Thursday, January 22, 2009

Professional Hairdresser Rant

My hairdresser was a bit distracted yesterday. She was in a conversation with the hairdresser across the hall when I entered the shop. She let me wait about five minutes before acknowledging that I was present - when I was standing about ten feet away. Personally, I think greeting your customer is important even if you finish your silly conversation after acknowledging the customer. A "be right with you" would have been nice. But I let that slide.

Her conversation, which of course I was privy to since I was standing a few feet away, was not stuff of rocket scientists or save the world rhetoric, but of fashion. She and the other dresser were discussing what they thought a preacher should wear while preaching. Apparently, one of the hairdressers had been to a cowboy church held at the fair grounds (probably during a rodeo). She said the preacher was wearing his spurs. The two women hairdressers made terrible fun of this as if the cowboy preacher was not very professional. My hairdresser even said she thought a preacher should always wear a suit. My hairdresser finally acknowledged my presence. As she came into her cubicle, she continued to laugh and make fun of the cowboy preacher and his spurs. "Why was he wearing his spurs? Do you think he just stepped off of his horse?" Being familiar with rodeos and such, I thought, "Well, yeah. He probably did just step off of his horse." But I let the comments slide.

About the time my hairdresser started cutting my hair, another hairdresser came into the cube and started up a conversation. This time the other hairdresser was on the phone with her father who wanted to book a vacation to Mexico. To save him from going to a travel agency, the two hairdressers were giving him information and advice about booking his trip online. Basically, there was a three-way conversation going on, and I was not part of it. I was watching my hairdresser whack my hair, rather than working her usual magic, while she explained which website to go to for a great trip to Mexico. I wanted to interrupt and ask "Aren’t you going to blend that hair in" but I couldn’t get a word in. Besides, she usually does a great job, and I assumed the finish product would be the usual. Wasn’t she the professional?

The conversation finally ended, and so did my haircut. From the front, my hair looked pretty good. She had forgotten that I like my hair rounded up toward my face, but I figured I could fix that when I got home. She did not show me the back as she usually does, but whisked the cape off and was finished. My friend, Beverly was her next appointment, and arrived about that time. I sat for a few minutes and visited with Beverly, but I was worried that I would be a distraction. Plus, the hairdresser did not sweep up my hair between customers. My mother would never have let that slide. You don’t want your customers walking in and tracking hair all over the place. If I could have found a broom, I would have swept the floor, but instead, I left.

When I got home, I looked in the mirror, got out my professional haircutting scissors, and snipped at the front of my hair. Then I got my hand mirror and took a look at the back. To let you know how it looked, when Jesse came home she said, "Who cut your hair? A blind butcher?" I can always count on Jesse to be blunt (pun intended).

Now what? I like my hairdresser. She has done great in the past. She is a beautiful young lady. She wears three-inch heels and funky clothes. Her makeup and hair are perfect and fashionable. Her shop is chic. She is a fashion follower – not necessarily a trendsetter. Her misuse of verb tense is a bit Okie, but I’ve heard worse. It is not the worst haircut I have ever had. It is just not a good haircut. I guess all hairdressers give a bad haircut now and then. It was her lack of professionalism when she seemed to think herself so professional and smart that really irked me - along with the bad haircut. I think I liked it better when she just cut my hair and did not converse so much. But she is just a hairdresser – not a rocket scientist. So do I go to someone new? Do I go back and let her try again? It is only hair - it will grow back.

Update: I have worked on my hair this morning. It is really not that bad, but I am still a bit disappointed in my hairdresser

19 comments:

Buck said...

It is only hair - it will grow back.

It's a good thing you have this attitude.

One pays good money for services these days, and one has the NOT unreasonable expectation of being satisfied with those services. I'd find a new hairdresser were it me. Perhaps I'm too vain, but barbers get one shot at my head. Do good and I'll be back... every time I need a haircut. Do poorly and I won't EVER be back. There's another thing, too, aside from the bad haircut, Lou... her distinct lack of professionalism. The three-way conversation would have REALLY pissed me off, not to mention the failure to sweep up. Just sayin'.

Dale said...

Lou, I have found that customer service has fallen by the wayside in a lot of cases. I deal with staff members on a daily basis that have managed to piss someone off because of poor customer service. It's really as simple as the "golden rule". It's just not taught anymore. I get my hair cut in a beauty shop and I have been fortunate enough to have the type of rapport with my hairdresser that I can complain when she didn't get it right and she doesn't take offense. The only thing I have to watch out for are the other customers ganging up on "the man" in the shop. Plus the last time I was there a lady decided to ram my truck with her car!

Becky said...

Did you pay for your haircut? Yes. Then you deserve her undivided attention and a quality haircut. I would have gone back and requested that she fix my hair--and at no extra charge. If she complained, or refused, that I would have explained to her that I paid for her attention to my hair, and if she cannot provide the services I am paying for, I will be forced to seek those services elsewhere. Her reaction to that would show you if she is really that concerned about keeping you as a customer.

Dale is right. Customer service has fallen by the wayside, and we--the consumers--have allowed it because we've somehow gotten the idea that "that's just the way it is these days" and we put up with it.

P.S. If you don't feel comfortable confronting the hairdresser, you can always write to the owner of the shop. Even if the hairdresser is self-employed, she has to pay a lease to the shop owner.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Send or leave her a copy of this post...i think it would get the message across clearly in a non-confrontational way, you could even include the responses. If you like her...and she has been friendly in the past, give her the chance to make amends. If she is offended and fails to apologize...well, there's plenty of other good hairstylists in the area.

Jo Castillo said...

Boy I missed a few posts, interesting stuff! I can't comment on the hairdresser, I cut my own hair. I hate to go sit and wait. I have thin hair and they always cut too much, thinking they haven't cut any yet. :) It sticks together and won't dry in a hairdryer .. takes forever. So I cut and blow dry. I think I would change or complain.

I loved the post about the hair styles and the leftovers for your GBN. :)

Anonymous said...

... you know, Jay's idea is pretty good.....

.... but in the end, it is up to you.... there really is no excuse for not being interested in your customer or client...... they should be, after all, the priority....

Eric

Bag Blog said...

All good advice, but keep in mind the hairdresser is the one with the scissors - it is not wise to piss her off.

Towanda said...

If it were me, I would not be going back to her again. Ever.

But it really is one's personal decision.

Fire Fox said...

Lou, I might have wished I had the courage to say something to her at the time, like... "why don't I wait in the other room until you're done talking on the phone?" just to bring her attention back to where it should have been. It sounds like you really like this woman and up until now, you've been satisfied with her work. Perhaps over time she has grown to think of you as an aquaintance rather than a customer and she may need to be reminded that you do pay for her services and should be respected and appreciated. I would give her another chance, but I would also talk to her...
I know what it's like to find someone that can cut your hair just right. It's hard to give them up, even when their service is lacking. However, there are other fish (hairdressers) in the sea.

joyce said...

All this good advice---because even here in the big city, I find it hard to find someone who has a clue about cutting curly or wavy hair. So, I chop on my bangs and let Bob do around my ears to stretch out a short haircut. But, the back, I finally break down and seek a "professional" and then have to confess my own whacking---which most take a very dim view towards.

Last week, I was feeling frumpy, and we were going to be traveling and seeing James' instructors and friends in the Army, so I got my hair cut. Usually she shampoos and then cuts, but this time, all I got was squirts from the water bottle. And no blow dry at the end, and it was COLD outside that day. Seems like I paid the same for more service a few months ago, so I don't know what the magic words are but same gal, and the back is okay, but the sides could have used more blending.

And Bob, my husband, noticed the haircut which is usually a bad sign---because that means she whacked a LOT off !

Bob said...

But Bob was slow to notice Joyce's hair ('twere the next day), so I guess the whacking wasn't all that bad.

Bag Blog said...

Bob and Joyce, It is when Toby is silent on my hair cuts that worries more - it usually means he does not like it and can't find anything good to say.

Anonymous said...

I am a hairdresser...The fact that you stated in your complaint "Well she is just a hairdresser not a rocket scientist...would not make me want to work on your head at all!! Do you realize how much chemical knowledge we have to have to pass our exam?? I am personally tired of customers talking down to us hairdressers...I am glad she messed up your hair..after all..you are just a regular old hag, not a rocket scientist....

Anonymous said...

As a hairdresser, I think the perceived unprofessionalism has less to do with your hairdresser and more to do with your self-entitled attitude. Let me school you here, sweetie... We do hair, and we can't make what's ugly beautiful with scissors alone. There are times when nothing does a woman like you better than wearing a nice big paper bag over your face.

Anonymous said...

I have done hair all my life. My number one goal is to serve the person who is paying me. I am polite, I try to make you feel as if you matter, and I do like my job and I like people. Get over the part about not sweeping up. We walk in it all day, it's in the shop, it will not make you sick, ruin your looks, nor hurt you in any way. You will walk it off before you leave the shop. That is our job. Sometimes we just need to keep working and that is such a SMALL item that does not apply to you in any way unless you're a total neurotic. You should not tolerate the person doing your hair not talking to you nor listening to you. that is a cardinal sin and there is just no excuse for it. There is no reason for any conversation to go on with anybody else while your hair is being cut. It is all about you.
Your stylist IS due respect from you, but number one is for you to be listened to.

Number One Child said...

I think that the hair dresser was unprofessional. This happens to me ALL THE TIME. When you work with the public you should keep your phone calls and personal conversations to your break/lunch time. No need to make a customer feel unimportant.

I think that if you, as a hair dresser yourself, went to a salon to get your hair cut that you would also expect your stylist's undivided attention. Maybe you are just mad because of the "rocket scientist" comment. Give her a break. She is mad that her hair got messed up and she wanted to vent. She didn't give out the name or address of her stylist.

Plus, the stylist sat there making fun of a pastor because of how he dressed? She sounds like a real nice lady...NOT.

Ella Scott said...

Hey! I know this is kinda off topic however , I'd figured I'd ask.
hairdressers in Edinburgh

Double Sun Salons said...

Seems like an unprofessional hairdresser, you need to find a new one.

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