It’s examination evening at the Toni & Guy Academy in Wanchai. As hairdressers and stylists elbow one another out of the way to the beat of pumping music and wind tunnel strength hairdryers, the Models slouch around eyeing each other or looking fabulously bored while their hair is being teased to giddy heights. I’m stuck under an ultramodern dryer/heat-emitting machine that looks like 8 tiny solar panels held together with nuts and bolts and a fragrance stick. The contraption radiates heat very constantly and unbelievably effective. I can feel my ears getting hotter by the minute. Note to self: consider carrying icepack along with mosquito repellant and hand sanitizer. This is what you get when and ordinary gal like me moonlights as a model...
I’m modeling for Chi and met him two weeks ago in this very same studio where I’m busy melting. Every three months I treat myself to a fun haircut at the Toni & Guy Academy. Their trainees are young and funky and really go out of their way to make my hair look modern. It’s also ridiculously cheap and I just love the idea of throwing caution to the wind when I sign the indemnity form before a haircut or colour job.
Having said that, my track record at the Academy looks great compared to the horrendous haircuts I’ve had in Hong Kong previously where “just a trim” ends up in me bawling my eyes out while reaching for hats and scarves to cover my manhandled head in the height of Summer.
Back to Chi. As I said, he was my designated hairdresser two weeks ago and his eyes lit up when I said he can do with my hair what he pleases as long I’ve got some length at the back and a couple of locks to cover my ears. There and then he asked me to be a model for his examination and of course I couldn’t resist. I must mention that I was exceptionally open to new ideas at that stage too as he was giving me the best head and neck massage I’ve had in eons. Chi enthusiastically cut my hair for the next hour and while he was working away on my locks I was comforted by his creative buzz. It was clear that he was enjoying his task. As I sat watching him I realized that I couldn’t think of any better way of being in the moment other than enjoying what you are doing.
Later, when I asked Chi what I should bring along on the big night he said was: “Make-up please”. Seeing that I have two left hands with limp wrists when it comes to handling make-up I made a pit stop at the MAC counter on the way over to the Academy with explicit instructions to the gorgeous girl at the counter to make me look fabulous. PLEASE.
After a long wait and the models checking out the competition we went on stage with a very nervous Chi. I had an elegant lady from the Philippines next to me and her biggest concern was not to look “shiny” on stage. Mine was not to trip over my own feet. After Chi turned us around to show off the various angles and this and that of the cut, we were in turn prodded by the owners and trainers of the salon. Each of them whipped out a comb and started combing out sections of our hair to look at…gosh, I don’t really know what. They did make appreciative sounds though so I guess they were happy with what they found at the ends of their combs.
I took the 962 bus home feeling on top of the world, it was only when I got home and looked in the mirror that I saw my two crimson ears poking through my locks. Hopefully the cute guy sitting next to me on the bus didn’t notice.
Seriously though, for the next couple of days staying in the moment is going to be a breeze for me. I’m planning to focus on things that bring me joy and pleasure. Even when I’m in a situation that I don’t necessarily enjoy I’ll aim for finding the joy in the specific moment. Three cheers from this self-proclaimed and loving it hedonist to joy, pleasure and inspiration.