I've been trying to describe a certain.... essence to my hairstylist for years now.

After the essential-oil scalp massage that really does nothing for my sense of well-being or relaxation, but which I always let her do anyways because I don't have the heart to say otherwise, comes the imminent consultation session, in which my stylist will ask what I'm looking to have 'done' that day. My answer is always different with each new visit, and consistently vague.

"Maybe just an inch off, you know, to get rid of my split ends, and sort of feathered? But not like Jane Fonda feathered or anything though. Added texture and definition ...  with a lot of Brigitte Bardot-esque body without looking teased. Oh, I don't know, messy, second-day hair if my first day hair was like this with sort of a Lou Doillon french bang ---  but her fringe would be too heavy on my face. Heavy bangs that don't hide the face. Can we do that?"

Each time my hairstylist gives it the good ol' college try, with only my overly-verbose description and a crumpled magazine photo from the bottom of my Filson tote as a road map.

Each time I walk away pleased, yet never have I gotten that je ne sais qoui I so yearn for in a haircut until yesterday, when, after listening to a lot of Vashti Bunyan over the weekend I brought in the following photo.


"This. A seventies center part with Vashti Bunyan feathered fringe," I said when asked what I wanted.

"We can do that," she answered.