Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hanging by a strand

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a public service announcement.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with the utmost sense of doom that I must warn you not to purchase a group deal for hair service. It might be tempting to save money on a cut and style but you will pay. You will pay big time in other ways.

My hair was looking fierce and, decidedly, not in a good way. My last cut had been an "Oh my God, if something is not done right now I will do it myself" situation that prompted me to get a trim at Great Clips. Always wary of someone new, I didn't let the stylist do more than cut off the edges and blend some long layers. My decision was fine if I had intended to dig up $50 in the couch cushion to go to my stylist in a few weeks but alas, I did not and my hair quickly became heavy and shapeless.

I had picked up a Living Social deal for a wash, cut and style at a new-ish shop near me, and I decided to give it a go last night. Take off the weight.

Armed with photos, I told the owner/sole stylist that I wanted to keep as much length as possible - you know to pull it back while running - but add in some layers and a bang. The bangs were risky but they grow quickly and can always be pinned back, a co-worker had reminded me when mulling over my decision.

Everything seemed fine. She put on a cape, washed my hair and took me back to the seat, where she glanced at the photos and set 'em aside. Then it happened. The moment where I knew things would go awry. She parted my hair down the middle, never asking me if it's where I part my hair (it's not) and began talking about how she just chopped her hair but wasn't sure how it ended up four different shades, varying from black to blue.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy a lovely chat with a stylist and I appreciate colored hair. It was me, after all, who colored her hair green with a Crayola marker for funsies in the hallway of my all-girls Catholic high school. But it was the non-stop talking and her apparent distraction that bothered me.

"It won't kill you to hush it for a minute and pay attention to how you are adding those face framing layers."

I thought it. Didn't say it. I remained cordial, even as she bashed the school district where Mark works and smirked when she found out she was younger than me. I told her she did an awesome job as she ROUNDED the bangs under with a straightener and still left a tip when she started sweeping before I even got out of the chair.

I waited for the car ride home and a phone call to my BFF before I got angry. Angry that my hair resembled a job I had done on my own in 1992.

All I needed was a quarter-inch curling iron and a can of AquaNet to tease up those bangs, and I would have been golden to walk around Forest Fair Mall and buy barrettes at Claire's.

Thankfully, 5 minutes in my bathroom with a decent flat iron and my own mediocre skills revealed that the stylist did have some cutting skills even if she wasn't able to style my hair.

Note: It really bugs me when someone who goes to school for hair can't do my hair better than me. It's like going to a restaurant and the chef can't make a steak better than you but he makes a delicious salad.

I've had worse, worse that required me to get my hair cut again immediately - something I don't have to do. The bangs will grow and sweep better. The hair can be pulled back. However, I was once again reminded that you get what you pay for. And I paid $7 for a Living Social deal.

Tell me: How much do you pay for a cut? It seems like the going rate here is $35+, which I can't fathom, but I'm sure it's cheap to those outside the Midwest.


  1. eeks! I mean... the way you styled it is actually pretty good. I think in a few weeks when the bangs grow just a tad more it will look really great! I never like the way stylists do my hair. A blow-out on me looks ridiculous. Just let it air dry, its what my hair wants!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Your styling job looks really cute! I always, always have to go straight home after getting my hair cut and styled to takes a shower, wash it, and re-style it myself. It seems no one else can ever do it quite the way I want... Going rate for a hair cut here (also in the midwest) is about $40, so basically the same as yours. I try to go as long as possible between cuts, and usually get one every 3 months.

  4. Ugh! Getting my hair done is such a tricky deal. At this point I do keep my hair so basic that it is hard to mess it up. I do however believe in paying for a stylist if they are worth it. I get my hair done about twice a year (before marriage it was about 4 times a year, but my hub's doesn't share the same thoughts on hair as I do) so I feel like paying about $100 is worth it.
    BTW, your style is MUCH better!

    1. That is for a cut and a full head color (not just a hair cut or I would be crazy.)

  5. I pay $45 for a cut, wash and dry in CT. I'm rarely ever satisfied with my hair, no matter if they cut 1/8 of an inch it always feels like 8 inches to me.

  6. My stylist (of damn near 7 years) just moved. THE NERVE. I paid her $70 for a cut, and it was worth every penny. So far, I've tried 2 other stylists in the same salon, but haven't been thrilled with either. One charged $75 and one $42.

    I FREAKING HATE finding someone new to cut my hair. Hate it.

    I can't even believe how much better your hair looked after you did it again. Not cool (I mean, it's cool that you can make it cute, but NOT cool that you don't wish you had that stylist in your bathroom every morning after she was done making it PERFECT, you know?)

  7. I pay between $35 and $40 right now for the cut (let's not even TALK about color) and I hate paying that much. Especially when it's just a trim. Gah.

    The worst haircut I ever had was also the most expensive at $70. I had just gotten married and my hair was super long (far past my shoulders). I went to a fancy salon and basically gave the guy free reign with the only disclaimer being no pixie cuts.

    He gave me a mom-bob. I was horrified. And had to shell out $70 for it too.

    Talk about adding insult to injury.

    Yours looks fine once you've styled it! =)

  8. I hear you - DO NOT TURN MY BANGS UNDER WITH YOUR STRAIGHTENER. Dude. Has that EVER looked good? Or current?

    PS - with your styling it really does look cute! Bangs look good on you!

  9. Your hair looks really cute after you styled it. I usually go to a place like Great Clips because I'm cheap, but I really like A Day Away Salon and Spa in Pine Valley. Judging by your posts, it sounds like you live on the opposite side of town, but you should give them a try sometime.

  10. Yes, good job on not panicking! Your hair looks great after you styled it!

  11. Your hair looks super cute the way you styled it. I just got my hair did from my usual lady and it costs me $125. Got to love the NJ/NYC metro area!

  12. I pay a lot for my hair but it is worth it to me because I have such thick curls, which can easily be messed up and I really trust my hair stylist. I pay around $170 for cut and highlights. But then again I live in Cali! :)

    I like the way you styled it though, you made it look much better!

  13. Don't hate me... I pay $13 and it's a GOOD haircut. I get lots of compliments. One thing that makes it cheaper is that I never get it shampooed or styled. Since it's curly, I don't shampoo it that often, so I skip that. Also, after she cuts it, the only way to make it curly again is to re-wash. So I have her cut it, stick it in a ponytail and wash it at home. I always love the result and the price is the best!

    I got a groupon hair coupon one time and it was not great either. The cut was fine, but it was also for highlights and they did not turn out as well. Also, the stylist offended me a few times. "Oh, I guess teaching makes you not want kids." (No lady, we are going through fertility...thanks a lot) or "My sister has curly hair and doesn't do anything with it either!" (What are you trying to say???)

  14. $40 + tip in Seattle a few years ago. Now, $25 + a generous tip in Minneapolis (I go to Rudy's Barbershop and they do great work on my very basic haircut).

  15. I rarely if ever like the way stylists "style" my hair. I often wonder whether they even look at it when I walk in the door to see that I use a flat iron and don't like it all whispy / ratty looking.

    After your touch ups I think the cut actually looks really cute! (please tell me that sounds like the compliment I meant!)

  16. Are you kidding?? $35+, I am in Arizona and pay $15 for a great cut.

  17. That first picture of you was a hand over my mouth gasp! Second pic of you was a sigh of relief :)

    I pay $10 to get my hair cut by the lady who has cut it my whole life. She knows I don't like anything but for her to wet my hair with her spray bottle then trim the ends up. And then she gives me a dum dum sucker, like she did when I was growing up. Win!

  18. I pay about $40 at my place, but I only go once or twice a year, so it's not so bad. I'm just lazy about my hair.