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I am an artist of many mediums. While words are my preferred, I also work in hair. By day, I work as a cosmetologist in a small but busy corporate salon and am always looking for a way to incorporate the two—my day job and my career. To that end, today I am offering you six conversations you need to stop having with your hair stylist, immediately:
Us: How would you like me to cut your hair today?
Hmm, ya don’t say? I can shave it down to stubble and it would be shorter. Okay, benefit of the doubt, maybe you think you are being cute or clever. Maybe you don’t think all that quickly on your feet. Regardless, you are not the first person to tell your hair stylist this. You are not even the first person today. If you want to be creative with this remark, you’ll have to go back in time about fifty years.
*Side Note: It has been my experience that hair stylists/cosmetologists are a snarky, sarcastic bunch. We try to keep it in check but sometimes the mouth speaks before the brain can stop it.
Upon approaching the front desk:
Us: What can I do for you today?
You: What do you think?
Well, I think we offer a wide variety of different services here, but a complete personality transplant is not on the menu.
Us: What did you have in mind today?
You: Just a little trim. I haven’t had it cut in three years.
Look. If you’re willing to sit in my chair and pay me to cut off half an inch when I can read a book through the bottom six inches, I’ve learned to be okay with that. You’re wasting your money and time, not mine. And I’ve got expensive hobbies.
Us: Would you like a shampoo with your haircut?
You: I just got out of the shower before I came.
First of all, thank you? I appreciate that you didn’t come in here wearing three days of funk. Hey, I don’t need your life story. I’m offering you a service that is not automatically included with the service you specifically requested. Some people just like the scalp massage. Some people don’t. Some salons offer it as an extra. Some do it automatically.
Us: How long has it been since you (had a haircut, colored your hair, waxed your eyebrows)?
You: *panics* Ummm *thinks* “It’s been six months, what am I supposed to say?” Six weeks?
I’m not judging you. Okay, maybe a little, especially if you haven’t shampooed your hair for two weeks. But for the most part, I’m just trying to get you to give me the answers I need. Nine times out of ten, the “how long has it been” question comes after questions 1-3 bombed out.
Us: *asks any question*
Here’s the thing: Unless it’s your stylist's first day on the job, she knows the answer to the question. She just needs more details. For example, it is obvious to me from your bright red eyebrows and pink skin or that skunk stripe you’re rockin’ that your black hair is not your own. What I want to know is how long has it been that color and did you do it yourself. Because I promise you, telling me the truth will make the rest of both of our days a hell of a lot smoother.
*Note: Most of these are based on conversations I have had with other hair stylists and are based on the corporate salon experience. Stylists who work for themselves in smaller private salons probably have a whole different list.
Except that last one. That’s universal.