Curly Hair, Haircut Appointments & The Games I Must Play

I.  I have naturally curly hair. 

Only a few people know how to cut naturally curly hair so that it doesn’t turn into a frizzy, choppy mess.  In fact, I recently got one of those lousy haircuts, but that’s not the story I’m going to tell you here.

No, this story is about how it came to be that I needed to go to a different hair stylist than my usual one.  It is a story about how difficult it is to get an appointment with my usual hair stylist, who moved her business to Salon Lofts about two years ago.

II.  Here’s why.

As a client I book my appointments with my hair stylist online using the Salon Lofts easy, intuitive scheduler.  ‘Tis a breeze to use it.  Love it.

At first this process was easy and wonderful.  When I needed a haircut I’d go to my account online and look to see when my hair stylist had an opening.  Then I’d pick my appointment.

However, other deceitful clients have begun to take all the appointments that they think they might want.  For instance, if Little Miss Suzy Self-Absorbed likes to get her hair cut at a specific time on Wednesday afternoons, she’ll book all of those Wednesday afternoon appointments for months ahead.

Then, 24 hours before said appointment, our Little Miss Suzy Self-Absorbed will decide if this is the week she needs to get her hair cut, or not.  If she no longer wants the appointment, she’ll cancel it without financial penalty.

III.   This leaves me in a difficult situation.

Either I play this take-all-the-appointments-I-might-want-game, or I check online every morning to see if an appointment I can use has opened up for the next day.  Then I re-arrange my schedule to take advantage of it.

I’ve talked with my hair stylist about this scheduling situation, but here’s the thing: from her point of view this is not a problem.  After 30+ years of cutting hair she has an established clientele who will do anything to get an appointment, so she’s always booked with clients who show up.

Leaving me to play games to get an appointment.  And when that fails, forcing me to go to some other available hair stylist who, as this last cut would prove, ain’t so good at what she does.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

27 thoughts on “Curly Hair, Haircut Appointments & The Games I Must Play”

  1. Oh hair cuts! Fraught with trouble. Sounds like you picked the short straw this time. That booking system sounds like a nightmare! At least we have the comfort of knowing it will grow out. Speaking of which, I had my hair cut by the same person every 7 weeks (it was a deal, cheaper if you go every 7 weeks) but I got fed up with him paying more attention to his own reflection than to mine. So I cancelled. And within a couple of weeks lots of people began commenting on how good my hair was looking. Moral of the story, don’t get it cut so often! But I have straight hair, I imagine it’s a nightmare with a curl in it, lots of special attention needed.

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    1. Polly, you said it! “Fraught with trouble.” I agree about knowing that it’ll grow out. I’ll look a bit deranged in the process, but that’s the way it goes. Interesting about fewer cuts leading to prettier hair. There’s a moral in there, isn’t there?

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  2. You crack me up. I am glad to hear that others have frustrations to deal with – and that it isn’t just me :). I do not have a solution to your problem, though. LOL

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    1. Cheri, I think the solution to my problem is to complain about it here on the blog! And use lots of barrettes and hairspray until this mess grows out. That’ll help for sure.

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  3. Oh no! So sorry about your predicament. Our daughter has the same problem. She’s had great cuts and not so great ones. She also tried going with straight strands for awhile, but it was too much work. I love her curly hair, but I do understand how the weather affects it, too. Frizz is her mortal enemy. I do hope you can find someone that knows how to cut curly hair. Keep trying!

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    1. Beth, I adore how the one woman cuts my hair, but getting an appointment with her is turning into a big pain in the patootie. I can only imagine how much more frizz M must deal with down where you live. Poor girl. My heart goes out to her, a fellow curly top.

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  4. Argh! I can write about hair every single day. My hair is wavy in the back. That means it flips out in whipperdoodles if not cut correctly. I am also trying to get a more stylish cut that doesn’t look like an 80 year old woman (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). It’s been a nightmare. One stylist cuts the top perfectly but the whipperdoodles well, they whipper. Another cuts the back perfectly but the top, yikes! This last trip (last week) I took all my notes on cutting each section and she ignored them. She does a half hour cut and doesn’t like fussing. Now I’m in the market for another stylist yet again but I have a lead…..I never heard of Salon Lofts although some of the chains here have on line appointments. I would love that but what you are telling me is awful. Too bad you are not closer, I know a great stylist who specializes in curly hair. She studied under Ouidad in NYC and she does great work. I have gone to her and love her but she’s expensive and hard to get into.

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    1. Kate, I tried explaining to this latest woman how my hair works [similar problem to yours], but she ignored me. Nice enough girl, quiet– but determined to cut my hair the way she wants it to be.

      I’ve heard of the Ouidad salons. There’s one somewhere in the area, but I’ve also heard that it costs around $100.00 per cut– which ain’t gonna happen! I’m convinced that somewhere out there in this city of 2 million there is another person who can cut curly hair AND I can get an appointment with. Just have to find him or her.

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      1. When you are out, look for someone with nice curly hair and ask where they get it cut. Peggy (the Ouidad person) doesn’t charge that much. She was $45 five years ago so I expect she’s close to $60 now. Still pricey for me and she’s still hard to get into.

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    1. lovetotrav, you said it. I thought that the online scheduling would be great, but it has turned into a challenge for me. Pity, because I like my current stylist, but I’m not so thrilled with playing games to get an appointment. Life is too short for such things, imho.

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  5. Oh, this isn’t funny. Our hairstyle is like an outfit we wear every single day. And if my hair isn’t looking good, I feel like crap. Period.

    The fact that this salon/stylist thinks the scheduling issue is perfectly okay shows that there isn’t much thought put into individual customer service. Maybe start calling other hair salons and ask if they have a Curly Hair Specialist. Or ask friends whom you trust where they go for a haircut and call those places with the same question.

    I recently had to change style salons (for an entirely different reason). I visited a few, just to get a feel for the atmosphere, and then looked at prices. I found a good one that way.

    But, yeah, I completely understand your concern.

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    1. nance, the thing about my preferred stylist is that she’s nearing retirement age and, while a nice person, I get the impression that she’s on her way out of the business, so she doesn’t care about scheduling difficulties any more.

      I tried this new woman after being told by 2 people that she was THE person to go to if you have curly hair. She didn’t do a great job and I’ve come to realize, upon contemplation, that her strength is with long curly hair, not my short bobbed style.

      I have the name of another stylist who also works in a Salon Loft [different location]. She cuts the hair of a medical assistant who I know & I’ll try her next… but getting to her will be a half hour drive through city traffic + finding parking once I’m there. *sigh*

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  6. I haven’t found anyone I wanted to go to twice in years. What I hate is the person who tells me that they love to cut curly hair then pull it straight and cut it to length. I wish you good luck. You are in a large area so surely there is someone that knows how.

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    1. Zazzy, I’ve had stylists do what you described. The result is a mess. I keep thinking that in this large of city I’ll find someone who knows how to keep my short bob bobbing. I may be delusional or determined, not sure which.

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  7. This post gives me another one of my, “What is up with people?” moments. Apparently I am naive, because it would never occur to me to do this, and if it did, I never would, anyway. Wouldn’t it just feel inherently wrong? It certainly betrays the golden rule. I always schedule my haircuts online too. Now I know why my stylist is always so booked…

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    1. Carrie, I agree with you. I’d feel like I was doing something wrong and inconsiderate and pathetic if I took all of a certain appointment time, just in case. But that’s what is happening, so I’m adapting as best I can. Which means that I’m making ONE appointment months in advance while searching for someone new to cut my curly mess. Nutty problem, huh?

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  8. There is a special bond between women and their hair stylists. No man understands this. My husband goes to whoever happens to have an available appointment and would never think of booking up appointments to the determent of others!

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    1. Andra, you said it! I don’t want to cheat on my favorite stylist, but when I can’t get an appointment and my curly mop gets too out of control, what choice do I have?!! Now if I went to someone named Charmaine, I’m sure that I’d remain faithful… if only because of her name. It’s wonderful.

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  9. I don’t have the curly hair issue, but I do have the COWLICK problem. I have many of them and they must be treated with kid gloves, especially the one in my bangs. I’ve had to train my latest hairdresser, “Tina” to trim the bangs when they’re dry and to layer the sides a bit more because my hair is thick. I think what those people do is very unethical. (but one bad haircut could cure me of my scruples!) 😉

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    1. Margaret, it is rather unethical to take all those appointments knowing that you’ll use only one of them. But you’re onto the reality of my situation, if I want to get a great haircut I have to play the game. Scruples be damned. The whole situation is stupid! Good luck with your cowlick and Tina. I’m sure that you’ll train her in no time.

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