DEAR ABBY: I was going to a hair salon about five times a year to have my hair cut and styled. A few months back, the owner, who had always cut my hair, went out on maternity leave, so another stylist cut my hair. I mentioned to her that, as I have gotten older, my hair has thinned, that I hated how it looked and didn't know how to cut it anymore. She gave me a beautiful cut.
When the owner returned, I asked her to follow the cut, but she didn't do it exactly, and refused to ask the woman who had done it how it was done.
When it was time for my next haircut, I called and asked the stylist to cut my hair again, but she hesitated. Her reply was, "If my son isn't sick." Abby, the appointment I was scheduling was two weeks away. I "got the message," and I am now patronizing another salon.
I thought beauty salons were a business and not just about "I saw you first!" Is there some unwritten rule in the beauty business that whoever cuts your hair when you first got there is your stylist forever? I'm unhappy now, and they lost a customer. Who wins? -- CUT SHORT IN VIRGINIA
DEAR CUT SHORT: This wasn't a matter of "I saw you first." You were the salon owner's steady customer. If you wanted to change stylists, you should have had the courage to tell the salon owner that you wanted to make a change and not put the other hairstylist on the spot.
Yes, hairstyling is a business, but stylists often forge personal relationships with long-standing clients. Out of respect for the owner's feelings, you should have made your wishes known directly so there could be no misunderstanding.