So the DIY haircut grew out into the predictable not-quite-mullet form, with a long piece in the back that was too involved to just chop off. I figured the time had come for professional intervention. I figured wrong.
Running out of ideas, I headed to a chain one rung above Super-Cuts in the classiness hierarchy, noticing that a cut was $45, a full $15 less than the ones to which I'd grown accustomed prior to the DIY revelation. A cut with a blow-dry was $70, but given that summer weather has finally arrived in NY, I figured there'd be no need.
Once again, wrong I was. The hairdresser assigned to my case informed me that without the blow-dry, my haircut would not be even. The whole purpose of this haircut was the evening-out of my hair, but it struck me that if they openly offer such a thing as a cut without a blow-dry, surely such a thing is possible, assuming a client not obsessed with perfection. A client, that is, such as myself. It occurred to me that, if this was being pushed on me despite my short hair, the $45/$70 disparity is probably just a PC way of saying what the salon feels is the difference between a men's and women's haircut, regardless of length. Hmm.
So it wasn't that I was wrong about an even haircut resulting from a cut without a blowdry - that much was achieved. Where I erred was in assuming the hairdresser would just go with it once I said that this was what I wanted, minor imperfections being the price I was willing to pay. She kept repeating that I really should get the blow-dry as well, on and on until finally I just explained outright that I'm a student and $45 is possible for me in a way that $70 is not. She either didn't hear or didn't choose to acknowledge this the first time, so after several more urgings to get a blow-out, I repeated my occupation status. She seemed suspicious and wanted to know where I studied. When I said which school (not specifying the program or anything), she held forth about how very smart I must be, which, no hard feelings to my university, surprised me. No one refers euphemistically to going to school 'in Greenwich Village.' I was getting suspicious.
So anyhow, you don't want someone cutting your hair who's angry at you, and by requesting no-blow, I'd set things up to go in this direction. Hoping to mend things, I said very early on in the cut, before much change was detectable, how lovely it looked. This seemed to work, in that superficial way things do when the baseline hostility level's already been established.
Onto the haircut itself: everything about it, other than the price, reminded me why I'd left salons behind in the first place. As someone with hair that's thick not in a Pantene-commercial way, but in an I-can't-fall-asleep-with-it-wet-without-looking-like-I-need-to-be-committed way, I don't especially enjoy when a straight-and-fine-haired hairdresser spends the whole time telling me that I have so much hair, while taking every opportunity to thin it out with special scissors for people with so much hair. Yes, yes, a ton of hair, I'm well aware, yes, it's better than not enough hair, but no, I really have no response to the thickness of my hair being pointed out every time I get my hair cut. (One hairdresser once referred to the thickness of my hair, which was making a blow-dry - included in that cut - take forever by saying 'so hairy', while giggling. That was the best, by far.)
I could tell, as my hair was being cut, that the back was not so much being evened out as turning into a classic men's haircut. Not what I'd asked for at all, but not totally unreasonable for an angled bob, and perhaps pleasant for summer. It was when the hairdresser gelled the back into a bangs-free version of this that I got concerned. Had my cheapness gone that far?
Long story short, after shampooing out the gel and styling the results in a way that did not involve anything being 'spiked', it looks like no hat will be necessary. Beyond that, I'll say no more.