… especially when it concerns the person who cuts your hair.
Take my guy, for instance. I had been going to him for about 10 years at a location that was 10 minutes from home. Oh sure, he double- and triple-booked, working a couple of chairs at once, resulting in marathon visits (especially when going for color). And, he was expensive. But, I always left looking fabulous, and feeling good, too, so I kept going. Of all the stylists I’ve ever had, he’s the one I’ve gone to the longest.
Then, he moved his salon an extra 10 minutes away, to a higher-rent district (read: higher rates), situated at a very congested intersection in a location I don’t usually frequent. His relocation was drama-filled, took much longer than it should have, and he was heavily invested, then seriously overextended. I had followed him through the drama and was concerned that his move coincided with when the economy really started to tank. When I last went in October, it was clear the salon was floundering: On a Saturday morning, chairs were empty; shampoo girls sat around text-messaging; his “partner” had defected to one of the chain salons in a nearby mall.
He had also admitted that his “scissors” hand (no, his name isn’t Edward) was hurting – he was still recovering from having injured it in a charity basketball game for his kid’s school. Worst of all, I left feeling like he didn’t listen to what I wanted and I just wasn’t happy with the cut.
So, I cheated. I went to a salon much closer to home. Took my chances and walked in. I got a lady who knew the exact cut I wanted. She was fast, nice, and she did a really lovely job on my hair. Not only that, but she waxed my eyebrows, too. I was in and out in less than an hour for everything, and got it all for less than my other guy charged.
Last week, it was getting to be time for another cut. I was debating whether to go back to my other guy and let him know I was defecting to this other lady, or just go to the other lady and not say anything. Or, maybe I should write him a letter? Email him? Honestly, how do you tell your hair stylist that you’re just not… coming back?
Well, I didn’t have to tell him. He hunted me down last week. Called me on my cell phone.
He said, “Where’ve you been? I was going through my address list and realized I haven’t seen you in a while. What are you doing with your hair??” I answered with a vague, oh, around, been busy, you know… “Well, come on in – things are picking up, we have a bunch of new stylists!”
Um, how about Saturday morning? Your first available?
“Done. See you then!”
So, I went. And you know what? He did a great job, as usual. I confessed about going to the other stylist because I needed a cut fast and didn’t plan ahead. He understood about going someplace closer to home. He said over half of his old clients have moved with him from the old location. But really, he said, it isn’t that much further away.
He did note that, as evidence of the faltering economy, he’s booking fewer color jobs these days. I’m one of those; I finally started doing mine myself. I can buy a lot of Miss Clairol at CVS for the amount I was paying for foil highlights and lowlights. He understands; he’s tightening his own belt in an effort to make his new salon succeed.
I didn’t break up with him, and I’m glad I didn’t. In fact, I feel a little dirty for having “cheated.” That’s a long relationship to just chuck based on a few extra minutes. I just need to plan ahead, is all. Not wait till the last minute, when it becomes an EMERGENCY. And save a few extra pennies to cover the difference in cost. Shouldn’t be that hard, right?
Now – tell me your best breaking-up-with-your-stylist story. Go ahead, I’m listening…