Monday, March 15, 2010

When a cheap haircut goes wrong

A few days ago J got a haircut that went horribly wrong. In an effort to save money -- and ignoring my requests to cut his hair myself (this is where I point out that I'm pretty good with scissors and a comb) -- he went to the nearest Hair Cuttery. Big mistake.

Now I'm not one of those girls who shuns all low-end haircut shops. Supercuts, Great Clips ... call me brave but I've tried all these firsthand out of sheer curiosity and found results to be surprisingly good, not bad. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't think an amazing hair cut -- for men or women -- needs to cost $50 to $100. I've had expensive cuts in this price range that have been worse than $20 ones and made me nauseous at having dropped bank on such a hot mess. (On the flip side when my $50 hair cut turned out fabulously there was no better feeling.) So my disclaimer is that I'm not a hair snob and not all Hair Cutterys suck. But the Hair Cuttery J walked into for a clip recently was downright ghetto, to put it mildly.

I sat near the entrance on a bench and watched him take his seat inside. From the outside everything looked fine. The shop seemed busier than usual, but nothing was out of the ordinary, other than the fact that they made him swipe his card before his haircut, something about them "closing the register soon". Totally suspect. Of course J is a consummate tipper, so naturally he left a 20% tip on his card before even getting the haircut (which kind of negates the whole idea of a tip since it's to reward service, right?) *Smacks face with hand when thinking about it*

Well, J went in looking like Shaggy and 20 minutes later came out looking like "Guile from Street Fighter":
(His words, not mine.) J looked like he wanted to kill someone with the 15-pound hardcover lawbook he'd been lugging around.

"I'm never, ever going back in there," he said through gritted teeth.

"Uh, you look like Krusty the Clown," I responded. What else was I supposed to say?

"The whole time the lady cutting my hair was mumbling things under her breath, like she had better things to do than cut my hair. And look -- SHE GAVE ME A '90s FADE!" he said, turning around and pointing at the bottom of his neck. "I look like Vanilla Ice!"

Try as I might to commiserate there was only one thing I could say: "You do!" I said, doubling over with laughter.

He turned back to face me and seeing how angry he was just made me laugh harder. I mean, if it was a tattoo or something, I'd probably be a bit more sympathetic. But it's hair, people -- it's not like it wasn't going to grow back. Plus, I was getting too much satisfaction from the fact that it appeared J had finally reached his breaking point here on the East Coast. I'd reached mine long ago (I believe it involved an incident with public transportation and me losing it on a subway platform). It was nice to finally be in good company.

The whole way home J was silent, white-knuckled and gripping the steering wheel, mumbling something about how it looked like "someone put a hexagonal hat on [his] head." Needless to say once we got home he spent 10 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror fuming at the atrocity he'd actually tipped for before he placed a hair of scissors in my hand and told me to fix it. Asap. So I fixed as much as I could and though the fade needs a little time to grow out he no longer looks like Krusty the Clown slash Guile slash like he's wearing a hexagon hat. In fact, it hardly looks like ever he got a bad haircut in the first place, thanks to his amazing and talented wife (ahem).

Next time he promises I can cut his hair, but I told him I'd only do it now if I get a 20% tip in advance. (What I didn't tell him was said tip would come in the form of watching a Real Housewives of OC marathon with me, but he'll find that out soon enough, my pretties!) All that matters is standing in the bathroom, the color back in his face, we shook on the deal.


Abigail said...

I know he wouldn't have wanted that specific person to fix it, but he really should have complained to a manager. Usually, a supervisor will either do the cut him/herself or will assign someone to deal with it.

If he's looking for a cheap cut, he should really investigate beauty schools. I've gotten great cuts at great prices. And they run everything by instructors, so you can feel safe. Also, the instructor will make sure you're happy with the results.

Mrs. Micah said...

I doubt you live in the same part of the metro region as us, but I had a horrible experience in a Hair Cuttery too. I wanted a simple cut with one layer. I ended up with something that was ragged with no layers. I think the woman was going for layered but got ragged instead.

I felt so sick abt going back or even staying & asking the other lady to fix it that I went home & forced an unwilling Micah to cut it straight. Then I found a 2-woman shop in Greenbelt, totally random but they seemed nice and I got one to cut it right. There was a second family place I'd intended to check out in the same shopping center. Both took walk-ins.

AuntBT said...

That's so awful and hilarious wrapped together!! I used to cut my ex's hair, and learned that men's hair is much easier to cut than our own (I cut as straight as possible on my bangs, and still get a ridiculous diagonal).

I agree with Abigail though, I have gone to some of those places and walked out with a two inch difference from one ear to the other. I never complain because I get so angry, but it's worth it if you can stand being there a second longer (don't have to spend any more money unless you go elsewhere). However, blackmail so you can cut his and watch whatever you want is totally worth it!!

Andi said...

That is TOO funny! I don't think we have those here, but I have to admit these days I can only afford Supercuts. Thank goodness I get the same girl every time, I call and make sure she's in before I go. :)

I have had my share of bad hair cuts, one I actually paid about $50 for! If it weren't for the awesome job she did on the color, I would have asked for my money back.

Emmy said...

That is HYSTERICAL! I hope you offered to do a few razor lines through his eyebrows to complete the look!

Anonymous said...

What a funny story for you and all of us! Not for him, not yet anyway!

I totally cut my husband's hair, have for a couple of years now. I use one of those clipper things. He REFUSES to pay for a hair cut, but admits he might actually have to break down when he gets one of those real lawyer jobs. Silly boys!

paisley penguin said...

OMG - too funny. I have suffered at one of those hair places before and LOVE my hairdresser. Glad I finally found a good one.

PS - yep, seen that Steampunk key board before. In fact, an entire computer. :)

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Oh that is too funny...

I do cut hubbies hair (what there is of it) but I can't tell you have many times in 15 years I have forgotten to put the guard on the clippers and scalped him.

Not pretty.

And, though I am a bit of a hair cut snob (I on the other hand have a TON of hair that freaks even the most seasoned of stylists out!) - I'll give you a chance at those other places (I suppose) but there is just something about the name "Hair Cuttery" that doesn't inspire.
I mean what kind of a word is "Cuttery" anyways? And I'll be darned but every time I hear it ALL I can think of is the word "udder" - as in a cows.

Brianna said...

poor guy, I feel for him! I'm all for cutting corners, but I never go to any salon now without a personal recommendation from a friend or reading online reviews

The Depressed Yogi said...

LMAO!!! Oh man I wish you could've taken a picture! I've had way too many god awful hair experiences, so now I won't go to anyone but my lady here in Austin. Luckily she's not crazy expensive!

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

I always say this to people but never take my own advice - he should have complained! They're there to perform a service and he wasn't satisfied. That being said, I would have done the same thing. Walked out and complained the whole way home.

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