The plan was simple. My pregnant sister-in-law who lives in Connecticut is starting to enter her nesting stage and I’ve got a bin of newborn clothes and maternity basics to lend her. I hadn’t had my hair colored since finding out I was pregnant but I’m faithful to my colorist in New York and living in DC. Willow and I would leave right after she woke up and ate on Tuesday, drive North to Manhattan, have my mother-in-law join us at the salon to entertain her while I got my highlights done, and then head upward toward CT in time for dinner.
First we’d have a light lunch and a cup of coffee at the diner down the block from Sally Hershberger. I’d pop upstairs and leave them to wander around the Meatpacking District with a stroller full of essentials including frozen breastmilk, teething toys, and so on.
So it came as an unfortunate surprise when I found myself breastfeeding Willow under the heat lamp and then holding her as she napped in my arms throughout my rinse, glaze, and blowout at the chicest salon in Manhattan. Looking out across a sea of Helmut Lang-clad hair enthusiasts, one could spot my poor MIL huddled in a corner, thumbing through the latest issue of W magazine with her puffer coat on, ready to take that walk around the block that simply was not to be.
Apparently my child can smell me, or hear me, or sense me, or something, in such a superhuman manner that being separated by a wall and confined to the arms of her grandmother whom she adores still wouldn’t do it. My heart was racing the entire time because I was so mortified to have a crying child in an upscale place. People go to the salon to unwind and enjoy, not to hear someone else’s baby crying.
I won’t tell you how absolutely amazing the staff at SH was, cooing over Willow, relocating our stroller multiple times to accommodate us, playing with her, and heating and re-heating hot water for me to bring her bottles up to temp… I won’t tell you how incredibly sweet and understanding they were because I do not want to encourage you to bring your baby there.
I want to encourage you to stash your baby with your caretaker of choice at a coffee shop, an apartment, or wherever it is safe and warm and get out for a couple hours to breathe. Part of wanting to book this appointment in the first place was that I needed a little me-time. I love Willow more than air, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to still feel like a woman.
With all of that said, I couldn’t be happier with my hair. In the end I opted not to do anything too dramatic. I’d love to go a little blonder for summer, but my re-entry into the world of highlights is a decidedly lovely one and so easy to maintain as a busy mommy. Justin painted in some face-framing light strands and lightened up the bottom bit. Since time didn’t allow a haircut, I’ll probably be back in May at which point we’ll take off a couple of dead inches and turn up the volume on the blonde.
But I absolutely love this soft, pretty, modern mommy hair and even though Willow (bless her) was a bit of a nightmare at the salon, all of the complicated planning was worth it! Book your appointment at Sally Hershberger Downtown today!