I think hairdressers in my town are against me. Apart from getting a shaved head, or a dodgy dye job, I’ve had a lot of problems over the years. It’s taught me I should have stuck with what I knew for longer.

Why is finding and keeping hold of a good hairdresser so hard?

As a child living in the area it was never a problem. My mum just took me to a nearby village and I had no issues getting my hair cut, whether it was short or long. Going off to uni was fine – I was growing out my hair from having it very short until 6th form, but then had probably my first ‘style’ having it cut a bit shorter at the back, and longer at the front. The on campus hairdresser did the job, but moving off campus meant I started going to a good hairdresser who gave advice and made it look nice. And being up north it was much cheaper than back home.

hairdresser changes

Getting a job in Oxford was fine too – plenty of good hairdressers, and after getting bored at Toni and Guy, eventually I found one on The High who I liked. Then I moved jobs again further south, and would head to Regis in Watford who were brilliant. My good hairdresser experiences then declined rapidly when I moved back to my home area.

Regis was terrible – it took 2 hours for a stylist to tentatively trim my bob, and I got home to see I had longer strands that I had to get my mum to cut off. I tried an independent place but the owner was miserable and they messed around the appointments and who would be cutting your hair was different when you turned up.

Then I found my longest running hairdressers who had a salon in town. It was owned by 2 sisters and they both cut my hair well. So I knew if one had to cancel, or went off on maternity leave, I could rely on the other to be around to cut my hair. I would always walk out feeling good. When they sold the salon, they set up a salon in one of their homes. It was fine – overall I went to them for nearly 14 years.

But like anything, you get a bit bored, or the little things start niggling. My appointment seemed to always be changed, then because they were busy I’d not get another one for weeks. I’d had a fringe cut in, but after a while, it just didn’t seem to sit right after they’d cut it. I was getting a bit frustrated.

Then a friend mentioned a hairdresser she had found. I decided to try her, and as a first timer got it for a bargain price. It was a nice haircut, although the girl wasn’t really my type of person. But before my second appointment she left the salon, and was doing haircuts from home. Fine I thought. I liked the cut enough to go to her house, thinking it would be a proper set up. But she lived in one of the grottiest areas of town, in a shared house, and my hair wash was over the bath. Shudder. Never again.

So it was time to find another hairdresser, because I couldn’t go back to my old ones (plus they were selling the house, and I didn’t know if they’d stay in the area or leave hairdressing).

Another friend recommended another salon in town. A small place, but that regularly wins good salon awards from locals. I’d found my place. A lovely hairdresser who cut my hair really well. Was chatty but not too chatty. People would say my hair looked good after having it cut. And she gave me some good advice about my hair.

After a year or so, she got pregnant so passed me on to another similar level senior stylist who cut my hair for 18 months (as my original hairdresser never returned from maternity leave – I was gutted). My hair was always ok, but I don’t think we ever really gelled.

Then I had a bad haircut. I reckoned she was still drunk from partying the night before. I’d asked her to wave my hair rather than drying it straight and that masked how bad the cut was. The next day I washed and dried it, to find it was shorter at the front on one side. I had bits that were obviously longer. It was like she hadn’t checked the length at all.

Work laughed at me the next day when I pointed it out. I had to head back to the hairdressers at lunchtime to get it fixed. She sorted it out, but didn’t apologise or explain what might have happened. That to me is disgraceful, and I wasn’t going back there again if she or anyone else didn’t care.

So I was back to square one and was obviously going to have to pay more for my haircuts. I was already paying £40 with a senior hairdresser, but we have a lot of pricy hairdressers in town.

I was recommended one hairdresser and a particular stylist. The cut was ok, but I had to wait for her to turn up as I was the first appointment of the day. She then preached at me about changing to only use salon shampoos and conditioners and not those mass market ones (even the ones I know from former colleagues started as salon products). That’s not really suitable advice when other shampoos will do the job if they work with your hair. She was more expensive as well, but I didn’t want to go back again and be preached at again.

So onto the salon that’s the priciest in town. I get my hair cut every 10 weeks, and for another £5 was paying for a less senior stylist than usual. But it would be worth it if it was a good cut and we got on well enough. It was the salon my mum used to go to for about 20 years. You just need to find the hairdresser that works for you.

My first cut was ok but she didn’t cut it quite like I wanted. But she had lovely hair, wasn’t too wild and trendy, and was easy enough to talk to. So I went back a second time and explained what I didn’t like last time. I left happy with my hair and confident I’d found my new hairdresser…
Except 2 weeks later I had a call from the salon to say she’d left them. Argghhhhh.

My choice was either to go with a lower grade or a step up, as she was on her own level. I’ve opted for the next level up, and hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have found someone else I’m happy with.

I don’t know whether I’m just really fussy about my expectations. Or whether I’m just unlucky with hairdressers. It’s so much easier for N. I take him to the barbers, we have to queue a bit, but he’s got a choice of 3 or 4 men to cut it, and he’s not had a bad cut from them yet for a fifth of the price.

I think I’ve pretty much exhausted all the possible issues:

  • Losing hairdressers to pregnancy (unfortunately only the top people in local salons tend to be men)
  • Uneven hair cuts – it’s not like I have difficult hair. It’s got a slight kink in places but is straight enough not to be hard to cut. I want a bog standard medium bob cut, surely they cut these every day of their lives.
  • People leaving and can’t find which salon they’ve changed to
  • Dodgy fringe cutting – for a swept across fringe, I manage to trim it inbetween cuts with no problem.
  • Appointments being moved all the time.

I’m just wondering what’s coming next, and hoping that the next hairdresser I go to will be one I can stick with for a decent amount of time. All I want is to be happy stepping out of the salon every time, and for my hair to look noticeably cut.

Have you got a good hairdresser for life, or have you had issues like I’ve had, finding one you like?

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