Today I planned on having my normal visit to the hairdresser. It didn't quite work out that way.
took a turn for the worse when the girl who works next to my beautician
got the news that she'd be having a six year old client who needed a
press and curl. The little girl who's cute as a button and her
grandmother get situated. Granny mentions that her granddaughter is
going to be a flower girl in a wedding on Saturday. As she walks past
me, I notice that the child looks almost panicked, not the way you'd
expect a happy child with no worries to look. Their beautician gets
started and I'm whisked away to the shampoo bowl.
the sound of the water, I hear wailing on the other side of the wall.
My beautician says the the girl is having a fit. We get back from the
and the child is in tears. These weren't the 'I don't want to get my
hair washed' but the 'you're trying to kill me' variety. Since this is
also a cosmetology school, an instructor is called over and she takes
charge of the situation.
When they bring
her back from shampooing, that's when the real show starts. The girl
starts bucking out of the seat as her hair is being blow dried and
combed. Grandma or as I later find out Great Grandma explains that she
just had braids taken out, which had been in the child's head for
several months. With the situation being too much for just one
beautician, three hover over this child's head with combs and a blow
dryer, trying to make sense of her chaotic mane of curls. You see, the
braids were in her head so long, they started to turn into dreadlocks.
Clumps of matted hair are combed out of her hair all the while she's
screaming bloody murder.
Oh great granny
attempts to help in her own demented way. She repeatedly reminds the
child that she's not going to be in the wedding, which causes the kid to
scream even louder. She shrugs off responsibility for the tangled mess,
blaming it on the child's mother and swearing it will never happen
For an hour, I'm listening as a
poor child is being tormented. A few hair stylists wander into the area
and watch the circus before walking away and shaking their heads. Granny
isn't concerned with her great grand who's been so obviously neglected,
her primary concern is the wedding tomorrow and what they're going to
do without a flower girl. The old woman even suggests bringing the girl
in the morning and having her hair relaxed, which the instructor
politely tells her is not possible since it was just washed.
all remedies are exhausted, the instructor leaves and returns with a
partial refund. There's no way they can do anything with this child's
head because she can't keep still. Grandma calls 'grandpa' who starts
yelling at her over the phone demanding an explanation as to why the
girl's hair can't be done. Obviously brow beaten for years, she meekly
explains the situation, and leaves to wait for him in the lobby.
feel bad for the girl. It's bad enough that her mother is neglectful,
but she's surrounded by elders who have their priorities in the wrong
place. I have a feeling that there are probably chapters and chapters of
dysfunction in this child's life. Sure she'll probably walk down the
aisle tomorrow in her pretty dress, but what about the next day? What
about the day after that? At what point will someone say enough is
enough and pull her out of that dysfunction?