OT: Finding the Right Salon

Okay, I am going to venture away from cooking and food for a moment, to ramble about the adventures you have to go through to find that perfect salon for you.  And mind you, I just want a haircut.  I’m not even talking about long term decisions like perming or changing my hair color.  Or getting expensive treatments like rebonding.

It used to be that I just cut my hair once a year.  I remember it too, and would set it on the week after Christmas.  However, I have thick hair, and even though I would usually have it up on a ponytail, it still feels “heavy” to me.  I cut it twice a year now.

Just a brief background here.  When I was young, my mom cut my hair.  And yes, I had to go through that mushroom look that most chinese girls go through.  I don’t know what chinese moms and grandparents have against long hair on kids.  What a mystery.

In high school, I grew it to shoulder length.  No layers or anything, just regular trims every so often.  Okay, so I didn’t care much… yeah, yeah, I was a classic nerd, braces, glasses and all.

I think I started trying having my hair layered in college.  Small allowance meant that I went to the local hairdresser, and by “local,” I mean within a two minute walk from our place.  If the place was full, I could even go home and just come back after twenty minutes.

Now, we get to the exciting part.  This is me, the yuppie, earning my own money, having more choices.  I tried going to the malls, to the more popular ones, named after some famous hairdresser.  Even tried out different branches.  My golden rule is never to cut it too short, lest it become irreparable.  The worst experience that I had, I had to go to another salon the next day just to have it fixed.  Yikes.

So now, I am married.  My husband doesn’t like my hair too short, which is fine with me because I don’t want it short either.  I like being able to tie it up when the weather becomes too warm, or if I have to cook, or play badminton, or when I ride the jeep.  I know exactly the kind of haircut that I want, I just need to look for the one hairdresser who actually listens to what his/her client wants. AND can make honest suggestions too.

On a sidenote: I found a good one a several years ago, and came looking back for him a few months later.  He still did the same fantastic job.  After more than a year (I grew my hair long for my wedding), I went back to the same place and was told that he had already filed his resignation several months ago.  Tough luck.  I should have given him a calling card.  Hah.

So now, I am more careful.  I did my homework.  I asked around, and I searched the internet for reviews.  I didn’t want the kind of haircut wherein I’d feel pretty after I stepped out of the salon, but have bad hair day for the next few months.  I know what I want, and I want the hairdresser to ask me what I wanted. And listen to what I wanted.  And THEN, he should make suggestions.

So after making my final decision, I called up and made an appointment on a Friday afternoon.  Straight from work, then meet hubby for dinner afterwards.  I found a place that was within my price range, and had good internet reviews, and had positive ratings from a colleague.  The review on the internet mentioned which hairdresser I should look for.  And, they all raved about the great service, and how they made you “feel like a princess” the whole time.

Point one.  The place was not that famous, and was in the farthest corner of the mall.  Still, the decors were quite fancy, and I began to doubt whether I heard the price right when I made my appointment over the phone.

Point two.  The lady at the reception was attentive when I approached, and was competent.  She wasn’t overly friendly, but she did her job, which was to tell me to wait, and gave me a magazine when I asked for one.  She even asked me whether I wanted a magazine to browse hairstyles or to just pass the time.  I don’t care if she didn’t smile the whole time, or that she kept walking around here and there.  She did her job, and even made regular updates on when the hairdresser would be ready.

Point three.  I waited almost 30 minutes beyond my appointment time. Considering that I came 25 minutes early.

Point four.  The interiors were nice.  They gave me a robe aside from the usual frock, and offered drinks.  And pretty much every customer looked satisfied as they left.

Point five.  The hairdresser comes and asks me how I want my hair BEFORE they shampoo it.  I think that’s really important, that they see how your hair is in its normal setting before they get it wet and limp and squeaky clean.

Point six.  Shampoo AND conditioner.  And you had a choice on whether you wanted warm or cold water for the wash.  How cool is that? 🙂

Point seven.  The hairdresser makes me wait for another few minutes.  They hand me a magazine to keep me from getting bored.  I see the hairdresser doing finishing touches on other customers.  In my mind, I think this is good, because it means he is in demand among the clientele.  And, he doesn’t rush things.

Point eight. After a few snips, he calls somebody to start the blowdrying process.  I was thinking, wait, does this mean he’s done with my haircut?  I ask the lady who’s blowdrying my hair as much, and she says he’ll trim the ends afterwards.  I even turned around and checked the floor to see how much hair was snipped off.

Point nine.  I feel like the lady burned my hair a bit way too much.  The guy comes back and combs my hair, and I feel a tug at the ends.  Real rough texture.  Not good.  I was hopeful, though, that my shampoo at home could fix it.  More importantly, I gather the courage to tell him what I think, what I want.  I feel bad that I had told him earlier that he could make the decision because he was the expert, because now, it was obvious to me that I would not leave until he made more adjustments.  To be honest, I felt like I just went through a 2-minute trim and a 20-minute blow dry.  He was nice though, and obliged.

Point ten.  While the guy was patiently cutting away again (gritting his teeth, I’ll bet, haha), two other employees came over and asked him what was taking so long, and that they thought he was done with me.  Hah! He didn’t say anything, but just looked at me and continued cutting.  I gave the lady a look.  Hopefully I didn’t raise my eyebrows.  I can be pretty rude sometimes, really.

So now, he knows better.  He asked me if I was satisfied before letting go.  He even tried different hairstyles to check whether we should cut some bangs or not.  Overall, I am satisfied.  My hairdresser worked like a pro, but some of his colleagues didn’t, but it was really tolerable.  And next time, I won’t go on peak hours, and maybe not on weekend nights. I’ve had my new haircut for two days and looks like all strands are acting behaved.  Very nice.  I am definitely going back.  Hopefully when everyone’s in a better mood too.





2 Responses to “OT: Finding the Right Salon”
  1. Eva says:

    Guess it was good 🙂 i may try it too 🙂

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