Okay, I admit it was not my regular stylist (who is both skilled and personable). But this was a last-minute thing--I was called at 9:30 for a job interview at 1:30 and my hair was completely hopeless, so I called around for an appointment. My regular was booked solid and so was the next salon I called, and the last one on the list said "Sure, come on in."
Perhaps I should have been warned. I certainly warned HER, telling her on the phone "Oh, you should probably warn the stylist, I have waist-length hair."
Her reply was "Wow, okay. See you in a few," as though she styled long hair every day.
When I arrived, I found that I had spoken with the owner, who was also going to do my hair.
Her first mistake was trying to comb out my hair from the top down while it was wet. (First time I've ever had a stylist even try it, I thought they covered combing-from-the-end in beauty college.)
After a few knots and consequent "Ow"s on my part, I asked if she had any leave-in conditioner, adding, "I always use it, myself." A spray bottle was produced and she misted it thoroughly over everything.
I've always believed that you get the best style when you give a stylist some creative leeway rather than just shoving a photo at them (which may be of a style unsuited to your hair, after all) and saying 'Duplicate THIS'. So I told her only that I wanted it "up, in a professional-office kind of way, with maybe some left loose to frame my face."
She seemed at a loss and questioned me further, pressing for details as to EXACTLY what I wanted, and eventually we hashed out a style with the front drawn back and the back loose, but curled, and the requisite wisps down in front of my ears.
She set to work, blowdrying. And I noticed that she would only draw the brush about halfway down the hair before returning to my scalp. This caused a few more knots ("ouch" usually produced an apology, but damn).
After everything was dry, we moved on to the elastic band. She was behind me, I didn't see what she took out of the drawer, and it was hidden in the final style...which is why I didn't say anything at the time. She used an elastic with metal on it. I have NEVER seen a professional stylist use one of those and I don't use them myself, either (the metal damages your hair).
Next was the curling iron. She sectioned it off and as she curled each section, pulled it to one side with little metal clips. Once it was all curled, she unclipped, which also led to "Ouch!" moments as the clips occasionally caught and pulled out strands. (Once again, she did apologize, but I have NEVER had a stylist pull my hair so damn much in my LIFE.)
She fluffed the curled part, sprayed, and asked me how well my hair held a curl. The honest answer is "Not well,", so she added a layer of superhold hairspray. A strand of hair wound around the elastic to hide it (why I didn't know until I got home), and it was done.
It looked fine, the price was right ($12)....but she clearly had NO idea what to do with long hair and was hamhanded to boot.
The crowning touch of the whole thing was when I got home and went to take it down....I found the metal-clamped elastic AND one of the metal clips.
She forgot one of the clips in my hair.
Not quite as bad as the surgeon forgetting a sponge, but it was snarled in badly (at the nape) from hours of activity and I had to have my mother help extract it.
tl;dr--Clumsy hairdresser has no clue about long hair, doesn't know basic skills & leaves equipment in my hair.
I won't be back. (Next time my regular stylist is booked up, maybe I should ask her if she'll take a bribe to bump somebody.)
...I wonder if I should call and ask if she wants the clip back?