WHEN I first published The Inspiration Photos I Took to My Last Salon Appointment (& why I never got what I wanted) last summer, I had no clue that it would resonate with you to that extent. Since then, I’ve actually managed, for the most part, to speak up and get what I want. It’s been a learning experience, to not worry so much about accommodating others, but it helps that I’ve had the same stylist for the past year who’s been really easy to talk to, and who seems to understand what I’m looking for.
That is, of course, until my last visit.
Before my appointment, I’d emailed my stylist the photos above, both of the colour I was hoping to achieve, and the new cut I was looking for. It had been a while since my last appointment and I had been too busy to keep up my six week trim schedule, so by the time I arrived, my hair was very long, nearly past the middle of my back. I told her that I wanted about 4 inches taken off, and that for the colour, I wanted the same highlights as before, but much more this time. It was the beginning of March and nearly spring, so I wanted a whole new look. Something brighter, something different. I wasn’t really worried, as she had done my highlights before, and they were perfect. Exactly what I’d wanted.
It was a Thursday 12:30pm appointment, which was a little concerning, as I wondered if she would have had time to eat. When I arrived, she was just finishing up another colour, which, she would tell me later, had taken since 9:00am that morning. She seemed cheerful but a little harried, a bit stressed, and low energy, like she had skipped breakfast and from the looks of it, would be missing lunch. I’m telling you this because I believe it contributed (at least in part) to my not getting what I had asked for this time.
There is a popular superstition that says that you shouldn’t buy a car that was made on a Monday or a Friday because workers who assemble cars may be more prone to mistakes and quality issues on Mondays and Fridays, as they may be tired or distracted from the weekend or looking forward to the weekend. While there is no real evidence to support this claim, I was applying that same logic to a slightly stressed hairstylist with low blood sugar.
After she had finished putting the foils in, I could tell that there were not nearly enough to make the dramatic change I was hoping for, so I timidly voiced my concerns. She reassured me that there were enough, and well, I guess that was that.
Above, the inspiration photos show what I was hoping to achieve, and below is what I got:
Now I know what you’re thinking: it doesn’t look terrible. It looks well, nice, even. But that isn’t the point. The point is that it wasn’t what I had asked for, and this time, instead of being timid, I told her that I could barely see the highlights, all while trying to hide my disappointment. It was flatter and more one dimensional than I’d wanted. I reminded her that I had told her there weren’t enough foils and she replied that she really had thought it would be fine. Also, the tone wasn’t the same as the first time (even though she mixed the product exactly the same way), so, I paid, gave her a huge tip and a gift bag filled with organic tea and candles⏤all things I had been planning to give her when I thought my hair was going to be a resounding success. Yes, I still gave them to her anyway, and you know why, because you read about that here.
Because I spoke up this time, a miraculous thing happened: my stylist actually texted, asking me to come back in so she could fix it. When I arrived, she seemed a lot more relaxed and I even carefully asked her if she’d had anything to eat. She held up one of those ready-to-drink meals in a bottle that are supposed to be nutritionally complete, and I thought, well, it’s better than nothing. The appointment wouldn’t be until just a little over three weeks later, but there were a lot more foils this time, and the result was much more in line with what I’d wanted:
It’s difficult to tell because of the lighting in the above photo, but there are a lot more highlights this time. Below are some other images in different lighting and without the mermaid curls to give you an idea of how different it is from the first appointment. Yes, it was another four hours between the processing and the toning, but it was definitely worth it, and the whole experience also helped me get used to the idea of expressing what I want and to speak up when I am not completely happy with the results. All’s well that ends well, I think.