Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

I’m Afraid of My Hairdresser

OK…I admit it…I’m intimidated by my hairdresser and I know I’m not the only woman who is scared to say anything negative when they’re unhappy after an unfortunate hair experience. Why is it we won’t complain or even say anything when we get a bad cut or lousy color? Why do we simply accept what we get, walk out of the salon and then go home and grouse to our husbands, boyfriends, children, siblings, and girlfriends? Why are we such cowards?

Can you tell I had a terrible hair appointment today? My mom and I went to our longtime stylist to get haircuts and I was also scheduled to get a blond highlighting weave. I knew we were in trouble when my stylist, Hairdresser “L”, told me she would do my weave first but then she would have to cut another client’s hair before cutting Mom’s. Apparently Hairdresser “L” was having problems getting the woman’s hair to process so she was still under the dryer. So “L” begins putting in my highlights and foils. After finishing the top and left side, she pauses and tells me she needs to check on her other client’s progress and she’ll be “right back.” So I wait and wait and wait. When I look, I see “L” washing the client’s hair and this process takes 10 minutes. All this time, half my head has color on it which is obviously processing while the other half remains untouched. This can’t be good.

“L” finally returns, colors and foils the rest of my head and puts me under the dryer to process. Several minutes later, she returns and takes me over to the sink to wash and condition my hair. As she takes out the foils, I hear this audible little “oh” come from her mouth…this really can’t be good. Suddenly she offers to do some kind of “shine treatment” to make up for having me wait so long. Now…she’s made us wait lots of times before without offering us any little perks so I’m thinking this really, really can’t be good. I decline the offer and we proceed to her station. When she finishes the cut and starts blow drying it, I begin to get really concerned. Instead of the beautiful golden highlights I’m used to seeing, I see nearly white blond highlights on the top and left side. Duh…these are the sections which were highlighted 10 minutes earlier than the rest. I look like someone with salt and pepper hair…in other words, I look old!

When I point out the nearly white streaks to her, she tries to make excuses telling me she probably just highlighted too many sections and it will fade with time. When I put my head in my hands trying to contain my anger, she finally knows she’s gone too far and promises to make things right. So she puts some reddish brown goop in my hair, makes me sit there for another 5-10 minutes, washes it out and then blow dries my hair for a second time.

So what does it look like? It looks like I haven’t done anything to it. Instead of having the beautiful golden blond highlights I was expecting, it looks like I have flat light brown hair. She promises me it will lighten up after two washings but now I’m worried that it will lighten back up to the salt and pepper look. And what does she charge me for this mess? She has the nerve to charge me full price for the cut and highlighting…that’s right, not one penny less than I normally give her. And what I’m most upset about is that I was so intimidated that, not only did I write the check for the full amount, I actually gave her a tip! I’m so ashamed. Like I said, I’m a spineless coward and I’m not proud of it!

19 comments:

Renee said...

I'm so sorry. Know that you're not the only person who does this...and instead of saying something we normally just switch hairdressers. Which according to all the TV shows, upsets the hairdresser bedcause they want the chance to make us happy.

I hope that your hair doesn't turn salt & pepper.

Natalie said...

Oh, that's awful. I too have had bad experiences with hairdressers. Once I actually said something. I called from home to say that I didn't like the cut. I wanted a little more taken off. She was happy to oblige. The problem was that when I went in to see her, I had to tell her exactly what I wanted her to do. The problem with that is that I'm not a hairdresser. So I got her to chop a bit here and chop a bit there. In the end I did just like everyone else and suffered several months of bad hair and quit seeing her.

I think that is at the root of the problem. If your hairdresser does a crappy job, why on earth would you let them close to your head again? But, sadly, we all do.

Good luck. At least you have time to get it fixed before Ireland. That's going to be such a wonderful trip. I would love to visit there too someday.

Patti said...

Joan, This didn't sound like your usual feisty self!

Sorry you had so much trouble.

You could call that hairdresser's boss or the owner of the salon and complain and demand a refund...

That would be more like you. ;-)

Midlife Mom said...

As a former hairdresser for 22 years I would highly recommend that you contact the salon and complain (in a nice way of course)about your situation. There is NO WAY you should have been left with half your color on for 10 minutes and then put the rest on. If the other client needed to be washed she should have asked someone else to do it for her, not leave you half done. It would be impossible for the hair to come out the same with half of it having that much more time to process before the rest is applied. You have a completely legitimite complaint and it should be addressed. It should be redone free of charge. Just to make you feel better I still wimp out sometimes and tip when I am not happy too! lol!

Joan said...

Renee: It's too late to make me happy...I'm done with this hairdresser.

Natalie: Welcome! I'm not usually such a wimp when I'm not happy about something but, when it comes to my hair, all bets are off! Oh well, at least I have Ireland to look forward to.

Patti: I don't understand it either. I have no trouble taking on corporate executives when I'm not happy about something but I can't seem to find my courage when it comes to my hairdresser. Go figure...

Midlife mom: Thanks sooo much for backing me up on this. It's nice to know a professional stylist agrees with my issues. Unfortunately, complaining to the shop wont do much good since she works as a independent hairdresser who simply rents her chair. Sigh...

only oldest said...

I wish I had a chance to see you but I am swamped this weekend. I do understand the part about putting up with the color but I think you should have negotiated the price!! Sorry, I forgot for a moment that I am the one who buys for a living and negotiates prices. Want me to beat the crap out of her for you????? As your only oldest, it's my responsibility to protect you guys.

I hope you find someone you really like. Mine is near Lynn's if you are interested.

patches said...

Geez, Joan, that whole experience bites. In situations like this, I always vote with my feet, and choose a different service provider (I think you mentioned it already). This might be a good opportunity to exercise your Dell/Bank letter writing skills. You don't have to be ugly about the situation, but I would make it clear that you will no longer be needing her services due to her lack professionalism.

Susie said...

I quit using the hairdresser I'd used for years over a similar issue. Sadly, I've never found anyone I liked as much (incident aside) Wish I'd had the gumption to just confront her at the time..
:)

Lynn said...

Uh oh...now I'm afraid to call you...I am more than happy to give you my persons phone number...

meno said...

I know this isn't funny. But i am smiling a little because i understand completely.

The one and only time i had my hair highlighted she used some fancy pants routine called boulage or some such. it consisted of painting bits of my hair with a paint brush. It cost me $135, plus tip. You could hardly tell that anything had been done.

Bah!

Joan said...

Only oldest: Thanks for offering but I think I might have a new stylist lined up.

Patches: I did think about writing a letter but I want the satisfaction of telling her either to her face or on the phone. That way, I can hear her surprise at my sudden burst of courage!

Susie: That is exactly my one concern...what happens if I never find someone who cuts my hair as well as she does. Oh well...

Lynn: If my lead doesn't pan out, I will definitely hit you up for your stylist's phone number.

Meno: Believe me, if I weren't trying to hide my gray hairs, I'd forego the whole highlighting process. It's way too expensive and only lasts a few haircuts. "Bah" is right!

Iamthebookworm said...

I'm so sorry it didn't work out! I avoid conflict like the plague, so I probably would have done the same thing and then gotten to the car and cried.

Joan said...

Iamthebookworm: I too avoid conflict as best I can. I'm much better at confronting someone through a letter or phone call than face to face.
And I have been known to cry in my car after a bad haircut...more than once!

Linda said...

Hi Joan, I stopped by via the comment you left on my blog - thanks for stopping by!

This is such a horrible experience! I agree that you should contact the salon and speak to the manager as this is just totally unacceptable. It sounds like your stylist overbooked herself and stretched herself way too thin at the expense of YOUR hair. And then to have charged you the full price? Oh no, no, no!

Fortunately for me, the woman who does my hair is also a good friend. I met her through the salon that I used to go to many years ago and when she left because of a knee injury and took up another job, she continued to do hair for her friends in her home. I'm so glad she did that as she is the only one I have ever found that I could trust with my hair and I shudder at the thought of having to ever find someone else!

Good luck with this dilemma and I hope that your hair turns out okay without going back to that streaky salt and pepper look. If it does and you haven't done so already, march yourself right back into that salon and demand some satisfaction!

rhea said...

Having a hair dye mistake is really terrible because it takes a while for the hair to recover. You shouldn't have been charged at all! But I understand your hesitance in confronting the hairdresser. I'm the same way.

Joan said...

Linda: Hi and thanks for stopping by. You are so lucky to have a good friend do your hair. You always know that she's looking after your best interests rather than what's best or easiest for her. I'm jealous...

Rhea: Yep...it's going to be a while before my color can be corrected. Oh well...I guess boring brown I can live with for now....it could be a heck of a lot worse, I guess.

Pam said...

This is TERRIBLE, Joan!!! I can't believe you had to pay someone to give you a bad hair day! More like bad hair days for the foreseeable future! But you know what? I would have handled it the same way. I don't know why we are afraid. I just recently switched stylists to go to one closer to where we now live. I actually feel guilty! I worry that I will run into the old one. I feel like I'm being unfaithful or something. It is so weird to be a woman sometimes... Anyway, I hope you are able to find someone to remedy things. Or else some great looking hats!

Joan said...

Pam: I think we all tend to play the dependent role in a stylist-client relationship...as if they are the only ones with the power to make us look good so we are afraid to lose their respect. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've done the same thing too many times to count. I am not cowardly otherwise either. The fact that she tried to pretend nothing was wrong is infuriating.

I have had so many horrendous haircuts that until recently, I wore it very long most of my life. Now I"m again suffering with a cut that is growing out badly.

Most of the people who work as colorists should not. The average 10-year old could do better.

But happily, I misunderstood and thought you had already been to Ireland. I'm glad you have a wonderful trip to look forward to.