For you readers who have been around awhile….
Remember the struggles Emily had with getting her hair done? I think hair care was one of her big weaknesses (as eating out is one of mine). Way back then, I remember commenting on one of her posts about the issue. For the first 3 years that I lived in Arizona (before I had babies), I would always go to the Aveda Institute to get my hair done. I LOVE Aveda (I’ve talked about their fabulous lotion before, too)!! They’re quite pricey, but the institute is a school, so you’re getting your hair done by someone who is learning. This worked great for awhile, but the problem with a school is that the people working there are new (duh!). Because of this, they take foreeeever to do your hair. I’m talking – a hair cut can take 2 hours. If you need a color (I usually do a partial highlight) in addition to the color, kiss a solid 5-6 hours of your life goodbye (and sometimes they have to schedule the procedures on different days!!!)
Once I had kids, this was no longer a viable option. In the pre-baby days, I lived by the mantra “I have more time than money,” so I was willing to get a 6 hour cut and color if it meant I was paying a fraction of the price. But with babies, time = money. Who is watching my kids? My husband works every day, so I’d have to be paying a sitter for those 6 hours. Suddenly, my half-price hair is not so cheap after all.
So once I had babies I transitioned to using Groupons. I would buy a different Groupon every time I needed my hair done. I would get lots of great deals (like $35 for cut + color), but I’d be going someplace new and foreign every time.
The last time I got my hair done it was a disaster of epic proportions. It was so horrendous that I yelped all about the terrible experience (which is why I am able to copy/paste this review for you and know that this is 100% accurate, not at all exaggerated in any way):
I bought a Groupon here after reading the rave reviews. Unfortunately I was super disappointed by the whole experience and do not plan on returning.
First thing is just weird – I had originally booked my appt for a Wednesday. I got a call the Saturday before at 8pm asking me to reschedule (so weird to call on a Saturday evening???), so I changed my appt to Friday.
2 – But when I got in Friday morning, my person was running behind then made some remark about how Fridays are crazy and I shouldn’t have booked a Friday (ummm, I tried to book a Wednesday – YOU made me reschedule).
3 – Because of my Groupon the person doing my hair knew I wanted a partial highlight and cut, but she didn’t ask me a single question. What color for the highlights? Do you want thick or thin highlights? etc etc etc – Nope! She just started working. I thought it was strange, but I didn’t have any crazy requests so I just let her do her thing.
4 – I was repeatedly asked to lean to my side so the woman could reach my head. I am not tall – 5 feet 4 inches – so this has never happened in my life. But I literally had to stoop and bend my neck to the side (like, putting my ear to my shoulder), causing a wicked crick in my neck. wtf? Relatedly, when she was doing my cut (I asked for subtle layers at the bottom), she asked me to stand up while she was cutting. Yes. Instead of boosting me up on the seat, she had me stand while she cut my hair. Again…wtf???
5 – The woman washed my hair only 1/2 at a time. As soon as she finished the foils, she washed the first half of my head. Then she waited 15 minutes for the second side to finish processing. Then she came back and washed the other half. I have also never had this happen in my life.
6 – Once my shampoo was done, I could see my hair color was definitely sub-par. There’s still a clear line around my hair from where my previous color has grown out, and the color she added does not match or blend my own hair color at all. I have a dark/dirty blonde color and her highlights are almost platinum blonde. Not at all natural.
So, yes. Perhaps I could have spoken up when she just started mixing the color (“Um?? Excuse me….Can we talk about my color before you just do it????”), but the whole experience was just so odd. Overall, my hair is livable and I’m hoping to color will fade. However, they will not be getting my return business, for sure.
This experience was back in March. It’s now 4 months later and I am coming up on needing to get my hair done. But now I’m at a total loss for what to do. I don’t have time for Aveda Institute, don’t have money for the “real” Aveda salons, don’t have the desire to throw caution to the wind and try another Groupon (I had specifically looked up reviews prior to purchasing that Groupon and still had a terrible experience, so now I feel like reviews can’t be trusted).
I’m leaning toward doing a grocery-store box of all-over color at home and going to a Supercuts or something for the cut (side note: old school readers, I looked up this old post from Beks, who got her hair cut for $13 from Super Cuts). I really hate this, though. I feel like my hair looks drab and “blah” with all-over color, but I’ve also had bad experience with DIY highlights (I feel like, to be done right, highlights really need to be from a salon). I feel like there are no good options. I’ve also thought about saving up my “personal maintenance” budget money for a few months, but it would take forever to save enough for a “real” salon (I only allot myself $30/month and most salons charge in the $75+ range for cut and partial highlight, not including tip). My hair already has the straggly-needs-to-be-done look to it, so I don’t think I can wait another 3 months (which would put me at a total of 7 months from my last cut).
Do I need to stop whining and just go buy a boxed color and DIY at home? What do you do to save money on hair care expenses?