Hairdressers Can’t Perform Miracles

(But we’ll try our best anyway!)

When you think of going to the salon to get your hair done, do you envisage a inactive few hours sat in the chair, reading magazines, sipping tea and emerging with a magazine worthy new hairstyle?

If so, we need to have a little chat about the fact that you are shirking on your relationship with your hairdresser. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, a lot of my job revolves around asking my clients questions to find out not only what they want from their haircut, but also what their daily hair routine is, how they manage their locks and what sort of look will suit their lifestyle.

It’s a two-way street though. You’ve got to open the channels of communication with your hairdresser and make sure you’re being as explicit about your wishes as you can be. We are not mind readers. We are not likely to have seen the same picture of that celebrity that you’re envisaging. We cannot bend science to your will to instantly turn your hair from a sultry ebony colour to a golden sun-kissed blonde.

With that in mind, here’s a run-down of the top five salon disappointments and how you can avoid them:

•I’m sorry if I have to be the bearer of bad news, but if your hair is heat damaged to death, I’m going to have to recommend a good treatment and a trim. I won’t if you don’t want me to, of course, but I can’t in good conscience the suicidal colour strip that you’re asking for.

•In order for your hair to grow you need to have your hair trimmed regularly (as well as a healthy diet and so on). Rant and rail against it as much as you like, but those split ends won’t magically mend themselves, honey! Think of your hair as a rose bush: if you don’t prune those dead roses beautiful blossoming blooms can’t grow, right? As such, don’t be surprised if you only visit every 6 months and end up having to have a fair few inches chopped off.

•You say you want to go blonde…well, there are lots of shades of blonde (and indeed brunette). Were you after a /3 or an /8? You don’t know what I’m talking about do you? So, I will try my best to explain during your consultation how the various shades will affect your particular hair, but you need to listen. No two heads of hair are the same and results will always vary.

•On the subject of colouring, I want all my clients to know that tint (colour) doesn’t lift tint. It’s one of the first things you learn about colouring as a hairdresser. If you decided it would be a good idea to pop a box colour permanent brown on, I cannot make your hair go back to your previously blonde highlighted hair. Any attempt to do so will often lead to the much-maligned complaint that hair has turned too yellow or ginger. That’s the fault of the box dye, not the poor hairdresser trying to get your golden tresses back.

•Whatever your preference and however bad the situation is, I’ll always be very honest with you before I start. If it’s going to involve significant hours in the salon, increased costs or further damage to your hair, I will always advise you of this. The chances are if your hair is already in a bad way, it won’t end up the perfect shade or style you were thinking of, but I’ll always do my best to not only try to recreate your vision as closely as possible, but do what is best for your hair.

Obviously, my aim is that my clients always leave the salon happy BUT that’s not always going to happen. Why? Simply because there has either been a miscommunication or I haven’t performed a miracle.

Knowing that complaints are more forthcoming than compliments and that an unhappy customer is more likely to tell five friends about a bad experience than tell one about great service, I feel it my duty to defend the honour of hairdressers everywhere who face this challenge on a daily basis.

I will give you all the advice necessary without waffling on, and if you don’t want to take my advice I really won’t be offended. It’s your hair at the end of the day and I don’t want you to leave unhappy. Just remember that your relationship with your hairdresser is a reciprocal one, so give them all the details, be honest about what you expect, listen to their advice and don’t expect miracles. As long as you give your hair a little love and your hairdresser a little appreciation, there’s no reason why your relationship won’t last for years!