Friday, January 9, 2009

Can I get a haircut??? PLEASE?

So today I got a haircut, because I am giving an invited talk soon and I wanted to look presentable.

Only it's a bad haircut.

And I don't have time to demand to get it fixed because I am leaving tomorrow for a weekend of fun with my friend before I get to work next week.

So I might have to get my hair fixed in Visit Town.

Goddamn, how can it be so hard to cut someone's hair when it is TOTALLY STRAIGHT? Granted, I don't have a blunt cut, but still. Some layers shouldn't be this hard. Holy CRAP.

Ladies - please tell me how you develop a relationship with a stylist. I have no idea how to do it, so I usually go to random places like Trade Secret or something like that, a low-ish end chain. How else do you pick a person to cut your hair, if you don't live in a Big City and have the help of Yelp, Citysearch, or lots of beautiful women whom you can ask where they get their hair done?????



Nicky said...

My strategy: I've always liked Aveda products, and they're only sold in good, reputable salons, so I search for an Aveda salon in my area. Then I call the salon, describe my hair and style, and ask which stylist would be best for me. At the first appointment, I ask lots of questions, and I make sure that they ask ME lots of questions (what I want, how much time I'm willing to put into styling my hair, that sort of thing). Took me 3 tries to get the person I have now, but she's awesome and well-worth the big bucks I spend.

Eugenie said...

When (if) I get my hair cut up at SLAC I go to the cheapest place. At home it's a different ball game since my mom's friend (I'm friendly with her daughter) cuts my hair.

I've got pin-straight hair and yeah, I can see how people can f*up layers. Its no fun. Its almost as bad as a really bad perm (long story).

Perhaps word of mouth may be a good idea?

Professor in Training said...

When I first moved to Postdoc City, I had 3 tragically awful haircuts before I agreed to let one of our lab techs cut it for me. She turned out to be absolutely amazing at it and gave me the best cuts I'd had in years (she would cut my hair while I sat on a lab chair in the microscopy room with hair all over the floor!). Now that I've moved 2,500mi away from Postdoc City I'm screwed yet again and the tech is refusing to fly across the country to do my hair. I'm back where I started and feel your pain.

JLK said...

My dearest PD,

I know that you're a grad student and probably don't want (or simply can't afford) to spend a lot of $$ on a haircut. I totally don't blame you, as is evident by the fact that my hair has not been cut in about a year.

But the most important secret to getting a good haircut is to never, EVER go to a chain hair salon, or one located in a mall. EVER. This is where small businesses shine. You will pay more for it, in some cases a LOT more, but I have never been unhappy with a local salon/spa, while I've left chain salons unhappy every time I've had the misfortune of going to one. I think it has to do with the business owner doing the hiring as opposed to just a manager.

Juniper Shoemaker said...

But the most important secret to getting a good haircut is to never, EVER go to a chain hair salon, or one located in a mall. EVER. This is where small businesses shine.

Yeah. It's the only solution: pay perennially for a quality cut that you scheduled way ahead of time in a metropolitan area and then have a local stylist at a cheap salon do no more than TRIM it the rest of the year. And request a consultation first. It shouldn't be this difficult, but it is.

The lab pixie said...

I hadn't had a haircut in AGES, and then my pay got cut in half (yay for the extra year of this PhD malarky) so I went as a model to a non-chain hair salon in the city centre. The teaching director eased my nerves when I made the appointment and he was there supervising all night. There was alot of discussion pre-haircut and at all stages of haircut. I have VERY thick, very sright hair that the previous bad haircut had left really heavy about the face. He was really great and finished what the student wasn't able to get yet, due to inexpeience at the cut he wanted her to use.

All in all, I'm going back and getting the teaching director to cut my hair, because it turned out so awesome. It seems frivilous to spend christmas money on a haircut, but he's really good!

Eugenie said...

Wait, there is such a thing as a chain salon? Huh? Man I need to get out of the country more often....

JLK said...

I'm not talking about some major salon in a metropolitan area. I'm talking about any salon business where the owner actually WORKS there. I go to a salon/spa down the street from where I live (which is most definitely not a metropolitan area) and the owner actually works as a stylist sometimes. She gives a shit how good her employees are, because it's her investment that she's protecting.

99% of the time I can call and get an appt the same day.

Now I don't know where PD is, so it's possible that every owned/operated salon is going to be metro. In that case, I don't know what to tell ya.

And yes there are chain salons in the US - Cost Cutters, Trade Secret, among a bunch of others whose names I can't recall. They're great for kids' and men's haircuts. But not women's.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Wow, this clearly is a sensitive topic. I get off a plane and suddenly there's all these comments about hair!!!

I'm starting to realize that now that I've left the blunt cut behind, I'm going to start having to pay more for a haircut. I used to consider 25 dollars a lot. But that's because you basically took a ruler to my hair and cut.

Now that I'm kinda "grown up" and want my hair to have some sass, I'm learning that it pays to...well, pay.

I'm currently in Visit City going to a good salon where I am going to pay a woman $75 to fix my hair. Yikes.

JLK - I live in a town of probably 150,000 people. Within a couple of hours from a major metro area, but not in one.

So ladies - how much do you pay for a haircut?? Just curious.

Eugenie said...

$30 and I thought that was expensive... $75 bucks?! That better come with a freaking sandwitch or massage of some sort!

JLK said...

I don't remember the last time I just got a cut. Usually I get a cut, color, and blowdry, and it costs me about $100 plus tip. I'm guessing the cut is probably $35-45 out of the total cost.

I know it sounds kinda uppity to say "no mall or chain salons" but I speak as someone with incredibly thick, long, wavy hair that used to be damaged to high hell. When I switched from chain places to stand-alone salons, my hair was nursed back to health and I was able to develop a relationship with my stylist and the other people at the salon.

It really does make a difference when the person cutting your hair gets to know your personality and lifestyle. The mall places tend to have a lot of turnover and the chances of seeing the same person more than once are pretty slim.

Based on what you're telling me about where you live, PD, I would suggest doing a search for salons in the area and check out the places that have their own well-maintained websites. You should be able to tell online about how $$$ they are. If all things are equal, I go to the place that's the closest or the place that has the cooler name/logo.

And PD - if you want to see what I'm talking about with a salon website/prices, I'll send you the link to mine through email if you promise not to "out" my locale, since I already said the place is practically down the street from me. lol

Yes, I can be that superficial. We all have to make decisions somehow! :)

JLK said...

Oh, and the "superficial" line goes with the paragraph before my message to PD. Just read it back and realized it didn't make any sense.

Arlenna said...

Okay, I'm a fancy haircut junky. It's AMAZING how much more beautiful and stylish I feel when I get a REALLY good haircut vs. a cheapo, okay one. I spend upwards of $250 a salon visit (and I ONLY go to my place in the big city--I will make a special trip just for this), because I have a colorist and stylist who are both very, very good and experienced. The key is that I leave feeling like a movie star, with hair that grows out smoothly and a cut and color that I can dry and style myself just as well, and that last for >6 months and look good that whole time.

I know, I know--I am making big-people-money so it's easy for me to say, and also making a special trip isn't realistic for everybody... but I used to get this kind of cut even when I was in grad school, it was just a lot further between appointments. I would save up, because it made such a difference to my confidence and sassy feeling, both of which are important parts of my personality.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Well, ladies, I have got myself a SASSY-ass haircut. Plunked down $90 bucks (with tip) for it too. I think she did a nice job, MUCH more careful than chain-store girl. And man, it is sassy. How much I really love it depends on how it looks after I wash/style it myself, and then, of course, how it looks in a week.

But I think I'm going to be a convert - if I want short and sassy, I need to pay the bucks.

Fortunately for me, I don't color my hair so I suppose this saves me $ w.r.t. ladies who do color their hair.

And JLK, I would never out you :).

PhizzleDizzle said...

Wait, so Arlenna, do you only get a cut every 6 months? In that case, then shelling out to look like a movie star (*especially* now that you make big people money :)), makes total sense.

Arlenna said...

Yeah--I am too busy and also live in a faraway town from my special hair place, so I only get around to it about every 6 months or so.

Now that I have more money I might go for every 3-4 months... but the laziness/travel part is still an issue, hah.

Once you go expensive on the haircut, it is hard to go back! I predict you'll become a hair junkie too!

ScientistMother said...

I'm a bit late to the party, but I agree with the others. Its worth spending the cash on a good stylist. My stylist knows that I can't afford to come in every six weeks, so makes sure its cut to grow out well.

The lab pixie said...

I remember having a conversation in college one day. One of the girls had been given a present of a free haircut at Toni and Guy salon (VERY high end. and expensive) by her brother. His theory was you will spend money buying nice clothes, taking care of yourself but you skimp on a haircut, when your hair really affects how you look and feel. When it's only every few months, spend a bit of money!

As far as cost, last haircut-free. Previous, tended to go early in the week to a chain, but got student price of about €30. Felt very aggreived to pay more than that. But after last brilliant (free) hair cut I am now going to pay €80. Ouch, but worth it.

And always so glad I don't colour my hair. I would wither be broke or sad.

PD, glad the haircut was worth it. There's nothing worse than paying too much money and not being happy with the result.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

(I have crazy curly hair that can stand to be left about 5 months without cutting).

Because not everyone can cut curly hair properly, choosing a stylist was very important. What did I do? I shamelessly went up to a woman with awesome-looking curly hair, in a local cafe and just said "hi, your hair looks awesome. I'm looking for a stylist who's good with curls, where do you get your hair cut?" Turns out it was about 2 blocks away, almost directly opposite my apartment at the time. Now that I've moved I take 3 buses to go and see the same stylist!

Ambivalent Academic said...

Referrals from friends whose haricuts you like. It is the most reliable method I have found.

I used to go to the Cheapo SuperCuts type places too in an effort to save $$, but then I would invariably fork out upwards of $60 within 24hours at a decent place just to get it fixed.

Now I go for the $75 cut from someone I like and trust (recommended by a friend whose hair always looks fabulous)...but I only do it twice a year. Seriously, she does such a good job that it continues to look good for 5 months afterward. Totally worth it.

Then again, I'm not sure how well this strategy would hold up if you have and would like to keep a short style.