It flummoxes some folks to learn that – as spa-di-da as I am with regular facials – I will go to the place in the mall to have my hair cut and colored. So here is the story:
There is nothing to cutting my hair. It is bone-straight and baby fine. I could almost manage it myself. Color, however, is a pain. I have paid to have my hair colored since I went through the agony of growing out the black dye I had been putting on it through college. (And maybe a couple of years after.) And particularly since I redid my bathroom and decided I like not having dye splattered all over the walls.
After Sue, the lady that ushered me through said agony, moved to Arizona, I was on my own. I think I went to every salon in two counties and always left unhappy. I once even returned to a salon the next day to ask that they fix it.
When I walked into this place in the mall, the guy (it was a guy!) sat me down and listened to my whiny little story about one that was too dark and too red and one that was too light and too brassy and I want to match my skin and I don’t want to be dull…
“Don’t worry, I ‘ve got it,” he said.
And he totally did. He mixed two different shades and two different highlights and it came out just right. He told me the formula and wrote it down on a card for the next time that I came.
I was so confident. There was a formula. A secret combination. I knew what it was! I could speak the language! I wasn’t going to be tied to any one salon or any one stylist because I had a formula for my hair color.
Not so much. Different salons use different product lines and they don’t call the colors by the same combinations. And even then, you might land with a stylist that says, “I know what you are talking about, but that isn’t what your color is now.” Seriously.
And I still don’t entirely trust my own instincts.
Every time I go to the place in the mall, I leave with the color I want. Every time I don’t, I am disappointed. Or angry.
The moral of the story is, as my dad said: You are the client.
He was talking about the dentist, but it is a useful mantra when paying for a wide variety of services where you have to put your trust in a professional. Doctor, dentist, mechanic, aesthetician, veterinarian, contractor, financial planner. These, to me, are important long term relationships.