For Me, Salon Remorse Is Just Not a Thing
Some bonds are easy to snip — given the right discount coupon
Most all of my women friends — and a few of my male pals — have been going to the same beloved hair stylist or barber for many, many years. They have visited one stylist for the time-length of a long-term mortgage. A man I knew years ago flew from Los Angeles to Chicago regularly to have his hair trimmed. At least that was his story.
These loyal customers claim their personal hair stylist is the only human on the planet who is capable of adequately taming each hair shaft — equipped with a knowledge of every follicle so deeply earned that parting ways would be catastrophic for both stylist and customer. Neither would be the same without the other.
Their abiding reverence for their stylist is admirable on many levels, as it seems to supersede cost. When I inquire to my friends about how much a cut, blow-out or root touch-up is with the patron saint of their haircut, I am usually aghast, mentally calculating this as double or triple what I pay, since my choices are informed — and determined — by Groupon.
I can understand this adherence to a single person for your grooming on a certain level. You get attached to the one who rubs you scalp regularly. It just happens.
Yes, you do want to trust the person close to your eyes, nose, mouth and ears wielding a sharp pair of scissors. To be fair, friends who weep at the idea of parting ways with a stylist who announces the intention to move salons, cities or even countries, do actually look quite good after a visit and a snip. They never, ever have salon remorse.
Not me. I select salons by coupon. I do not feel my hair is all that unique and am quite certain that my quarterly trims are not all that complicated. I am convinced of this mostly because I trim my own bangs in between visits to the salon — any salon. I am not trained or particularly talented. But I can get the job done right out of the shower.
So as far as my hair goes, I am low maintenance. I will humbly concede that this is not true in all arenas of my life.
My lackadaisical approach to service, however, also applies when it comes to the car I own. I know as many people who have a bond with their stylist as those who have an intimate relationship with their auto mechanic. They are on a first name, speed dial, text-when-in-trouble kind of back-and-forth agreement. It makes them feel secure.
Again, not me. I will surrender my 2010 Nissan Rogue to anyone with a tire rotation special. Or to whatever establishment e-mails me an oil change discount. Have at it.
This is not to say I have not been harmed by mistakes made on my mane. But harm is a big word, so let’s just go with inconvenience. There was the spring of 1989 when an eager stylist mistook my “please cut two inches off the bottom” to mean two inches from my ears. I looked down to see half a foot of blonde hair lying on the floor in one swift snip. I sobbed. It grew back.
I recently had an experience with a new salon — again, couponing here — and my hair was much, much shorter than I envisioned when I looked up from my US Weekly, the one, of course, with Prince Harry and Meghan on the cover. Initially startled at the sight of my chin-length hair,
I took a deep breath and told myself I would go home and inspect the new shape in the dim lights of my own bathroom.
After paying the quite reasonable bill, I engaged silently in some reassuring self-soothing on how my hair looks so neat and how lucky I am that it grows quickly. I ran into a friend who exclaimed unprompted, “Your hair looks great!” I swear I did not coax her to offer a compliment.
You may disagree heartily and have endearing testimonies about the hundreds of cut-and/or-color episodes shared with your stylist. You may indeed feel this stylist in this salon offers the comforts of a second home and knows every inch of your head and every aspect of your life. I do not discredit your hair entanglements. I am sure you know what you are doing and that you look marvelous doing it.
But for me, finding someone new most every time I need a trim is about being frugal — and also about being open to a new experience. This is also about as risky as I get in my life. I have been lucky, I guess, and no one has shaved my head or caused me irreparable physical or emotional harm.
What it comes down to, after all, may be trust. You trust your stylist. I trust I can find a good deal.Edit Module