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Salon Do-Overs: What To Do When You Aren’t Happy

By Amalah

Hi Amy!!
I know you get so many questions probably everyday and all day, but I am wishing, hoping, and praying that you will answer because I am in desperate need of H-E-L-P. AHHHHHHHHHH! So anyways lets get to the point shall we. Today I went to a brand new hair salon in hopes of finally getting some new highlights and a trim. I made this decision because the usual one I go to is wait listing all clients so it was impossible to get in there at a time that worked with my work schedule. Because of this I decided to go to a salon that just opened hoping that I would like it. Well things didn’t turn out so well. I asked for blonde highlights which is what I originally had (though really grown out) and what I ended up with were highlights ONE (if that) shade lighter then my original hair color. Now when I first saw the hair color it was really hard to see this because the lighting was weird in the salon and I figured everything would look different once I was outside.
Once I got home it was a completely different story and I HATE it. Now not only can you not even tell that I did anything to my hair, but the roots don’t match up and, I basically flushed $100 + dollars down the toilet and I am completely unsatisfied with the results. My question is what do I do? I have heard that people have called their salons afterwards and asked for adjustments, but is this appropriate seeing that I have never been there before. Also I feel awkward because I didn’t say anything while I was at the salon, but this is only because I couldn’t tell. I hate to think that I have wasted all this money for nothing, especially since I am kind of low on funds right now. PLEASE HELP!

You absolutely call up that salon and tell them what happened. It doesn’t matter if it was your first visit or your eleventyith. You call them, ask to speak with a manager, and tell them that while you weren’t ecstatic with the results at the salon, you figured you’d give it some time. But now that you’ve seen the highlights in different lights and washed your hair a few times, you are extremely unhappy — the colors clearly don’t match and need to be redone, full stop.
Any salon worth its salt will immediately offer that you come back in for a consultation and a touch-up or do-over, full stop. This new salon is trying to build up a customer base and a reputation — I cannot imagine they would refuse to make things right for you.
Of course, after a really bad experience with a hair salon, you probably aren’t super excited at the idea of going BACK to that hair salon and offering up your hair follicles again. I do believe you need to let the original salon attempt to fix things — I wouldn’t call them up and demand a straight-up refund so you can get your color done elsewhere. And oftentimes a manager or a more senior stylist might take over your case — you might actually find that you like the second stylist. Or you might not. The important thing is that this salon at least give you color you can live with for a few months while you recoup funds and wait for an appointment at your regular salon.
By the way, I’m also a frequent sufferer of the Booked Stylist Blues — I find someone I love, but naturally everybody else loves them too. But I still wait until I look in the mirror and realize that I! Need! A haircut! Rightthisminute! to call, and of course my stylist is booked for weeks. And, like you, I’ve gone to other salons and stylists simply because they’re convenient and have open appointments. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.
The absolute best way to avoid the scheduling snafu is — duh, kind of — to make your next appointment right when you’re there for your current appointment. For ages I never did this — always afraid to commit to another haircut in six to eight weeks because I could probably go more like 10 weeks, we’ll see, I’ll remember to call in a month or so and make the appointment, I’M SURE OF IT. I’ve only recently had an epiphany about this habit, and pledged to stop making such a THING out of it and just make a stupid appointment ahead of time already.
app_3_6485958317_1166.gif(Hey, for the first time in my LIFE I’ve been super-awesome-good about seeing the dentist every six months, and that’s only because the office won’t let me leave without booking my next cleaning right then and there. I shove the appointment card in my wallet and amazingly, the date and time just becomes one of those things I manage to make work.)
But ANYWAY. Pick up the phone. Call. It’s 100% appropriate and you are completely justified here. Pretend you are one of those awesome ballsy people who are SO GREAT about confrontation and phone calls, even if you’re not. Obviously I’m not saying you should be rude and glove-slappy and “I DEMAND SATISFACTION,” but really, you aren’t asking for anything out of the ordinary here — just what you paid for. Professional results from professional people.

Published August 21, 2008. Last updated August 21, 2008.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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