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Haircut Part Deux
cap, captain miss america

This is what my hair looked like at work yesterday.

I always freak out a little bit before I go to the hairdresser. I know, it’s kind of crazy, and probably if I went more than once a year, I wouldn’t freak out as much. But I was looking for curly hairstyles online and if you Google “curly hairstyles” the first things you get are:


Yeah. I think not. So then <karnythia pointed me toward Googling Styling Naturally Curly Hair instead, which was significantly better and I am a little ashamed that I didn’t think of putting in the “naturally” myself. Sadly, I was also rushing out the door by then so I did a quick cursory look but didn’t really get to think about any of them.

I got to the salon and waited a bit for my appointment (the hairdresser was running late but was very apologetic), and then I consulted with her for a bit. My first disappointment was that she immediately nixed short hair without even seeming to consider it when I brought up the possibility. I told her that I didn’t have something specific in mind, but that I really just wanted a hairstyle that was an actual hairstyle and not just lopping off the ends. I said I’d been thinking about cutting it very short and she did the whole “no, your hair is too beautiful, you don’t want to do that,” which always kind of pisses me off because it’s a very objectifying view of women’s hair, as far as I’m concerned. But she had some suggestions and did listen to what I did want and knew I definitely didn’t want.

I got shampooed (the only time my hair has been shampooed in two years has been when I’ve gone to salons) and then they handed me back over to the hairdresser, and I talked a little more about how I didn’t like how flat the top of my head looked with my current hair.

She lopped off maybe four inches, so it’s short…er, but it’s not short. It’s still longer than shoulder-length, and she cut it at an angle and thinned the back.

Things that impressed me: one, she and her assistant put my whole head in finger-curls. Two, when I told her that I don’t use products, she didn’t push me to buy stuff or try to convince me that my way was wrong. Usually when I go for a haircut, I tell the stylist that I don’t use any products except silicone-free conditioner, shea butter, honey, goat’s milk soap, and natural oils in my hair, and they freak out and start telling me that I NEED products. But she didn’t, she actually went to the back and got out all the bottles of all their conditioners and let me read them and told me to pick which one I wanted her to use because she wanted to make sure that what I got was closest to what I’d get at home. One of them was silicone-free. So that was awesome.

Things that didn’t impress me: Apart from the whole “it’s a crime to cut your hair” bullshit which I’m kind of sick of hearing and definitely don’t want from a hairdresser, I still have split ends this morning. Which I don’t think is acceptable from a haircut at a ridiculously expensive salon, even if I get a discount because of my job. They always say to call back if there is a problem but I never know whether to believe them or not, or if they’ll get pissed off if people do, or if that’s only something that giant douchebags do, but I’ve never left a hair salon still with split ends.

She did, however, make my hair look like it has a style, and definitely took care of my complaint about the top being so flat.

So! That is my story. I have mixed feelings, largely because of the split ends and the fact that I don’t like a hairdresser nixing one option out of hand. But I liked other parts of the experience very much.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

1) I think the new hair looks nice!

2) I don't have words for how astoundingly frightened I am by those images you found. Brrrrr.

3) It's pretty messed up that you still have the split ends. I think it's cool for you to go and ask them dubya tee eff with that.

I don't think those pictures are scary per se outside of how scary modeling shots often are, but they are definitely not curly hair. One is straight hair that had curlers in it, and one is thick, wavy hair.

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Yeah, I am very open to letting stylists do what they want to do, and that is all cool with me if she had listened to what kind of short haircut I was thinking about and then said, "I think longer hair would suit you better, and here's why," but when people act like it's a crime for me to cut my hair just because it looks "different" it really bugs me.

The split ends are not really long ones; they're typical split ends of maybe an eighth to a quarter inch, some are a half inch at most. A blunt one or two inches off to start would have fixed everything.

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she did the whole “no, your hair is too beautiful, you don’t want to do that,” which always kind of pisses me off because it’s a very objectifying view of women’s hair, as far as I’m concerned.

Really? Why?

Because it enforces attitudes about beauty as a commodity that for women is more important than other concerns, and the idea that I should be more concerned with what other people think of my appearance than whether I am happy with my appearance, and reinforces the ideas that beauty and femininity are somehow attached to hair length and that a short-haired woman can't be beautiful.

In other words, if my hair is beautiful, it would be as beautiful short as it is long. Not everything is more beautiful just because there is more of it, (eg, sequins, or frosting on a cake).

Edited at 2011-03-16 03:32 pm (UTC)

Hooray for letting you read the conditioner bottles! The last hairstylist I went to did that. She'd never heard of the "no-poo" thing for curlies and was really interested and accommodating.

I'm sorry she ruled out short hair out of hand that way- very rude! She's supposed to provide a service. *grumble* Your hair looks great, though!

Yeah, I don't know if I would have cut it all off anyway, but it annoyed me a bit.

This hairdresser didn't seem interested, she kept laughing about it like it was hilarious and novel, which is funny because she had very curly hair. But she was very accommodating and didn't try to push the store products on me like they so often do.

Oh, and duh, thanks!

Edited at 2011-03-16 04:28 pm (UTC)

I still have split ends this morning

I have actually had that problem at fancy salons, too. I think it must be harder to look for split ends on curly hair (or that they aren't trained to do so), and while I didn't have the chutzpah to go back and say, "FIX IT," because I was seventeen, I totally agree with above comment that you should feel no qualms about doing so.

Okay, whew. I will call them tomorrow maybe.

Dude, that hairstylist story has me a bit angry on your behalf right now. The new 'do is flattering, but:

1. WTF about not getting the split ends--and not telling you if there was a reason for her not to get them (someone upthread mentioned splits perhaps being too far up the shaft)?
2. I get you on her objection to cutting your hair short; if I'm paying you to cut my hair ($10 or $100), I'm paying you to cut my hair to my satisfaction. If she's a pro in a pricey salon? I'd expect her to come up with a style that suits my desired length and face shape.

FWIW, I'm curious now about how you would look with shorter hair, but I love the volume she gave you up top. I also want to find a better hairdresser, because the dude who has been cutting my (cropped and curly) hair is really not on the ball.

Yeah, the curly hair thing is just a nightmare for finding a hairdresser. I haven't had a hairdresser I've loved since college. There are short hair pics of me in the previous post! My college hairdresser whom I loved is the one who did the cut in my college graduation picture.

Yeah, she didn't say anything about the split ends, but the only ones I've seen have been at the very ends of the hair. I didn't know you could get them further up the shaft! I've either never gotten that kind, or not noticed. I think she did a good job with the style itself, though, too.

Deeeeeeefinitely call back. I've gone back into a salon after having the worst cut of my life (customer service wise and the cut itself) and the owner fixed it for me.

I do like the style she put into your hair. It's subtle, but I like the body on top :D

I'm very grow-it-long/chop-it-all-off about my hair, and every. single. time. I get it cut "drastically" short, the hairstylist asks me about ten times if I'm sure. Yes, I'm sure, just cut my fucking hair. I understand that there's a lot of shock for some women who go from long hair to short hair the first time, but I'm always very clear on the fact I've had short hair before.

Right now I'm going through a hard time trying to find a stylist who will perm my hair (not for ringlets, but to give it a more defined curl all over) and NO ONE will do it. Every stylist I've called has said I "probably won't like the results." Not your hair is too damaged by repeated dying or your hair is too fragile. Just that I won't like it. Or they offer me a keratin treatment. Hello, I called about making my hair curlier, not straighter.

Yeah, I like the style, too!

The thing is that I might have ended up keeping my hair long after a discussion about it, but I've had a buzz cut, for god's sake, and I loved it. I know my comfort levels with different lengths of hair. I like it really short, ear length, or shoulder length-longer. I hate it chin length. And just the fact that she was so dismissive about it makes me want to chop it off more than I did before I went in there, when I was weighing the pros and cons.

That perm thing is infuriating. Do they think you're going to blame them if you don't like it? If they give you exactly what you ask for and you don't like it, it's your problem, not theirs, and it's fucking hair. You can do something else to it if you don't like it. If you were still in NYC I would totally give you a home perm <3

Thanks, I will call back. I just don't think there's any reason to leave with split ends; if she'd started the whole thing with a blunt inch or two off, there wouldn't be any now.

I think the new cut looks fantastic! It sucks that the split ends are still there, though. I don't think a call to the salon would be out of place.

I like the top of your hair! It looks fluffy.

Late to the call-them-and-get-it-cut-again party.

I had a green streak put in my hair when I was 16. They told me first time they weren't sure it would stay because they had to bleach my hair first to get it to take. I went back three times and had it redone. By the third, they were really pissed off with me, so I didn't go back and it only lasted about two weeks in the end. My hair doesn't take to colour well. Still, you paid her for a service and the very basic part of that service is "no split ends." If she'd done what you asked and gone short, then there would be no issue.

If you've got time before you go back, what about a bit of a Google and see if you can find an example of what you're after? I agree that what she's done to give you body at the top is great, but really she should have done what you wanted and if not, given you good reasons and alternatives. That's the sign of a good hairdresser - that give and take so that you can trust their judgement in the end (I also hate hairdressers who are at the opposite end of the scale and won't accept the responsibility of cutting your hair in a style they think you like and need to be told the exact details of what you want and do that and nothing but that. I much prefer a collaborative effort!).

I desperately need to find a good hairdresser. Alas, I don't see it happening any time soon and my splits are multiplying.

The issue here isn't that I wanted a specific thing, it was that I wanted to discuss different options with her and she didn't even let me discuss them, which frustrated me. I had pictures with me, but she didn't give me a chance to show them to her. So I didn't ask to go short, I told her I had been thinking about going short, and she said no.

But yeah, no split ends is something I expect when I leave the salon. I only get my hair cut once a year, the main reason I go is to make sure I don't have splits.

I hope you can find someone good!

I like the new style!

The first time I had my hair cut from mid-back to a bob, I made enough of a production about it that the stylist was pretty clear on this being something I wanted and had thought about seriously. (This userpic is from that event.) The second time, I sat down in the chair and told the (different) stylist that I had had short hair before, I knew it looked good on me, and I wanted them to cut all my hair off RIGHT NOW. She gave me a thoughtful look and said that she usually gives people a bit of counseling before they go from long hair to short but in my case that didn't seem to be warranted.

I suspect the stylist you saw has seen LOTS of people come in, hem and haw about getting long hair cut short, be shocked by the results, and complain. Maybe to her supervisor. And the "gosh your hair is so beautiful" line is a very easy way of saying "I don't know whether you actually know your own mind on this and I will try to head you toward the more conservative option for the sake of your peace of mind and me keeping my job".

Once you're certain you want to cut it short, just tell them very firmly that you've had short hair before, you know how long it takes to grow your hair out, and you want it short again. That should be sufficient.

Edited at 2011-03-16 06:39 pm (UTC)

Well, I went in and told her that I used to have short hair and that I had been thinking about going back to that cut, and that's what she said no to. I brought pictures and she wouldn't look at them.

I'm never going to be definite about anything, that's not my style. I want to be able to have a collaborative discussion with someone who I can trust to talk things through with me and go through all the options so I can come to a final decision, not someone who is going to shoot down the first thing I say. The problem now is that it actually hurt my peace of mind and made me feel really uncomfortable about the whole experience. I am questioning the result a lot more than I would have if she'd let me discuss it with her and then ended up opting for the same thing.

I hate it when a stylist imposes their personal opinions on what's beautiful on you. :/ it's part of the reason i rarely get good hair cuts. I had a stylist once who, no matter what i asked, would cut my hair into whatever style SHE wore. that was frustrating. And then there's my mom who would tell the stylist what SHE wanted with my hair, and generally they'd do that instead. Even when I was an adult. e_e

I think your hair looks adorable cute. i don't think it makes you look older, i think it makes you look like an elf. XD;

and yes, go back and complain if you still have split ends. my mother's gone back plenty of times for that, even having her hair re-cut entirely when the stylist didn't cut it right.

Yeah, I just don't necessarily feel comfortable in a salon. What I *want* is a hairstylist who will do whatever they want with my hair in the sense that I can trust them to make cool decisions I wouldn't think of myself.

An elf! I hope it is a good elf.

Ugh, TEA. You are making me want to go get my hair cut and I'm trying to grow it out! DAMN YOUR HAIRS AND MY SUGGESTIBILITY.

I'm hopping on two trains here, both the Aw HELL No train wrt to the split ends and the She Did WHAT train wrt to her "oh no, your hair is too beautiful to cut".

TANGENT: Back when Jon dumped me I had hair that went down down down my back and was beautiful (this pic is fairly close in color and how it was curling at the time with minimal encouragement, but it was longer by probably a good 8 inches). People used to comment on my hair all the damn time and it was nice, but good lord. So two days after he dumped me I was in the salon having them take it all off - when we measured the ponytail, they'd chopped 16-18 inches. That stylist (who I'd been with for something like 7 years at that point) and that experience of no questions asked beyond "just above your shoulders or just below your chin?" totally spoiled me. The next time I did something that dramatic was up in Spokane when I went from mid back to short short short a-line. I've consistently had issues since then (many requiring a clean-up trip) with stylists not getting my cut short enough in the back. It's like they don't believe me when I tell them how fast my hair grows!

BACK ON POINT: I find it really really annoying when stylists act like they "own" my hair. Yes, I do value their input on styles that will suit my moon-shaped face, but I want the final word. The way I see it is that if they do what I ask and two or three days later I decide I don't like it, I'll be more likely to go back to them to try something different. If they go all dictatorial on me, I'll go to someone else. Their loss of business! I mean, at the end of the day, it's MY hair and I'll be the one who has to deal with the cut/color/whatever.

Your hair looks fabulous, btw. And I LOVE that little bow on your outfit from yesterday.

I remember that! And I remember that photo; I think it might have been one of the first photos I saw of you.

My hair grows really slowly so committing to getting a short cut is hard! But yeah, I think that's a good way of putting it with the owning the hair.

I love that dress! It was under a stack of stuff in my room and I have almost forgotten I owned it.

I've gotten the "your hair is so beautiful, you shouldn't..." discussion too. My hair is very thick and I don't like to do much besides straighten it, so sorry, hairdresser, I'm the one who has to deal with it/look at it outside of this hair appointment and I know what I like :P I've also been talked out of having the section around my ears cut a certain way because "that's what men wear, you're not a man!"

I'm glad they didn't make you put things in it that you didn't want and I think it looks really good on you! I don't think calling back makes you a douche unless you were to say something like "*hairdresser's name* did a horrible job and I'm completely unimpressed with the service here".

I'm also going to add that I like your shirt in the first pic :D

On the "man" comment: What! I know what you're talking about, too, with the shorter hair around the ears and the trimmed sideburns, yes? I used to get my hair like that when it was short, too.

Thanks! It is a dress, and I love it. I totally channel Mad Men when I'm at work; I wear lots of little 1960s style dresses.

" I said I’d been thinking about cutting it very short and she did the whole “no, your hair is too beautiful, you don’t want to do that,” which always kind of pisses me off because it’s a very objectifying view of women’s hair, as far as I’m concerned."

SO MUCH FUCKING TRUTH! If I have to play therapist to one more stylist or stranger because they don't have long hair so I shouldn't cut my hair because "omg its so beautiful", I'm going to shave a swear in one side of my head and dye the other half green.

I know. Especially when it's hairstylists. You'd think they'd get over it.