Hair Salon Pressure Part Deux: The Aftermath

27 Oct

I know you’re just dying to know, so here: I ruined my hair.

Remember this from yesterday in regard to taking the plunge? “Is it possible that tonight I will ruin a perfectly good thing?  Yes, yes it is.” (Jackie Baker, October 26, 2011: pre-ruined hair)

Or perhaps this charming picture of what I thought I could expect from such a venture –>

Well I guess you could say it all pretty much came out as feared.  Except I don’t look like a dog.  Not my face, anyway. …I don’t think.

My appointment last night was at 7:30.  At 6:30 I got a call asking if I could come in earlier, so I aimed for 7pm and made it there by 6:45 because I’m awesome. After I sat there for only 5 minutes, the manager came over and explained that my stylist was running behind.  Why did you call me and ask me to come earlier if she’s running behind?, I asked.  Someone called you and asked you to do that?, He said.

This is never a good sign.

He proceeded to explain that I could have another stylist work with me.  She’s a more “senior consultant” he said, but he would charge me the same price.  I told him the whole reason I was there was because the night before, the other girl cut my hair and we talked about color. I came back specifically at a time she was available so I was wary to go with someone else.  He told me he’d supervise my coloring himself.

Getting the manager to supervise with a “more senior consultant” seemed like a fair shake so I thought what the heck, why not. (Note: Wrong.  Totally wrong.)

When it comes to hair advice, the more is not the merrier.  Five minutes later I was seated in the chair with four different stylists huddled around me, talking about how beautiful my natural color was.  One even said, you’re not getting that colored are you?! The correct answer should have been No.  No I’m not, followed by walking out the door.

I told them I used to be more of a redhead and over the years, I’ve kind of morphed into a dishwatery blonde that I don’t prefer.  I wanted a few highlights to bring out the red in my hair, I wanted it to look natural, and I wanted it to be subtle.  They all agreed – I made a great redhead, and I should return to it.

I could reenact in my sleep what happens to stylists when they look at the back of my head and see the huge blonde chunk that runs down it. It’s the same thing every time.  First, they assume it’s a weird dye job by me.  Then they check the roots and see that there aren’t any.  Then they ask me what’s up with it and I explain I was born with it.  I get too detailed sometimes and explain that it’s a matter of genetic co-dominance, much like when you see a horse with spots.

Then they geek out.

Which I really appreciate.  It’s nice.  It’s something interesting about me and I appreciate them making me feel special.  But last night, this discovery led to an all-around consensus that I should highlight blonde like this chunk.  I told the cluster of people around me that I really prefer red and that the blonde would have to be very subtle and only around my face.

2.5 hours later, everyone who chimed in was gone and I was left in the chair with my stylist at closing as she roughed through my hair with her fingers, trying to blow dry it as fast as possible so she could leave.  As my hair dried and came to light, it was obvious that they decided to go with their plan and not mine.  And since she started at the left side of my head and worked around to the right, there was a huge, platinum blonde streak running right down the side of my face, which leads a gradual and noticeable fade all the way around my head.  It was a stripey, skunky strangeness from which I could not recover for another 6 weeks.

I was devastated.

I told her I expected it to be more red and that there was a looooot of blonde.  I told her I felt more like a blonde than a redhead.  I told her I was having trouble adjusting to the shock of the blonde.  I told her lots of things, when I really should have just told her I wanted to cry.  It looked a lot like skunk stripes.  Little baby skunk stripes.  And when the manager was speaking with me, he confirmed three different times that I wanted to be red, I wanted it to be natural, and I didn’t want stripes.

I’m not sure what he did with that information.  I think he communicated it to my stylist via paper cup and string.

I ponied up too many of my hard-earned American dollars, and walked out of the salon with an ample amount of wetness to my eyes.  I had just wasted a lot of money to feel worse about myself.  I loved my hair the day before.  I had a new cut with a little bit of movement and a subtle change.  And even my awesome blow out from that evening was ruined by last evening’s half-inspired styling.

Supposedly, I have two weeks in which to request an adjustment for free.  

This bus shelter advertisement mocked me on my way home.  I’ll be calling today. 


24 Responses to “Hair Salon Pressure Part Deux: The Aftermath”

  1. mistressofpoetry October 27, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Oh my gosh i would definitely sock it to them. It was their mistake and they created it. Make them fix it and then never go back to that stylist. Sheesh. All they had to do was listen to what you wanted. In the meantime, just take care of the health of your hair because all of this dying and re-dying is likely to dry it out, but it has to be done so that YOU will be happy.
    I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year and when I do, it’s usually a home kit and I always go darker.
    By the way, do NOT pay them another dime for the mess they made. Make sure you get proper treatment and that THEY wind up with the costs for their mistake and rushed job. There’s just no excuse! Good luck, Jackie!


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks for saying this! I mentioned to the manager on the phone that I was concerned about the drying out from two dye jobs in a row and he told me they’d throw in a conditioning treatment for free 😀


  2. Suzanne October 27, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Sadly, this is all too common of an occurrence. As someone who had their fair share of bad cuts and colors, the only thing you can do is march back in there and make sure they know that they did nothing the way you wanted it. Cry. I mean that. Cry, so they know how upset you really are. Yes, they know a lot about hair, but not necessarily about what makes you happy.

    Their job is to make you feel good about yourself, not do whatever the heck they want. Keep on reminding yourself of that when you go back.


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      I was pretty jacked up on reader encouragement this morning when I called. I honestly don’t know if I would have – it’s typically more my style to be polite unless someone has been rude or inappropriate. But the price tag was just too steep on this one to let it go. Thanks for the support! 🙂


  3. becomingcliche October 27, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    UGH! Been there, done that. I once went for an emergency patch-up because another salon wrecked me. A woman whose hair had turned green looked at me and said “And I thought I had problems.” Hope you get it fixed to your liking.


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      Wow – worse than green?! That’s rough. Salon adventures are so risky.


  4. Katherine Gordy Levine October 27, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Sad. Live and learn. Life will go on. You will stay strong. Still sad.


  5. littlemissmarika October 27, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    I feel your pain, Im naturally red and have tried to keep my natural tone as much as possible. Every time I go to the hair salon I can guarantee that I will not come out with what I wanted..WHY cant we complain?? To be fair I’m british so we dont complain…far too polite. But as you said, its our hair!! why the hell cant we have it the way we want?! (within reason obv, not like Im going to go in with my red hair and ask for JLo hair…). I have resorted to dying my own and getting it trimmed every few months, now wheres the fun in that?? I remember when going to the salon was a TREAT…fml…


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Wow – what a difference. In America all people do is complain 😉

      See this is key – I should have ‘guaranteed that it would not come out with what I wanted’. This is usually my tactic so that I can either be completely right or I can be pleasantly surprised. I failed at my own good rule.


  6. pegoleg October 27, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I’m so sorry for you! It’s terrible to walk out of the salon feeling LESS than when you walked in, and to pay them for the experience? I agree with all the above – you really need to go back and let them see your displeasure, without being a witch. They should redo at no cost to you.

    Hang in there sweetie, and don’t worry: your natural beauty will overcome even a bad dye job!


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Love the last line – really needed the encouragement today. I feel silly having it affect me so much, but it’s really just a lot of kicking myself in the butt for wasting money and doing something I was so hesitant to do in the first place. I hope this weekend fixes the ordeal 🙂


  7. thesinglecell October 27, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Absolutely go back and make them redo it for free. And then don’t go again. I highlight my hair (blonde, because my natural color is River-Bottom Blah) and have had a few experiences in which parts of it are orange until the color settles in. The reason they give you two weeks is because the color will settle in over that time and you might hate it less later. But the stripes alone would send me back. I agree with Peg; customer service still matters in the salon industry, and they should be told – firmly but politely – that they did not listen to what you made very clear, and you will not be recommending them to anyone.


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

      haha River-Bottom Blah 🙂

      I tried to be as nice as possible but as firm as possible on the phone with the manager today. It seemed to go pretty far!


  8. Marylou October 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    You had absolutely better go have them fix it for free. Honestly? I probably wouldn’t have paid them any money in the first place until they fixed it.

    Nobody should get paid for not doing their job.

    Also. There should be no shame in taking the minimalist approach to hair. For instance, I don’t use shampoo or conditioner, and I don’t use soap on my face – only water. If I need to remove makeup, I use a face wash that consists only of natural oils (from Burt’s Bees), and for moisturizing/conditioning, I use natural oils. Plus, I gave up styling my hair in high school. I learned early that no matter what I did to it, it was going to do what it wanted to do. I just go with the flow.

    And blow-drying your hair is actually very bad for it.


    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

      Very hippie-esque, Maryloud. I approve.


  9. wordsweneversaid October 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    My last cut made me look like an 80’s reject – it was a hack job.

    I HATED it – thank god I wear nets and hats at work is all I could think of…


    Get back there and make them fix it (hard – I know – be strong Jackie)

    The good thing is that you don’t have to grow the hair back (it took me six weeks to get something fixable)

    Oh – and there should be NO charge – AT ALL…in fact – they should send you home with some of their fancy conditioning after color gunk free as well.




    • Jackie October 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

      I want some fancy gunk! 🙂 I’m headed in this weekend. I’m so proud of myself for actually calling.


      • Jessica October 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

        Good for you! You don’t deserve to be stuck with something you didn’t ask for. They have to make that right. Stick to your guns and get what you want. Stupid salons. I don’t go but once a year to get my hair cut because the hubs complains that salons are a racket that shouldn’t exist. I’ve let him cut it a couple of times but bottom line is he can’t do much more than straight across the bottom, no layers, etc. Sure he can cut his own hair but how hard is a high and tight buzz cut anyway? (Well, to be honest, too hard for me to do for him so I just consult and help him make sure he doesn’t miss any spots.) lol Be sure to tell us how it goes this weekend!


        • Jackie November 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

          I actually really don’t enjoy the salon – 2 hours with foils in (twice in a row) is pretty boring, not to mention a monumental waste of time. And surrounded by chatty, annoying, catty women? Ugh.


  10. whatimeant2say October 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Wow. I really thought you would post today about how much you loved the new color. I’m so sorry I was wrong! (Halloween makes my psychic powers go on the blink.) I want to cry with you, girl! I know exactly how you feel. I hope you are braver than I am and go demand your money back so you can go somewhere else and get it fixed. 😦


  11. egills October 28, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    Ohh…. please tell me they used foils? Many years ago I went to a salon to have colours put in – this resulted in my hair falling out what hair was left was elastic, the dye had burnt my scalp, jumper and t-shirt…. and I was almost totally blonde!
    I ended up running out of the salon in tears, luckily I did go back and complained they refunded my money and gave me extra to replace my damaged clothes… I’ve not gone to a salon since.

    I hope your hair gets sorted soon.


    • Jackie November 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Foils indeed It was long and boring and made me ponder on all the things that were more important that I could have been doing.

      Your experience sounds just terrible!!! 😦 Makes me thankful mine wasn’t worse. How awful.


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