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Ginger to Ginger

You might recall my eyebrows were waxed into a state of Permanent Surprise back in September. It's taken all these months for them to revert to their usual feralness. Not wanting to risk Lynette The Ripper again, I scoured the Yellow Pages for somewhere new.

I'm somewhat wary of Beauty Establishments here in Scotland. I've not had much luck. Take hairdressers, for example. It took me two and half years to find a goodun. After three lopsided chops from a curly-haired Kiwi, I jumped ship, oddly enough to another Kiwi. He became known as the Nicholson Street Butcher and we must never speak of him again.

And then there was a third Kiwi, who was a genius and restored my faith in her people. But she disappeared after three cuts, deciding that the grass was greener back in Auckland.

So I moved on to a Scottish lass, who was quietly spoken but deadly fast and accurate with the scissors. Which suited me fine, because I don't go there for the banter. It was all going beautifully until I showed up for a colour one day only to be told abruptly that she, "No longer works at this establishment".

After sobbing briefly that the good ones always leave me, the head stylist assured me it wasn't personal and tended to my locks herself. It wasn't until a few months later when we'd built up that inane hairdresser/hairdressed repartee that she casually mentioned that my former stylist had been fired for repeatedly showing up drunk. And by the way, she was now in jail for attempted murder! She'd stabbed her boyfriend! How deliciously sordid.

But… but… what about all those times she'd asked me in hushed tones, How bout I chop off another inch? What was that? Practice?!

Anyway, there I was last week in the waiting room of my chosen New Place. It was dead charming, like walking into a teenage slumber party. There were comfy old couches, wooden floors, magazines and ladies with cotton wool stuffed 'tween their toes as they waited for polish to dry. I would have been content to sit there all night reading, and was almost annoyed when the Wax Mistress called my name. She was smiley and she had red hair.

"So what can I do for you?"

"It's the eyebrows. They sneak up on me all the time. They're pale and hard to spot, and they switch from neat and tidy to pure mental overnight. I can never catch the bastards!"

"Tell me about it!" She pointed to her own ginger brows.

Maybe it's true what Gareth says about the Ginger Understanding. There's a scarlet-locked baby living in the flat upstairs that we refer to as the Ginger Bairn (where ginger = redhead, and bairn = baby in the Scottish vernacular). Ginger Bairn recently learned to walk. Actually, it bypassed walk and went straight to run, and spends its days galloping round on the cursed laminated floors.

"Shauna!" Gareth will often scream above the din, "Will you please go tell the Ginger Bairn to sit down?!"

"Why me?"

"Because it will listen to you. Just talk to it, Ginger to Ginger. It will understand its own kind!"

This Wax Mistress certainly understood her own kind. All the perils of gingerism. The paradox of the pale eyelashes yet the crotch so lurid it can be seen from space.

"I had a bad experience last time," I said.

"Oh? What happened?"

"I was butchered. My husband said I looked like the headlights on the new Mercedes. My expression was locked on 'surprised'."

"How surprised are we talking?"

"Like, surprise tinged with alarm."

"Like, surprised like the plot twist in The Crying Game?"

"Yes!"

"Well I won't let that happen again," she soothed, "You're more suited to a slightly thicker brow anyway. Now just lay back here and I'll sort everything."

Every other brow wax I've had was over in a minute. A perfunctory brush, a slap of hot wax, a rrrrrrip, then a brief exchange of many pounds. But this woman took her time, all seriousness as she combed and measured. Did she brutally rip the stray hairs with wax, or did she just coax them out with some sort of musical interlude, a la the Pied Piper? I can't recall.

"Your brows have a fantastic natural arch to them," she cooed afterwards, massaging lotion into my flaming forehead, "They're really lovely."

"Oh cheers," I mumbled. Take that, bitches! Finally, something to feel superior about. Bums may shrink or widen, and breasts will rise and fall, but eyebrows are forever!

The whole experience was magic. My brows were tidy but not anorexic. And instead of dismissing me with a bored wave then nicking oot the back for a fag, the Wax Mistress helped me with my coat and waited politely while I fumbled with my hat and scarf. She even held the door open and wished me goodnight!

The biggest shock was that it cost four pounds less than the old place. That's two pounds less per brow! Value for money and stellar customer service in Scotland, all in one day! This was definitely an anecdote I would store up for when I next met up with expat Australians and we sit around eating cake and making bitchy generalisations about our adopted nation.

Yes indeed, my complete surprise would still be registered on my face today, a whole week later; except of course the brows don't do that anymore.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


26 thoughts on “Ginger to Ginger

  1. Oh Shauny. I’m in tears. Just what I needed! Especially the perils of gingerism. The problem with ginger guys is it looks like a nest of baby mice and all you want to do is take off your shoe and wack them!

  2. LOL surprised like the plot twist in the crying game … I love that line 🙂 There is nothing better than finding a new favourite hairstylist/ beauty therapist/doctor/ masseuse / Good on ya !

  3. …oddly enough to another Kiwi. He became known as the Nicholson Street Butcher…

    OMG he’s here!!! He’s back ‘home’. I know because he did my bonce last time. I have… a bob!!! Not a trendy one like Ms Sienna Miller was last seen sporting either.

    …a third Kiwi, who was a genius and restored my faith in her people…deciding that the grass was greener in Auckland.

    I know as a newcomer to your luvverly wee site I canae expect preferential treatment… but this is our crowning glory we’re talking about! You have to tell me where in Auckland she absconded to! She wasn’t called Rachael by any chance, was she? (And if you move to Manchester, I’ll tell you who’s bloody good there.)

  4. yes yes, a good eyebrow specialist is like gold dust these days. i just hope she doesn’t disappear on you now!

  5. that was SO funny.
    ‘so lurid it can be seen from space.’ha ha

    (and that “baby mice” comment still has me SNORTING WITH MIRTH)

  6. Ohh I wish I cold find a good wax mistress myself! The last half dozen have nearly ruined my brows (brunette and hard to pencil in), so I have taken a vow of waxlessness while here in the US Midwest and just tweeze what I can, in hopes of returning to S.California where the wax ladies know what’s what.

    Thanks for giving me hope!

  7. hmm … I thought gingers had white eybrows???

    as for lorena bobbit the hairdresser???? wow think ill keep to the cropped myself look ….

    by the way i knew this guy (skinhead stevie) who’s girlfriend was squirting lighter fluid on him when he woke up and stopped her from flicking the lighter … said he’d only given her a slap during an argument…

    anyway.. he went back to her ..he forgave her… aint love blind?? hehe

  8. I had a Wax Mistress tell me once I had ‘fantastic arches’ too! I didn’t quite know how to respond, it was the strangest compliment I’d ever received… like someone saying, ‘you’ve got gorgeous earlobes!’ or ‘What a fetching elbow you have there!’

  9. I live with a Ginger at the moment. I do love your ‘lurid crotch’ comment and feel that I’ve been thinking about getting her to pose nude with her arms crossed (to hide her top bits) and her lurid crotch hidden by a big bottle of Fanta. And I will then buy the domain fantapants.com and that’s all I will have on the page…
    …maybe one day I’ll get around to it.

  10. my sister has a thing for l’homme de ginger.

    She married one, and lusts after Simon Pegg.

    Between her and Gareth it seems the ginger fan club has a quorum

  11. I am seriously considering driving north to Scotland to consult this magical mistress! My eyebrows look like they belong to Professor “Glass and A Half” Sumner Miller (“now watch as I put this egg into this bottle…..”) 😀

  12. Gee I REALLY hope you can make it to the blogmeet… as long as you don’t mind me staring at your eyebrows 😉

    (yes, I said eyebrows…)

  13. Little do we “normal” people know but in the world of waxing they actually charge by the hair – the two pounds per eyebrow you saved represented the two hairs she left behind that, if removed, would have given you the permanent surprise. 🙂

  14. We need to share stories. I’m no ginge minge but I am rather blonde. I remember one time the waxing lady burnt me, and I had two huge, shiny red patches ‘neath my eyebrows for weeks. Be warned, ladies and germs, be warned.

  15. Pictures! I want pictures! I’m too scared to let anyone touch my brows since…since…it’s still too soon to talk about it.

  16. Have read this entry once every week since it was posted! Love it, but am hanging out for more of your musings. What’s been happening?

  17. Excellent! I’ve just come back from an eyebrow and (ahem) upper lip threading experience. Threading is ace if you’ve never tried it before and your ginger lass ends up disappearing on you then do see if you can find somewhere that does it. Have to say, I’m blessed by living in the Big City – my double whammy cost me just £5 in the local Turkish hairdressers. (Just done in the normal hairdressing seats in full public view though – slightly odd to have a sofa full of men watching!)

  18. Hey Shauna, I was watching SouthPark two nights ago and there was a whole episode about Cartman creating an apartheid situation with ginger kids being the target, until Stan, Kyle and Kenny dyed him ginger while he slept…

    Then he commanded all his fellow gingers to rise up against their oppressors… there were all these little ginger freckled SouthPark kids gunning for the non-gingers who had tormented them. I was going to suggest you watch it, but I’ve now just told you the whole thing. D’oh. Kenny was killed by the gingers.

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