Thursday, May 29, 2008

This haircut made me cry

I walked into XEX Hair Gallery with the highest of hopes. It was my lunch break; the salon is in my building and I had in my hand a "50% off your first haircut" card. My stylist was friendly and seemed to know what he was doing. I'd asked when making my appointment for someone who is good with wavy and curly hair, and I discussed with him my desire for a fresher, shorter look that I could wear with minimal fuss (no blowdrying). I brought along a picture for reference. Everything seemed to be going well as he scissored away, and my cut definitely looked cute wet.

But then he turned my chair away from the mirror and started scrunching, twisting and drying. I snuck a few glances as he was working, and my hair was looking a little big and frizzy, but I figured it was a work in progress.

Yeah, but by the time he was done it was awful. I'm talking frighteningly big with one giant S-wave poking my hair outwards at ear level. Imagine mountain-folk Grandma hair circa 1978. It was that bad. It was clear my stylist was no more pleased than I was. "Your hair is a lot curlier that I expected. I'm not really great with curly hair," he said and stepped away to check the appointment book. When he came back he guided me over to another stylist. "She's super at styling curly hair, " he assured me before attending to his next client (a woman with long, curly hair).

The second stylist re-washed my hair and spent some time thinning and evening out my haircut, soothing me the best she could with comments like "this is a really versatile cut, you can wear it however you like." She brought it from a truly horrifying F to a presentable B-/C+, but I felt like I'd made such an enormous mistake that I burst into tears anyway.

I'd been in the salon for an hour and forty-five minutes and was late for a meeting upstairs, so I headed to the front desk, trying to figure out what the etiquette was regarding tipping for a bad (but somewhat salvaged) haircut. Turns out I didn't have to worry. Before I'd said a word, XEX management told me I didn't owe them anything. And on top of that the manager (owner?) handed me a gift certificate for another hair cut "when your hair grows out a bit."

Here's the damage (photos taken with my computer's built-in camera and lovely florescent tube lighting). I'm going to wash my hair and style it myself tomorrow morning. If the back and sides don't behave, I'll head back into the salon for a little more work.