DEAR ABBY: I have a terrific hairdresser I'll call "Jordy." He owns the salon I have patronized for more than 20 years. His work is outstanding, and I always get compliments about my hair. However, because of his latest price increases and my being on a fixed income, I can no longer afford his services.
In years past, the price would increase a couple of dollars. But this year, Jordy increased it 10 percent. I make appointments six months in advance because it's easier to plan around a set appointment than vice versa.
My dilemma: How should I go about canceling my four appointments? Should I write Jordy a letter? What should I say? We have become quite good friends over the years, and I hate to leave, but my limited income can be stretched only so far. -- HAIR-RAISED IN KENTUCKY
DEAR HAIR-RAISED: In light of your long-standing relationship, you should tell Jordy exactly what you have told me. If that is too embarrassing, write him a letter. Tell him that although you are very fond of him, because you are now on a fixed income, with the latest price hike you can no longer afford to be his client. Consider asking him to recommend a less expensive shop and a hairdresser who can keep you as well-coiffed as ever.
It's possible that Jordy's expenses have increased dramatically, or he may have become so popular he's reducing his client list. Whatever the reason, his response will help you get to the "root" of his price increase.
P.S. He may offer you a reduced rate, given your long association.