Hair Anxiety

by Sarah Knight on September 21, 2012

Last Saturday, I cancelled a hair appointment with only one hour notice. It didn’t turn out well.

I was running late because I had taken the kids to get their flu shots and it took longer than I expected. I realized I wouldn’t have time to drop them back at the house and then race across town to make the appointment.

I called the salon in a panic to see if I could get a later time. The guy who answered the phone was not impressed with my story (clearly he didn’t have children or he would understand how impossible it is to get a Saturday appointment at the pediatrician for flu shots).

He was annoyed and sighed when I asked him if I could reschedule for a later time. I could feel his eyes rolling, but he said he would check with my hairdresser.

“No,” he said with disdain when he came back on the line. “We are completely booked. And we have a 24-hour cancellation policy so you will have to pay for your visit.”

My visit was to get highlights. Without going into actual dollar figures here (which would scare me to see in print), let’s just say that it was a lot of money. And I would still need to pay to get my hair done.  

He asked me for my credit card and I said to send me a bill and hung up in a daze. I had been going there for years and had given them tons of money during that time. I had never heard anything about being charged the full fee for a missed appointment. My husband was immediately interested if it was legal (apparently, it is legal), but I was worried about my personal relationship with my hairdresser.

How could I ever trust him again?!? How could he do this to me? We were hair friends! I require absolute trust in any hair relationship. You see, I have had black hair, orange hair, red hair, and white hair at various points in my life – NONE ON PURPOSE:

  • Orange Hair: Sun In (if you were a teen in the 80s you will understand)
  • Red Hair: Another attempt at highlights with a do-it-yourself drugstore kit (Be warned: Anything involving a plastic cap and millions of tiny holes is NOT a good idea)
  • Black Hair: After using another drugstore kit to try and get my hair its natural brown again after aforementioned disasters
  • White Hair: My darkest hour. After turning my hair black, I made an appointment with a RANDOM hairstylist and he bleached all of the color out of my hair to get the black out. I can’t talk about it.

I learned two important lessons from all of this:

  1. You have to spend tons of money to get “natural looking” highlights
  2. Selecting a good hairdresser is very important

This past week, I’ve tried Googling for hair colorists in my city, but it’s like looking for love on Craig’s list. It’s scary and filled with risk. I keep flashing back to the image of me in the hair salon with my white hair.

I could still call back and grovel and pay my double bill and hope he will take me back. But that feels kind of dirty. On the other hand, my hair is looking pretty bad…

Do I choose my pride or my hair?

I’m still deciding.

Sarah Knight is co-founder of Mamas Against Drama and is in a semi-panic about her hair. If you know of a colorist in Atlanta who is amazing, trustworthy, and wouldn’t charge a mom hundreds of dollars for running late from the pediatrician, please leave her a message below or contact her on Twitter @sarahsknight. She will be forever grateful.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Solon September 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

Solution is simple. Find a new hairdresser and make sure everyone you know, knows the name of the salon that has this policy. I would also call the salon and speak to the owner/manager and explain how long you have been a faithful customer and just how much bad PR they are about to receive. This kind of disregard for their regular customers is ridiculous!


Sarah K September 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thanks. I have been thinking about calling the manager. I think it just bothered me because I’ve been going there so long and I had never heard of this policy before. I will keep you posted! Thanks for your support! 🙂


Laura H. September 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

Tony Crews at Carter/Barnes at Phipps is fabulous. He specializes in color (both de-graying and highlights) and is hilarious. He’s been doing my hair for nearly 16 years. He’s so great that I used to drive back to Atlanta from law school to get haircuts. Tell him I sent you. He also has no cancellation policy–I’ve had to bail on him twice and both times he emailed me to make sure my son was ok (both times were due to sick kids). What a nightmare story you have! So sorry!


Sarah K September 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Thank you!! He sounds great. (I didn’t even know there was a hair salon at Phipps! It’s super close.) And, “de-graying” is becoming more and more of an issue… 😉 Thanks!


Meredith September 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Ugh! I’m sorry–this sucks. That would feel like such a slap in the face 🙁 Hoping you find someone else good soon, or else you figure out a way to make it “not weird” and go back to your guy!


Sarah K September 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Thanks! I know it sounds silly, but it did feel like a slap in the face. Especially considering how much money I’ve given them over the years! Obviously, not the most important issue in the world, but it did bum me out. Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂


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