Sunday, 30 January 2011


I’m new! Hellllp!
Read the articles. Read the stickies. Look around the Mane forum. People spent a lot of time and energy on posting helpful information for you. Honour their effort and read their works instead of whining for the answers served on a silver platter. No one gets paid for their efforts, no one is rewarded for answering your questions, so at least take action yourself by reading the stickies and articles.

I’m afraid of going to the stylist!
That’s a common fear around here. After all, a lot of people end up as members here after their stylist getting “too creative” (Giant air-quotes) and they now try to grow it back.
There are two good approaches to getting the cut you want:
Going to a drop-in place
The money-carrot approach
Going to a drop-in place is a good idea if you want something simple like a blunt cut. They know you probably won’t come back as a regular, so they just want to do what you asked so they can turn their attention to the next costumer. They have no interest in doing something “fancy” that takes a lot of upkeep because they won’t see any money for that.
Do stress that it’s just a simple blunt cut. It takes them a very short time and they can still charge the full price for it = It’s a high money to time spent ratio and therefore desirable. Just make sure you don’t enter at rush hour. Go when business is rather slow, like in the early morning. Even though you don’t want “too much attention” you don’t want them to rush it either.

The other approach is to have a stabile stylist. In this case you need to make sure your stylist sees that he or she doesn’t want to miss out on your business. Your money spent is worth keeping you happy for. This approach takes a little more time and effort but is good if you want layers or highlights or something else “fancy”. If you are going to a new place for the first time, go down there in person to make the appointment for another day. Feel the place out. Make conversation. Look out for red flags. Now buy a product or two to show that you have money and its worth having your business. Even if you don’t feel too excited about the product-range it serves a greater purpose. You can always find ways of using the products anyways. Getting the cut you want is worth that. If the conditioner is too rich for you, it can be diluted up. Buy a shampoo even if you don’t do shampoo-washes. Even though you might not want the shampoo yourself, maybe your man does. Or you can just keep it in the bathroom as a nice decoration (Like that expensive perfume that is too fancy for daily use but you still like seeing on its shelf) and as proof that you’re a Totally Normal Person That Uses Shampoo Once In A While. Or if all things fail, shampoo is good to clean with.
The point is that your stylist has a money-carrot. Do remember to tip. Do ask your stylist to repeat and confirm what you ask for before getting the scissor near you. Do ask him or her to show how much “X inches” is with their fingers. Make polite small talk, nothing too heavy that could be distracting the stylist.

Bring an elastic and braid your hair after if it needs to be contained. Don’t bother putting it up in the salon unless you bring your own, guaranteed hair friendly combs. The handling isn’t worth it if you don’t know if things are seam-free or not.
Don’t go for a wash, go for a simple “as it is” trim. Spend money on something else, like tipping or products. Even if your stylist is nice and gentle, he or she might want to bring out a hair dryer to get it ready to be trimmed.
Don’t go with very damp hair. Hair stretches when wet. Actually it stretches [b]according[/b] to how much moisture it contains, so go when its as dry as possible. Maybe the stylist “over trimming” doesn’t have anything to do with being scissor-happy but with your hair being too wet.
Keep in mind that a lot of members feel they are listened to more at low-end places where high-end places seem more interested in “showing off” what they can do with your hair. Especially if you want something simple, you might want to go to a cheaper place.
No matter what, before going, be sure your hair is in its most manageable state. Is your hair tangly right after washing on wash day and easy to work with on dirty day 1? Wash the day before you go.
Put your hair up in a style that can easily be unravelled with the least combing afterwards.
Braided bun = Bad. That requires combing before its flat down and ready to be cut.
Cinnamon bun = Good. It can pretty much be shook loose.

But last, don’t forget your stylist is human too! Communication is the key.

Will eating water chestnut/sea kelp/eggs/beans/watercress/whatever etc make my hair grow faster?
In my over 7½ years on hair forums, I have seen more of these threads than I can be bothered to count. The thing is that if one single ingredient could make a big difference in your hair growth, people would have figured it out by now. And everyone would be eating it.
But, the answer is probably more accurate as “Yes, but only indirectly”. A healthy, well rounded diet works wonders for hair. But even if you believe that eating X or Y will work miracles, you are still spending more time and effort on your diet than you would without. You will probably eat leaner and healthier, thus getting better growth, even though ingredient X doesn’t directly help.
When people start listing “Good for hair”-foods the list always ends up getting really, really long and it’s very much a matter of opinion. Just eat variated and traditionally healthy (Fad diets doesn’t count!) and you will be fine.

Searching (for short words)
Don’t forget you always have the option of going into Google. Simply search for “hair forum + [short word]”

Someone made a mean comment!
Stop. Breathe.
Now think about the most amazing head of hair you have ever encountered. Visualise the amazing length, the beautiful shine, the pretty colour, the thickness. Do you have the image clear in your mind?
He or she has received mean comments about their hair.
It’s true.
No matter how healthy and stunning someone’s hair is, they have received mean comments on it. Because this is the truth: It has nothing to do with the actual head of hair. A mean comment comes from the person who speaks it, not from anything the receiver did.
People can be mean. No matter their relation to you; boyfriend, mother, co-worker, people can be plain old mean. “Build yourself up by tearing someone else down”.
Don’t let it get to you. Everyone gets mean comments. The rude person wants a response. They want to see you upset about it, that’s half the fun. Come up with a funny comeback or learn to just nod and smile. You can’t kick people every time they say something mean or stupid (Unfortunately that’s illegal) but you can take the fun out of it for them by not taking them serious.

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