Dayjob dregsPosted: March 16, 2006
You know, there are two things I’ve ever wanted to be. A hairstylist and a novelist. Well, I’ve been making a living at the former for 22 years now.
But there are days that the temptation to pull all of someone’s hair out is hard to resist. Especially since I’m in such close proximity to it. I’ll spare you the specific details. I will say that this client I’m talking about is perpetually cranky, puts on an act of being superior to everyone, and when things don’t go her way, she turns into a real ring-tailed tooter.
I even went way out of my way to mollify her, but she’d rather be a martyr and suffer rather than say “thanks, I appreciate the time effort and MONEY you put in to make me more comfortable. ” No. She is certain the one ‘crossing’ her in the salon is doing it on purpose. I know that’s not the case, but she refuses to believe it. So I stay silent. And try not to look her in the face, because she will see exactly how I feel about the matter. Argh. I know you can’t get the whole picture since I’m leaving out details, but trust me, if you knew, you would see how petty and hypocritical she’s being. To top it all off, she brought in her grandchild’s fundraiser pamphlet and asked me to look at it, under no obligation, of course. Sure. Right. So I made a whopping $2 on her appointment today.
I think this person is deeply unhappy somewhere inside. Her family life isn’t ideal, with this or that problem always cropping up. So to have some measure of control, she acts demanding and exacting where she thinks she can. I’ve seen it before, in more than one person.
I actually had one client who was never pleased, yet she kept coming back, and nitpicking, and being a pill in general. Well, she and her family had recently moved here from a place she loved because of her husband’s job. When she left her appointments, she left saying that she loved her hair. She came back– nit nit nit. One day, exasperated, I finally asked her, “Are you unhappy with what I’m doing for you, or are you just unhappy in general?” She stopped for a minute, and tears welled up, and she admitted she just wasn’t happy since their relocation. After that, we had no problems.
Hair designers are well-known for serving as confidants and unofficial, pseudo-psychologists. Many of us are really good listeners. And the intimacy of having your hair cut, washed, styled, whatever lends to that. But don’t forget hairdressers have feelings too. Please remember there’s a difference in providing a service and BEING a servant. We have pride too, and don’t feel like you are doing us any favors by coming to us. Come to us because you like what we do, and you genuinely are happy with our work. Or don’t. I would much rather not have a person as a client anymore than to have someone bad mouth my work behind my back. You never know what gets back to your hairdresser’s ears.
Speaking of which, the next time you hear someone talking smack about what their hairdresser does to their hair, remember there are two sides to every story. Maybe there is a lack of communiucation, and the client doesn’t know how to express what she wants. Maybe the client insists on having more than one chemical service done to her hair at a time, which can, depending on the hair type, be bad for their hair. And sometimes, due to medications, stress and whatever, hair just freaks out. Maybe the hairdresser, at the request of the client, wants something new, leaves the salon looking great, but continues to fix her hair in the same old way and ends up unhappy.
Sure, there are hairdresser screw-ups. I’m the last person to deny that. I just wanted to remind people that there’s more than one side to a story. And this started out as a aggravating client story and morphed 9into other topics that were evidently lurking in my brain.
Bottom line: DON’T TAKE YOUR BAD DAY OUT ON YOUR STYLIST.
FIND A WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM OR FIND SOMEONE WITH WHOM YOU CAN.