Raising My Rainbow

When The Hair Stylist Kept Referring To C.J. As A Girl, I Knew It Wasn’t Going To End Well

Raising My Rainbow is written by the mother of a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. She’s chronicling their journey on Queerty right here. Read up on RMR‘s cast of characters.

Oh yeah, before my recent haircut, I would have fit right in with the ladies in this family. Minus the dress

“You look like one of those Mormon Duggars,” Uncle Uncle said to me as we lunched recently and I contemplated cutting my overgrown hair. “They’re not Mormon,” I replied, taking a bite of chips and guac. “That’s not the point,” he said. (Oh no he didn’t!) “How come Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie can have long hair, but I can’t?” I asked defensively, thinking that my argument was solid. “Shack up with Brad Pitt and we’ll talk,” Uncle Uncle said to me, his favorite sister, with a smile.

A couple months later Uncle Uncle came for a visit and we were watching C.J. play with his Strawberry Shortcake dolls. I could tell that Uncle Uncle was deep in thought. I waited for it. I knew some incredible insight was coming.

Picture this hairstyle, with red hair, on a four-year-old effeminate boy. That’s C.J.!

“C.J. has the same haircut as Liza Minnelli,” he said thoughtfully. “You know that old lady short do.” He was right and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Haircuts are a tricky thing for C.J. He usually wants his hair long like Rapunzel. Which is just fine, except that the minute his bangs are long enough to get in his eyes he gets annoyed and goes crazy, often times wagging full-on war, swatting them out of the way and, then, crumbling to the ground in defeat. He decided that he wants shorter bangs and longer hair on the sides and the back. I have a hard time being okay with that because he would look too much like the mascot for Dutch Boy Paint.

C.J. often describes this haircut when asked how he wants his hair

It’s an age-old problem; wanting beautiful long locks but not being patient enough for the growing out and styling process.

Whoopsie! C.J.’s Mom cuts bangs like this

A few days ago, I decided to cut C.J.’s bangs myself because they were falling in his eyes and ruining his life. The good news? He no longer looked like Liza Minnelli. The bad news? He looked more like Jim Carrey’s character from Dumb and Dumber. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.

I was over the long waits and service at our usual Cool Cuts 4 Kids, so I decided to take C.J. and pop into Hair Masters, which is right next to our grocery store. We walked in. C.J. was wearing a green hoodie, jeans and white sneakers. He was carrying a plush Rapunzel doll, but otherwise looked all boy.

The stylist took us to her station. “What kind of cut does the pretty girl want,” she asked, running her long acrylics through C.J.’s super-thick red hair. I ignored her because I simply thought that she misspoke. She referred to C.J. as a girl again and I corrected her.

“He’s a boy,” I said with a look and tone that questioned her intelligence.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I saw the doll and….,” she trailed off. Sadly enough, I’m getting used to people apologizing and trailing off.

C.J.’s favorite part of getting is hair cut? The styling cape. Duh

Two more times she referred to my son as a girl. Was she crazy? Did she just not care? Was I overreacting? I corrected her each time she made the mistake. She proceeded to give him the worst haircut of his life. She sprayed water in his face, scared him with the blow dryer and told him that he needed to concentrate on what he was doing. Now, last time you got a haircut, did you have to concentrate on what you were doing? I sure didn’t.

“If you tell him what you are going to do before you do it, this might go a little smoother,” I said to her as she trimmed his bangs and dropped hair directly into his open eye. This lady was clueless and I was near tears or verbal assault. Finally, the great hair massacre of 2011 was over.

“What flavor lollipop does she want?” she asked. C.J. looked at me. Apparently we were both fighting back tears. He choose grape and we left.

“I’m sorry that lady wasn’t very nice,” I said to C.J.

“Yeah, she was so in-propriate,” he said as he enjoyed his candy and skipped along.

There are no words …

The next day I called to complain to the manager, who really couldn’t be bothered with the details of a customer’s bad experience. She offered to fix the botched job. We went back to the salon, but I’m not sure it was worth it. Apparently they are not, as their name would indicate, masters of hair.

If you’ve been following our adventures, you know how important hair is to C.J. Right now, the poor little guy doesn’t like what he sees in the mirror. That makes me sad, because I always want my boys to like what they see in the mirror. I’m trying to help him by getting creative with the styling of his hair. We do the old Justin Bieber swoosh to one side and the Robert Pattinson bed-head disheveled look. We’ve even, at the suggestion and direction of C.J.’s Brother, tried the Nate Berkus. Those make him feel better. We’ll ride out this phase together until he once again likes what he sees in the mirror… and, in the meantime, we’ll look for a new stylist.