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Author Topic: Service at a glacial pace  (Read 4151 times)

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Service at a glacial pace
« on: January 23, 2013, 07:24:35 PM »
I got my hair trimmed today and I came within an inch of seriously losing my cool.

Just for reference, I have short, simple pixie cut. Getting a trim usually takes no more than 20 minutes, and sometimes I even get charged the cheaper men's price due to the simplicity.  ;D

I walk in to the salon (one of those places that caters mostly to walk-ins) and I'm immediately seated by one of the stylists. I've seen her around before, so I know she's not new, but I've never received service from her. Well, you better believe I'm avoiding this girl like the plague now. It took her a full hour just to trim my hair. No shampoo, no styling. Just to TRIM.

I noticed fairly early on she seemed to be making progress very slowly. I had asked her to take off an inch all over and she was taking off more like a quarter inch. I told her again, "an inch please," and she got defensive saying, "If I cut it too short, I can't make it grow back." Maybe I'm unusual in that I'd rather have my hair cut too short than too long because it just means I can wait longer before I need another trim. I told her I'm sure she won't cut too short, and even if she did I wouldn't be bothered. Well, she continues to cut-itty bitty snips and this conversation loops about every 10 minutes:

Her: Is this okay? (Barely any length cut)
Me: Can you please take off more?
Her: [defensive protesting]
Me: Please make it shorter.
Her: *trims another fraction of an inch*

Around the 40 minute mark (about double the time it should take), I started getting really impatient because I had lots of errands to run still. I said, "Do you think you can try to wrap this up soon? I have somewhere I need to be." She said she could, but continued at the same pace. At this point I'm starting to wonder if she has OCD because she is obsessing over every single hair being *perfect* by her standards. I asked her a few more times in the remaining 20 minutes to please finish. I knew I was starting to lose my cool and I considered just asking to have someone else come complete my haircut because this girl just wouldn't pick up the pace. When she finally finished after an hour (3x the standard time), I paid and left, internally fuming.

I know I will continue to go to this salon and avoiding this girl should be no problem. However, what do I do if something like this happens again with a different stylist? Is it okay to ask to have a different stylist midway? Is it ever okay just to tell them, "Forget it, I'm leaving?" Or am I being an SS and should accept that some stylists are just incredibly slow?
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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 07:38:23 PM »
That sounds super frustrating.

What I might try doing in such a situation is to really, really confirm that you want a inch off. So get your hair, pull it away from your head and show her. Then say "I would like my hair cut so that one inch is taken off, so right about here (show her) would be perfect. That will take 3 weeks to grow back. Please err on the side of too short" Then watch her cut it and say "Yes that is right" or "Take off more please".

I think words actually work fairly poorly compared to showing as people can have very odd ideas of what an inch is.


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 08:21:36 PM »
I feel for you kitchcat.

In a similar situation, after about 40 minutes, I would ask to speak with the manager of the salon. At a walk-in salon like that, the salon makes money depending on how many people they can see in a day. If things are busy, that means a stylist needs to take no more than 20-30 minutes on most clients. To take 60 minutes for what is typically a 20 minute job is not acceptable to you as the client. It is not acceptable to the salon either.

You, as the client, have the right to ask someone else to complete the cut. Or to stand up and say I am out of here. But, you would still be obligated to pay for the service.

You are not being SS. When you go into a salon, you expect efficient service. Efficient does not mean cutting off a quarter of an inch at a time when the client asks for an inch. It does not mean obsessing over each hair individually. It does not mean ignoring the client's request to finish up.

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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 10:12:06 PM »
I've been there, done that with stylists not believing how short I wanted my hair cut...and like you I err on the side of too short. I finally found a great stylist (who had super short hair herself) and all has been well. If you have a stylist there that you do like can you ask what their schedule is and try to go while that person is in? My son has one lady he prefers to cut his hair at a similar place. When he goes in he just asks to see her specifically. It might be a slightly longer wait if she is currently with a client, but its worth it to him to get his hair how he likes. None of the other stylists have ever seemed insulted or hurt that he doesn't see them.


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 12:00:32 AM »
I haven't had the slowpoke stylist, but I have had to fight to get enough hair taken off. I realize a lot of people have had the opposite problem (and so have I, when I had a short style) but now that it is all one length, I really do want a good chunk taken off so I don't have to go back for a while. When it's too long it really is unmanageable, and that one inch will have grown back by next week.

I have also wanted to bolt when I realized a haircut was about to go very badly (the stylist seemed intimidated by my hair as it is ridiculously thick and curly), but didn't know how once I was in that seat. So I sat through and suffered a terrible haircut.

I can think of no way to get out of these situations without being very blunt: "Uh, I've changed my mind."


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 07:56:54 AM »
Me thinks she is a new stylist who is not very confident.


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 08:51:36 AM »
I once had a haircut that took forever. She pinned up my hair and would release about 3 strands of hair, trim those, then release another 3 strands. This was at a Hair Cuttery - for those who don't know the brand, it's an inexpensive place that are often found in malls and do a lot of walk in business - and I'm pretty sure that this was new stylist as Hair Cuttery tends to employ newer stylist in order to keep the prices down. For that and many other reasons, I don't go to Hair Cuttery anymore. But my goodness, I was in there for what seemed like all day!


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 10:17:05 AM »
Been there, gotten that.

I can count on one hand the really good haircuts I've gotten. No one wants to cut my hair as short as I want.  They all want to cover my ears and I want them exposed.  I also have an odd wave on one side.  If I let the stylist cut it the way s/he wants, I'll have an absurd hank of hair sticking straight out in a week or two.  It looks like I'm growing a wing!

I also had one stylist who, I swear, cut my hair with a nail scissors.  The cut took that long. 

On the other hand, I told a new stylist that I wanted a close simple cut because I was going on a cruise.  Surprise, he was getting ready for his first cruise.  We chatted as he cut, and cut, and cut.  The result was so short that Mr. Thipu, who had just gotten a haircut, went back and had his shortened out of sympathy.

Did I mind?  Not really.  It gave me the excuse to go out and buy some girly earrings  ;D 


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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 10:21:56 AM »
I wonder if she didn't get reamed by somebody for cutting their hair too short and is now scared of it happening again?

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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 10:53:32 AM »
A lot of the walk-in places are likely staffed with people right out of beauty school so I do think that plays a part but if you normally go to the same place and are normally out of there in 20 minutes, I would speak to the manager about how long this person took.  She needs more training, if she isn't willing to do what you ask for fear of being yelled at.

And your next visit, if she is the next stylist in line, just say, 'I'd prefer to wait for the next available stylist, thanks.'  If she asks why, tell her.  'Last time I was here, you didn't do as I asked and as a result, I was here 3 times as long as I would normally be.  So I would prefer to wait for the next available stylist.'  And if she persists, Toots special - 'I'd prefer to to wait for the next available stylist, thanks.'

I used to get my hair cut by the students at one of the local beauty schools.  It was cheap but I always budgeted an hour for a hair cut because I knew they would be cautious and they had to have their instructor check the cut before I could leave.  Only once did the instructor actually pick up scissors herself to show a student how to avoid triangle hair with my curls.

This is kind of timely.  I have a cut booked next week with a stylist I've seen once before.  I'm going in and I'm going to tell her, 'As long as it is wash and go and I won't have to be back in here in 3 weeks for another cut, I want something different.  Go for it.'  I'll let you know how it works out.  :)
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Re: Service at a glacial pace
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 11:41:15 AM »
You would absolutely not be rude to ask for a different stylist.  I also have a pixie (it's getting long and driving me BATTY).  What I usually do is point to an area on my body (for me it is right above my earlobes) and tell them that's how short I want it.

I do have one lady I've been going to regularly.  She rocks.