Behind the doors of any beauty salon are the secrets that only your hairdresser knows for sure. In the world of beauty, joy and pain, romances and intrigues, weddings and divorces, exaltations and understatements, the rich and the not-so-rich are not different when they sit in a chair in a beauty salon. They let it all out. The hairdresser becomes a confidant, friend, psychiatrist, and above all, the one who can remedy the clients looks.
During the years I worked as a hairstylist at the Elizabeth Arden Salon in San Francisco, there were days when the regular work schedule was interrupted by unforeseen incidents and degenerated into utter hectic confusion. The different as if in different ringsbut without the benefit of a ringmaster. It was a pandemonium: the ear suffered he onslaught of voices growing louder, shouting, cursing; clients complaining about the long wait, the service the hairdo that did not come out right. Irate customers clamored for the manager to settle their disputes, and everyone else bitched at one another in the meantime. The Salon became a madhouse with hairdryers instead of straight jackets, an asylum for eccentric, neurotic, self-centered beauties. And the not-so-beautiful arrogant, conceited women with too much money and too much time, but never enough time to wait their turn. It was on one such day that a sensible client suggested that someone should write a book about this. I nurtured the idea for many years, and that interval furnished the material for Beauties and the Best.