February 20, 2024

The day I received my first salary, my hair fell out, without any valid metaphors. Come on, I almost went bald. Only then, with my own money in my pocket, raised in a family so humble and austere that everything that was not food and books were considered extravagance, did I dare to make an appointment at a posh hairdresser and ask them to do some haircuts for me. richy, the latest hair cry of the time. A perm with fine, very fine, rabid curls, which was perfect for the models in the magazines, and for which one had been chirping for months. Already during the process, still narcotized by the fumes of the concoction, I saw that this was not what was expected, but, submissive, I did not open my mouth, I waited for them to finish and they showed me the horror from all angles in a hand mirror, I said I loved it, I paid the pasture they asked me for, I walked out the door with dignity and went into the nearest bar to cry and ask for an appointment that same afternoon in another pelu to do a chemical straightening and return to my flat straight hair. At night, when I got home exhausted and fleeced, my father, compassionate, only made one comment: “To look like a mop, you could have gone to Llongueras and, at least, paid accordingly.” I wish he had told me earlier.

For those of us who wanted to and could not afford it, a Llongueras hairdresser was then like Lourdes or Fátima. A sanctuary where miracles were worked. And its creator, Lluís Llongueras, the high priest of that cult. Died the day before yesterday at the age of 87, Llongueras was the first star hairdresser before the term even existed. An artist who freed Spanish women from curlers and sculpted their hair to their skulls just like a seamstress does fabric to their bodies. While many, like my father, looked only at his hair and feathers, which he displayed proudly and freely, he created a school, built an empire and helped women to believe it and break glass ceilings with their crests. Now that the TV presenters demand to take their hairdressers from chain to chain, starting with the colleague Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, from Televisión Española to La Zarzuela, they should all put an altar to San Llongueras in their living rooms. Most of them are half as talented and twice as presumptuous without even reaching the ends that you ask them to cut so that they can leave you exactly the same as the previous client and the next one.

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