I won't be describing every experience that made me want to become my own hairdresser, here are just some highlights...
- After chopping off 6''(15cm) of my hair, a hairdresser replies to my:
- Darling, your hair really needed it! I chopped off whatever looked really horrible, so you should be happy about it.
Happened more than once. I wonder why I never felt that happy... at all! I actually felt like mourning... RIP my hair... Plus I never asked them what they thought about my hair. I just came to pay for a certain service and get it done, so using words like "horrible" was really uncalled for. It's something nail technicians also like to say a lot. Whenever I used to change nail technicians (now I do my nails on my own as well), they'd always say "Who's this terrible person who did your nails? They look horrible!" [Yeah, right! like your work is going to look any better in 3 weeks time. So far I tried ~20 nail technicians (I moved countries and places quite a lot and had to find new salons nearby) and only 2 were really awesome].
Anyway, this is what it made me think of:
and also this one
Having been violated this way more than once, I decided I could no longer take the risks to loose all the precious hair that took me a year to grow in a single ends trimming session. So I assigned my mother to be my hairdresser ;) For a couple of years she's been doing a great job trimming my ends, but eventually one of my friends taught me how to trim you ends on your own and that's what I've been doing ever since. By now it's been 2 years and I have never been happier with my trims :)
- After coloring my hair, a hairdresser replies to my:
- It IS this hair color!
Now this one, I heard it so many times from different hairdressers, that it's not even funny anymore. I still don't get how do they have the nerve to say it to my face, when the color looks totally different! Both in lightness and in tonality... Gosh... This reply is so ridiculous that every time I hear it, I seriously doubt I'm dealing with a mentally stable person and for my own sake, I just leave without saying another word... Or no, on my way to the exit, I actually do say "How much do I pay?" Though I heard of people who wouldn't pay for such a service and I think they are doing the right thing. I'm just not confrontational enough for that lol
(1) If you're unable to reproduce a particular color (which is totally understandable), please, be honest about it, tell it to your client *before* you commit to coloring their hair.
(2) If something went wrong (sh*t happens! we're all human and your job can be very challenging at times), just have the courage and dignity to accept it and analyze your mistakes to do a better job next time ...or just refer to (1).
- A hairdresser in reply to
- No, it's not! [grabs a section of hair dissolving toward the ends and pretends he doesn't notice anything] Where do you see breakage? [wtf! all along the hair strand!!!] Most girls who have their hair bleached have to cut it short, but you actually managed to grow it till your shoulders! That's really rare, you should be happy about it!"
Wait, as an Eastern European, I know hundreds of girls who bleach their hair and still have it down to their waist... Thick and gorgeous! So what's the point to insult my intelligence and tell me things which are obviously not true... I know for a fact that the condition of my hair has worsened a lot! Is it just to justify his work and avoid taking responsibility for the condition of my hair?.. But I'm there not to point fingers! I just want to find a solution, while his attitude is something that makes any further conversation meaningless and his professional skills doubtful.
- A hairdresser in reply to
- My hair is very thin, and with all this bleaching it has gotten even thinner [my ponytail is the size of my thumb totally dissolving toward the ends].- No, it's not thin. This other client of mine, you can see most of her scalp through her hair. That's thin!
Here I have to take a deep breath. If I were not quite as polite as I am, I'd say that this client of his needs to see a doctor, there's obviously a health issue that needs to be addressed. Just because you cannot see my scalp, doesn't mean my hair is "not thin" or something! It's so obvious that I can't believe I'm even writing it, it should be in "NO COMMENT" section lol
- In reply to "I think bleaching is bad for my hair. Perhaps instead of bleaching, we could try coloring my regrowth a slightly darker blonde and then adding some highlights every couple of months?"
- If you're so smart and know everything, why do you even ask me about my opinion?
When I heard that, I really thought I was dreaming... Believe me, I'm a very polite person and put a lot of efforts into phrasing my words in a way that sounds respectful. But this person got so offended by the fact I was coming to her with my own ideas rather than quietly entrusting my hair into her professional hands... And unfortunately, 90% of hairdressers I've spoken to so far tend to get annoyed when I suggest what's that I'd like to be done with my hair. And God forbid me getting technical and telling them what developer and hair dye/toner number I'd like to have used. That's something they seem to consider borderline insulting.
And that's such a pity!!! I wish I could find someone I could bring my money to for doing what I want. After all, as a hair model, I went through so many hairdressers and participated in so many trainings, that even though I don't have much technical experience, I get to see more theoretical novelties than some hairdressers. I get to have them applied to my hair and have a good idea of how they work for me. And since it's my hair, I do have a right to suggest things. There's nothing insulting about it! Sigh...
- No, it's going to be ugly. You'd need to add some dark lowlights to the rest of your hair"
- But since my hair is so light, won't these lowlights wash off after 2 weeks?
- Yes, they will.
And this is something that pisses me off. Forget "What's the point to suggest something that's not going to last?" and will turn to "Ugly" in a matter of weeks. What I'm really annoyed with is that so many times I asked for a color, got something vaguely similar, just to discover that in 2 weeks time it will be totally gone!
Dear hairdressers, please inform your un-hair-educated clients about longevity of a certain hair color and tell them what their hair is going to look like in a week, month and so on. Tell them what sort of maintenance commitment is there to make. Tell them what kind of damage can they expect. If I knew that bleached hair needs to be toned every 2 weeks to maintain that Hollywood pearl blonde, I'd never ever have it bleached at first place! Same thing about pink/red/blue hair washing off to yellow/orange. Once my best friend asked for purple highlights in her "virgin" black hair and she got them. But surprise surprise! After 2 weeks her purple strands have gotten orange! Needless to say, she didn't see it coming and was rather upset with the entire experience.
Some other things that turned me off hair salons in general is that
- In my experience, hairdressers try to receive more clients than they physically can. Forget 20 to 45 minutes that I usually have to wait for them after the time of my appointment, the worst thing is that way too often there's no one available to wash the bleach out of my hair since everyone's already busy with new clients. Very often I had to wait for another 20 minutes after 50 minutes of the *maximal* recommended product development time. No wonder that over time my hair has gotten more and more fragile and started to break off.
- A very poor choice of hair dyes and toners. Every salon seems to work with only one brand of hair products and when it comes to blondes, there's hardly anything to choose from. Especially here in France where blondes are not popular and girls generally do not dye their hair unless they want to cover their grey hair. So recently I decided to tone my hair on my own with toners I buy online. I use ammonia-free products that are super easy to use and instantly give that Hollywood blonde shades that I was always dreaming about. They do wash off after a couple of weeks, but since they are quite cheap (5-10 times cheaper than what they charge for toners in salons), I can reapply them as often as I need to.
- Even though there are dozens of ways to highlight one's hair, every hairdresser I met so far seems to be super attached to one particular technique that they like most. Not only technique, but also placement and thickness of highlights. Basically, once I ask for highlights, they consider our conversation over and get really annoyed when I try to explain what particular type of highlights I'd like to have. Then they say it's not a good idea and insist on doing what they want, the way they want. Or say they got my point, but still do it their way. Oh well, they left me no choice but to learn how to do highlights on my own. I've already done it once and got very nice results :)
The following things I experiences/heard from people I was modeling for. I do realize that at work I cannot expect to be treated like a princess, but wait, how ridiculous is that?!
- No comment.
A renown stylist was taking his time to crimp my hair for an hour, burning it alive over a generous amount of hairspray strand by strand. I was cringing for the entire hour to the point my muscles started to hurt and I got a headache. But as a model, you're expected to stay quiet, so I did. Then he started to tease my hair for another hour. He was going for that crazy Marge Simpson-like volume (haute couture hair styling, you know!). I could see my crispy hair breaking and falling on the floor every time he vigorously moved his comb probably assuming that my hair was made of some flexible iron. Another model sitting next to me (a much more lucky one since her stylist had a more "hair friendly" hairstyle in mind for her appearance in the show) could also see it and asked my stylist "Isn't it damaging for her hair?!?!" to which he replied "Look at her. She's bleached the f*** out of her hair. Now that's MUCH more damaging for her hair than what I'm doing here!"
- Broken hair disaster.
Just look at the photo below, taken several months after the disaster. That's just one strand, later on all top layers of my hair have gradually fallen off and I had to cut my hair quite short. Don't worry, it's not a recent photo, but it took me 2 years to grow my hair back... and imagine that I had to model in the meanwhile! Thanks God I discovered hair extensions by then!
- My darling, but what's that you do to your hair that it reacts this way to our quality products?! You should have really taken better care of your hair, condition it sometimes or something!
That time I was modeling for Wella Professional and the ironic thing was that for many months I was using Wella Professional masks to deep condition my hair every single time I was washing it. And the condition of my hair was very good. Afterwards, I found out that she used an unnecessarily strong developer and has put me under heat for way too long. She also overlapped her bleach over previously bleached areas and my hair just broke in those places. She's never apologized and kept on blaming *me* for whatever has happened. Well, my hair was bleached for many months before and many years after that horrible experience with her, but nothing of that kind has *ever* happened to me. And I can't believe that people like this actually work for such big companies - she even teaches other professionals how to use Wella's products during paid trainings...
- Burned scalp disaster.
Gosh, thinking about those things made me cringe once again. Hope you've been more lucky than me, but if you also have a story to share, please post it in the comments down below. Hopefully some hairdressers would read this post and find out how not to treat their clients lol
With all that said, I still secretly dream about having my hair pampered by the right person - after all, doing your own hair is quite a workout ;) Why why why awesome hairdressers are so rare? I'd love to know heros by their names! :)