I’m So Vain – I Probably Think This Post Is About Me

Last Friday, I was in the Marina thinking about how long I’d have to wait for a bus to get back up the mountain when I wandered by a hair salon run by the wife of one of P’s friends. I’ve never gone to her and, in fact, always felt a little guilty whenever I saw her because of it.

It so happened that two young guys from the village were getting haircuts there, and one offered me a ride if I wanted to wait. So I waited for them, figuring the bus would take much longer to arrive.

And then I felt guiltier and guiltier about never going there for my haircuts the longer I sat there.

So at the last snip, I worked up all the nerve I had and asked Giovanna if I could make an appointment with her and made a decision on the spot to not only cut, but color. I’ve never colored my hair before (some highlights, yes, but not in years–and not in Italy), but the little white ones were really just starting to annoy me far too much.

Plus my birthday’s coming up, so I thought I’d treat myself to some “me” time and count this as my present to myself.

Now you’re all dying to know how it turned out, right? Well humor me anyway.

Yesterday morning I looked like this:

me (before)

Now I look like this:

me (after)I love the color, love the cut, and now I even have some private English lessons lined up as a result of finally going to see Giovanna. Turns out she wanted to ask me about them the previous day I was there but was too shy to ask. Seems we have at least one thing in common.

And? You want to know how much it set me back? Wash, cut, color, and style (including blowing out my not-so-straight-hair)?

Come on.


Thirty euros ($42).

Happy early birthday to me!

78 Beans of Wisdom to “I’m So Vain – I Probably Think This Post Is About Me”
  1. Taffiny

    you are sooo cute.
    (pretty too, but really it is your cuteness that insists on being commented on. Must be)

    I don’t see any grey in the before?
    My grey is starting to stick up like alien antennae.
    I admit it, I covet both your cute, and your non-grey.

    Well your where you should be all the time, but when you’re not your with…….

  2. Karen

    Very stylish and suave. I love the colour too. I’ve been thinking of getting some colour – it’s been a long time. Maybe you’ll inspire me. However I have no chance of getting all that for $42. Lucky girl!

  3. Annika

    You look absolutely gorgeous! But €30??!!! That’s nothing!

    Btw, I must second what Taffiny said. You really are sooo cute!

  4. Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy

    Are you sure that price isn’t missing a 1 in front of it?? I guess Milan IS different than Calabria πŸ™‚

    I am holding out on my next cut since I had the “asymmetrical” cut and I’m letting that grow out….unfortunately I have premature gray so I have been dyeing my hair since I was 18 πŸ™

    I’m envious!! I like what she did, and the color looks natural but fun! (I also think you looked cute before, too)

  5. sognatrice

    Taffiny, well thank you, and believe me, the grey (white, actually) was there in the “before.” I should’ve taken a close-up and you would’ve seen it. But I’m far too vain to post something like that πŸ˜‰

    Karen, do it do it do it! I think hair coloring is a lot like getting married/having babies…once you do it, you think *everyone* should πŸ˜‰

    Annika, cyber-blushing here, and I know–30 euros is *insane* for what went on in that salon. Moral of the story for you is to *not* move to Calabria when it’s time to open up your place in Italy (not that I wouldn’t love you to work your magic on my hair, of course) πŸ™‚

    Sara, believe me, I took 200 euros with me just in case…when she said 30 my jaw literally dropped. I gave her a nice tip, needless to say, just because I was so excited to get change from the 100. I was planning on it being my birthday present to me, but I’m worth more than 30 euros right? Hee hee….

    Hey if you want to “treat” yourself for your upcoming bday, I can hook you up πŸ˜‰

  6. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick

    Michelle, your new “do” looks fabulous! SO sassy! πŸ™‚ Excellent new look…not that you needed one!


  7. Wanderlust Scarlett

    You look MAHVELOUS dahling!!!!!!!

    I love it! We still have the same cut. ha ha ha… but yours is a little shorter.

    I love the color, it’s beautiful!

    Scarlett & V.

  8. sognatrice

    Christina, thanks! My next step is to get some new sassy glasses (I’m nearly blind, but I’ve been living on contacts for a loooong time) πŸ™‚

    Scarlett, hah! What a surprise (sarcasm). For the color I wanted something pretty natural but with a little kick from my usual– and she gave me just what I was thinking πŸ™‚

  9. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    wow! great cut and color. I cannot believe you only paid $42.

    Looking forward to seeing you in your new sassy glasses.

  10. Piccola

    Very cute! You are very photogenic! You’ve inspired me since it’s been like 4 months since my last cut and color and the whitey’s are starting to become a little too obvious for my liking!! Isn’t it cool how so many door open if we just get past the initial shyness?? Good for you!

  11. Piccola

    P.S. $42 isn’t even a haircut these days!!

  12. Sabine

    Woohoo! You’re looking terrific!!

    And you know what? Now that you’ve quoted one of my all-time favourite songs I like you even better than I did already. *grin*

  13. jennifer

    Che bella ragazza!

  14. Ninotchka

    You. are. a. doll. Love it!

  15. somepinkflowers

    you look
    so *cutely stylish*
    so ~~stylishly cute~~

    i am not sure which one,
    but it is all good…


    no wonder
    you have that hottie boyfiend!

    when is your birthday
    and will you be turning 21?

  16. Audra

    You’re soooooooooooooooo cute!!! *dies from the cuteness* It looks great on you!

    I cut and colored my hair recently too (only my brother did it.. he’s a parrucchiere!). But wow.. 30 euro, what a steal! I don’t know if you’re up on prices in America but at my brother’s salon that could cost about $200.

    And congrats with the English lessons too! Yay.

  17. Caffienated Cowgirl

    Oh man – 30 Euros! I am envious! Especially now that I have to hunt out a new salon in Germany…what we women put up with!

  18. flutter


  19. Lisa Milton

    You look so lovely – well, before and after.

    So happy birthday a little early. You deserve it.

  20. Live From Tuscany

    Che bellllllla…

  21. Erin

    Very, very nice! You are too cute. It looks great. I wish my hair cut and color only cost me that little. Next week I’ll be dishing out over $100 for both and that’s cheap for me.

  22. Christine

    Happy early birthday indeed.

    Pretty girl!

  23. janeywan

    I think it’s a lovely do! Now lets talk about those grey hairs. Just kidding.

    Happy Birthday!

  24. Tejase

    Fabulous look!!! Isn’t it wonderful what a good stylish cut and color can do to us (externally and internally)? What a great way to start 31! …and what a price!

    Thanks for reminding me that we don’t really know what we’re going to experience unless we take that first step. Looks like this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Giovanna. English lessons and great hair… what a combo!

  25. SUEB0B

    Wow. You look great!

  26. Aimee

    Very cute! And, I couldn’t find any grays in the before, but I know exactly what you are talking about. πŸ˜‰

  27. midnightbunny

    You look absolutely beautiful. πŸ™‚

  28. Texas Espresso

    Cute! young and fun! love it. I am SHOCKED at how inexpensive it was. Mine is 3 times that – I’ve been dying my hair since my early 20s due to a very prominent white streak that has sense spread a bit. And my hair grows really fast so I have to go alot. Maybe we should move there just to save some haircut money. hehe

  29. Madelyne

    The new hair style looks great, especially the side fringe (bangs as Americans call it)softens up your face.

    30 euros is so cheap, so no excuse to keep it up.

  30. Shan

    You look great. I love it! Great gift to yourself.

  31. ViVi

    Wow, look at you! You’re adorable!! πŸ™‚ You are so lucky to have found such an amazing deal! Is that the price for everyone or because you the stylist? Last time I got a haircut here they butchered it for 45€ so I’m not in a hurry to go back!

    I have to admit, though, I’ve been coloring my own hair for years. Way less expensive and the only reason my extended family even noticed was because I went through a period where I kept changing colors until I found a new one I liked.

  32. ViVi

    *because you KNOW the stylist

    sorry it’s very early here!

  33. sognatrice

    NYC, I’m excited for the glasses too–it’s been years since I got a new pair!

    Piccola, doors opening all around, yes! Sometimes you just have to take the hair by the roots, so to speak πŸ˜‰

    Sabine, glad you caught that–one of my all-time favorites as well. I think that’s the song that taught me about irony in fact πŸ™‚

    Jennifer, Nino, grazie πŸ™‚

    SPF, 21? You’re funny…but the 1 at the end is right πŸ˜‰

    Audra, you’re so lucky to have a parucchiere in the family! I think I’d be much more adventurous with my hair if that were the case. Well or maybe not. I’m still a scaredy cat with my hair! I was expecting to pay about 120 euros–I even asked her to repeat it b/c I was in disbelief! When I got a cut and highlights in Philly 5 years ago, I paid somewhere around $130.

    Cowgirl, ain’t it the truth?! An American friend who lives in Germany is visiting now and she was recounting her tales of trying to find a good hair person–and then of course found one who promptly moved to Italy or something. Isn’t that always the way?

    Flutter, Lisa, Live, grazie, grazie, grazie πŸ™‚

    Erin, best of luck with your hair–if only a flight to Calabria were cheaper!

    Christine, thanks, and thanks πŸ™‚

    Janeywan, what grey hairs?! Hee hee….

    Tejase, this really was an all around great experience, so I just had to share; glad you saw all the different aspects of “great” here πŸ™‚

    Sueb0b, why thanks!

    Aimee, that’s why there was no zoom on this one πŸ˜‰

    Bunny, thanks πŸ™‚

    Stacy, you know now that I’m thinking about it, for those in London who can get a really cheap flight down here, it’d probably actually pay to make the trip for a hair cut! Crazy!

    Madelyne, I decided on the fringe/bangs at the last minute. Giovanna has them (and I like them) plus I haven’t had them in about 2 years–I figured why not go all out?

    Shan, thanks! Now I’m working on another gift b/c I got off too easy πŸ˜‰

    Vivi, honestly didn’t even notice the missing word the first time I read your comment! Anyway, I wondered too whether it was a special price–wouldn’t be because I know her since it’s such a small town that everyone does(!), but maybe like a first time client thing. Guess I’ll find out in a couple months πŸ˜‰

    I thought pretty hard about doing the color myself too and still may someday, but for now, I’ve found a good hair home πŸ™‚

    I should add here that I felt kind of weird posting this as I don’t think I’ve ever even posted another photo of me on the blog (except for the little avatar thingee)–but a haircut is something you just have to share with your girlfriends (especially when you get a great deal!), so thank you all for sharing in this one πŸ™‚

    I can only ask P whether he likes it (he does!) so many times you know πŸ˜‰

  34. MB

    Great haircut (and song choice)! That’s about what I pay around here too. It’s funny, when I first moved here I continued dying my hair at home like I did in the States to save money. Then O talked me into having it done at the hair dresser and now I won’t do it at home at all.

  35. grace

    You look fab! I like the new look!

  36. alexmom

    Doesn’t a new haircut and color just make you feel great? Your’s is adorable. And I crave some new Italian frames for my glasses. They’re so cool. Hmmmmm, better put those on my list.

  37. sognatrice

    MB, yeah, when it’s cheap enough to go let someone else worry about the color, it’s definitely better than my playing around with it!

    Grace, thanks!

    Alexmom, hmm, maybe we can go frames-shopping together?

  38. Vee

    You look gorgeous ! Great haircut and great price.

  39. Leanne

    I like the (semi) fringe too. And nice to see photos of you!

  40. Confessions of Cleopantha

    You look great! What a lovely way to celebrate another year of wisdom in Earth school :0)

  41. stefanie

    Cute! And just 42 bucks?? What a deal! Almost worth the flight over there, huh? πŸ˜‰ (OK, not quite.)

  42. Karina

    Great haircut! And I ditto what everyone else already said about you being so cute! The cut really suits the image I have of your personality from reading you. πŸ˜€

    About the glasses, I had to stop wearing contacts a few years ago, and have a new found love of glasses now. I own 5 different pairs that I change according to my moods or outfits. There is so much fun to be had with eyeglass frames. Enjoy shopping for them.

  43. Sara

    Looks great! Also — and this is a silly thing for someone who’s never been to Italy to say, but — I think it makes you look more Italian.

  44. KC

    I love the cut! I pay just a little more when I go to the salon. Isn’t living in the south great (sometimes)?

  45. sognatrice

    Vee, thanks, and to be honest it’s the great price that’s making me smile so widely πŸ˜‰

    Leanne, I was ready for a change–glad you like the fringers πŸ˜‰

    Cleopantha, Earth School! Love it!

    Stefanie, but as a bonus you’d get to hang out with the dogs!

    Karina, I’m *so* excited to get new glasses. Perhaps I’ll post photos of my old pairs and then the new ones when I get them. So, so, so excited!

    Sara, that’s a compliment, right? Hee hee….

    KC, there are definitely some advantages to living down here. Every now and again. Sometimes πŸ˜‰

  46. witnessing am i

    Love the haircut, love the angles. It does good things for your face, me thinks.

    I suggest you and P go dancing somewhere — what an amazingly attractive couple — and let all the other men and woman slither jealously in your wake.


  47. Roam2Rome


    Both pictures look great Michelle πŸ™‚

    Happy early birthday! Hehe… my sister also starts to celebrate her birthday early, I like that…

  48. La Casalinga

    I love the haircut, the color, and your blog. I just got my hair cut to shoulder length but I’m feeling the need to go even shorter 9up to the chin) before my trip to Italy on Sunday….for the price you paid, maybe I should wait until I get to Italy to do it!!

  49. anno

    Gorgeous! I love the cut and warm color, but the smile is a winner — before & after!

  50. SabineM

    Wow the cut and color really changes you! LOVELY!!!! And what a bargain on the price!!!

  51. Kelli Estes

    You look wonderful! Of course, you did before, but your new color and cut really suit you. And, what a bargain!

    Now I’m thinking I’m in need of a change. Hmm…

  52. sognatrice

    David, good luck getting P to go dancing (truth be told I’m not much of a dancer either, so it works out well) πŸ™‚ And thanks for all those other lovely words, including the birthday wishes!

    Roamer, thanks! I think birthdays should really be month-long celebrations…are you in?

    Casalinga, be aware that prices vary greatly throughout Italy, but if you’re coming to Calabria by chance, I can hook you up πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by!

    Anno, thanks–and I’ll pass that compliment along to my mom as well πŸ˜‰

    Sabine, grazie πŸ™‚

    Kelli, woohoo! Change is good! Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

  53. Enza

    love the color! i agree, i didn’t see any little grey hairs. What’s P think? My hubby wants mine long and luxurious. U know men! I just got mine cut about 6 inches this summer but he actually loved it. BTW, i pay 40.00 here for a cut, blow dry and style and that does not include tip!

  54. sognatrice

    Enza, P loves it! Luckily he’s not one of those guys who just loooove long hair–good thing b/c I can’t handle it anymore. I had long hair most of my life, and I’m pretty sure I’m done with it now (unless, of course, I look into wigs)!

    The problem with the white hairs was that they weren’t little–full grown and starting to get comfortable! So I said “ciao” and wouldn’t it be nice if they just took the hint?

  55. Jen

    What an amazing haircut! It looks fabulous on you. Congrats for working up your nerve. Also, thanks for the Burma post today – I didn’t know this was going on and now I have a post up, too.

  56. Elle

    How pretty, really looks lovely. Happy early Birthday!

  57. sognatrice

    Thanks Jen and Elle πŸ™‚

  58. Poppy Fields

    Your new do looks great! And what a great deal, too.

  59. Dana

    Love the new cut and color! It looks fabulous on you. The english lessons are a fabulous bonus too!!

  60. Fran

    I love the haircut! And you look so pretty. Thank you for the picture. Maybe one day I will get up the nerve to post one of Frannycakes herself! Thanks for such wonderful posts. I look forward to your blog everyday!


  61. sognatrice

    Meredith and Dana, thanks!

    And Frannycakes, can’t wait to see you πŸ™‚

  62. Alex

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your new look! She did a great job!

  63. Dee

    First off, great to put a face to the sea of words!. You look lovely pre and post (read sophisticated) hair cut. Just as I had imagined you to be ! (Well..almost!).

    Second, is hair styling that cheap all over Italy..? If so, I am moving there!

  64. A Novelist

    You look fabulous! I love your new style! πŸ™‚

  65. sognatrice

    Alex and Novelist, thanks πŸ™‚

    Dee, glad to oblige, and nah–prices aren’t this low all over Italy. The further north you go (Rome and up), the higher they get. In a city like Milan, I think the prices are pretty comparable to other major cities elsewhere.

  66. Gumby

    che bella!!!

  67. Jessica

    Fantastic cut & color (I’m a wannabe redhead myself, so I’m partial to red color); is it something you can do easily on your own? That’s the thing I struggle with most – my ornery hair behaves nicely for my stylist, but trying to recreate what she does when I’m at home is another matter entirely.

  68. ChristinaG

    Wow! You look great! And €30 is such a bargain. Here in Germany, €30 will only get you granny-style helmet hair, or maybe a mullet. I’ve got to go in for a cut and highlights soon and I’m looking at well over €100!

  69. My Melange

    Well, I know I am very late on this…but Happy Birthday to you Michelle!!!!! Just tryin to catch up on your blog..I have been away too long!!! I love the new hair. Seems like birthdays are a good time for a little change. I got a new do and new glasses in Paris for my 40th. Oh God…leaves me wondering what the he#* is my 50th gonna be…a little lipo, tummy tuck…Nah..I would never!!! Don’t beleive in the stuff! So…what does *P* think of the new you?

  70. sognatrice

    Gumby, thanks–and great name πŸ™‚

    Jessica, it’s reasonably easy to recreate at home if I wanted to put the time into it; I’m just not one to spend a lot of time on my hair, though, and since I have naturally wavy/somewhat curly hair, I wear it wavy most of the time–luckily I like that too πŸ™‚

    Christina, it really was a true bargain–I hope you get a great cut and color for whatever price you end up paying πŸ˜‰

    Robin, well you’re not late with the bday wishes (you still have 9 more days as of this writing)…P loves the new hair, and now I’m turning my attention to new glasses πŸ™‚

  71. Emma

    I love your hair, too. It really suits you.

    It costs the same for me in Sardinia.

    As for the English lessons, it must be something in the (h)air (sorry, couldn’t resist). Last time I went in for a cut, I came out with English lessons, too.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing the new glasses…

  72. sognatrice

    Emma, see, yet another reason why people should come and see you in Sardinia! Thanks for stopping by…and stay tuned for glasses!

  73. Rob Kistner

    From beautiful to more beautiful — and brilliant as well… OooLaLa πŸ˜‰

  74. sognatrice

    Rob, you’re too kind…but I’ll take it πŸ™‚

  75. elena jane

    love the new hair, suits you very nicely!!
    been meaning to stop by your blog again and actually reply….so here i am πŸ™‚

  76. sognatrice

    Elena Jane, so happy to see you πŸ™‚

  77. 11.12.2009

    Wow, I’m jealous. All this time I’ve been spending $170 when I could simply have it all done in Italy for way less. πŸ™

    It may take a while to find someone you like, but it’s worth looking πŸ™‚

  78. 11.12.2009

    By the way, the haircut looks great!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks! It was a few haircuts ago, but compliments are always appreciated πŸ™‚

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
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