Whether you are living the expatriate life like myself, or move around in your home country, you know that there is that moment, (usually within the first couple weeks of arriving in your new location) when you cast about nervously for a new salon and stylist. It's terrifying to get on the Yelp or drive by a location, squinting and thinking...okay that looks good (sweaty armpits...) I'll try them out and see what result.
Even if the salon looks prestigious, glossy and is perhaps featured in the town circular, the questions remain. Which stylist? For what service? In which moving box are the hats to cover a potential disaster? Just because a stylist is a genius colorist doesn't mean they can cut to save his/her life.
After one of these new and "exciting" adventures, during which I have handed over the entire contents of my wallet, I am left in nothing short of shock and awe when, I walk away from the experience without half my eyebrows and/or the hair atop my head. My question is - Lady/Man. You have just messed me up - full stop! WHY are you carrying on in raptures and bleating like a happy goat about how great things look just before you hand me the mirror and expect similar delight from me??!!
I have found it a good rule of thumb to diminish my expectations of how great the 'Ta-Da' moment of the reveal will be directly in proportion to the excitement of the stylist. The more swooning - the worse its bound to be. I've categorically proved it! *groan*
I'm not a great one for showing my displeasure with a stylist. Not so much as a mutter will one get out of me no matter the results. Insults, raised voice and refusing to pay is not within my wheelhouse of reactions (I'm more of the tight smile and deer in headlights kind). I think I could do better though.
Aside: We'll have to talk about salon etiquette. I know some of you can get down right "burn the village and poison the wells" when an unsuspecting stylist messes you up. I feel your anger. Trust! But there is a time, place and way... that I'm still getting comfortable with.
As usual, I digress. The facts are these. It takes time to make friends in a new place and while I am not above it, it can be daunting to walk up to someone with good brows and laid hair and ask,
"Where did you get your service done?"
Some people are simply not forth coming. Stylist hogs! Others can be helpful. Worst case scenario they turn to you and say,
"Oh! I do everything myself! I just rolled out of bed and hit the floor beautiful girl!"
To which I shake my fist in eternal consternation.
Moving to Saudi and getting back on track with my hair meant another salon search. There were rumblings and whispers and finally when direct colleagues showed me an ad. Naturally, I, the one with the hair website was chosen to be the first of my circle to go in to Healthy Hair in Saudi salon and subsequently be judged on the results.
I wasn't nervous...well...I was nervous in the way that one gets nervous when your hair is an unmitigated mess (ahem... timid hand raised) and you're having a new person get in there for the first time. Explaining the whys and wherefores of that previous experimental disaster when you thought you'd just - real quick - trimyourownhair (shudder) is daunting.
My experience was wonderful and I definitely hit a jackpot in finding Healthy Hair in Saudi!
I'm hoping that you will share some of your favorite salon's no matter where you are in the world!. Who knows, one of us may be in that city soon! Please shout out your city, salon and stylist in the comments below.
Lastly, I am not a stylist hog and highly recommend Healthy Hair in Saudi for hair types 3 and 4 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Lisa's fabulous personality and genuine care for hair is the best part of visiting her salon. Well, that and of course the comfortable slippers provided in a wicker basket by the door.