I Spent $50 and Then I Spent $40 More

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?

9 thoughts on “I Spent $50 and Then I Spent $40 More”

  1. The book Curly Girl is awesome. I've just started having my stylist cut my hair dry. Makes perfect sense! Until I found my current guy, I had many bad haircuts. Most stylists can't even cut it straight across the back!

  2. You should have contacted the manager of the first salon.

    I recently had the same experience. I called a salon that specializes in the Ouidad carve and slice for thick curly/frizzy hair (and I grew my hair out for a year to get this cut). I told the person that I wanted a stylist that was certified to do that cut. She set me up with and appointment.

    Excited, I couldn't wait until the day. I showed up at the salon, given a chair and explained to the stylyst what I wanted. She started cutting my hair, short layers and bangs! I mentioned to her I didn't think that you could do short layers with the carve and slice and she said to me "oh, I'm not certified for that". I had her wrap up the cut and went home in tears. I am not one to complain but I had taken such pains to explain to everyone that I spoke to there that I wanted the carve and slice and now I was MAD!

    I called the salon and asked for the owner or manager. I was given the manager. I told her what had happened. She immediatly made an appointment with the Ouidad stylyst for the next day (no charge). We talked about how long I would have to grow it back in and while we were doing that she cleaned up the cut so it would lay better.

    I now have an appointment with her in a month and a half for the Ouidad cut at no charge.

    I would be suffering and upset had I not called and complained.

  3. I'm really bad about getting my hair done on a regular schedule too. So I make my appointment for my next cut before I leave the salon. I've found that I will keep the appointment once I make it, I just never take time to make the appointment once I leave. So, problem solved for me- maybe it'd work for you?

  4. Complain! Right away! You paid a hefty amount, not to mention the tip, for a stylist that did not bother to listen to you. This is not what you paid for, right? Tell the manager that. Even if they do nothing (which I'd hardly believe), you'll feel better — you'll get it off your chest. Staying silent is, in essence, giving that stylist the power and permission to treat someone else the same way he treated you.
    (If you have to, get the stylist of the place who fixed your cut to speak on your behalf.)

  5. I agree with the others – I think you can still complain to the original salon. Stylists (and salon managers!) really depend on good word of mouth, so if you are dissatisfied, they should try to win you over – at least with a gift certificate at this point.

    My sister has really curly hair, so I know just what you mean. She's had the dreaded triangle-hair numerous times.

  6. I would definately call and complain. Even if they don't do anything it would make me feel better. I also have very thick wavy/frizzy hair and recently my regular hairstylist gave me a terrible cut.(short layers Yikes!!) She has never given me a bad cut before but, she wanted to try something new. Never again! I am now trying to grow it out. good luck.

  7. I also have extremely thick, curly hair. I've had so many bad cuts in my lifetime due to stylists that don't know how to cut curly hair. The worst one was by a man who made me stand up at his station for the entire haircut. Then he cut leaving to answer the phone. I felt so silly just standing there with the cape on and without my glasses, so I could not even see.

    Now I blow my hair straight every morning and keep it short. So much easier for me to deal with and I'm much happier for it!

  8. I have curly hair as well. I would recommend only going to a stylist who is well known to cut curly hair or that you have had good cuts from in the past. Going to just anybody is a recipe for disaster.

  9. My hair isn't curly, but isn't straight either, gets a lot of frizz and I have a ton of it. I found a hair stylist that has similar hair and have been going to see her ever since. She knows what my hair will or will not do. If I come in for a new style, she'll tell me it won't work or how she would have to change it to work on my hair. Find a stylist that either has similar hair or a lot of experience with hair like yours and stick with her. Random stylists turn out AWFUL 9 times out of 10.


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