The dreaded hairdressers

I dislike the hairdressers. It’s not the hairdresser, she’s really nice but going to the hairdressers is definitely not my favourite activity. Last weekend I braved a trip to see her (my hair was looking dreadful, it was too heavy).

So why do I hate going to the hairdressers? I think it’s because of the sensory overload and the social interaction.

Firstly, as soon as you walk in you are met by the smell of hair products and it’s not just a smell either, there’s a taste too. I think it’s the hairspray but when you taste hairspray it dries out your mouth. You can’t help but taste it, it’s in the air. Also, there’s all the other products like gels, mousses and shampoo. All those smells combining with the general smell of people who like to wear perfume or aftershave. Not pleasant.

Then there’s the sound. I can cope with the sound of water running into the sinks and I can cope with the general hubbub of chatter but when you add in the sound of the hairdryers on top of all the other noises… It’s far too much.

It’s busy at the hairdressers and there are a lot of details to take in when you look around but I can cope with that. What does get me is the lights. It always seems that a bulb needs changing and then the light begins to flicker. My eyes are just drawn to the flickering light. Not helpful when the hairdresser wants you to look at the floor because she’s trying to cut the back of your hair. If I have to stay for a long time I begin to get a headache.

Then there’s the social part. I haven’t yet met a hairdresser who cuts your hair in silence. I am rubbish at small talk. I never know what to say and how much to ask or when it’s inappropriate to ask personal questions, especially when they have just asked a personal question. Because I don’t know I spend too much energy wondering if I’ll do something inappropriate and that makes it hard to speak at all. Usually my mum sits next to me and she does the chatting, I can just listen and add an occasional comment if I want to. However, at the weekend she was in the other room having a colour so I had to cope alone. I was glad I have short hair and it only taken ten minutes to cut.

I don’t blame the hairdressers for any of this. Having spoken to both my mum and sister I know it doesn’t bother them. It’s my Aspie brain trying to process too much. At least I have a few weeks now where I don’t need to go again.


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