Monday, 30 January 2012

Stylist speculations

When I decided I wanted to get some trims done, I had happily forgotten one important detail: It requires me to actually go to a stylist.


I don’t trust them. I really don’t.

Back before I started growing my hair out again and I didn’t care that much, they always wanted to “add layers for movement” or “thin it out”. Ugh. Even back then I knew my hair well enough to know that ended in a giant unruly puff-ball. One length blunt cut has always been the best for me. Some times I wondered if it’s because Danish stylists are trained on the dominant hair type of volume-challenged thin and fine and it’s because my thick coarse hair is so rare for a native Dane, but maybe not. On LHC there was an abundance of threads on traumatic cuts, “add layers for movement” and “thin it out” no matter location and hair type.

I have been lucky enough to avoid traumatic cuts, but I have still experienced enough of them to know that they don’t know anything about hair and the only thing that stands between them whacking off half my mane is my half-scowling-I’m-watching-your-every-move-look. I guess I have a way of radiating “I won’t pay you if you get “artsy” and I will make a scene”. Hah.

Even then I always ask them to show with their fingers how much they think xx cm is. They always show at least double and I always push their fingers together until they show how much xx cm actually is. Yep, I can be a condescending bastard, but it still blows my mind how often they mistake 2 cm for 5. Seriously. You would expect a 5th grader to be able to show that, but stylists fail it Every. Single. Time.

So far my attitude has saved me from any scissor happy accidents, although I had two minor bad cuts.

  • One was back when I had maybe 3 cm of hair on my head and I went to get the bottom cut to get away from the uncharming microphone-head look and make it look like it was actually a haircut. After the stylist had trimmed from the ears and down, she took a few cuts into the top as well. It was just a few quick snips that most of all seemed random and I didn’t get to stop her. I still wonder what the heck she was doing. Some sort of idea of thinning it out maybe?
  • The second was when the top hair had reached about mouth length and I asked to get the back cut back to the level of my neck hair line. The stylist used a trimmer in the back of my neck and I thought she removed some fuzz or something but no. She actually removed the bottom of my hairline. I had an extreme case of mushroom-head for a month after that. Uff!

I had two experiences with bad use of equipment…

  • Back when I had an ugly mullet-y thing and wanted to cut the hair in the back, the stylist placed me under some sort of rotating heater/blower thing set on such high heat that it made the skin on my shoulders hurt!
  • At around classic length I went for a trim and when I shook my hair out, the stylist wanted to take a brush to my hair to detangle! One of those wide paddle brushes where the “teeth” looks like little nails with a head hammered into the cushion pad. To make it even worse, she reached directly for my scalp hair! Sheesh. Even pre-school girls know you detangle from the bottom and work up!

I got a bunch of more or less bizarre advice too…

  • This permanent colour isn’t damaging!” Gag.
  • “Your hair can’t grow any longer than it was when you were 12!” I don’t even begin to understand this one! So the information on how long your hair was when you were 12 is somehow saved in the follicle and it can never grow beyond that?
  • “You must colour your hair to the colour it was when you were 12! That is the most flattering colour for you!” What’s the obsession with the age of 12? And seriously, like almost all leverpostej (That too dark to be blonde and too light to be brown-colour that is extremely common here) I was blonde as a child and darkened with age. If I bleached my hair to the golden blonde I had then, I would look like an onion with ears. No thanks!
  • “Your hair is so thick, we should thin it out” Yea, just what I need. The sexy pipe-cleaner look for my braids. And more volume.
  • “Your hair is so thick, you must have a lot of scalp problems and dandruff!” Huh? Because hair doesn’t allow air to circulate or something? Or is it like if you’re very tall, you will definitely have foot fungus? What?!
  • Not a hair advice but still, fresh from the stylist’s mouth: “You should always pluck your eyebrows in the direction you want the hair to grow. It will grow out that way next time the hair comes out.” Does this work on cowlicks too? I think a lot of people would love if that worked!
  • Stylist: “You should colour your hair this colour!” *Shows picture* Me: “But that’s just a tiny bit blonder what mine is already” Stylist: “Yes but it will deepen and intensify your natural colour!” Ehh…? So I should damage my hair by colouring it to almost the same colour as it is already?
  • The classic “We should add layers for movement” even though my hair is always up. Of course this would end in a lot of volume which I definitely don’t need.

Hm, now that I have typed all this down, I have talked myself out of wanting to go to a stylist here in Lund. Since I’m planning to go to Denmark late in February, I will go then instead. It can be hard enough to get what you want without problems even with a language barrier. I’m not sure I can do the proper don’t even think about messing with my hair-tone in Swedish


  1. I've had the same thoughts, I've finally decided to cut a little bit because the ends are velcro-y and sticking to eachother and there's old heatdamage there that I just can't save. But I don't dare to go to the hairdresser (I live in the same region as you do) so I force poor hubby to cut my hair with a hairdressers scissor that I bought (he doesn't do it perfectly but I trust him a hell of a lot more than any hairdresser hellbent on highlights and thinning it out for movement (Yeah, I've heard that a lot too, and I'm a 1a/f/ii so..saying that I don't need any damn thinning out of my hair would be to put it discreetly... :P

  2. I think the main thing here is that stylists see hair like yours as a blank canvas. They need to listen to client needs and in my area, people are very good. They even have combs that are marked with how much 1 inch is, so there is no confusion.

    The movement thing is huge, and every makeover show I watch, they add layers for movement. Sure looks great, but if you are a wash and go gal, it's pointless.

    I've had people thin my hair too and it's nowhere near the thickness you have. I don't get that personally ;)

    It's good you speak up for yourself. That's the first step in avoiding a bad cut.