Letters of Complaint, vol.6

Aug 30, 2008

Dear Hair Salon,

Why is it I seem to always get assigned to the prettiest, most fashionable hairdresser in the place? As soon as I walk in the door I suddenly get a bad case of inadequate's. It does form a wonderful juxtaposition though, me trailing along behind her to discuss the exciting work I wanted done to my hair. ("Just a trim? Ok then.").

Then I have to get my hair washed. Though, I don't really want to. It was just washed at home actually, and I'm pretty sure I will end up with a sore neck from those sinks made out of the hardest material imaginable. What's that you say? It's just plastic? And you'll place a towel under me? Ohh, that's what that bunchy awkward thing is slipping and sliding between me and this basin made of stone.

You start to massage the shampoo in. This is the part where I'm supposed to be closing my eyes, enjoying this sensation. And I do shut them, to go along with this facade, but all the while my neck is throbbing from this suspended position I'm holding it in. Now comes the conditioner, which I dread, because my hair gets all knotty and caught in your fingers and you pull it and OW...but I just smile. "That's ok :)"   :/

At least though, at the sink, I can pretend to be in bliss and therefore conversation is not expected.
Now that we have made our way to the chair though, the effort must begin.
"So what do you do?"
I give a one word answer, trying my darndest to embelish and fill in the blanks. This is met with her one word response. Then:
"So any plans for the weekend?"
I try to think of some fun and cool made-up plans. She nods and smiles.
Soon, we give up, and between us is only silence, broken only by the sharp snipping sounds of scissor against wet hair.
The ladies around us though? Endless shiz to talk about. The words are spilling and tumbling out, talking over each other almost, they have so much to say.
"Gee" I can imagine my hairdresser thinking, "sure wish I could have gotten that client, we would have so much to talk about! Just think of the fun we could be having, time would zip by."
But nope, just me, hair plastered back like a wet rat, stuck in front of its own reflection. Staring dully.

Finally, we're done, and it looks ok. Pretty good. I fawn over it, oohing and aahing, because I feel that I should.

This time it's her following me, to the front counter. I wonder, do I give her a tip? Now? Or later, over debit?

I go to pay and am secretly appalled at the price, screaming obscenities inside. Outwardly, I stay silent, and scold myself for accepting the hair washing, which surely must be why it's so expensive?!

(Then I leave, to nurse my tension headache from sink injury to the neck.)

And the sick thing, dear hair salon, is this gets to happen again in 6 weeks or so. Or whenever I can't stand the sight of my hair any longer, whichever happens first.

I'm betting on the latter.

Most Likely Forever Yours,
Compliant Hair-grower


  1. I didn't get my hair cut for the last 6 months for this very reason. when i went couple weeks ago, i had THE quietest stylist ever. it was awesome on the one hand, but i also felt... shunned or something too. yeesh, you can't win here! i need to learn to cut my own hair.

  2. This is excactly how I feel everytime I go to the hairdresser's! That situation makes me feel so anxious! I don't go that ofter for that reason and I have to say I have also cut my hair on my own on some occasion to avoid it! xox

  3. Totally feel you on the chic hairdresser. I go to a cosmetology school to get my haircut (cheaper and they do a really good job for being students) and every single human body in the room is stylish, adventurous, and gorgeous . . . and I feel so incredibly ashamed of myself. lol.
    I hated getting my hair washed at salons when I was younger because I had insanely long hair--it was an effort to lift my head after it was soaked in that tub. You'd think they'd figure out a way to make that more comfortable.
    And, really what can you do but ooo and aaaah at the hairdo? Can they really change it? Ugh.
    This made me laugh. I hope your next trip to the salon is a lovely one :]

  4. not sure I could have described the scenario any better! can't stand those stupid sinks!

  5. I love your letters of complaint. They make me laugh every time.

  6. i love this because it's true!!!! can't wait to stalk your archives for more. hehe.

  7. True all of this. I usually just go in with wet freshly-washed hair, because then I can be like, "Um, do you see how my hair is wet? Yeah, I just used some of that salon brand shampoo I bought from you last time to wash it, so don't even try to tell me you can't 'guarantee results' if you don't wash it again. Thanks." Except I try to sound like less of a jerkwad.

  8. I could have written the exact same letter! I hate forced chit chat at the hairdresser's. I'm not a very good small talker. Plus, I want to concentrate and keep an eye on what's happening around my head!

  9. I go through this exact same thing. That's why I don't go too often. Right now I'm trying to grow my hair out so I don't have to go thankfully.

  10. This is why I'd like to find a regular hairdresser. Someone who I can go to every time and love the experience, the company and result. Someone I can get comfortable with.

    However, I'm perfectly fine with silence(and the sinks don't bother me either!) Stepping into the shoes of the hair dresser.. I don't know how I would be able to concentrate while having a lively discussion! haha

    And Ladies! Be confident! You're going to meet people every day of your life that seem "more put together" than you are. Who knows? They might have horrible lives and the only way they find affirmation is to spend hours on their appearance. Make a decision to stop comparing. You're all beautiful. :)

    Great post.

  11. Oh goodness my hair will be to my butt before I have to deal with this again. I HATE getting my hair cut and avoid it at all costs because of this same situation lol Its so awkward and the only way to make it less awkward is through conversation- which I am incapable of. *sigh*

  12. "a sore neck from those sinks made out of the hardest material imaginable"

    no kidding. And at the most awkward angle with no back support. I have lower back issues so I'm waiting for the day that I cannot get out of the chair.

  13. #1 BUY those Tom wedges girl! If you wear a size 7 we could totally share. #2 This post is EXACTLY why I stopped trying to make my hair blonde (why do the hair stylists always look better than me!?!?)

  14. hahaha i hate the small talk too! it wears me out trying to think of what to say and I always feel awkward!! nice letter

  15. It's like you opened up my brain and took the words right out. I can relate to everything you said and I'm sure I've thought it at all one point or another.
    You are such a wise woman.

  16. Ha! I love this post!

    I truly do love the hair salon, though. Mostly because I've finally (FINALLY!) found a gal who does an awesome job with cut and color who doesn't charge out the nose for the little hair I actually have on my head. (Most stylist's beginning price is $85; makes me want to scream RAPE and bitch-slap them, is what.) Anyway...yes, yes, I finally found a gal who does it all for a fair price, AND she makes me look good! Even when she's not around to do my hair for me the next day! (That's how you can tell she's a good hair gal.)

    Also? I really do love the shampoo massage thing. Maybe my neck is just extra long and so my head fits nicely into the sink? I'm not sure, but I likes it!

    Anyway...you stopped by my blog, so I thought I'd stop by yours; I feel quite certain I'll be back, too. :)

  17. this made me giggle! I get my sister to cut my hair now instead. No awkwardness :) I'm pretty lucky!

  18. Such a perfect letter of complaint...and exactly why I decided to begin cutting (trimming) my hair myself.
    Your description of the salon process pretty much perfectly mirrors my own. From the shampoo bowl of endless pain to the nearly unbearable silence and feelings of inadequacy. You hit the nail squarely on the head.

  19. Love hearing that you and others feel this way. Thought I was the only one! I dread it so much.


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