Random Inkings

February 12, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

Filed under: Random — Little Miss @ 12:06 pm

The longer I live, the more I realize how true that statement really is. After years of going to Gene Juarez and paying a fortune for excellent hair coloring and cuts, my financial picture changed and I could no longer afford my favorite color stylist. The tab there for color and cut was easily $200 every other month. Three months would be pushing it. I loved going there mostly for the ambiance, but also because I knew the training involved. Each stylist is specialized in either cut or color, not both. They go through extensive training of about six months after graduating beauty school before they ever set foot on the salon floor. I don’t think I ever left there dissatisfied, and my all-time favorite cut was from there.

But since I can’t afford it any longer, I’ve been going to the stylists at my local nail salon. One of the stylists there knows a former neighbor of mine and they’ve been friends for years. I figured that would be good enough of a reference, right? Well, there’s only been about one time in the four times that I’ve left there that I received compliments on my hair – but more than that, that I’ve never felt completely satisfied with my color or cut. I keep telling her to blend (as in weave the hair color with my natural color) well, and to give me a cut with STYLE. This last time in particular, I asked for more layers to soften the heaviness around my face. She crapped out on me. I have striped hair. One great big caramel colored strip going down the center of my hairline and it pisses me off every time I look in the mirror. In addition, the layers are so completely uneven – by about 2 inches – that she has to fix it now. And to top it off, she told me that she “sucks as styling with a round brush”. WTF? Don’t all stylists have that training as Styling 101? Sheesh. I’ve been getting my hair done long enough to know how it should be done.

I’m tired. I’m pissed off. My hair is the one thing that I have always made sure looks fantastic and makes me feel good. If I wanted a sucky haircut, I would have gone to Hairmasters. (I won’t mention the time I did and walked out with a mullet almost.)

I guess I will save up my money and go back to Gene Juarez. My girl there totally rocks.



  1. You’re a creative gal. Can you dye your hair and streak it? I’ll bet your daughter could help. Something tells me that you’d be better at it than the nail salon person, and then you could go get a fabulous haircut at Gene Juarez.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 12, 2008 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  2. I have totally considered that, MB. Maybe our friend Wendy (nudge: Wendy) will tell me the right products to go buy at Sally’s, and if so, I’m all over that like… well, I’ll just go do it. Excellent idea!

    Comment by Little Miss — February 12, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  3. Okay, this is long and I probably should have emailed it. It’s a topic I never get tired of, and I could talk about color for hours. Finding a colorist isn’t easy, and the good ones always charge an arm and a leg because their excellent products are expensive, and they pay for expensive color classes to stay on top of the latest trends. It’s a whole “Invent In Yourself” thing that big name product companies have going on. But it’s all reflected in the price stylists charge their clients.

    I used to get my color for free, and the girls did it whenever they thought I needed a touch up, or a couple of extra foils, which was every three weeks or so. I was addicted to a treatment that would have cost me $375 – $400 each time. But I never had to pay for it, so I was happy to go along with it and for three years my hair looked fabulous, strangers were always asking where I got it done. Of course, when it ended I was screwed. It’s part of the reason I still worked at the salon on Saturdays even after I went back to writing.

    Here in El Paso I’ve finally found a great stylist who owns his own salon and is really into color, and he doesn’t mind that I have long hair even though it takes him two hours to do it. And I mean he really likes coloring long hair … but I’m not going to allow myself to think about that too much, because I need him! Girls aren’t his thing anyway. But he only charges $65 for my roots, and now I only get foils once a year($150).

    I used to trade off with some hair stylists, doing their nails in exchange for color. Could you do this with your former salon, trade business for color? A newsletter, or an information packet for new clients of the salon? Designing gift certificates, etc.?

    I could suggest you get your recipe from your stylist and I’ll have a friend decipher it and tell you what to get at Sally’s. But the fancy salon probably won’t give it to you, although if they’re nice they might send it directly to a salon in Florida or someplace far away if they thought you were really moving there. The cheaper salon would probably hand it right over to you, minus some important ingredient or step.

    Soooo, if you can’t trade with your favorite salon, and you can’t your recipe, you’d have to come up with a whole new recipe. THAT is hard if you aren’t a colorist. Do you dare ask your favorite salon if you could be a guinea pig for their color class? Is there a beauty school you dare go to? They usually charge less than half what a salon would charge.

    Did I help? Or did I just bore you to death?

    Comment by Wendy — February 12, 2008 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  4. P.S. – For the record, I did try and email you but it came back as “daemon” or whatever that thing is. Maybe I addressed it incorrectly? 🙂

    Comment by Wendy — February 12, 2008 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  5. Wendy, so what you’re saying is I probably shouldn’t try it myself. I’d just be happier if she’d not do the stripey chunky color thing. If she could get the color right (that is, if I train her right) then I could splurge for a good haircut at the big salon. We’ll see how she does tomorrow when she fixes the cut and I tell her about the color issues I have.

    I do like the idea of a trade, though.

    Comment by Little Miss — February 12, 2008 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  6. No, I don’t think you should try it yourself because of the recipe thing. Maybe you should speak to the salon owner tomorrow and tell her what’s wrong, and ask her if she could recommend another one of the girls. She doesn’t care who does your hair, because she still gets 50% or whatever their deal is. You’ve given this girl plenty of chances, she may be incapable of getting it.

    When you see someone whose hair you like, you should ask her where she got it done.

    The trade may work for you at your favorite salon, especially if you’ve been a loyal client.

    Comment by Wendy — February 12, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  7. I had to laugh at the kitty picture…..my daughter had that poster in her room for all of her teenaged years. Can’t remember what it said though, altho I’d guess it was “Bad Hair Day”?

    I’ll be honest and say that I cannot imagine spending that kind of money on my hair. Wow, that’s a lot of money! I’m just too cheap, I guess. My SIL cuts my hair when necessary and sometimes it’s good and sometimes, well, not. Maybe one day I’ll splurge! I do love people working on my hair….very relaxing.

    Comment by Bev — February 12, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  8. Wendy, what about tips for those of us who are currently losing out minds and need a hair color change, but at the present time don’t have the hair salon budget? What about us, huh? Can you recommend some home made remedies? I’m ready to start buying peroxide and press-on nails, just so I can pretend I went to the salon.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 12, 2008 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  9. @ MBMQ – Do you have virgin hair, meaning that it hasn’t been colored? If you only wanted to cover the “tinsel” and that’s it, you could get a product at the drug store. All of the companies that make hair color products, like L’Oreal Paris, have how-to videos on their websites, as well as advice on choosing the right color and prepping your hair, etc.

    You could also go into Sally’s and ask their advice on which product to use, but most of them aren’t hairdressers and they might be guessing. If you don’t already have color, I’d start with something from the drugstore.
    Don’t use peroxide. 🙂

    Comment by Wendy — February 12, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  10. Do they even make stuff with peroxide any more? 😉

    I should share the story of when I first went blonde. I was sixteen or seventeen. My natural hair color has a lot of red in it. Mom and I went and bought a box. Some pretty ash blond color. (I was a blond toddler, so I figure it was like going back to my natural color. LOL) Anyway, my hair turned out ORANGE. Ya, it’s on my passport photo from then. I should take a picture of it. LOL. When I finally wanted to go back to my brunette color, the stylist told me I had to first dye it red to put the red back in and then tint it the brunette shade I wanted. But I’ve always been a blonde at heart and somewhere I read – and I believe it’s true for most women – going lighter as you age is a natural thing, which is why our hair turns gray (lighter colors). Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. 🙂

    Comment by Little Miss — February 12, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  11. I think the horror of that orange experience must be a right of passage for girls. I not only went orange, but I had a frizzy perm on top of it. I can still feel the horror.

    Comment by Wendy — February 13, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  12. Ha! Me too, me too! My high-school graduation was a horrible mess of frizzy perm growing out and far too short. But I was cute and skinny then and an honor student so I guess that made up for the stupid hair.

    By the way, I went back to the salon today and the girl fixed my hair. She did the layers the right way this time and took out the caramel streak in the top of my hair, so i’m a happier camper now.

    Comment by Little Miss — February 13, 2008 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  13. @ Wendy: Remember when I asked my mom if she was a virgin when she got married, and she said, “kind of?” Same thing with my hair. I put a few streaks in several months ago, but I’ve never completely dyed it. So, can I still go to the drugstore?

    I never had orange hair. Plum once. I was in a Clairol Hair show, and that cellophaned it. It looked awesome! You could really only see it in the sunlight.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 13, 2008 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  14. @ Claire: I’m glad your happier with the ‘do!

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 13, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  15. And also, that “you’re” happier with the ‘do.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — February 13, 2008 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  16. @MB: I so didn’t edit your comment. LOL. It was spell check, I know it. It wasn’t you! 😉

    Comment by Little Miss — February 13, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  17. […] I headed for Gene Juarez. I recently lamented about having a bad haircut from a local stylist on this blog post here. Since my roots were becoming borderline trashy and I was looking and feeling decidedly frumpy, and […]

    Pingback by Hairdressers are a girl’s best friend. « Little Miss Sew N Sew — May 3, 2008 @ 10:06 am | Reply

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