I had never cried over my hair, ever. Until last Saturday.
I was really, really looking forward to my first real haircut since before I had Noah. I’ve had it trimmed once since I had him, but I was actually ready to take some length off. You other mamas know how it is once your hair gets to a certain length … far too tempting for little baby fingers.
I should have known when the woman didn’t know how to work the cash register. But she was middle-aged, and I assumed that she must have been cutting hair elsewhere for a while and was just new to the salon where I usually go. I don’t have a regular stylist and just usually take whoever is available.
Then while she was shampooing my hair, she asked if I put color on it. I was sort of baffled by this, but I simply said no. I would have thought it would be fairly obvious that it wasn’t colored (I haven’t colored my hair since I was in college), but I figured she must have some reason for asking.
She was in the middle of cutting my hair and had already taken off a good four inches when she turned to another stylist walking by and literally, I kid you not, said, “Hey, can you show me how to do this?”
OK, no matter what you are asking for help with, this is not the thing to say when you have someone sitting in your chair with the wellbeing of their hair in your hands. And she was definitely asking for help with the cut, given that she handed the scissors over while the other woman cut a few snips from my hair.
Have you ever seen V for Vendetta? You know the scene where Natalie Portman has her head shaved (you can watch here for a refresher)? That’s about how I felt by that point.
She finally turned me around for the “big reveal,” and I couldn’t mask my emotions any more. I started crying.
The poor stylist didn’t really know what to do with that. I cried while I told her it just wasn’t what I wanted. All I’d ask for was to take some length off, shorten the layers and trim my bangs, and she somehow managed to really make it look pretty awful.
She called over another stylist who clipped and snipped for several minutes to try to salvage it. I had a little more hope once she was finished. But then the first stylist piped up, “OK, thanks, now I’ll just style it for her!”
Surely, surely this woman’s forte had to be styling. They had to have some reason for having hired her. That’s what I told myself. Until she turned me around to show me the disgustingly old-looking style she’d whipped my hair into. I’m not kidding, it was an old lady hairstyle, flat on the top and curled around my ears.
I tried really hard to just tell myself that it would be OK, that I could style it differently later and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but the waterworks started again. The stylist offered to let me talk to the manager, and I just nodded. It wasn’t until I was sitting in Judy-the-manager’s office that the flood gates opened.
I literally sobbed. I’d been waiting and waiting to get my hair cut, sacrificing for the sake of the budget, mostly, and now that we finally had the little bit of extra money for me to do it, after all those months, I wanted it to be something special. It was supposed to be a treat for me, a reward for my hard work in the office, for being a good mama, for waiting until we could really afford that little bit of extra.
And it turned out terrible.
So I sat there feeling like maybe I just shouldn’t reward myself. Maybe I was fooling myself about being a good mom, and this was a lesson.
After several minutes talking with Judy-the-manager, I finally calmed down. She offered to personally fix it as best she could and told me I could come back once it had grown out some and have her cut it the way I wanted for free. Judy-the-manager made a much better impression than anyone else that day.
It was so bad that Judy-the-manager struggled to be optimistic. She didn’t bother telling me it would look great, just that she would make it look as good as she could. And she did a pretty good job with what she had to work with.
I still wasn’t thrilled with the cut when I left the salon, but once I got to wash and style it myself, I was happier. It’s a little bit of a pain, because the way the layers are cut and with the way my hair is, I have to either pull it back or blowdry and straighten it every single day. I’ve pretty much always been able to get away with just blowing it dry, but now I have to take that extra step. It’s not terrible, but it does add a little extra time to my morning routine.
Sadly, I will not be returning to the salon where I got the bad haircut. They didn’t charge me, thankfully. I had a friend who worked there a while back, and I always loved the way she did my hair, but now that she’s gone, I haven’t really been as happy with anyone else. So I’ll be on the lookout for a good hair stylist.
Have you ever had a bad haircut experience? How did you cope?