Still the Best Hairstylist in Rome

16 Mar

Tell you a story.

The other night I was at the monthly meeting of the Rome Drinker’s Club Rome bloggers, and I erroneously referred to Kenny Dunn as Luke Archer. (This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the 8% alcohol content of my Belgian Super Beer from Open Baladin. Nothing, I tell you!) But where was I?

Oh yes! So Kenny, who I had never met before (hence calling him Luke, who, oddly enough, is another man I’ve never met before. I suppose I should just stop calling out to random men in bars, for the love of God! What is wrong with me?), when I told him “I am Shelley” of this illustrious blog, looks at me, pauses a moment, and goes… Ohhhh! So you’re Shelley!

I do get this a lot at these meet-ups. It has to do with the fact that I’m like the ol’ granny of Rome bloggers, without the bingo arms, at least not yet. I started in 2006, then quit in 2008, then started back up last June and found myself in this pool of new & improved, younger and hipper lil’ whippersnappers. Meaning I’m like one degree of Kevin Bacon from all of them in some weird shape or form.

Bringing me back to Luke—ahem—Kenny. Who tells me that he knows about me because his friend moved to Rome three years ago and she didn’t know where to get her hair cut and so typed in an online search engine “Rome blog written by crazy American girl who might possibly sometimes get her hair done” which then brought her to this post, and come to find out, she’s been going to fantabulous Alberto for three years now, and what’s more, she just happened to live in the building RIGHT IN FRONT of Alberto’s salon.

All of which totally reminds me of this scene, by the way (well at least up until :22, that is):

I know! It’s that Kevin Bacon thing I was telling you about.

To which Alberto told me, when I told him this tale yesterday while booking a hair appointment: “Well, Shelley, you know why? Because you Americans don’t trust Italians so you have to read other Americans’ opinions on Italian things before you’ll try them.”

Which is reason #3,297 why I love Alberto Rizzuto.

And why this post is dedicated to him and his masterful use of scissors, and for teaching me the word “sudiciume” today. OhmyGodAlberto, I am wholly convinced that you are the first person ever to use this word, maybe and quite possibly in the entire history of the Italian language.

And that is reason #7,432 why I love Alberto Rizzuto.

So follow me now, my friends, on an odyssey filled with hair, candy, and maybe even just a little sudiciume.

First, as always in a story of the good, the bad, and the ugly, there is the ugly:

2012-03-16 13.22.36

Yes, that is me with my humble cell phone camera, trying to faithfully document the ragged mess that had become known as Shelley’s hair. The last time I had gotten my hair cut was back in September. This could be a testament to my lack of material wealth, my laziness, my workaholic tendencies, or possibly just the fact that I am a single mom of three small children. Take your pick! No reason stands to justify the ragged mess, however.

This led Alberto to spread some henna on my head. To which he described to my housemate Taylor, who is just learning Italian, and I quote:

“Sembra merda. Theess eeess like shheeeet. Eeet luuks like sheeet. But eees not color of sheeeet.”

2012-03-16 13.28.09

Um, great Alberto. Always glad to be your guinea pig. (Hairdresser comparing your hair color when applying to the color of excrement? Not promising. But see, here is where the 10 years of trust come in.)

Then he wrapped the shit in cotton and wrapped that in plastic wrap and then covered it all with a black hair net.

Yes, this is also known as the recipe to become the most undesirable woman on the entire planet. But I’d rather like to think of it as a social experiment.

2012-03-16 14.42.31

After which, he cut my hair. I never give Alberto ANY directives on how to cut my hair. We have a routine that has been going on for at least five years. It is:

I sit.

He says, “Io taglio, eh?” meaning, hey there lady, I’m about to start cutting, is that ok with you?

To which I always reply: “Mi fido ciecamente.” I trust you with blind faith.

And it’s true.

Thus, I never know what he’s going to do, how short or long he’ll leave my hair. It’s always a mystery until the end.

So here’s me in the mourning stage:

I told him I thought it looked like a little dog.

See how I sacrifice for you, dear readers?

And yet, in the end, you know, it always seems to work out just fine.


Plus, he has a bowl full of candy and it makes me feel like it’s Halloween. Which, incidentally, is Alberto’s birthday. And which he unceremoniously dumped all over his desk because my housemate was digging around in there for, like, EVER, looking for the one damn chocolate egg that was hiding.

2012-03-16 16.19.21

Unceremoniously dumping candy out to assist someone in locating chocolate? Reason #1,048 to love Alberto Rizzuto.

But most of all, love him because he kicks ass at cutting hair.

And because he and I are going to go on a couple’s weekend to Amsterdam to go see my other secret lover, Eleonora. Shh! Don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

If I haven’t scared you away, you’ll find Sig. Rizzuto at: Laboratorio Figaro, Via dei Conciatori 22 (Testaccio), Tel: 06 5758099

No, he doesn’t have any kind of fancy-shmancy website. I guess by now he leaves the promotion to me and my blog. Good call, Rizzuto, very good. I’ll try not to make it look like sheeett.


5 Responses to “Still the Best Hairstylist in Rome”

  1. kataroma March 17, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Hey Shelley – I have a fab hairdresser here in Rome too (although you wouldn’t think so looking at my hair most of the time because I only see him something like once every 6 months). And even better – he makes housecalls! For a breastfeeding mother of a 3 month old this is a godsend. I even breastfed Daphne yesterday while he was applying colour. And he’s an English guy who’s been in Rome for 30 years so he would be good for your Itailan-challenged roommate too.

  2. Catherine March 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    You look favolosa! I am also a henna chick but rather DIY since one of my last visits to the hairdresser set me back nearly a hundred euro! Now my daughter does it.

  3. Kenny March 25, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    You left out left out from that story our short digression into Beverly Hills, when I assumed that by Luke you meant me Luke Perry, who I happened to have borrowed some important moves from in 8th grade in a mildly successful attempt at becoming popular. Which then led to me telling about my failed attempt to get a date with the “real” Luke’s (not to be confused with Luke Archer) ex-girlfriend Jenny Garth- a story that turns out to be totally anti-climatic.

    In any case, it was a memorable first encounter…..and was even better the second time around re-living it here. Hilarious recap and very nice work incorporating that mashup from the single greatest film ever made!

  4. Un'americana a Roma March 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Thanks Luke! I mean, Kenny! 😉


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