It's been a while since I wore platinum hair and I really miss it. I stopped wearing it so light because it was really high maintenance, relatively expensive to maintain, and I thought my hair could use a break from the repeated bleaching. But after trying out most of the colors of the rainbow I've decided I would like to be platinum again. Having just moved to NYC this requires salon shopping.
I like Aveda products because they are more gentle to my scalp during the bleaching process and they are plant based and more natural than many other chemical based brands. But they aren't cheap! So imagine my surprise when I came across a salon offering a $65 single process in their "New Talents" division. I am familiar with the New Talents concept because my salon in Atlanta had this distinction. They are hairdressers with less experience who generally do great work at a greatly reduced price. I was excited to find such a place in New York City.
I made my appointment for Wednesday afternoon with Christian. When I arrived, I was told that New Talents was "downstairs" and I was led to the basement. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice place, just very different from the spacious upstairs area with lots of windows and light. But it a good price, so I'm not complaining. YET!!
I stand in a very narrow hallway for a few minutes with no instruction and clearly in the way of everyone. Finally, Christian, a young, tall, lanky guy with tatoos and piercings from head to toe appears, calls me Susanna, and sits me in his chair. I tell him I want him to bleach it all out and apply a blue/violet toner. Simple! He acts as if he has never heard of this process. Nobody gets out of cosmotology school without mastering the bleach and tone. Instead, he offers a very elaborate plan involving 2 separate mixtures which is going to cost a little more money than I was quoted when I made the appointment. I ask how much more and he goes to "make sure" of the cost.
He comes back and informs me that my $65 color will now be $130 because it is corrective color and a double process. They always get you on that "corrective color" when you first go to a new salon. As if every other salon has screwed up your hair and they must now repair the damage. I mull this over for a minute while Christian continues to re-explain what he plans to do to achieve the color I want. So I ask him what the "maintenance" process will involve including the cost. He says, "Well, I really can't tell you that until we see how it grows out. I mean you may need a gloss, for an extra $30, you may not. We just have to wait and see. It could be $65, it could be more, PROBABLY no more than $95." That doesn't include tax and tip so it's really more like $115 final cost.
I am NOT happy. Christian does not know what to do at this point so he suggests we invite another stylist over for a 2nd opinion. I say that is fine and he goes to find someone. A few minutes later the salon manager is standing at my chair asking what the problem is and if I want someone else to color my hair. I tell her there is no problem. Christian suggested the 2nd opinion so I agreed to get one. She leaves to find my a 2nd opinion.
Several minutes later the manager comes back and says that Christian is now uncomfortable coloring my hair because he feels that I do not trust his judgement and he needs for his clients to completely trust him in order for him to work on their hair. OMG really? Christian needs a mediator to deal with a client who calls him on a bait and switch?
I decide this drama has gone on long enough and I tell her to send Christian back over. He comes nervously skulking back over looking like an abused puppy headed for the gas chamber. He apologizes to me for anything he has done wrong and tells me how uncomfortable he is feeling. I try to play nice and tell him I was just surprised by the cost and that it is not his colorist abilities that I am worried about. I did feel kind of bad for the guy. He obviously takes his "art" very seriously and I have really rattled him. I tell him I am going to need to think about it and do not want him to do anything today. We blame it on the front desk and part amicably.
As I leave, I can't help thinking if this guy can't handle a high maintenance southern blonde, how is he going to make it as a hairdresser in New York City?