‘Hair’rowing Experience

It’s a bad day when a trip to the beauty salon leaves you with hair more expensive than the total of everything you are wearing. A few days ago I decided to venture out in the snow and try my luck as a walk-in for a haircut. Since my daughter was born 10 months ago, I have had my hair cut twice. It’s just too much of a hassle to find time. I’ve also switched from getting my hair colored and highlighted in a salon to having my husband dye my hair from a box at home. The decision to brave the elements in search of a haircut grew wings when I realized I was beginning to resemble ‘Cousin It’ with roots. My husband was home from work so it seemed like a good idea to get put back to rights.

The salon I have been going to for haircuts is pretty reasonable. They charge $30 for a cut and style. Not bad considering the metropolitan area I live in. I assumed they were less expensive because the salon is located inside a discount mall. In any event, as I sit down in the chair the stylist begins to ask me about my color. Now, I’m not blind to the fact my box color is not quite the right color for me. It works though. Especially considering it’s $5 a shot. I end up explaining how my husband dyes my hair for me at home. Yadda, yadda, yadda. As the stylist rakes through my hair, she starts talking about how women often let themselves go after the birth of a child and how that can negatively impact a marriage. Looking in the mirror, I couldn’t deny I wasn’t quite the girl my husband had married. Well dang! She offered to touch up my color a bit and I decided I might as well. It would be nice to have a good looking ‘do’ again after all of this time. She breezes over how she will apply an all over color and then add in a few highlights to brighten things up. Sounded good to me.

After nearly two hours in the salon, my hair was cut, my roots were gone and I did indeed have a aura of brightness about my head. The brightness turned to flames when I reached the receptionist’s desk to pay the bill, however. I walked into the salon intending to spend $30 on a haircut. I ended up spending….um, wait a minute. My mother-in-law reads my blog. Um, Mom, if you are there…make sure Dad is nearby to check your pulse should you faint. Continuing on, the grand total was a whopping $180!!! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could a haircut and color job in a discount mall hair salon add up to that much money?

As the receptionist looked at me expectantly, I struggled for words and some sense of composure. Though I’ve never had a seizure before, I’m pretty sure I came close to one at that moment. “I’m sorry, what?” was all I could manage. She repeated the number. Yep, still $180. Is it possible they had added a few other customers’ bills to mine? Nope. Turns out this lucky walk-in ended up in the chair of their ‘Senior Stylist’. She has special rates, you see. Never did she bother to mention what the cost of her upsell would be. It was $30 for the haircut, $70 for the all over color and $80 for those few precious highlights that brightened everything up. I quickly brought my hand to my mouth. I needed to cover the gaping hole. I did manage to explain to the receptionist how customers would benefit from knowing ahead of time if a stylist’s suggestions would end up costing $180. The stylist had conveniently disappeared at this point. The receptionist gave me her best “yeah, whatever” look and went on to ask if I wanted the tip amount added to my card or if I was going to handle that with cash. Tip???!!! I’m pretty sure a tip could be found somewhere in that $180. If not, the best tip I could offer was for that stylist to refrain from taking her clients to the cleaners in the future.

By the way, when I got home and shared the details with my husband he quickly informed me he is upping his rates for hair service as he is clearly under paid.  Great.  Just great.

10 Responses to “‘Hair’rowing Experience”

  1. Steven Fenger says:

    I think you should just collect what Onyx sheds and make yourself a black wig.

  2. lisa says:

    Ah Steve, so nice of you to stop by and comment!!! You know what, I just might take your advice. Onyx does have BEAUTIFUl hair, afterall. :-)

  3. That’s absurd Lisa. I assume you are talking about a Fantastic Sam’s type of place? Yikes.Looking good is damned expensive!

    I do my own color (with pro color provided by my SIL who is a stylist..) and I also do my own waxing, saving beaucoup bucks!

    I pay $35 for a cut and style here in Kona Hawaii where everything is pricey. I paid $15 yesterday for my son to get his cut. My other son is “growing out” and looks rather rock and roll, so I figure I save there.

    But $180 is positively shocking. I think she overcharged you for the highlights, that should have been half that. Did you ask to speak to the salon manager? In any event at a cheapie salon like that they should have the rates posted so you aren’t taken by surprise again.

  4. Susan says:

    Lisa, that’s insane. I don’t understand what makes people think they can provide services like that without letting you know up front that the price is probably higher than you were expecting. The same thing happened to my husband and I with our taxes this year. Our tax guy, whom we considered a friend, decided to up the rates $100 this year, without even so much as a warning. $300 for fairly simple taxes is ridiculous. I take it as an expensive lesson learned. Always ask before, even if it’s a friend, then there are no surprises.

  5. Jessica says:

    That is totally outrageous. This is why I cut my own hair. I am tempted to color mine as well, but I have never done it myself.

    I guess that going to college was a waste of time for me b/c I have NEVER been paid 180$ for 2 hours (minus expenses.) Perhaps I should chanfe my line of work to hairdresser.

  6. Amy says:

    I get a cut and foils (two colors) done about every 7 weeks. $110 including the $40 shampoo and conditioner I have decided I cannot live without. That is DARN pricey in my book but what you paid outrageous! Yes, your husband deserves a raise 😉

  7. holly says:

    That’s why you need to come for a visit – Suz and I have the best hairdresser ever!!
    BTW – I totally thought your blog entry was going to be about Britney’s new do!

  8. lisa says:

    Oooh, I’d love to come visit Holly. Maybe this summer. Olivia would love to meet Kaden and Andrew.

    I totally didn’t even know about Britney until late yesterday. Yikes. Now, I wonder how much that hairdresser charged.

  9. Lori says:

    Wow Lisa! You must look fan-freaking-tastic!!! I used to go to a very upscale place in West Bloomfield Hills that didn’t even charge THAT much for cut/shampoo/style plus all-over color, highlights and lowlights. They even dyed my brows & lashes to match for less then that.

    …sigh….now I think about spending $35 on just a cut and style and I wince. Has motherhood made me cheap? Nah..I’d just rather spend the remaining $100+ on stuff for my baby boy!

  10. lisa says:

    Lori, I’m the same way. I’d much rather spend my money on Olivia. Not that I want to look bad. I’ll definitely seek the cheaper path though. I wish I did look fan-freaking-tastic. It would make it let painful. Oh well.