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I Cheated On My Hairstylist: Oh, the Drama!

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Ellen S: The Friday before my high-school reunion, I went to get my hair colored. It was a biggie reunion, and damned if I was going to be flashing any grays. I went to "L," the sweet colorist I've been seeing for the past few years, and we adjusted the formula a bit. The last few dye jobs had worn off more quickly than usual, and she'd been trying to address that. We chatted about work, my kids, her boyfriend, life, and then I ran out of there with my hair wet since I had to get home.

woman upset with her hair

When I finally took a look at my hair later that night (this is what happens when you have kids: You practically need to schedule an appointment to take a look at yourself in a mirror), it looked different than usual. It was slightly darker. It looked a little dull in spots. It looked (horrors!) DYED. I am all about the natural look, no matter if it comes from a bottle or I use nine types of makeup to achieve it.

I went back to the salon the next morning and told L my hair was off. She peered at it. "I think it looks fine!" she said brightly. I asked her to come outside in daylight and take another look. She did. "I think it looks pretty!" she said.

That was the moment I knew it was over. If L kept insisting everything was OK, despite the fact that I clearly wasn't happy, we were no longer connecting on an emotional level.

I e-mailed the salon owner. She suggested I book an appointment with a different person on a day L was out. I was shocked: She was endorsing an affair? Still, I said yes. The salon is one of the best in my area, and it's just a three-minute drive from my house. I couldn't resist its lures.

The day before my appointment with the new colorist, "D," I called the salon anonymously and asked whether L was going to be in the next day. When the receptionist said no, I knew I'd be safe. I just couldn't bear to face L while I was in the hands of another colorist.

D did a nice job. My hair is back to its usual natural-look-dyed existence. Me, I am still torn. I don't want to have to schedule appointments for the rest of my life (or, OK, at least the next year) based solely on when L is going to be out. Nor do I want to face her, because she's genuinely nice and I know I'll bum her out.

I have turned into the equivalent of that boyfriend who weaselly-worms his way out of a relationship without a formal goodbye. And man, am I feeling guilty.

Where are the support groups for this sort of thing?!

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125 comments so far | Post a comment now
pepper June 5, 2010, 12:39 PM

Maybe she needs to know that she lost a client and step it up with her job. As a hairstylist no matter how close I get to my clients I know I need to always veiw it as a business and keep my clients happy by doing a good job. Like any job if you mess up you pay the price.

MySalonScoop June 5, 2010, 6:28 PM

I noticed you said “sweet” colorist not great colorist. It would have been better if the salon owner did not suggest a covert operation to correct the job. Good karma rules say that you should tell L. so that she may someday be moved to step up her game.

Anonymous June 5, 2010, 9:55 PM

i dont think she is going to be that upset. i mean its YOUR hair, YOUR choice. get over it.

brei July 14, 2010, 8:27 PM

She is a professional stylist/colorist and she’s slipping on her job. She’s sweet but you’re not paying her for her personality, you’re paying her for a service. I’d leave a note at her station,if you’re uncomfortable speaking directly to her,let her know that the last few services with her was not up to your standards. You had to make an appt with a different colorist in the salon to correct the matter and now you will be coming to see your new colorist from now on. She will be upset but if she’s a professional, mature person she might check her work and listen to a paying customer next time.

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