Hair Salon Confidential

Once I hit the ripe old  age of 31, I realized that I would have to do something about my gray hair. I actually never really noticed the gray, until I had to start getting ready for a wedding. We were in California and I decided I would straighten my hair for the occasion. I lifted some of my hair to smooth it with the hair iron and I screamed. My husband (fiance at the time) came running into the bathroom in a semi-panic. He saw the horrified look on my face and said, “What’s wrong?” “L-l-l-look…” I trembled. He looked at the strangling gray hairs and said, “Honey, I think it is time you started to dye your hair.”

My hubs and I at the wedding. My side ponytail conceals the gray stragglers.

My hubs and I at the wedding. My side ponytail conceals the gray stragglers.

I’m lucky though. My grays tend to be a bit more silvery and since my hair is curly, it is fairly concealed. I notice it more than anyone else. I am also fortunate to have a person very close to me that is a hair stylist. She takes care of my business. In fact, I got a text message Sunday morning from her, asking if I needed to refresh my ‘do. I have not had a cut since January and I have dyed it myself because I live in a tornado. I decided it would be a good day to get my hair done.

I arrived at the hair salon at about 11:30 AM. I prepared myself for a long day- since I receive my hair service gratis, I don’t mind. Much to my benefit, I enjoy people watching and use this time to hone my observation skills.

My friend decided a full on dye job was unnecessary and had a colorist come over to take a look. She said to balayage my hair. Balayage, also known as hair painting, is a highlighting technique that sweeps color onto hair using a paddle. It isn’t as precise as foiling and allows the colorist to choose where he/she wants to add highlights. I eventually hope to add more highlights this summer and balayage gives me the “I got a little sun” look.

English: Most cosmetology and beauty school pr...

Practice on this! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The colorist was kind enough to do the process, which took all of 30 minutes, with the highlights developing. I went to get washed and there was only one shampoo person. I waited patiently and this is what I heard:

“I think I should use semi-permanent,” whined one customer. “I don’t think you will get the coverage you want and I suggest permanent,” replied another colorist. The customer was of a “certain age”  and I could see her roots but whatever floats your boat. I think the colorist was trying to save her money since permanent dye tends to last a bit longer.  Another woman getting her hair washed then started to smack talk about that same colorist, “Oh! Mary is the best colorist… ever.” This customer was VERY loud and as she continued her tirade, she also started to pick on the shampoo person, as she needed her hair washed three times with a particular shampoo and shampoo person was taking too long. In the meantime, I have bleach on my head. The shampoo person came over to me- we are friendly- and started to lather my head. The woman thrice shampooed wanted to know why her hair glaze wasn’t ready.  I had the pleasure to only hear half of her complaints because of the suds, whish!, and gurgle! of the shampoo process. I love getting my hair washed. I find it to be such a chore during the week. “How much longer am I going to have to wait?” asked the impatient semi-permanent. I could see the shampoo person’s frustration, her trying to be swift, and my silence a welcome respite. She took her time. I told her I would wait for the glaze, as the natives were restless. It was now 2 PM.

My glaze was applied by 3 PM. At 3:05, I was ready to be rinsed. My  colorist had a customer that complained the water would get in her ears and asked for cotton. She plugged herself up and then complained that her back bothered her when she rested her head on the lip of the sink. When the shampoo person asked her if she would be more comfortable with a booster seat, she shook her head disapprovingly. Luckily, the colorist decided to shampoo the customer, seeing that the shampoo person had a never-ending line. I finally got my hair cut at 4:30 PM.

Hair coloring

Highlighting with foil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are four things I learned about this experience:

One: Everyone’s time is valuable, from the customer to the stylist to the shampoo person. Yes, it stinks to wait BUT in this case there was only one person shampooing. Don’t complain to him/her- complain to management. Someone making the work schedule really did not review the appointment book to see how many customers would be getting services that day.

Two: I don’t care who you are- a salon is supposed to be a relaxing environment. Do your best to keep the peace and stop whining.

Three: To add to number two- if you are loud and obnoxious, remember that you never know who may be listening. You may end up being written about on a blog or Facebook or Twitter.

Four: Respect the people rendering services. They have to be nice to you no matter what you do. Be kind.

As always…

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO


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