by a.b.

I’m really not fond of getting my haircut. I hate the smell of salons, we just moved here so I don’t even know who to go see, and I hate breaking in a new stylist. However, after looking in the mirror for the past week, my hair was telling me it was time.

So I called a local salon and asked if they had any availability.

Issue #1: If you are going to answer a business phone, particularly in a noisy area, speak up! I wasn’t even sure I had the right place.

I went in for my appointment, and the stylist had hair that was too “pretty” for me. I like a messy, choppy hairstyle, and the stylist had perfect 90210 hair.

Issue #2: The stylist hardly looked at my hair and didn’t communicate to me what she was doing, until it was too late to stop her.

Even though I showed the stylist pictures of what I wanted and explained, longer layers in front, choppy and wispy, with a thick, longer bang, and shorter in back. Basically an a-line goes punk. What I got was shorter bangs and feathered in sides. I should’ve known I was in trouble when she brought out the giant 80s rolling brush. I wanted to look like I could go to a rock concert when I left, but instead I looked like I was walking into an episode of Friends.

Issue #3: After my bang was already too short, she went to cut it again and I asked her not to. I was ignored. Big mistake.

I explained that the cut she was giving me was not what I’d asked for and not what we discussed. She told me what she was doing, and I reiterated that I knew exactly what she did, and it was not what I wanted.

Issue #4: The stylist assumed I was an uninformed consumer.

I am well aware of my hair’s eccentricities as I’ve been stuck with it for a little while now. She made a big deal about how fine my hair was, and then used a razor to layer it. Stylists who use razors on fine hair do so out of pure laziness because it strips the ends; it causes split ends! She could’ve used scissors; she just didn’t want to take the time. Her lack of interest in me as a customer was reflected in my lack of interest in her tip.

No worries, though. The one thing I’ve learned through time is hair grows back, and I can do a lot with a little styling product. Too bad she won’t see me again, or any of my friends or family.

If I hadn’t ignored some of the customer service warning signs, I wouldn’t have ended up with a cut I didn’t like, because I wouldn’t have been in that chair in the first place.

Truthfully, I will probably start going to a beauty school for my haircuts. It may take longer, but I’ve noticed that hair stylists (as opposed to hair students) are more concerned with a cut that they think looks good. They want your friends and family to say, “No, it looks great! Who did it?” despite your protests of, “It doesn’t look right!” horror. (FYI, the key to warning referrals is to say, “I know it looks alright, but the stylist didn’t listen to a thing I asked for.”) At a beauty school, much of their grade is dependent on communication with you, and how much you like what they did. I’d rather go home with hair that will look alright in a week, a fatter wallet, and knowing I was heard, then have another bad customer service experience.