Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bad Haircut Blues

She called me in tears.
Is it only women who cry over their hair?
After weeks of flipping through the pages of sample magazines, agonizing over the perfect colour, psyching herself up for a significant cut, and saving up the equivalent of half a month's rent, she strode into her hair dresser's armed with a photo and some courage.
She told the hair dresser exactly what she wanted.
And like many hair dressers, this one told her why she was a moron, why it wouldn't work, what she would do instead.
And then she did it.
And it was bad.
How do hair dressers get away with treating clients so shoddily? I thought only airlines could do that. But apparently hair dressers are extended this special privilege also. Whatever happened to the customer is always right? Or even remotely right?

Okay, so maybe they take one look at the photo of Angelina's hair and they know without a shadow of a doubt that it's just not going to translate well to our less-than-lustrous, thinning, kind-of-limp hair. And maybe this other style they have in mind really would suit us better. But if it's not what we want, why are we forced to get it?
If I go into a dress shop and pick out a pretty blue frock, the sales lady will not tell me "Actually dear, that's all wrong for you, let me sell you this ugly green jumper instead, it's really more your style."
If you go to a restaurant and order the lasagna, the waiter is not going to say "Um, no, I don't trust your judgement, let me bring you the grilled salmon instead."
And yet hair dressers don't care what we want. They don't care that it's our head, and we'll wear the humiliation for months until it grows out.

Sometimes they don't even tell you they're giving you the wrong haircut. Sometimes they cut away, making a big show of consulting the glossy photos you've brought with you for reference. And then when it's all over you look more like Katie Couric than Katie Holmes. Not cool.

Or you ask for a trim and you wind up with 8 inches on the floor. With bangs! And a body perm!

They think they know best and are unapologetic when the customer is squirming unhappily in the seat, panic-stricken, mentally running over their hat selection.
They are either unable or unwilling to say "I don't know how to do that cut." They always say "No problem!" and then you leave looking like your Aunt Bea.
It's surprising that there aren't more incidences of violence against hair dressers. Not that I advocate violence, but come on.
Instead on confronting the hair dresser, my friend made another appointment for 6 weeks from now, when she hopes something will be done to salvage the cut\colour. Do you realize what that means? The hair dresser is rewarded for a bad job. She gets more work.

I wondered if only women are this crazy, but a male friend of mine recently had an even more harrowing experience: the hair dresser snipped his ear! He bled, she giggled. And what did he do? He tipped her. To show there were "no hard feelings."

Are we crazy?
Are they?
And if so, why do we keep letting them get near our noggins with sharp sharp scissors?

We need to start a revolution.
We need to take back control!
Okay, so maybe that 50-something tanned-orange woman leaving the salon with pouffy bleached out hair looks ridiculous. But she also looks happy. She got what she asked for.
That's all we want: the right to make our own bad decisions.
If we gamble on a hair risk and lose, at least we'll learn for next time. But when a hair dresser goes rogue, we end up resenting the cut, and the bitch who gave it to us. We are being forced to pay for haircuts we didn't want, didn't ask for, and don't approve of. Nobody goes in looking for "punk-pixie" and is happy to leave with "skunky school marm." Nobody.

And hair dressers never learn.
My friend's hair dresser knew that she'd given a bad cut. She knew her client was dissatisfied.
She shrugged.
She didn't offer to fix it.
She still demanded payment.
Her client went home in tears.
I thought only accountants were allowed to make their clients cry.

So I'm wondering how I go about starting an angry mob.
Do I just go out into the street and start knitting my eyebrows? Shaking my fist? Do I need a megaphone?

Give me smooth layers or give me death!

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