Saturday, August 04, 2007

Enough to make you want to curl up and dye

I'm not quite sure how they do it, but hairdressers and beauticians are seemingly able to turn even the bolshiest complainer into a quiet, compliant yes-girl.

Ask for a bob cut and end up with a mohawk? "That's exactly what I wanted, thanks."

Request a subtle shade of red and wind up being mistaken for a hooker with a henna problem? "Oh, that looks great, thanks again."

Want a discreet "landing strip" down below but wind up with a razed airfield? "Well I'm sure my boyfriend will love it..."

It's not like they even have to try, either. You'll be sitting there seething away about THE NIGHTMARE she's slowly turning your hair into, thinking up the perfect four-letter words to let fly with when she asks "So what do you think?" and working out whether to place the emphasis on the word "ruined", "fucking" or "bitch", and yet when it's over you end up handing over $150 and telling her she's fabulous.

Perhaps they get taught it at trade school: "Eager to Please and Enthusiastic Facial Expressions 101 - how to guilt your customer into compliance with just one friendly smile."

"No, seriously, it's great. It's just what I wanted. I mean, I know I said I wanted a sleek up do, but this is perfect."

Whatever it is, it's the reason why I spent the last hour gritting my teeth in agony and willing myself not to yell "FOR FUCK'S SAKE STOP, YOU INEXPERIENCED BITCH, IT HURTS!" while simultaneously roundhouse kicking my apprentice waxer in the head.

"No no, do it like THIS instead," said the other beautician coaching her. "If you do it that way then it hurts."

"YES IT FUCKING DOES!" I wanted to scream, before jumping off the table and upending the tub of molten wax over her head.

"Gosh, sorry to treat you like a guinea pig darl! You probably just want this to be all over don't you?"

Lord no! After this I'm booked in at the gyno for a nice, relaxing hour-long pap smear. And after that I might go home and eat some glass for dinner.

"Oh it's fine, really! No problem," is what I ACTUALLY said, being already well under her magic spell of compliance. The force was strong in that one, my friends.

And of course, after being the unfortunate whipping girl of a 45 minute "How-to" waxing lesson (that clearly did not include the section on "How to not make your customer want to cut off both of her legs just to be free from the pain you're inflicting on her"), what did I do? I paid full price. And said thank you.


  1. I have the same problem with waitpersons. I can be sitting there bitching about the hideous food and the terrible service and how I am never coming here again and a waiter will approach and ask how everything is, and I will swing around and beam at them and cry, "Lovely! Everything's really great!"

  2. Somehow, I missed that gene. I once burst into tears in the hairdresser's chair when she said, "So, what do you think?" I'd cut it off from about two foot long, hoping for a nice sleek little boy cut like I have now. Instead, it just got bigger and bigger until I looked like an Italian grandmother. The wielder of the broken beer bottle looked stricken and said, "I'll fix it! I'll fix it!"

  3. When I went to the hairdresser last all she could do was insult me...about my hair colour.."ooh it's awfully, yellow, isn't it?". My cut.."these certainly are interesting layers, aren't they? Don't really do much for you, hey!?". My regrowth.."ooh your natural colour certainly is harsh isn't it!?". My shampoo "What kind of shampoo do you use?...Or THAT one?? *shudder*" (she actually shuddered... I can't believe I then bought the shampoo she said I should use.)

    Then after not changing my style AT ALL and barely trimming it, the cut component of the bill was charged at $70!

    But yeah I just took it all.

  4. I'm lucky, I don't do that with hairdressers or beauticians. Just like angriest though, I've got a bad case of it with waitpersons though. I'm still seething about the incompetent boob that served me at lunchtime today.

  5. I think it's because we don't want things to get any worse. You know, like if you complain halfway through a bikini wax, she might just rip your clitoral hood off or something and say, 'whoops!'

    Grin and bear it. Beauty is pain.

  6. Once again, being a boy rules. Here is my latest trip to the hairdresser:
    "Come through and I'll shampoo your hair, Mr Franzy!"
    (One ten minute scalp massage later, during which time the temp girl is shown how to properly rub the tonics into my scalp by her overseer while I quietly dribble into my collar)
    "What shall we do today?"
    "Cut it short, make me look cool."

    That's it.
    Any problems?
    "Nah, make it shorter."
    "Yeah, perfect."
    "Yes please."

    Sorry ladies.

  7. I do this all the time too. I'm driving myself nuts! I think it's as Audrey says, we don't want to make things any worse, ruin our day any further. But obviously us ladies have been too well trained to be polite to everyone, to keep everyone happy.
    Guys' lives seem so much simpler. *sigh*

  8. it doesn't help when the hairdresser is a 'friend of the family' either. actually i think it's worse. i persisted, however, until one day i came home with my hair in the shape of a triangle. a curly, black, perfectly sculpted triangle. kind of like a hedge.....

    i did only pay $10 for the 'sculpturing'. i was foolish.