Nchanter (nchanter) wrote,

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Judgemental Old Ladies in Salons

So I'd been needing to do something with my hair for... gosh, months now. The color was beyond faded, the roots were about 6" long, and the ends needed to be hacked off. I had finally found a place in town that had NOT screwed up my eyebrows when getting waxed, and when I was in there for the waxing appointment, prior to the holidays, I won a 20% off (!) gift certificate for any one hair service. A stylish woman in her 50's (who I assume was the owner or head stylist) asked me if I had anyone that did my hair (since I had mentioned I was new in town, and was relieved to find someplace that could do facial waxes up to my standards) and I mentioned I had someone in the city, but hadn't been in a while because who wants to drive 30-40 minutes to get their hair done. I explained what I normally do with my hair, my reservations about trying someone new, and she said "Steph. Definitely Steph. She can handle purple." After a week of mulling it over I called and made an appointment. Because the process would take multiple hours, it wasn't until after Christmas that I could get into see her. I then had to move my appointment AGAIN because of the snowstorm and re-booking a canceled flight.

So Tuesday I got to the salon, meet Steph (who I had since learned use to have bright-pink hair) and felt immediately at-ease. We were going to ad more sections of purple than I had previously, and make all the sections a bit chunkier. She did a full thorough consultation including asking about the products I use, and if I used anything for color between appointments. Completely professional, friendly, and a really good vibe. So we did the various things necessary to get my hair to look the way I want it to, and when we washed out the dye, even with my hair still wet, we knew it wasn't dark or vibrant enough, so she decided to apply another layer of color. I left the salon with my hair still wet, but you could see the purple on the front streak, and as it usually brightens up a bit when it dries, we both believed it was a success.

Once I got home, and my hair dried all the way.... there were a few spots of purple, but most of the parts that should have been purple were brown. I called the salon, talked to her, and she wanted me to come right back in, but I couldn't because of a meeting that night. We discussed schedules and she made time for me the next day earlier in the day. This was, of course, the correct response, and I was still optimistic that she could be my new stylist -- I LIKED her.

Wednesday (yesterday) I go in and she looks at my hair and said "Oh gosh, I'm glad you came back in!" We talked about what might have happened, what to do, and she listened patiently to my "I know I'm not a professional, but this is how I've done it or have had people do it in the past." I also brought my (Special Effects) dye with me, especially since I don't think they ordered extra purple of their dye brand (They do not keep "Fashion Colors" stocked in the salon, but are happy to order them for clients). She stripped color (not bleaching) from on top of the bleached streaks, which reacted all sorts of oddly, and showed bits of GREEN in the parts of my hair that hadn't been treated prior to the day before. She then re-bleached those pieces, and then finally used the Special Effects "Deep Purple" that I've been using on-and-off for about a decade. It ended up looking exactly how I wanted, and she refused to even take a tip for the 3 hours I spent in the Salon that day.

2 Things about this experience bothered me though -- none of which had to do with Steph, or even that I had to go back in to get my color fixed.

While I was there on Wednesday getting the color fixed, we got into a conversation with one of the other stylists who was still in the "younger" age group (read: under 40) about the crazy things friends of ours had done with their hair, including color. I mentioned water_childe's Technicolor hair, and one of the stylists in the clearly OVER 40 crowd said "Dear god, what does she do for work?" "She's a Nanny." "And people actually hire her with oddly colored hair?! I wouldn't, it sets a bad example for the children that coloring your hair like that is actually acceptable." Me and the stylists I had been talking with just gave each other "she doesn't not understand she stuck her foot into her mouth" looks.

The second thing was an encounter I had there today, while I was getting a facial wax (yes I was there 3 days in a row, the esthetician only works Th/F/Sa). Another woman, who was in her 50's and not quite so stylish, came over, looked at my hair, seemed to be trying to make pleasant chit-chat about my hair finally being the way I wanted, and said something to the effect of "This was all your fault for using non-professional products, and this is what you get." I didn't really respond, and she eventually walked away. While that even might be the case (and Steph assured me it wasn't the previous day, and even if my products caused it, I had warned Steph about what I had been using, and she agreed that we got MUCH Better color than we ever could have with the brand they use), you do NOT say that to a client, and certainly not someone else's client.

I will be going back, because I like the work, and the attitude, of the professionals in that salon that I patron, and the one that Gumby sees for his hair, but the other women there put me off. A lot. Next time I'm in there, I may inquire about who is the owner (I'm not 100% if it's that first woman, and their website does not have a listing of staff as some salons do) and might consider talking to them. If it is that first woman who was very warm and encouraging to my non-traditional self on my first visit, I'm pretty sure she would be annoyed at her employees behavior, if for no other reason that it's bad business.

I feel much better writing that all out.

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