Dear Wanker-Hairdresser, (Barry Saga, Part One)

Rocking up looking like Kelly Clarkson, circa 2006.

My head literally wants to tear itself off of my own body though.

Help me, heeeeelp, there’s a rabid badger clawing at my scalp!

I could probably just shave it all off and mail it directly to Kelly Osborne’s wig collection. Play nice little badger, then you’ll be surrounded by various other animal-carcass-wigs, with a Chanel-stench, darling.

‘So, what are we doing with your hair today?’ She says with a grimace on her face, not too dissimilar to one Frodo bore before undertaking his journey to Mordor.

Fucking hell – would I be Gollum? No, even he didn’t have hair this terrible, he didn’t have hair at all. Maybe I should just shave it all off and start over.

‘Erm…’ how do I phrase this nicely? ‘Basically I let some absolute tosser loose on my hair yesterday and he roasted it alive and left a savage badger feasting on the burnt remains’.

Very eloquent, Ellie, you’d bring home a distinction for that line: Humorous and to the point, is what the feedback would read.


Oh God, now she thinks I’m one of those awkward and bitchy one-star-review-waiting-to-happen customers. It’s not my fault! I think the bleach has caused me temporary brain damage!

I raise my eyes and catch site of her holding a tiny tiny tail in her hand… It looks like the very tip of a paintbrush, only dishevelled and coarse.

‘Fucking hell, I’m so sorry, it just snapped’, she informs me, ‘excuse the language, but fuck.’

From behind my ear, a small tuft of black hair is sticking out horizontally, like an angry badger’s snout.

‘The bastard’.

‘I’ll try my best to strip it out, but it’s going to be tough. We don’t want it to break off and fall apart, we just want it gone. The bleach is going to sting, I’m not going to lie. Is that okay?’

At this point, anything to banish the bedraggled creature from my shoulders is okay, anything. Take a chainsaw and hack it off, bleach it translucent, use the scissors to flay the beast.

‘Yes’, I reply.

I think I’d make a great hairdresser. I love being in control of a situation. Holding those scissors I’d feel invincible. I could make or break someone with a complacent snip.

On goes the bleach. She’s looking at me as if she’s waiting for a reaction. I feel completely fine so I give her a smile and raise my eyebrows sarcastically, I’m so good at communicating without words. I could have been an award-winning mime in another life.

I open my phone to snapchat my awful experience, people must know how shocking my life is. Boo-hoo. Actually, oosh… arghh, this must be what she meant by the stinging. Fuck me, I probably should have told her that the cunt bleached my hair not once, but four times. Although, I expect she guessed as much by the phone-call – crying down the phone begging them to fix my eight-hour hairdressing disaster…Channelling my 2006 Britney spirit-animal…

Told you so, Lucy replies to my snap, attaching a photo of the neon-purple roots the same hairdresser gave her.

She’s right.

‘Is it time to wash off the bleach yet?’ I try to ask politely, but I can imagine that my grit-teethed smile looks pretty hostile. The badger and I are now one and the same. I’ll tear apart this salon with my own claws if I have to in a minute. Get it off get it off get it off…

‘Oh, your skin looks irritated and red. Does it hurt?’


‘It hasn’t stripped your hair fully yet, it’s going to shine through red and angry if we take it off now. Ideally it needs ten more minutes, hun. Or do you want it off?’

‘Yes’. Fuck that angry badger, I can’t take it anymore.

Off comes the bleach and uncovers an inflamed scalp, weeping a clear fluid that I don’t even want to discuss. I guess I just did though, so – the bitch-badger from hell mauled at my scalp so viciously that my head is infected. Gross.

I look into the mirror in front of me and realise that the little shit has vanished and has instead left me looking like Chucky. AHHHHH.

Out of the corner of my eye I see him scuttling away, presumably trying to crawl back to the hairdresser from hell, on the other side of town.

‘Not so fast!’ I spit at him.

Before I know what’s happening, my body is struggling on the ground and my hands are tort around that fuzzy throat of his.


‘Please. Don’t kill me’, it replies. ‘Your pain is not my fault. My name is Barry the Badger, for years I have been used and abused by bastard-hairdressers and today I am finally free. Let me build my army and plan an attack on my previous owner. I am sorry for any suffering that I may have caused. I also think that ginger suits you very much.’

‘I will release you, Barry, this time. Mark my words, do not return.’

I can see the knight striding out of the building, using his paws to knock back the saloon-like doors.

I gather myself together and thank the wonderful team for their help today. Yet, all I can focus on is the pain that’s radiating from me.

That wanker-hairdresser is going to pay.

As I leave the salon, almost £200 out of pocket, I see that there’s a man leaning against the wall to my left. He looks like a proper businessman. Not like one that sells cars or insurance or anything like that but like someone important.

He’s holding his phone to his chest and he’s crying. His fingers trace the circles of his eyes and flick away warm tears.

I walk over and hug him. I say, ‘everything’s going to be okay’.


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