Asperger's and a Haircut

I got my hair cut yesterday by a hairdresser! Doesn't sound like much I know but it was a rather landmark moment in my life since I have cut my own hair for the last 10 or so years. Nothing special just a trim, the same length all the way round, but how I hated doing it! But the alternative was worse, going to a hairdresser's. You see, I have Asperger's and my whole life I've been uncomfortable at the hair salon and as I got older it got worse and worse until it reached the point where I can remember my last professional haircut distinctly. Nothing tragic happened, I just decided once and for all I wasn't subjecting myself to that anymore.

You see there are two things about going to the hairdresser's that make me want to run out of there screaming. One, I have personal space issues. I don't like anyone entering my personal space and it is very hard for someone to cut my hair without not only entering my personal space but also touching me. This is a big no-no. Do not touch me unless I initiate it! Secondly, I am unable to chit-chat and prefer not to talk unless there is a point to the conversation. At a hairdresser's they start talking to you right away, asking questions, trying to come up with a topic of conversation to babble on about while they cut your hair. This absolutely terrifies me. The thought of it is unbearable and the experience is excruciating. That's why I quit going.

Anyway, after all these years we finally (hello? anyone home?) came up with the brilliant idea of advertising for someone to come into our home to cut my hair. So we put an add on craigslist and a local lady answered right away. My husband did all the arranging. He told her my problem. Asked her not to talk to me unless it was actually about my hair. And she told not to worry she works exclusively with people at home and everything will be fine.

So she arrived here yesterday. I don't look people in the eye (another thing that makes it hard for me to go into a hairdresser's or many other places). And while looking over her shoulder told her what I wanted and then she added some extra comments on what she could do and it sounded great so she got to work. At first I had my hands clenched and bit my lip as she touched me but eventually I got used to it, and her not speaking helped me relax sooooo much. Then I started asking questions as to what she was doing and she answered me very nicely without every going on to chit-chatting. It was a great experience. I'll certainly be having her back. And I finally have a nice hair do! It's the same do I've been giving myself but with an invisible layer and lots of thinning (I have thick hair), so I finally really love my hair!

I'm going to leave you all with a video I made a while ago (pre new hair cut) that I will be putting up on youtube one of these days (having technical issues at the moment) as I am going to be making some vlogs about living with Asperger's as an adult.


  1. Nicola - thank you. I know that making a video was probably difficult. Well, maybe not making it, but posting it. (You won't be seeing one from me.) :)

    As an educator of children, I am well aware of many disabilities and the difficulties that they cause, but I do not know how they affect adults (except ADD/ADHD). I would love to hear anything you'd like to share about your experiences as a child and as an adult. I always have questions for everything, so if you don't mind I would be interested in knowing about your immediate family - a son and husband? How were you able to let your significant other into your life and how has Aspergers affected your son (children)?

    It's not a problem for me if you choose not to answer or even post this comment. I'm fine with that. :) But, do know that I appreciate your willingness to share what you have already.

  2. Nicola, I'm also interested in Asperger's, so I would be very interested in anything you post about how you're dealing with it

    I'm also just interested in YOU!! You know I love your reviews, and I'm always amazed at how much you read.

    So glad the haircut went well!

  3. I am so glad you were able to find a way to get your hair cut by a hairdresser, Nicola. Cutting your own hair is practical for so many reasons, but it's nice to be pampered by a professional now and then. I got my hair done recently too. I am not very good at making small talk either; for me it's partly because I am shy around people I do not know well. It happens that the person who doesn't cut my hair does not mind my silence, and so it works out well for me.

    You are so brave making the video! I have noticed other bloggers are doing that now, but I'm not sure I will ever be able to work up the courage to do so.

    Thank you for sharing the video and a little of your experience with Aspergers, Nicola. I used to babysit a boy who had Aspergers and then worked with a man for a couple of years who I suspect had it. I do not know if he had an official diagnosis as we never talked much.

  4. Joy - The hours and hours of thinking about making the video was the worse part but when I made up my mind to just do it and get it over with and no "do overs" it was fine. Your questions are interesting and I'll keep them in mind for future posts.

    Michelle - Thank you kindly! Not having a job does help with the reading but I've always read a lot. I used to read as I walked to school when I was a kid! I'm glad the haircut went well too {sigh of relief}

    Wendy - Sounds like you got yourself a good hairdresser there. I always found them to talk more, the more quiet I was! Posting the video on my blog was one of the hardest parts of the whole thing! Now you all know what I look like and sound like! Haha, your last sentence is funny, if he didn't talk much there's a good chance your suspicions were correct. LOL

  5. Nicola - First, it was nice to meet you. I love putting faces with words and I'm glad that more and more bloggers are putting themselves out there (goodness knows we all spend enough time "with" each other). Second, thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us. I really admire your creating a video and letting us get to know you better. I haven't personally met anyone with Aspergers, but I have the same curious questions as Joy.

    And as for the haircut? I HATE getting my hair cut. I don't like small talk either (even though I'm chatty cathy here online) and find it painful to sit for an hour with someone I don't know. I'm glad that you were able to find a situation that will continue to work for you. A good haircut does mean the world sometimes! :)

  6. Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us Nicola! I'm so glad that you found a comfortable way to get your hair cut. I'm not too big on small talk either.

    I used to work with adults with developmental disabilities including Asperger's so I understand where your coming from. I now work ing mental health and work with some one who has both Asperger's and a mental health issue. I think it is so brave of you to talk about it and face it!

    I love your blog and reviews! If we every meet f2f we can talk about books, no small talk.

  7. You are full of good ideas - I had no clue that you could have someone come to your home and do your hair. Craigslist is incredible!

    I had no idea you have Asperger's, but am so glad you're blogging about it. It's fascinating to learn more about the disease, and how you not only survive but thrive with it. Thanks for letting us all into your personal life - it's always fun to get to know your blogging buddies better.


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