September 5, 2005
Now listen hair.

I will so get up in your grill if you give bad service at the Home Depot or the Safeway. I have walked back up to the drive thru window at Wendy’s when mayo has been put on my burger. I have told people off at the Social Security Office and once launched a one-woman campaign against the idiocy of my long-distance phone company. But consistently I have a fear of salon stylists.

I know rationally they can’t be more fragile than others in general, but I won’t give them negative feedback, and my timidity around salon folk has caused me many a bad hair year. A stylist at the Hair Core on Route 10 once convinced me that if she covered my hair in 1.5 inch layers, the whole head would be full of beautiful curls. I agreed, wanting at the time to resemble the sister on Alf. Forty-five minutes later, I looked more like the main character.

I have let them put three unwanted colors of high and lowlights onto my head. I have run up exorbitant bills that forced me to dip into my college funds. Once in my adult life a salon girl gave me a makeup lesson. She started going places I didn’t necessarily want her to – smoky eyes (remember that popular heroin look?), red lips (think Jessica Rabbit) and cartoon brows (again, Alf). But did I say anything? I just let her have her way with my face. I looked so much like a hooker that I had to cancel my lunch date with my father for fear that his fellow committee members might think him running around on my mother.

A few months ago, sick of the routine and the bills, I defiantly drove to CVS and picked out a nice shade of blond. This is gonna go down on my terms, I thought. Lesson number one: Brown hair turns orange when your dye costs six bucks (oh yes, once again, think Alf). Lesson number two: lesson number one will require you to dye your hair twice in one day, and it’s likely that the CVS workers will remember you even with that pink hoodie pulled up. Lesson number three: your beau and your colleagues will lie and tell you they really like that “Ashley Simpson black” color you resorted to. Thanks to all of you.

So I’m back to seeing professionals. But there hasn’t been a change. I sat under the hairdryer with a head full of foil this weekend until I was sure my scalp had burned off. And within minutes of leaving, my new blond, expensively-charred head and I told off the metal gas pump because unleaded had hit $3.00.


48 Comments:

Blogger Wicked H said...

Only $3? Consider yourself lucky. :-)

I am sure your newly charred blonde locks look fabulous. (That is what you want to hear, right?)

Blogger erin said...

i am glad i am not the only one that FEARS salons...my experience causes me not to go to the same place twice...i always end up growing out my hair.

i once had a really expensive, really bad hair cut from a salon suggested by a friend...it was horrible and from the neck up i resembled a prepubescent boy, so the next day i went to super cuts...BAD IDEA...the woman actually took out that trimmer thing they use on the back of men's necks and i LITERALLY jumped out of the chair and told her that she WAS NOT using that thing on me to make my hair even shorter...i paid her, WITH a tip cause i felt kind of bad, and made my quick exit stage left.

Blogger NARDAC said...

There are just some professions where the schools are bogus.

Like the new look, btw. But somehow it seems very far from David Hasselhoff. In fact, DH just faxed me and told me he's going to start writing Sinatra swing. It's all your fault.

Blogger MoDigli said...

haha! Great post! The last time I got my hair cut, it turned out awfully. I couldn't sleep that night. So, for the first time in my 35 years on the planet, I called the salon for a "fix". She was nice. Took me in the same day and fixed it. It still wasn't what I wanted (she had taken off too much hair the day before to do what i REALLY wanted.) But it was better and much more presentable.

I felt SO proud of myself for doing that. It was NOT EASY!

Oh, the things we do to get ourselves pretty! sigh....

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

So true-- I'm always afraid of what will happen if I tell off the hairdresser. Because then you can't really go back there, can you? Wouldn't they make you look like crap on purpose?

Well, probably not, but it's that fear that makes me passive-aggressively switch stylists after a bad 'do...

Blogger lizzyjane said...

My stylist is so desperate to make me happy that she INSISTS I call her back the next day to make sure I still like it. And she fixes it for free if I don't.
I've never NOT liked it though.
Hmm, perhaps i should post an ode to my stylist....

Blogger Mercy said...

Nice picture in the corner!! I was trying to draw that for another site .. except I wanted two girls in it LOL.

Blogger Cindy St. Onge said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one intimidated by stylists. I worked in salons as a manicurist/esthetician for a couple of years, and still, they have an unexplainable power over me.
I love the Alf bit. You are a riot!

Blogger Poppy Cede said...

I love my new hair stylist, but the one before her was a guy who stunk of cigarettes (hey, that's your business until you're standing over my touching my hair with that stank), complained about everyone and everything, and gave me a BOY CUT 2 months before my WEDDING.

I am so glad I finally changed stylists... :)

Blogger Amanda said...

i totally hear you...i recently started seeing a new stylist...i had gone to the same woman for the past twenty years...and i am only 27!! she'd been doing my hair since i was still in underoos. the new girl is closer to my now-home and she is much edgier. it's so hard being honest with hair people though...it's like you're criticizing them if you say you want it done differently

Blogger Washington Cube said...

I wrote about my hair stylist about a week ago on my blog, and how their ego's can hold us hostage in their chairs. I find myself constantly having to praise him to keep the peace.

As for $3.00 gas? I was looking around D.C. this weekend. The cheapest I saw was for $3.41. The priciest I saw was for $3.95..regular unleaded.

P.S. I love the new look of your blog. Very sleek.

Blogger Cheryl said...

Poor thing, you just can't escape ALF...Way to tell everyone else off though.

Love you new look!

Blogger Spinning Girl said...

Ah yes. I hear, and feel, your pain.

Shall we discuss the bowl-cut years? OK, then, how about the decade known as Permalooza (1983-1993)?

No?

OK, then, Women, listen up. Men too, what the hell. Just as we have reclaimed ownership of our vaginas and breasts (yes, I said it! Say the words with me!) from the so-called male-dominated medical profession and taken responsibility for our own health, so must we unite and reclaim our heads as our own.

Many salon stylists almost flunked out of beauty school, and off-the-shelf color comes out of a valve at the horsemeat rendering plant.

If you are unhappy with what is happening on top of your head, you MUST stop it at that moment, or pay the price for 6-8 weeks or longer.

Had I had the courage to do this, I wouldn't have had the pixie bangs from great-granny Mabel at the campus salon.

Had I had the courage to do this, I wouldn't have had a color that can only be described as "peach".

And finally, once you find a stylist who speaks your language, hold on to her/him with both fists and pay her/him every penny that she/he is worth. For you will finally join the ranks of the HAIR FABULOUS, and you will be glad! Rejoice!

I am exhausted.

Blogger sunshine said...

Lesson number one has me weeping because I have soooo been there.

Try going to one of those salons where they give you free glasses of wine with your haircut. Takes all of the stress out of it.

Funny post!

Anonymous Jorge said...

Fear not the stylists.

YOU PAY THEM.

Never forget that.
It's nice that they can take a risk. If it works, it works.
If not...

THEY'RE FIRED!

By the way. Nice site! :)

Blogger katie's brain said...

Kris--you are hilarious. We've all been there. I have dark brown hair and recently decided I should splurge and get some subtle highlights. I emerged from the salon nearly in tears and looking exactly like Cruella Deville. Did I ask for them to fix it? Nooooo...I was too worried they'd make it worse, and found a sympathetic Aveda hairdresser who darkened the nasty white streaks to a dark red which wound up being very flattering.

Love the new set-up too--it looks great in here--how are the acoustics?

Blogger Jeremy said...

It's good to know, sometimes, that being a man offers so many more benefits than just easy peeing in the woods.

Blogger still_figuring_out said...

ah! i fear hair salons too. ok, maybe not as much as going to the dentist, but hair salons come a close, and i mean a very close, second.

Blogger JJ said...

Relax, Alf is cute.

Blogger t2ed said...

I know several women who absolutely hate what their hair stylist does to them, but won't leave her and won't tell her. What power these folk have!

You don't have neopolitan hair do you? I've come to the conclusion that hair with different colored streaks is just wrong. Pick one color and go with it.

Nice new design btw. 16,870 page views. Oh, you need traffic all right.

Blogger Oh, that girl. said...

Kris, I used to have the same fear, but my new salon Guru girl, she MAKES you speak up! She is awesome! I love her! And the whole blonde do-it-yourself, yeah that doesn't workout when your originally dark. I tried that when I was in High School. Were talking White Roots, Yellow Base and orange/gold ends. Not Pretty, not at all. Unfortuantly I didn't have the money to get it fixed by pros, so I resorted to the Ashley Simpson method. It was soooo Sexy!

Blogger Sub Girl said...

i really love the look of the blog! it really suits you/it. and your hair cant be that bad.

Blogger babyjewels said...

omg, can I relate. one of my oldest and dearest friends is a hair dresser. I went to her for years, so unhappy with what she was doing, but I couldn't break it off with her. finally, after a particularly bad cut, I decided to go elsewhere. it was sooo hard to tell her, but I found a tactful way to say that sometimes I wasn't happy and I didn't want to ruin our friendship over something as trivial as my hair. I bounced around for awhile, but I think my new guy is really good. And like you I can totally be upfront with any other service industry, but not hairstylists.

Blogger Robin said...

Live in fear of the stylist...Think of all the ways they could f*** you up if you cross her/him.

ahh, this is why i am sure to befriend my stylist and tip her very generously. i think she loves me. more importantly, she loves my hair the most.

Blogger Mel said...

Ok, don't hate me.

I don't go to the salon.

My Mom is a licensed Beautician (no longer practicing) and has does my hair for me. And has for the last... well, my whole life actually.

Granted, I have had the same style for the last 24 years (except that I grew my bangs out in college). Recently we have been experimenting with color and highlights.

And because she is my mom, she always makes sure that I love it.

Oh yeah, did I mention that it's free?

Like I said, don't hate me.

Blogger Brookelina said...

Love the new look. And from now on you can give me the burger with the mayo. Mmm mmm good.

Blogger Slade said...

LOVE the new look! I can't seem to tell a stylist if I don't like what she/he has done...but now I have this fab girl who always makes me look beautiful!

Blogger Biscuit said...

Drew at Robert Lewis Salon in Montgomery Mall. He is a hair God. Seriously! Don't let the bleached mohawk scare you.

Blogger Megarita said...

Allllllways spend the money on the good salon. Never blonde alone! Baaaaaaad idea. I spend more money on good hair places than on shoes, food, almost anything except rent.

I like your fancy new blog, by the by! Excellent hair on that girl!

Blogger Sizzle said...

hair woes are the worst. i luckily found a fabulous hair stylist- i would trek back to see her no matter the distance. i learned the hard way that boxed hair dye only leads me to looking like a) a calico kitty, b) carrot top or c) frizz head. :)

Blogger Kiki said...

I am so the same way.

And the nightmares I've caused myself due to doing it on my own...
ugh.

Blogger Danielle said...

I have never recovered from the "bowl cut" I was forced to sport on my first day of 4th grade.

Blogger Brian said...

I have the same problem. Stylists and tattoo artists. Thats why I have never gotten a tattoo, its a little more permanent than a bad haircut

Blogger LBseahag said...

Your writing is awesome....
i hated that sister on alf...but pleasantly surprised to recall her.

loved the section on being a woman of the 50s, i read that over the weekend...

Blogger hillary said...

i have that exact tile in my bathroom. that's scary...

Blogger Jackie said...

It's totally easy to be scared of them because they have control of your total appearance. It actually makes a lot of logical sense to be scared of them, then. :)

Sorry about the Alf look. At least it's your hair (changeable) and NOT your face that resembled him. :)

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Next to dentists, hair salonists have got to be the scariest folk on the planet.

They hold YOUR HAIR in their paws! They have the power to make you look like cousin It!

No wonder they scare ya. Darn smart of you to be concerned. BTW your hair looks fab.

Blogger notasoccermom said...

too funny!

Blogger Bobby said...

Hair stylists, and salons, have a whole different language and culture.

Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

For one thing, I'll never buy another thing from a Home Depot again. I'd rather pay the extra 5% and get service at their competitors. Screw them. They won't get a dime from me ever again.

Every time I go in there carrying something, I swear, it seems like the employees are trying not to notice me.

As for salons, never been servied in one so I have no opinions about them.

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

I HATE it when I get mayo on my burger. My hatred for mayo is nonnegotiable.


Ps. Thanks for the cat humping love, I mean link!

Blogger Travelin' Tracy said...

I learned within the last year that it is just better to spend the money on a good salon. Megarita is right...it is worth spending a little more. But shop around in the salon. I went to three stylists at one salong before I found one I love. She does such a good job, seriously I have gotten so many compliments since I started seeing her. I wish it didn't cost so much, but then again, good hair can really make a girl happy!

In defense of the stylists, think about how shitty it would be to stand on your feet 10-12 hours a day, being perky and polite, whilst 300 lb. women with acne scars and bad breath get all pissy because you can't make the 15 grey hairs on their head resemble the Jennifer Aniston cut. Then most people "forget" to tip. They tip 20% to the person who brings them their food at a diner, but don't tip the person who is responsible for how they're gonna look for the next 2-4 months. Makes no sense.

Anyway, I totally dig this blog. Great template! Thanks for stopping by mine, too. :)

Blogger deanne said...

When I was 12, I demanded my mother to give me a home perm. The next day, I demanded she take it right back out.

I blame the hair guru suddenly thought "I know! Let's make the early 90's ALL about the perm!"

You have to be nice to people you allow to hold sharp objects by your head and people who have access to your food when it is out of your sight.

The rest are fair game. :-)

Here's the brunt of my problem with the hair stylists: they are looking right at me while telling me not to look. Completely intimidating.

Blogger Mabs said...

I hate going to salons. I just pull my hair down and put that smokey eye makeup and I still look good. =)

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