I’m Here for a Haircut, Not a Lecture

Sometimes I wish I’d been born Catholic.  This way, when the hairdresser at the salon around the corner asks how long it’s been, I would know to say, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  It’s been six months since my last haircut.”

Bad hair

But I’m not Catholic.  So when I rent for my semi-annual trim on Wednesday, I just hung my head in shame and mumbled the same response I do every time: I don’t know… it’s been a while.  Probably six months.  Maybe more.

The thing is I know I’m supposed to get my hair cut every 6-8 weeks but I just can’t stomach the expense, or the time.  Seriously, who can afford to go to the salon every 6 weeks?  That’s 8 haircuts a year and even though I don’t generally spend all that much on my haircuts, I can think of plenty of better things to do than spend a perfectly good afternoon making forced small talk with a complete stranger.

I know the whole forced small talk thing would be easier if I went to the salon often enough to have a regular hairdresser—then we’d talk about our sex lives and she’d compliment my shoes—but I don’t go often enough to get to know any of the staff so, really, its vicious cycle.

What I don’t understand is why they feel compelled to lecture you about your beauty regime (or lack thereof) when you’ve already taken an important first step in addressing the situation.  I mean you’re at the salon.  You’ve admitted that you have a problem (split ends) and you’re doing something about it (getting a haircut).  Why do they chose the moment you admit defeat and come begging for help to tell you that really, you should have asked for help months ago, and that you’d better schedule your next appointment now, while you’re at it?

It doesn’t make sense.

Unless we’re talking business sense, in which case it makes perfect sense (for them at least), but I still don’t understand how getting my haircut more often is going to help it grow out faster.

Am I supposed to believe that the split ends at the end of my follicles are capable of sending secret messages to my roots?  (Don’t grow!  Don’t grow!  It’s a terrible world out here!  Stay where you are and save yourselves!)

I don’t think so.

The Wedding Date, being a typical male in some ways, likes my hair long and doesn’t even believe in split ends.

“How can you tell your hair has split?  Is that even physically possible?” he asked last week.

“Of course it’s possible!  Haven’t you seen the commercials?”

“What commercials?”

“The hair commercials.  For conditioners and stuff.  They always show magnified hair follicles, and they are definitely split.”

“You know those ‘images’ are computer generated, right?”

“They’re not!”

I may not believe in bimonthly haircuts, but I do believe in split ends.  Which is why I marched over to the salon for their Wednesday special ($20 for a wash-and-cut by one of the less competent folks), hung my head in shame and confessed that it had, indeed, been quite a while.

Half an hour later, my request for a “quick trim” had turned into six inches of my hair ON THE FLOOR.

SIX INCHES!

And then they wonder why I don’t get my hair cut more often.

In fact, tt’s almost as bad as going to the dentist… which reminds me: I’m due for a lecture on fluoride use as well.

10 Responses to “I’m Here for a Haircut, Not a Lecture”

  1. Nicole Basaraba

    I do the exact same thing. When I do go for my semi-annual haircuts, they ALWAYS chop off inches! 🙂 When really it only needs one max. I think I dislike going to the hair salon more than the dentist….

    Reply
    • Zak

      Why not just ask for no more than one inch, and tell them if they cut off more than an inch, you’re not going to be a satisfied customer? If they do, tell the manager, get your “free” cut and never go back?

      Reply
  2. Landlord

    It is WAAAY worse with curly hair, they SAY they know that it shrinks, but in all reality they know NOTHING unless they have curly hair themselves (try finding one though). And then they go into their, “wouldn’t you like to try (fill in the blank) straightening? NO I WOULD NOT!!! Aren’t they aware that we curlies have FINALLY been accommodated(tolerated) with wonderful products for curly hair? Huzzah!
    (and YES, I am aware that I used a LOT of capital letters today, I’m like that about my hair)

    Reply
  3. aka gringita

    1. Find another salon. Bond with someone who ‘gets’ what you’re about, hair-wise, and doesn’t insist on shaming you… and stick with that person.
    2. Split ends are real, in that when mine split, I can actually see it. No magnification required. However, if your ends are split 6 inches up into your hair, you won’t “see” the split because it will be somewhere in the middle of your head, but when you ask them to “just cut off the split ends” you’re going to lose some hair. More than you want. (I think that’s how trimming your hair makes it longer… multiple mini-trims netting out to less hair removed than via massive cuts later.)
    3. Think haircuts are a killer? Try going gray early. (Like, in your teens early. In my twenties I looked like I was in my fifties and had to start coloring.) I get my hair trimmed roughly every 6 weeks, which is an easy routine for me because I *have* to get my hair *colored* every 3. EVERY THREE WEEKS FOR A HAIR TREATMENT INCLUDING COLOR?!?

    Cha-ching.

    My current hairdresser (and it’s her, not the salon; when she moves I move with her) is mercifully at a place that’s not *total* highway robbery but with such frequency required, it’s no wonder that I’m so low maintenance in all other ways. Who can afford to keep up a beauty regime?

    Reply
  4. charlsiekate

    Seriously, find a different salon. I get my hair cut three times a year, MAX, and I never get lectured. I used to only get it cut once a year. I don’t wash my hair every day and I probably only dry it twice a week at the most, and I only occasionally use a straighter. I have thick hair, and quite frankly, my hair isn’t damaged enough to justify getting it cut every 6-8 weeks, and I be willing to bet your hair isn’t either. People who get their hair cut that often are also having it colored.

    I had my hair cut in the middle of December, and before that it was June. Don’t let them bully you. Also, I think it is RIDICULOUS the woman cut off six inches when you asked for a trim. She did that because SHE thought your hair would look better shorter, not because you needed six inches cut off. If you like your hair long, find someone who knows what a trim means and isn’t trying to push their style on you.

    Reply
  5. Amanda

    As with everyone else, I think you need a new salon. I often stretch my trims to 4-6 months, but I’ve been going to the same woman for over 3 years and she remembered me after the first couple visits (its helped that I’ve followed her to 3 different salons). And she never lectures.

    Reply
  6. sarahnsh

    Being someone who works in a Salon/Spa and has several hair dressers I know personally it does help in a business sense to tell you guys to get it more frequently, though it probably helps in healthier hair too. We are big about pre-booking where I work so it helps our numbers, but also helps you guys to have it in the books so that you come in and get it done.
    I ask my clients when their last massage was and it’s always been a year or so. I’m more than happy when they even tell me a couple of months, and like the haircut, it definitely helps getting a massage more frequently if my clients can do it. Their muscles show an improvement, they are less stressed, and I don’t have to work as hard on their muscles when they are getting it done more frequently. 😉

    Reply
  7. Lincoln

    I know the “Men’s Haircut” thing is a different ball of wax than whatever the “Women’s” thing is (is it even _just_ a haircut?) but I hit my preferred salon every 3 weeks — if I don’t I start looking like a caveman very quickly. And then the next cut is always painful.

    Like Sarahnsh mentioned I have to prebook — if I don’t, I forget about it and then I have a hideous blob of hair falling all over the place until I finally remember to do something about it.

    Just go in, get a little bit trimmed off, an be happy. (I schedule my cuts during business hours relaxing escape)

    Reply
  8. Kate

    Definitely try and find a salon/stylist that you like. I had to go through two horrendous haircuts at salons my friends recommended until I asked a friend whose hair I loved where she went– and now my roommate, my mom, my sister, and even a handful of friends and I all go to that salon! So ask around to people whose hair you like– if people like their stylist, they’ll be eager to share the info. If you find someone who understands what you want and cuts it like you want, you’ll probably be more inclined to go back more frequently (even if it’s every few months instead of twice a year). Plus, they can help you with styling tips and hair product to make your hair even more the way you want it!
    Oh, and follow sarahnsh’s advice– schedule your next appointment when you’re leaving your current one and that way you don’t have to worry about scheduling it and can even look forward to it… hopefully. Good luck!

    Reply
  9. Philly Tap Teaser

    Definitely, when it comes to hair, you get what you pay for. I’ve learned this the hard way. Also, good haircuts look better longer, so it’s actually a smart investment.

    Reply

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