“I’ll just get the mirror and show you the back” says the hair stylist, “is that okay?” I pause for a second and take it in. “Yes, thats fine, lovely, thanks.”
I hate it. She’s cut too much off, the fringe is far too short and it’s not at all what I asked for. But I won’t say anything, I can’t say anything, i’m unassuming and reserved when it comes to complaining or even being assertive. So I thank her, pay for my haircut and leave, knowing that’s another salon I won’t be returning to.
Maybe i’m meticulous or maybe the styles I desire are unattainable but a chat with friends reveals i’m not alone. One friend loves her hair styling experience from the massaging hair wash to the glossy post-cut treatment, but another friend agrees with me entirely and a quick internet search brings up thousands of results and affirms there are plently more ladies with a fear of scissor-happy stylists.
My search also exposes that this not-so-rare phobia has a name, Weaslaphobia. Online forums are filled with girls discussing heir uncertainty of hair salons, but why? Some simply have a fear of sharp blades close to their head but most of the anxiety is related to the atmosphere. The stylish layout, the unforgiving mirrors and most commonly the monotonous and clumsy small talk.
From the time-consuming tangles to accidents with the bleach,”oh, it wasn’t supposed to go that shade of auburn.” What should be a simple routine appointment can be torture for many. The moment that fills us with dread is turning up for your appointment only to be told, “i’m sorry your usual stylist is on maternity leave, our trainee Becky can cut your hair today.”
Each time I visit the salon the stylist is mortified by my split ends, “you really should use a heat protector spray, these ends are so dry.” And they never fail to pick me up on my terrible habit of dying my hair with home kits, “you colour it yourself, oh yes you can tell.” I revert back to my six-year-old self being told off for not sharing my toys.
Hair stylists don’t seem to follow the retail mantra of ‘the customer is always right.’ You take your seat and are initially firm, “I just want a trim, two inches” you say. “Are you sure? A fringe and some choppy layers would really suit the shape of your face.” Even worse than the stylist with their own ideas is the stylist who claims to understand your instructions yet you still end up with a style more Edward Scissorhands than Nicky Clarke.
I don’t mean to sound completely anti-hairdressers, i’m well aware there are lots of capable hair stylists in the industry, I just can’t seem to find them.
Despite my apprehension no amount of leave-in-conditioner can repair the dryness my split ends are currently sporting. It’s time to make the annual call and if it all goes wrong, well that’s another salon crossed off my list.