buyer’s remorse

This story I didn’t experience firsthand: I was only a (distracted) observer as it unfolded in my salon with one of my coworkers, so some of the details are a bit hazy.

A lady came in for a cut. She was an older lady, and as such, had beautiful silvery white hair. The kind of white hair that people not only want, but drool over. Not gray, not salt and pepper, but beautiful, pure, snow white. Somehow the conversation got turned to hair color, and I’m not sure how or why it happened, but this lady and my coworker decided to make her hair darker. “To look younger.”

I hear my coworker say she’ll do a dark blonde, with brown-copper lowlights. And, in the corner of my eye, it appears that this is what happened. But then I hear them talking – Apparently it turned out darker than my coworker had hoped. I chalk it up to inexperience with white hair (you have to use a color 2 shades lighter then your goal), and continue with my own duties. But the client is unhappy. She’s not yelling or anything, only repeating “I never should have tried this.”

My coworker felt awful about it (turns out she had in fact made a mistake) but was doing all she could to rectify the situation. She did 2 separate color removal techniques, and all the while the client was lamenting her decision to put color in her beautiful white hair. I didn’t necessarily get to see all of the stages, only hear the discussions about it. They were all the same – the poor client was almost in tears because her hair was different, and my poor coworker almost in tears trying to fix it. They were both concerned about the integrity of the hair as well.

Eventually, they did all that could be done. I did see the finished product, and it really wasn’t that different from what she had walked in with.Sure, it wasn’t pure white anymore, but it was a very pale blonde. Still a pretty color, and had I not been there for the entire exchange, I would have assumed it was done on purpose. The client still wasn’t happy about her adventure, but maybe after she gets used to it she won’t regret it quite so much. But she kept saying things along the lines of “I never should have tried this. I am so stupid.” And so on.

I felt bad for her, but I also had missed that important turning point where she decided to go for the color. Clearly she had been thinking about it, as she was easily persuaded. (No offense to my coworker, but she’s not that great of a saleswoman.) Maybe they should have gone with something less drastic at first or something. As I mentioned, I was in no way involved, so I can neither judge nor offer counsel.

I guess the moral is something that all hairdressers already know: Nobody is happy with what they have on their head. But then again, that’s why we are in business.

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