The relationship between stylist and client isn’t strictly business, it undoubtedly becomes much more than that. The salon is the last establishment you’ll be waddling into with your dull, dirty, unkempt hair, but it’s also the first place you’ll sashay out of with your freshly cut and colored tresses.
A woman’s relationship with her stylist can become very personal, one icebreaker can lead to small talk, small talk can lead to gossip, and gossip can lead to a full-blown emotional breakthrough. Suddenly you’re in way too deep. Just as in any relationship—that is, unless you were lucky enough to have found “the one”—things begin to get dull, for both of you, and especially for your hair.
You’re suddenly realizing Lisa’s highlighting techniques aren’t as cutting-edge as you thought, she’s getting increasingly lazy with the scissors and being back at the sink for a second round of toning is pretty much a deal-breaker.
What can be daunting is not simply the awkwardness of moving on, but also abandoning the sense of comfort that’s already been established. To find a new stylist is to experiment and take risks, all the while hoping you don’t leave salon rebound, looking like you barely escaped a house fire. On the other hand, maybe you saw Lisa’s neighboring stylist, let’s call her Jen, turning an Ellen Paige into a Gisele Bundchen. Suddenly you find yourself wondering, could I disguise myself to avoid hurt feelings? Could I meet Jen privately for an in-home styling? Could I put a burlap sack over Jen’s head and toss her in my trunk? The fact of the matter is, when you and your stylist have outgrown each other, it simply becomes a matter of time. The question is, when that time comes what the hell do you do?
A lot of stylists–and by that I mean the few I know personally who have not brought the ruinous complication that is hair into our friendship–have told me that seeing their clients with another stylist is almost like seeing an ex on a date with someone else. This only makes a person considering leaving their stylist feel like the two-timing hair whore they are. At this point I’m left with what seems like the only conclusion to any suffering relationship: Lie. Lie your way into the hands of another stylist.
Like any two-timing hair whore, you’re about to do some things you might be ashamed of. Now, it’s one thing if the skills of a stylist at another salon have caught your eye, maybe that stylist has come highly recommended by a trusted friend with killer hair. In this case, the only logical, lying, cheating thing to do is disappear unannounced. Or if you have the guts, say you’re moving to another state and pray to the hair gods that you and your soon-to-be-dumped stylist don’t have any future run-ins. Don’t text, don’t tweet, and more importantly, don’t ever go back. Stylists know their work, and if you even think of rekindling things with the one you dumped, they’re going to smell it on you like another stylist’s cheap perfume. So if you decide to see someone else, be sure not to drunk-dial Lisa asking what her schedule looks like next week.
Now, as I had mentioned, it is very possible that a neighboring stylists skills have rubbed you the right way. This is when things get tricky, but with the right diabolical hair whore plan you may be able to make the transition unscathed. Call the salon, ask what days your soon-to-be-dumped stylist is available. In the most convincingly disappointed way possible, explain to the receptionist that you’re working, vacationing, or doing whatever two-timing hair whore lie you come up with. Tell the receptionist you’ve heard great things about this Jen character and you wouldn’t mind scheduling an appointment with her as a back-up. Once you know which days Jen won’t be working with Lisa, schedule your appointments accordingly. If the dumped stylist happens to show up for no particular reason during one of your appointments with the new stylist due to a change in her work schedule, or whatever pain in the ass reason, keep the lie alive without offending your new stylist: “Lisa! You’re never in the one day a week that I’m available since the new job! Luckily Jen’s here on Saturday’s or I’d be completely lost!” She might not buy it… in fact she definitely won’t, but she’ll pretend she does and at this point, that’s really all that matters. Inevitably, your new stylist will someday become the old stylist, and like the lying, cheating, hair whore you are, I recommend you lather, rinse and repeat.
Since I clearly prefer to take the low road rather than the high road, what route would you take and how?
Although the following scenario isn’t as common I believe, it’s important to quickly address: In the rare case that you love the way one stylist cuts and another stylist colors, do what any teenage girl in love with two supernatural studs would do, play them both as long as you can and then pick one. Right?