DEAR ABBY: I am sitting here half-bald after a horrendous trip to two hairdressers. The first did such a terrible job that I was forced to go elsewhere to get my hairdo repaired.
I went to the first salon for a simple trim. Although I explained what I wanted and even showed a picture to the hairdresser, I had the uneasy feeling she didn't understand. At that point, however, my hair had already been washed and I felt as though I had no choice but to go through with the haircut.
When she was finished, I was left with a disaster on my head. My hair was much shorter than I'd requested, with two thin layers that didn't blend together. I looked ridiculous and the hairdresser knew it. She asked me if I wanted her to take a little more off the top to help blend the layers, but I quickly said no. She charged me $24, which I reluctantly paid. I then had to pay more money to correct the disaster on my head.
After hours of combing, curling and crying, I am turning to you for advice. Can you help me and others like me by answering: After getting a "bad vibe" from a stylist, is it socially acceptable to refuse service (even after he/she has washed your hair)? What is the best way to find out what a stylist's concept of an inch is? If you are dissatisfied with your haircut, can you refuse to pay for it? -- ALL CHOPPED UP AND NO PLACE TO GO
DEAR ALL CHOPPED UP: You have my sympathy. If it's any comfort, your experience is not that uncommon.
Clear communication is the key. You should discuss your expectations in advance, and make sure they are clearly understood before any work is done on your hair. If you are uneasy, you can leave at any time, even if your hair has already been shampooed. You should not have to pay for anything that is not satisfactory. Reputable salons will not insist that you do.