“Not too high or poofy on top, but rounded over, not flat. Keep them soft and fluffy but not long and shaggy. The ears? Blunt cut them, sort of squared off. Oh yea, and the beards need to go, trim those long whiskers that keep getting water all over the place after they take a drink. But not too much, I don’t want to make them look like poodles. I want them more aussie than doodle. Does that make sense?”
The receptionist took copious notes as I rattled off the don’t and do’s of the doodles’ doos. She read the list of my requests back to me and assured me she would pass it all on to the groomer. Before running out the door I turned and smiled, “I’ll be happy with whatever they look like, as long as they smell good and are soft. I’m not one of those finicky poodle people.”
She returned my smile holding the list of my detailed grooming specifications.
I promise, I am not that picky of a person when it comes to haircuts. In fact, I have had my fair share of mishaps that broke me in. The big lesson I always had to learn was “hair grows back.” It can be tough at first. I remember back in my twenties we were living in Southern California and I went to an upscale salon that did a crazy number on my thick naturally curly hair. The stylist layered it in big chunks above my shoulders. I came home and looked in the mirror, and was floored to see how uneven all the chunky layers were. It reminded me of the awful Billy Jean King shag haircut I had in the 70s as an 8 year old. The next morning I returned to the salon asking her to fix it. Apparently my Southern California stylist was cutting edge because the choppy layered cut she gave me turned out to be the hugely popular Rachel-from-friends shag. It wasn’t my best look. A far better trendy style for me was my perfect Dorthy Hamill wedge in 7th grade. It is all about communicating clearly with the hairdresser.
Several years later I had a lapse in communication with the young energetic stylist at Kids Cutz. It was my son’s first haircut. He sat in the little sports-car chair with a drape around his 3 year old neck. I walked away for a minute and returned to find him shaven with the electric cutters. I shrieked. My little guy’s whispy never-been-cut hair was shaved off. The stylist was shocked at my reaction. Nothing we could do about it. Hair grows back. The pain inflicted by that lesson went straight to my mama bear heart. My baby boy’s hair would never again have that toddler look or feel. Now when I see moms with their toddling boys in long curls, I don’t judge because once those baby locks are sheared (or shaved) their hair will never return to that stage. Tell your stylist exactly what you want. Bring pictures. Be as detailed as you need to be. It’s your hair, or your son’s, or your dog’s.
The hours ticked by until it was finally time to pick up Summer and Koda from the groomer. I was as eager to see them as they to see me. They came through the doors all primped and polished. I squealed in delight! “Koda! Summer! Look how cute you are!” I gushed. Just right! Squared off ears. Rounded heads. Trimmed beards. And best of all…silky smooth, sweet smelling, shiny black coats. We were so pleased that I called the groomer from home just to thank her again for how she did styled exactly as I asked. It is all about the communication. If that fails, just remember: hair grows back.