Who’s that sitting in ‘her’ chair!

…….. Golden-locks and the Three Hair Stylists,

a tale that strikes unfounded fear in clients everywhere!

We all know the beloved fairytale, and we all know how painful it can be if your relationship with your hair-stylist is not ‘just right’.

Have you continued going to your stylist time and time again, even when you aren’t fully satisfied with your hair? When what you secretly wish is to try that stylist a few chairs down that seems like he/she would be a better fit for you?

Are you the one that’s gone so far as to change salons only to avoid the possibility of your stylist seeing you in someone else’s chair?…. please, say it isn’t so!

or…. oh, no!…. Have you been the one sitting in the new stylist’s chair while receiving death stares from your previous stylist?

Whether it’s the first chair and the stylist just doesn’t listen and does whatever they want to your precious locks.
The second chair where the stylist is so great and you always love your hair but they often make you wait or reschedule your appointment (omg! I hate this too! eeks)

Or the third chair and the stylist smells like smoke (YUCK!) and your hair looks ok but they rush you out the door…..
Well… with those you may be in the wrong place or surely the owner should be told because these are not acceptable issues…. but truth is we have all experienced this and it’s not ok when we are expecting excellent service.

Ultimately you are looking for the chair that feels just right. The chair you sit in and you feel listened to, appreciated, welcome and above all, looking your absolute best when you leave. Occasionally you have all of this and you are still in the mood for a change…. we get it.

I surely can’t speak for every salon out there but I have worked in several throughout my career and from the mom&pop small places to the uppitiest salons in the bigger cities, there is a stigma that clients seem to fear greater than having their bangs cut too short, and that is somehow betraying your stylist by being disloyal. Wow, even when I say it that way it makes me nervous too. My entire career I have seen this happen and I hope today I can set your fears at ease. First off let me say I know that uppitiest is not a word….. but I think we can all agree that none of us want to be in a salon where the employees all think they are better than everyone, including each other. This is the type of environment, I think, that breeds this client fear of being caught in a different chair.

One thing I can speak clearly on is that it has been my mission from day 1 of owning my own salon to keep it as free from gossip and drama as possible. It’s a tough stereotype to shake since we all watched Steel Magnolias and we’ve gotten the idea it’s normal to find out what’s going on with “Betty-Sue down the road” just by sitting in that chair to get a haircut and prod our stylist with a few key questions to open the floodgates of gossip. Some people thrive on that…. I

do not. There is plenty going on in the world, in the lives of people I care about and in the lives of our clients, that I also care about, for us to be able to have warm, heartfelt discussions and build relationships with people. We are in the business of doing great hair but if you are going to the right salon, then they (we) are also in the business of building a relationship with you. Gossip and pettiness don’t have a place in my orbit. They creep in now and again like your weed-choked yard in summer and like any good landscaper I pluck ‘em out and throw it in the compost. That’s just what gossip and pettiness are…. fertilizer… no need to use any other word, I think it’s implied 😉

Now you know what is the beginnings of avoiding the ‘death stare’ stylist…… being in a salon where pettiness is squashed like a June-bug in July (I had to…. it was the Steel Magnolias reference! lol) I’ll admit that sometimes it feels like a full-time job but over time the “just-right” crew is formed and you have a culture of employees who rise above pettiness and work together as a team. This is a source of pride for me because I have such a group and along with having stylists employed with me since I opened in 1999 and very little turn-over at all in those 16 years, I have a group that works together to provide the best atmosphere we can. A comfortable atmosphere where you can be you and be supported by a team of people that all care about your visit to your salon.

Let’s get back to that main point though….. what do you do if you want to change hairdressers? I say, go for it! Allow yourself to be empowered and make a choice in life that is based on what you want. Changing your hairstylist should be the easiest relationship to change….. Now you may need a therapist or attorney for those other pesky relationships…. not lol, I’ve been down that road too and it’s not funny.

Seriously though, is this about disappointing your stylist or a fear that runs deeper about change? I’m hoping I can empower you to make changes for yourself that suit you and what you need. As a salon owner I can honestly say that if you love the salon you go to, you like the owner, the receptionists, the assistants, the music, the atmosphere, the products and so on… then keep your salon home and try different hairdressers until you find the one that’s just right. Plus, I highly encourage you to try other designers every now and again simply for a fresh feel or fresh eyes on what’s best for you.

I can also speak as a stylist myself since I have been behind the chair since 1990, oops, my age is showing! As a stylist, ok, it’s true…. we do question ourselves when we see you in another chair, we get a little nervous and some self-doubt creeps in. We wonder if we have made you unhappy or not fulfilled your desires or worse off…. if we messed up somehow. In that moment though it also gives us an opportunity to grow…. to grow as a stylist and as a person. It gives us an opportunity to rise above and put our beliefs in action because our belief, at our core, is that we want you to love your hair and love yourself. When I first started doing hair I was terrified that I might make someone unhappy…. I was young and like a lot of younger people I thought it was my job to please everyone. Now that I am older, I know…. it is impossible to make everyone happy! Odds are if you are afraid to sit in another stylists chair then you also are trying to make everyone in your life happy and offend no one….. that’s impossible! Start thinking of your needs and desires too… please, because you are beautiful inside and out and we want you to look amazing but also feel empowered.

In our salon we actually have team meetings and trainings on just how to handle these situations. Hopefully we handle them with grace and understanding…. if we don’t then we are learning and we will do better and better. Give yourself the freedom to try whatever stylist you

wish and give us the freedom to show you we can act with that grace as well. Don’t assume we will be offended….. assume we will get it, cause we do. With that being said….. when your ‘old stylist’ sees you and they politely come over to say hi, talk a bit and hope you enjoy your service with their peer, trust that within our salon those sentiments are genuine. It’s what my staff does because they are good people and they want you to feel at ease. We know how difficult it was for you to make that decision and we are only saying…. we care, truly, and we understand. I train this way but more than that I employ people with great character. They are sincere so please give them a chance to also feel comfortable talking to you because when you are afraid, distant or cold then … well, hairdressers on our team have big hearts so be gentle. 🙂

All of our stylists are artists and like all great artists they create differently so if you are in a chair and you feel like your porridge is just too cold, or the bed is not the right size …. I was about to say lumpy but that’s another Princess story and a whole other blog on trying to please her! lol….. then get up and try another chair (with an appt we hope 😉 ) until you feel just right!

Sending you out good vibes, deep appreciation and a hope that all your dreams, wishes and desires come true! Dream and dream big! Thank you for reading and let us know your thoughts…..

~~~~ Jennifer Clay….. proud mother of two amazing kids, salon owner, Ayurveda & Meditation instructor, lover of nature and all living things and a creator of beauty in the salon, in her relationships, in the environment and hopefully in your world too. Namaste