A Letter To My Hairdresser: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

By Bianca O'Neill
16th Dec 2015


Sometimes I need a little pick-me-up. A lil’ somethin somethin to make me feel #special. And sometimes the only person who can do that is my hairdresser.

You know the feeling.

You walk into your salon looking like a wretched sea hag who has been dragged 13km off the coast and left to wither on an island where the humidity is 1324%. You walk out looking like Beyonce at the Met Ball, looking serenely down at Kim K in a couch dress, from two steps above.

However, regardless of the tranformations I’ve encountered that would sit happily in an episode of Extreme Makeover, I’ve also come to realise that my hairdresser is not God. After all, God would be able to take me from a bad at-home black dye job, to Gwen Stefani platinum in one sitting. And I don’t even think he’d scoff at me when I requested it, either. *cough*

Basically, my hairdresser is more like a frenemy. Sometimes, I think she wants me to (hair) fail.

Last time I walked in, I was all like ‘hey gurl, can you just take an inch off the bottom?’, motioning with my index finger and thumb that I in fact did not want an inch off the bottom, but instead two-thirds of a micromillimetre. Next thing I knew, I was walking out with a #2 shave and a pamphlet titled, “So you asked for *just* an inch off the bottom: 10 things your hairdresser is legally obliged to do to you when you are the most annoying client in the world.”

She’d even sourced a picture of me from Facebook for the cover of the pamphlet, so I’m pretty sure it was personal.

The next time I went in, I fell for the big sell: I bought a $53 shampoo. Yes, I am that person. And all it took was the hair equivalent of #fatshaming. She #hairshamed me.

After tutting at my hair for a minute or two, my fave frenemy indicated that I was clearly creating my dry scalp condition by being a terrible human who buys Pantene. I should instead go for the burdock root scented version, purified with water sourced from the Nepalese Alps, collected by a sentient goat, and enhanced with baby tears.

Then my whole life would change, like that woman in the Pantene ad. Ironically.

Imagine my surprise when two weeks later a stranger on the tram peeled my scalp right off, like a large piece of skin-bark primed for canoe manufacture. My frenemy had struck again: She had directed me toward a shampoo that would make my appalling hair condition even worse - and sweetened the deal with a commission to boot.

I mean, that’s COLD. But also, reasonably brilliant because I went back and paid for a treatment to fix it.

So, I suppose there’s a lesson here for all of us: Don’t ask for the “Beyonce” or the “Bingle” the next time you go to the hairdresser. Firstly, you’re not Bey or Bingo. And secondly, your hairdresser is right up there on a list of people you don’t want to provoke.

Right up there with your gyno. But that’s another story.

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