Why you should never go Groupon for a haircut
Whether it be sexy legs, naturally buff arms or a J. Lo butt, there is at least one feature we tend to favor. Mine is my hair. I have ample fine hair with a slight wave, neither bone straight nor frizzy. Under normal conditions, I can hold a curl without hairspray. The dark ashy blonde blends well with highlights, and I have very little gray so I can go months without coloring. I’ve had every haircut and color imaginable – from the Stevie Nicks poodle perm to the Flock of Seagulls asymmetrical cut to auburn to platinum blonde to red. I can pretty much beat it up and it still comes out shining. For me, I rationalize haircuts and colors like this: It’s hair, it will grow back. If I hate the color, I’ll change it. To keep my hair in tip top shape, I use quality products that I don’t mind paying for because after all, I love my locks.
Until I decided to go groupon.
One of groupon’s biggest fans, I shop for anything from exercise classes to theater tickets to massage parlors. When groupon started advertising hair salons, it peaked my interest, though I did get a ‘maybe not a good idea you get what you pay for’ feeling. My friends forewarned with scrunched faces, “You’re doing what? That’s risky.”
I love my hairdresser, but with our combined schedules, it had become increasingly difficult to get an appointment. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking our hairdressers are second only to our families. You get an appointment and you don’t cancel – not for flood, fire, or injury. If you accidentally cut off a finger before an appointment, damned if you don’t use duct tape to hold it in place and go to the ER after your bob is styled, because a good haircut is like an attitude adjustment. And what do you do just before it’s time to get your hair done? You tell a friend, “I’m getting my hair done today, I’m so excited. I so need it!” Almost in the same tone as, “I just got engaged!”
You find a good hairdresser, you stick with her. Changing hairdressers is a precarious business.
But I was feeling dangerous.
I researched every salon that sparked my interest, and found one I felt was credible. I called and spoke to the manager, asked them about the groupon, told them I wasn’t looking for a newbie, explained that I’m a hair snob. They stated no problemo, see you on Saturday.
Flash forward to my appointment. I didn’t go fancy. I had a one color process, a lighter blonde, and asked her to follow my current haircut. I left the appointment fairly satisfied. It didn’t rock my world, but it was fine. The next day while blow drying my hair I thought, “Huh, that’s odd. Either my head got crooked overnight or my layers are lopsided.” I shrugged it off to hair shock; my hair always needs a day or two to adjust to its new cut and color.
A few days later, my husband remarked how brittle my hair looked and said, “I feel like it’s breaking off when I touch it. What happened?” I knew it was looking dry. My brush was getting stuck in it and it was not falling into its usual behave mode. Because of this, I began blow drying my hair and putting it in barrettes. Yet, I held out hope that my hair would somehow fix itself.
Later that week, my girls Chris and Sonia were dropping off money for a fundraiser. I took my hair out of my barrettes and asked their opinion. Said Chris, “Oh…my…oh, did she cut your hair off to the side, do you think? Did she use a razor or something?” Asked Sonia, “Do you think she was trying to go for an asymmetrical cut?”
Let’s go back to my what’s the worst that can happen rationalization – I’ll change the color, wait for it to grow, or cut it shorter if it stinks. So you know how something is all fun and games until it’s not? Folks, what you are about to see is not a dramatization. Three days after my haircut. Note the frizz, uneven ends, fraying bangs. This was not done with a razor, and by the way, I attempted to style it.
Now in panic mode that my brittle hair was going to fall out due to breakage, I called my hairdresser and got an appointment for the following week. In the meantime, I contacted the owner of the salon that I purchased the groupon from. She asked me to come in so that she could assess my hair. She took one look at my straw-like locks and apologized. She offered to fix my hair, or do whatever I needed her to do. I told her getting my money back to defer the cost to my hairdresser was what I would like. She agreed, handed me a few tubs of heavy duty hair conditioning repair cream, and told me to leave it in my hair overnight, and every night for as long as the dry lasted.
I mentally prepared for my next appointment. I knew my hairdresser would have to chop off my hair, probably circa Dorothy Hamill. That was fine, it would be healthy, and it would grow. What I didn’t expect was her saying, “This one short layer is a problem, and you have a chunk of hair missing on this side. You can’t really go short because you have no hair there. I can blend it, but this is going to take a few haircuts before it looks better.”
Steps? I hate steps. I’m more of a wipe the slate clean and start over gal. Dang. My dream of ridding myself of hay hair and getting silky smooth back was dashed. Many snips and shorter layers later, hair I am…
Lesson learned: when it comes to eating out and seeing plays, go groupon. But when it comes to haircuts, don’t dare greatly.