Shorn and Torn

Dear Reader,

Mamma's got a brand new do. I went to get my haircut today and enjoyed every minute of it - from the washing to the drying and the delightful conversation and snipping in between. The last time I got my haircut was in July (yes I was long over due for a new do) when I had the good fortune of being part of a workshop at a local salon. In exchange for being a "model" I received a cut, color, style and even make-up at no charge. I also met my future hairstylist, Steve. He had a vision for my mop which took into account both what I wanted and what best suited the personality of my hair.

When I first sat down in Steve's chair today, I thought it might be a rather quiet appointment as he didn't seem nearly as gabby as other stylists I had tried out. Then he asked me a few leading questions that led to an hour and a half long exchange, such as, "What do you do?", "what are your children's special gifts?", "how did you meet your husband?". We discussed writing (his journal, my blog) and how it has transformed our lives. He encouraged me to sit down and write, put pen to paper rather than fingers to keyboard, as the elbow becomes a B.S. filter between the heart and the hand. Rather interesting advice, I thought. He also told me that wherever I am right now is right where I am supposed to be, which I thought was philosophical, but could also be classified as a non-statement. For all the advice he had to dispense, he told me that it didn't apply to what I had been doing until that moment, but only what I did from then on. He's quite the styling chair psychologist.

Then he swindled me into buying $50 worth of shampoo and conditioner. I should tell you now that I had been saving a gift certificate I received on my 30th birthday to pay for today's haircut, so I wasn't planning on spending more than a tip today. I left the salon with a receipt for $70 (Steve's cuts are $20 more than a standard hair-cut gift certificate), and styling products that cost more than the average amount I spend on shampoo and conditioner for my entire family for an entire year.

I am not a spendthrift, partly because I derive great pleasure from saving money, but also because we are a single income family and we recently took a sizable pay cut in order to have more time together as a family. While our quality of life has definitely increased, the quantity of our expenditures has greatly decreased out of necessity. So that $25.00 shampoo and $25.00 conditioner are weighing heavily on my mind and my pocketbook, though they promise to lighten the effects of damaging elements on my hair.

The very small indulgent part of my psyche says, "Keep the products. You are worth it and your hair will thank you, although $50 is half of the pair of Danskos you have been restraining from splurging on." The much louder voice belonging to the practical part of me says, "$50!!! March right back into that salon and return those products. You can use that money for groceries, or even your next haircut, which you know you will put off for at least six months until you can do nothing with your hair except hide it in a ponytail."

Many people I know wouldn't bat an eyelash at spending $50 on styling products (and yes, their hair does look much better than mine), but I not only bat an eyelash, I drop my jaw. I just don't think I can conscientiously lather up and rinse that much money down the drain. Despite the swindling, I will definitely return to Steve for my next hair cut because I do like his work. My quandary is how to go about returning the products while keeping my pride (I've already ruled out donning a wig and over sized sunglasses to disguise my return). So, what would you do?


Strapped but Stylin' in the Foothills


  1. Well, I love the haircut. It's darling.

    I understand about the product issue - it's hard to resist. Can you go in there on a day that he doesn't work to return them? That's my only not very good idea.

  2. OH! my stomach just aches with you on this post because so much of it (all of it) I can relate to--from the spending of money, to the waiting six months for a haircut, to how good it feels to sit in the chair, to having less money in life in order to enjoy more important things in life.
    I think you and I could put some good time in over a cup of coffee together...

    (and for the record, I like sarah's advice...)

  3. Mark my wordsDecember 06, 2007

    Simple. Hold your head up, walk in with a smile on your face. Tell them you want to return these items. Don't explain (you don't owe them anything), don't apologize (you've done nothing wrong), don't disguise yourself (they will respect you more if you respect yourself) and as a customer with money, they should make you comfortable so you come back in the future. If they won't refund your money, smile and apply it to the next haircut. If they don't recognize that you hold the power in the relationship, don't go back (you owe that to yourself).

    I have a terrible time with being sold stuff, but fortunately, I am usually with my wife or my brother when someone tries to sell me something expensive. My support team can see the panic in my eyes as I am about to succumb to the pitch. They just discretely shake their head 'no' which reminds me I am not obligated to buy what I am being sold.

    Meanwhile, as I said before, if you hate to earn a paycheck and yet you find money useful, give the paycheck-earner a kiss and a thanks. -- Mark.

  4. Oh oh oh... I can SO relate!!

    A few years ago I was with some girlfriends at the mall and we were looking for dresses to buy and wear for upcoming Valentine's day. They were more well-off than I was and I got pressured into buying a black velvet dress for over $100. By the time I got home that evening, I was in tears, thinking how I could better use that money for other, more necessary stuff. Hubby returned the dress for me the next day and later, we found a very similar black velvet dress for $15 at Marshall's.

    So that's my idea.. get Hubby to return it for you. Sarah's idea is good, too.

    Love the haircut, by the way. It's something I've been thinking of doing myself these days, because all I can do with it is put it in a ponytail. sigh..

  5. "Shorn and Torn" - very clever, Miss Molly! Cute cut.
    I agree, just march right in there and tell them you changed your mind. please.
    OR email me which salon... I have a friend who works at a fancy one in town. Maybe it's the same one ;)

  6. I have had this exact same conversation/dilemma in my head before! I can relate oh so very well!!

    There is no shame in honesty. Return them with pride.

  7. I know and hate that feeling. BUT (and i'll play devil's advocate here) I use expensive shampoos and conditioners and I don't think they're as expensive as they seem. They are concentrated so you use less and they last a long time. But, yeah, $50 is a lot.

    (stupid google/blogger comments! http://kirstencan.typepad.com)

  8. I'm on the "Lorial" side...thier
    ad said "you're worth it" and you are! Cathi (who does my hair) say's they formula of the good stuff help me keep what is left of my receding hairline.On the other hand, you know how much you can afford and will make the right decision. Mom and I think the cut is right for you, we love it!
    Love to all

  9. Love your hair!!! Just take it back, all those people have been in the same boat at some time, we all have. Just ask for a refund and keep it short and simple. I know easier said then done, but I bet you'll walk out feeling great.

  10. Cute Hair!
    In theory I agree with the whole "return it with pride" sentiment.
    I'd probably just sell it on Ebay, though because I'm a wimp. People will buy anything on Ebay :)

  11. Cute hair cut! I just got mine cut too, first time since about June... sad... I know... I hate paying to get my hair cut as well.

  12. I haven't had my haircut since May, I think it is time. See if hubby will return the stuff for you, it seems like a small thing to do for someone you love.

  13. I love the title...and the haircut looks cute; glad you are happy with it.
    As a hairdresser, I would put the $50 to the Danskos. I agree with Marks comment. It is not uncommon for women to return products to our salon, even in a small town. But on the same token I know just how you feel. It always feel weird to return things, but people do it all time, maybe more often that you would think. And the receptionist isn't going to talk about your return over her evening meal. Have your mothe-in law do it...if you feel to uncomfortable.
    Just curious was kind of shampoo??

  14. I went 10 years without a stylist haircut (Donna and I used to cut each other's hair on her front lawn, back when I didn't even have a lawn). It is such a devine treat now.

    You look beautiful and I can't wait to see your hair!

    I can take the product back for you if you want . . . no one will ever know. There are plenty of great products on sale at the Beauty supply store all the time. Shop with me baby.

  15. sounds like a problem i would have...

    wake up tomorrow and listen to your gut...

    if it says take it back, stand tall and go...if it says, hold on to it...breath deep every time you use it and enjoy.

  16. What about returning the shampoo and keeping the conditioner? Tell them that it's not in your budget, but you would like to keep one. I doubt they will care, but I understand not wanting to return something.

  17. i came late to this party, and it's so great your wonderful husband took everything back for you :^) but my first thought was .. "i'd ask my mom to do it!"

    i'm 40 and i still ask my mom to return things for me! lol

  18. I have so much to say here! I too just got my first haircut since July, last week. It felt wonderful, though I am still able to go to the ponytail adn wimped out on the more radical cut. Your's is fabulous. Having just gotten Danskos as my big birthday present (my idea, paid for by my generous husband)I'd pick the shoes.



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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