A little bit of back story. When I was 13, I got a really bad haircut. The kind of haircut you have to get up, wash, blow dry, and then curl with a curling iron every single morning just to be passable. I did that every single morning for a year until it was long enough to chop out all the horrible, horrible layering that had been done.
At that point, I found a great little salon near my parent's house and continued to go there for 8 years. At the beginning, I consistently went to this nice lady named Pam. Since she saw both me and my sister, she always remembered me. However, and apparently this is very frowned upon in hair styling circles, when I couldn't see Pam, someone else at the salon would cut my hair. By the time I was in late high school/early college, I could never get an appointment with Pam because I only had time on weekends and she didn't work weekends.
I started seeing Ron, who was very good at hair, but very bad at me. He never remembered me. I know I don't get a trim every 8 weeks like they recommend (I call BS on that one), but I'm a natural redhead, mechanical engineer, and a consistent client for 5+ years. Every single time I sat in his chair, he would ask the standard getting-to-know-you questions and every single time, by about 20 minutes in, he would say, "Oh, I remember you now."
By the time I was working on my masters, I needed a salon closer to campus. A friend recommended a great lady who I would gladly continue to go to if it wasn't 45 minutes away from work and probably at least an hour from my house.
Since then, I've tried a variety of salons and stylists and I can't seem to find a good fit. There was the lady who tried to convince me I could train my bangs (nope, can't be done), so I had this random chunk of hair misbehaving. She then lost me when she confused me with another client. I gave her a second chance, but she and another stylist both had clients named Carolyn who scheduled appointments at the same time and she chose poorly. I actually really liked the lady who I ended up with, but she went on maternity leave like three days after my haircut.
My most recent disaster happened last week. It was just supposed to be a trim, but my hair is now completely different and I'm still not sure how it happened. I'd seen this new lady once before and she seemed nice, but I learned through the course of the appointment she's a wack-a-doo and I realized it a little too late. Half of my head looks great, but the other half looks like a horrible shag from the 70's. How is that even possible? It might look nice on some of her high school clients, but this not what I wanted at all. And how does "a trim" change things this much? Ugh.
After years of fighting it, I'm going back to Pam. My sister still sees her, albeit at a different salon, and I need consistency again. Someone I can trust. I'm going to let my hair grow out for a couple of weeks and if still looks blah, emergency hair surgery.
Ok, so after all of this, I've finally figured out some rules I need to trust a stylist. And once I trust someone, I promise to be faithful, plan my appointments a long time in advance, and to get my hair trimmed consistently. I'll be better!
- Don't use obscure language. Part of the problem with my last haircut is that she asked if I wanted some more long layers and that it would help it grow out better. Sure, sounded good to me. I don't know what planet she lives on, but these are definitely not "long" layers. They are the same length as my bangs. Not long. She should have said, "Three, four inches from the bottom" and I would have said, "I'm more comfortable with two inches. I don't want them to be too much shorter".
- Show me what you're doing. Even if there is a miscommunication in length discussions, you should show me where it will hit BEFORE you cut anything. Again, I would have spoken up at that point.
- Ask how I'll wear it. Ask what my problems are with my hair. Get information before you cut anything. Yes, my hair gets static-y and if you cut out too much weight, it'll just turn into a puff ball. You should have asked instead of gawking once it started to inflate. Will I need to be able to pull back the layers when I'm working in the lab? Do you even remember what I do?
- Remember me. Seriously, take my picture, a lock of my hair, and some notes if you have to, but just make an effort to remember who I am. I will basically ask for the same haircut over and over if you can do it right so try to remember what you did last time. And if you can't remember what you did, look at my freakin' head! It's right there!
- Don't say things that don't make me trust you. You may think were bonding by talking about past relationships, but if you mention that you have two failed marriages and you're 26, I'm going to assume you make bad decisions and I shouldn't trust you.