Untangling the story of the St Andrews hairdresser

By , Tab reporter on

Facebook Twitter


After living in St Andrews for three years, I have come to the realisation that there are a few saturated markets in our little pebble of a town: fashion shows, charity balls, and (whoddathunkit) hairdressers. There is no doubt that the need to keep follicles strong, ends from splitting, colour from fading and bangs from blinding you must be addressed. Away from home and the trustworthy kung-fu-ninja-superstar (read: Mother) who has been your personal coiffeur since age 1, the decision to have a wee snip may seem daunting. And rightfully so.

After all, a hairdresser is so much more than a hairdresser. In fact, I feel for hairdressers. They thought they knew what they were getting into, but boy were they wrong. You see, a hairdresser is never just a hairdresser. A hairdresser’s unspoken job description resembles the symptoms of multiple-personality disorder. They must have the talents of Edward Scissorhands (on a good day), the creativity of Picasso, the chat of Jonathan Ross’ and Sigmund Freud’s love-child and an upper first in Snape’s polyjuice-potion-making class. The world needs its villains, and the cost of failing to perform anything short of a magical act of alchemy on your hair and (by extension) your face, is that hairdressers have become the scapegoats of human beings’ frustrated fantasies. Will you look like Beyoncé if I put some curlers in your hair? Sorry to burst your bubble, but no. And yet, we all know “I want to go blonde” in customer-speak really means “I want to be Kate Moss by the end of this OR ELSE”.

Whether they like it or not, hairdressers also take the brunt of their customers’ daily trials and tribulations. Ladies and gentlemen, the chair at the barbershop is not the swivelly equivalent of your analyst’s couch. But for all we know, it might as well be. The more longterm your relationship with a particular stylist, the more intensely personal the conversation yelled over the blare of the blowdryer. And all the while they’re checking on your levels of hydration (‘Another water?’) with the frequency of a 1960’s air hostess and ensuring the final product delivers the perfect balance of Carrie Bradshaw sleekness and DIY nostalgia to appease your homesick, Mamma’s-boy heart. Yeah, you.

Apologies. My anthropologically-wired brain might have taken over my keyboard’s free will in over-analysing the social dynamics at the salon. I know better than anyone how important the right hairdresser is. Your hair, AKA life (#firstworldproblemz), depends on it, and you don’t want it butchered into an unrecognizable mop. Especially in St Andrews, where minor change never goes unnoticed. We all share a collective fear of looking into the mirror only to see that Amy Winehouse has taken over our scalps, or to see our new Britney Spears’ post-HitMeBabyOneMoreTime do. Fair enough. But as you sit there fidgeting and fearing for your hair, you may at least take a little comfort from the fact that, depending on your reaction, the hairdresser might be fearing for their lives (yes, plural. Remember: Edward-Picasso-Ross-Freud-Snape).


Facebook Twitter
Heard something on campus?

By on

St. Andrew’s favourite chippy ranks top 10 in UK

Fish are food, not friends

By on

Bodies, blind horses and bestiality rumours: A conversation with Equus

Provocative, brutal and bare (literally)

By on

A reply to the Edinburgh Tab

It’s time to recognise the Edinburgh tab’s St Andrews article for what it really is – lacking in research.

By , Chief Reporter on

One of The Apprentice contestants is a grad set to take the show by storm

She claims to have got the highest mark on her Business Studies course

By on

Belfast BPOC: I spent my student loan on a miniature schnauzer

The fluffy little idiot cost £450

By , Nottingham News Editor of The Tab on

Nottingham Second years left homeless after tumble dryer fire destroys their kitchen

They might have to go back to Broadgate

By , Sheffield Editor of The Tab on

Sheffield Fresher stabbed in Viper Rooms on his birthday

A man has been charged

By , Durham Editor of The Tab on

Durham Tatler’s guide to Durham underestimates how posh we really are

My father will be hearing about this

By , Former Editor, The Tab London on

London Posh boys should feel guilty about a lot of things but listening to dubstep isn’t one of them

It’s time to welcome the Skepta-loving rich list in from the cold