I wanted something unusual done to my hair.
After several consultations in the city I decided on Daniel Galvin, off Portman Square and Bond Street. An expensive, swanky, part of town.
Known for his expertise in hair colour I was persuaded by the promises his staff made. My friendly hairdresser upstairs honestly told me she would rather not tackle my request but felt confident that Daniel, or at least his salon, was my man…after my blue eyed cowboy of course!
Off I went, excited and prepared to be pampered and transformed.
My colourist, her junior and her advising manager, kept my head back in a neck lock for five hours.
They were raving about my hair and congratulating one another. High fives were raining overhead.
I was finally allowed to sit up and admire my new look in the mirror.
My hair was still wet so I reserved any comments until I’d had it blow dried.
Then they called other colourists over to view their handiwork and looked at me through the mirror,
“How do you like it?” they asked.
I was dumbfounded and my head ached.
“What have you been doing for five hours?” my blue eyed cowboy showed up just in time.
The salonists continued with their praises and I stood up,
“Do we have to pay for this?” I whispered in my cowboy’s ear.
He nodded. I followed him to reception feeling like the Empress with her new clothes. I knew that nothing had changed, everyone else seemed to think it had. I was experiencing a very odd feeling. What they were seeing was not being reflected in my side of the mirror. We went home.
Several ibuprofen and a cup of tea later I called my friendly hairdresser upstairs, downstairs, to look at my hair,
“Can I be honest?” she said.
“You wouldn’t be my friend if you weren’t,” I replied.
“I could have done that!”
“I know, and so could I,” and I burst into tears!
My southern gentleman went into knight errant mode. He called the salon and complained, kicked up the dust, located the powers that be with a few choice words and made me a new appointment.
He took me back to face my fears. Behind my calm and collected countenance I was kicking and screaming.
As I walked through the salon door I’d like to say I was pleasantly surprised by my positive reception, but on the contrary, here the customer is not always right.
The colourist, with whom I’d spent five hours, met my eyes and with a snap of the head that would have made a ballerina proud walked off into the hair dryers.
The advising manager, with whom I was “consulting,” stood at the end of the reception desk tapping her foot and staring me down with a smile that matched the -14 degrees C. outside.
I handed my coat in at the cloakroom, took a gown and went to her proferred chair. There she proceeded to explain to me that she could only work with the canvas available to her and this was the best she could do. I dislike and dread those types of comments.
Her boss was summoned, he ran his comb through my hair and said,
“We don’t want to make the condition of your hair any worse than it already is.” I shook my head.
“I was told you could achieve the results I wanted, a gentle blending of my natural hair colour into the dark brown of the L’Oreal tint, immediately. That is why I made an appointment here and didn’t go somewhere else.” I knew I was fighting a losing battle but my tongue rattled on without me.
“Impossible,” he said! ”If we did what you wanted you’d be going home with your hair in a bag!”
Funny…that’s what my friendly hairdresser upstairs and all the other salons I’d visited had said!
Daniel’s staff had led me to believe otherwise.
“Over time,” the icy advising manager modified, “I didn’t promise immediately.” She also hadn’t said “impossible” which was the word of the day after taking my money!
“Look, I don’t want you to leave the salon dis-satisfied, why don’t you stay and we’ll repeat the process or you can come back in six weeks and we’ll do a complimentary highlight for you…though it may have a yellow tinge…”
Yellow, I thought, how attractive does that sound?
I breathed a deep ujjayi breath,
“Pass me my hat please,” I said to my blue eyed cowboy.
“I don’t think I’ll stay or come back,” I purred and left, a very dis-satisfied customer!
The lessons I learned are these:
No haircut or colour is worth hundreds of pounds. This fancy salon is only a salon when all’s said and done. There are no magic tricks to justify a £300.00 tag.
A hairdresser is a hairdresser a colourist is a colourist. Some luck out and attract celebrities and by that association only, are they able to hike the prices, it has nothing to do with any special talent.
No-one has the right to be disdainful about my strong, thick, coarse hair. Hairdressers with thin balding tates are desperately jealous!
Together my friendly hairdresser upstairs and I are working on changing my tresses one hair at a time.
Stayed posted for more…