislikes. And, wonder of wonders, he not only listens but also hears when I tell him I like my hair long (“No more than an inch off, please”). “What about the bangs?” he asks, quickly identifying my problem area; thanks to my “hereditary bald spots,” my bangs look anorexic.
Billy takes a look and, in an instant, has a solution. He deftly weaves out the top layers of hair, and then he cuts bangs into the underlying layer. Voilà. Problem solved.
As for the color, he suggests weaving in some darker strands to offset the blond highlights. “The blond is washing out your skin tone,” he says. I know he’s right.
That night, and for the next three months, my friends compliment me on the cut and the color. People I didn’t know before my Yamaguchi intervention comment on my healthy, rosy, peachy, glowing skin color.
So how much is healthy, rosy, peachy,and glowing worth? A cut with Billy costs around $240; color is more. And then there’s the price of the flight.
My moral indignation on this front is gone. It’s all about the vanity.
Still, if anyone sees me buying one of those über-priced designer handbags, please call the police.