Joan's Blog

"Watch Me Pull A Rabbit Out Of My Hat"
JANUARY 17, 2010 1:40PM

Ode To Robert

Rate: 48 Flag

Women and their hair. No small matter. When our hair looks good much is right with the world. The trick is finding the hairstylist who makes it happen.  I have been thinking about the man who does indeed make it happen. A man who deserves a word of appreciation. Another kind of love letter...

When I first moved to DC in the mid '80's I heard about him making magic in his upscale salon in Georgetown.  So what if I was out of my league? I walked in anyway. Vanity propelled me forward.

My long hair was blown dry straight as a stick. He could make my hair smooth, straight and shiny in the middle of August in DC.  I was hooked. It became a ritual that went on for years. 

Robert did my hair the day of a big date with my husband to be. He worked his hair magic the day I got married. Long and straight and just the way I wanted it. 

When I became pregnant my vanity was no different. But I was way too nauseated to sit for an hour while my long locks were straightened within an inch of their life. "How about just letting it go natural?" he suggested.

 I walked out with neck length hair that waved and curled and didn't need a blow dryer. Armed with a tube of mousse and a whole new look to go with my expanding waistline. I kept this look until after my baby was born. When I started to look like someone's mom I knew it was time to see Robert. 

Back I went to sleek and straight. Until one day I walked in and said, "Let's cut it short."  I should mention that Robert operates without unnecessary emotion. He is not one of those stylists who gossips, fawns over you or wants to talk you into something new. He is quiet, steady, and dependable. If you say "short", he gets to work. No drama. 

I walked out that day feeling naked without my hair. Yet strangely sassy. Powerful. And maybe French. I felt stylish.  Robert had worked his quiet magic on me again.

Robert has been the man I have depended on for over 20 years. I still walk into his salon in Georgetown and know I'm out of my league. But he knows how to make me look good. He's seen me through all the important milestones in my life, changing my hair to match each one. 

Last week I was in there for my regular color and cut. I told him I was thinking of growing my hair long again. He said, "Why would you do that? You look so young with it short."  

Ah, Robert. I'll never leave you. 


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I think I need a Robert in my life... but I have to admit to having grown my hair out after years of short just for a change... Now, I need a Robert for style out of my league... You should send this blog to Robert - what a steadfast man and you are a loyal and appreciative client!
I need a Robert. I've had them, and lost them. This is lovely; I hope you get a free cut and style out of it.
Good post Joan. As they say, "Hair is half!" Not sure what the other half is ...
Yes, I remember when I thought my hair was even political (a hippy during 'do during late 80s early 90s wasn't mainstream - fit in with grunge pretty well though). Amazing the emotions that a woman's hair can hold. I've had a couple of Robert's, and they are worth holding onto!
Should Robert ever decide the humidity of D.C. needs to swapped for the humidity of Texas, I get dibbs....
What a great love letter! I need a curls fly all around, then I try to make it smooth and straight...goodgod. xox

Add this to the love letter project...xox
They are worth their weight in gold! I have a good girl now. Almost ( yes almost) I look just like I want when I walk out the door. Great tribute to someone we all need :)
Every woman's secret lover is her hair stylist!
What a beautiful ode, Joan.
My Robert is Tina. We've grown together over the last 25 years.
What a sweet story. & Joan, I don't think anyone is ever out of their league. Sounds like that's just where you belong. with Robert.
Leonde, it's very clear that every one of us needs a Robert. I do still think I will grow my hair out...

Kathy, a free cut would be terrific. I'm out of my league price wise too.

Scarlett, "Hair is half." I never heard that before, but most will agree, there is a lot wrapped up in our hair.

Sparking, yes, long straight hair reminds me of being young. One part hippie, one part flirty.

Tex, he is talking about moving to New York. Can't even process the thought.

Robin, he really is worthy of a love letter.

Outside Myself, thank you for reading!

Lunchlady2, I'm glad you have a Roberta!

Donna, ain't it the truth?

FusunA, 25 years? Wow, you really do understand.
"And maybe French." Georgetown is s long way away, but maybe it would be worth it?
"And maybe French" was also my favorite line. I hope Robert reads this. So often, the people who make a difference to us don't know it. And it's so true about hair, why IS that? When my hair is right, I don't even care if I'm having a Fat Day.
No, I take that back.
WalkAwayHappy, you make me giggle. Thank you.

trilogy, thanks, and I hear you. Sometimes I literally say to myself "You belong here, Joan" when I think I am out of my league anywhere.

Ann, thinking I look "French" is the highest compliment I can give myself.

full time daughter, there is something undeniably magical about the power of a good hair day.
Nice. Indeed stay with him.
Does he do men? I could use a shot confidence about now!
I need a Robert. I wish I could see a few hair pics long and short. Awesome post.
Jill, I am totally committed to this relationship.

Scanner, he does, indeed. And you will never look at yourself the same way again...

Amanda, thank you. Yes, this post would have been much better with some pictures to go with it. I just have no idea how to do it. I need a computer class.
You should definitely print this out and give it to him. Not everyone has a Robert. Not everyone deserves a Robert. Apparently, you do!
There can never be enough love for the Roberts of the world!
I had a Robert and lost him. It's been about 10 years. He still works in my parents' town, but I'm too ashamed to go back. Maybe I will...he understood me like no hairdresser before or since. Everyone needs a hairdresser like this.

Nice post. :)
I think I've just found one. Argentinian, so talk is minimal. Did my hair once. But he's expensive and I've been using cut-rate salons, or even doing it myself for awhile. Shall I indulge. I do think so. Especially after reading this.
Every woman on OS will relate to this love letter. Well done, Joan.
All women need a Robert or Roberta, whoever does what it takes to keep you happy. It's amazing what confidence cam be gleaned from a trip to the salon.
Robert seems to understand a lot about women... mostly just being there (for the milestones)... but also helping them discover their beauty.

What an awesome love letter.
It totally makes sense to me . . . love takes all forms!
To Owl_Says_Who
There are also infinitely different types of love, and love between two people is never the same.
I often wonder what would cause a woman to feel better about herself in the morning; waking up with good hair, or waking up after having experienced an orgasm before falling asleep?
Even when I had hair, all I would do is dye blond till it glowed neon, and cut it to be short and manageable.
I always had my hair professionally dyed, which would cost between $30 to $100, but keeping my hair short and manageable never cost more than $10 a cut.
In the morning I would leave the house without touching my hair, thinking the more fucked-up it looked, the better. My hair never affected my mood, until I started losing it, and when that happened I just started shaving it (which my wife does, and it cost me nothing).
But knowing I had helped bring a woman to orgasm the night before; now that has always brightened my day.
I've been thinking I look like someones mom....Where can I find Robert??
I have my own Robert, although his name is Terry. We've been together, dare I say, for more than 30 years! Longer than either of my husbands! Although I only see him once every four or five weeks. The best hair cutter in MY world and a good man as well.

Loved this! I hope you show it to Robert. He will be thrilled...quietly, of course.
Bellwether Vance, I just had the nerve to walk into the place.

mypsyche, I know! Exactly why I wrote a love letter.

Kyle, I completely understand. Yay Shellie!

Lisa, I wish you would go back if you want to.

Lea, indulge.

Stellaa, the"hair whisperer" is just perfect.

Unbreakable, thank you. It is a universal love, don't you think?

junk1, it is such a small thing, but somehow means a great deal.

tai, thanks. You are right. He is a talented man.

Owl, I know for a fact that love takes many shapes and forms. please, you know that there is nothing wrong with actually looking like someone's mom. I was just post baby frump!

M.McKenzie, you are like me. I've been with Robert longer than my husband. Thanks for stopping by.
As my hairline has...ahem...receded, I have gone from "two weeks in advance" appointments to a $12.00 "drop in anytime" regular mens' haircut. Your Robert is my elderly man who will give a good haircut and the best town gossip,
Good story...and you seem to have a treasure in Robert.
This was a lovely love letter. I like Robert's calm. It's cool that he's been with you and your hair all these years. I've never had a Robert, or a Roberta, for that matter. I just hack at my hair myself. I'm weird like that.
If you say Georgetown, as in Texas -- I'm going!
I feel at my handsomest after a great haircut, too! Luckily, I have stick straight, thinning hair and I can walk into the nearest "Sports Clips" and get what I need for a 20-spot. I count my blessings that men can get away with being "distinguished" when they get gray hair. Yay for me!
Bless the women and the torture they put their hair through on a daily basis. Men are getting off easy! =)
Nice. Very nice. Here's to stylin'--and to Robert!
I have a Greg...and he also, when I start to look like just someone's mom, makes me feel like so much more.
"When our hair looks good much is right with the world."

Amen to that.
When our hair looks good much is right with the world.

So true!

I had a guy, Micheal (yes, e before a), in Buffalo whom I used to travel to see in the 80's. But alas I had children and a life and moved on. I'd love to reconnect...
It is a poignant connection we have with the one who touches our hair.
My guy is "Dan" and this story rings soooooooooo true. My husband's favorite line when I crap happens is... "Well, at least your hair looks good!"
good was late last night when I wrote my comment...not sure where that "I" came from... of course I do crap, but that wasn't what I was saying here...I'll just shut up now.
Mimetalker, please don't shut up. That's the first time I've laughed all day.
This is killing me(see below) So, I think Oh! Joan H. thinks it's the height of hilarity that Mimetalker's husband said that about her hair looking good or whatever. Oh, these quaint type people. I cut my own miserable hair and even so ...jeez.. what's so funny about her husbands comment -Not my speed etc.
And, then I see the other comment by mimetalker and now it's "When I crap... my husband says..." And, I'm still out loud non stop laughing.

My guy is "Dan" and this story rings soooooooooo true. My husband's favorite line when I crap happens is... "Well, at least your hair looks good!"
January 21, 2010 06:04 PMgood was late last night when I wrote my comment...not sure where that "I" came from... of course I do crap, but that wasn't what I was saying here...I'll just shut up now.
January 22, 2010 04:17 PMMimetalker, please don't shut up. That's the first time I've laughed all day.
Joan H.
January 22, 2010 04:21 PM
Aw fernsy, you thought I was lame, didn't you? tee hee
When I was recovering from an operation, in July, '98, my sister's stylist ccame to my apt on the Parkway in center city Philly...Francis was as skilled as any barber i'd ever had...a wonderful man.

r. for a great post!
Played by Warren Beatty in the movie?
I used to own a hair shop called Hair Dudes (no knocking the name please) way before the hair extension phase came in. I felt like I was babysitting..
I saw what they did. Have not cut my hair since..:)
You are so lucky.
how did you do this, joanie, repost it with all the original comments? wow. i've never seen this work - or maybe never seen it tried? - before.

somehow i missed it the first time. skimping ($$ or time or distance whatever) on the person who does one's hair is always always a terrible idea. so glad you found robert and glad i found this.
I think I know that salon. You are a lucky woman.
Ha, Joan. Cool ...a post from way back when! Before I looked at the date I thought hey, Joanie's growing it long again. Funny because I was thinking about getting my hair cut. For better or worse, my hair is long(er) these days as you can see in my avatar taken at my 50th. I posted that last week in solidarity with Myriad since **someone** suggested women of a certain age shouldn't have long hair. I'm sure, long or short with - or without - Robert's help, you'd always have style my dear. Me, I'm still thinking aobut it. ;)

What a lovely ode to someone very deserving! I have someone like Robert too. These stylists really are artists. Hold on to Robert. He's a keeper.
Hey everyone, thanks for reading this old post!
@Candace, I had an appointment with Robert this morning. I had been making faces at myself in the mirror all week, just waiting for this day. The day I would be transformed into "presentable" again. I put it on FB which is how people saw it... :)
mystery solved. thanks, joan. now you need to post a photo of yourself with short hair!! xo
Scarlett, I think you look beautiful with your hair long or short. I never understood why anyone thinks women should cut their hair after a certain age. Pffft.
old post, old friends, all of us, Joanie. I let mine grown out since 50 F it I say, curly and crazy... not gray though haven't gone that step..
short and sassy maybe suits you
good read, good friend here all.
@Rita, I love short hair. I think it is terrifically sassy and sexy. But, I often miss my long hair~ I could do so many things with it. For now, I'll keep it short. Who knows, maybe after 60 I will let it get long again...
When I moved across the country six years ago, I left my favorite doc, my terrific dentist, my church, my grandkids ... and my hairdresser. I've replaced every one (except the grands, of course) relatively easily ... but it's taken all this time (and a lot of misery) to find a new "Robert." (mine was Kathy) Thanks to OSer MHold, who was kind enough to compare MY hair to hers (she's REALLY kind) I found a wonderful person. I do hope you give a copy of this to Robert -- it's better than a big tip! R.