On Tuesday evening I left work and headed to the hair salon. I am absolutely awful about getting my hair cut. I never go on a scheduled basis. I just let it grow and grow until it gets so scraggly I can barely stand it.
Last week it was really bothering me, so I walked out of my office and into a neighboring salon to see if I could get a trim. The receptionist informed me that I’d have to wait until the following week, so I made an appointment and headed home.
On Tuesday I was super excited to get my hair cut. It felt really dry and lifeless and as usual I stared in the mirror and wondered why on earth I’d waited so long. As soon as I arrived I had a particularly bad feeling. The stylist asked me to fill out a sheet or two of paper describing my hair, but after filling everything out he simply looked down at the page and then said, “okay, let’s head back.’ I wondered why on earth he had me fill out the sheets if he had no intention of looking at them.
He sat me in front of a mirror and I explained that a) I wear my hair curly, b) I never, ever blow dry it and c) I prefer when it’s cut with long layers. Most importantly I asked him to cut it in such a way that it would be wash and wear ready.
Now let me explain that I have very difficult hair. It is extremely curly and thick, so I specifically asked the stylist if he was comfortable cutting hair like mine. Of course, he said he was, so my hair was washed and then I sat in the chair where he began to cut.
I noticed that he trimmed my hair in record time and before I could even look up, (he had my hair in front of my face for most of the time), he had already moved on to blow drying it.
Before I could say another word he was blow drying and straightening it. Wait a minute, hadn’t I told him that I want it to be curly and that I never blow dry it?
I’d never seen myself with straight hair and I think I was a bit surprised by the way I look, so surprised in fact, that I couldn’t seem to speak up to tell him this wasn’t at all what I wanted. He took off the cape that had been wrapped around my shoulders and walked me to the counter where I paid $50 for the worst haircut I’d ever received.
I don’t know why I didn’t speak up. Was it because there was already someone waiting behind me to be seen? Was it because I was so shocked by the haircut he’d given me? I don’t know, but for some ridiculous reason I paid him $50 and provided a tip!
When I came home my husband just shook his head at the sight of it. Of course, the minute I washed my hair the nightmare really began. My hair stuck straight out from my head like a triangle. It was frizzy and heavy and the curls just didn’t spring back like they should.
So, today, I called another hair salon and went in for another cut. Thankfully the first stylist had left my hair just long enough to cut again. The second stylist started all over from scratch. She kept shaking her head and looking inquisitively at my hair, but at the end of the day she was able to cut it in a way that will allow me to wear it curly and natural.
So I forked over $30 and left her a very generous tip. I wonder if I could have done anything to prevent the bad haircut. I truly believe the first stylist didn’t know how to cut thick, curly hair. If I had spoken up and asked him to add layers he may have just made the whole situation worse.
But is there anything I could have done to save myself from paying him? If I complained would it have done me any good?