high maintenance

Sometimes  a client comes in, and she is the worst client ever. She’s not mean, she’s not rude, but she has an attitude that says I am here to serve her. I guess because she’s paying a small fee.

One such lady came in today. Her hair was piled in a bun on top of her head, she set her bag down wherever she felt like it, and curled up in the chair and started texting.

So I had to say the following:
“Can you put your feet flat on the ground, please? And take your sunglasses off? And I need to put this cape on you, so I’m going to cover your hands & phone for a second. Is it ok if I move your bag over to this chair? And I need to take your hair down.”

She complied, but with a heavy sigh that said I was inconveniencing her. But really, all of those things would be inconveniencing me. So I got her hair down and brushed, her bag and sunglasses out of my way, and her sitting in a position that would allow me to cut her hair straight. Her hair was actually really long –  most of the way down her back. I could tell just by looking at it that she hadn’t cut it in several months. So I asked her what we were going to do. Take off the split ends? That would be probably 2-3 inches. No, she only wants half an inch cut off. I tell her that that little amount won’t actually help her hair any. Hair averages about half an inch of growth a month, so when you go (she said) 4 months without a trim, mathematically, you need to take off 2 inches. And her hair needed more than that.

But she didn’t want to lose any length. Now I can understand that people are wary of hairstylists that take off too much, but believe me: when your hair is that long, nobody will notice an extra inch or two, especially if it makes your hair look so much healthier. But she wouldn’t have it. So I went through all her hair and just cut off a tiny bit. Of course it didn’t look any better. So I convinced her to let me take more off – effectively doing a full second haircut. We were able to compromise at me taking about an inch off total. It wasn’t as much as she needed, but it did help make her  hair look better.

After all the prep work I had to do with her, and then going through her very long hair twice, plus discussion time, she was in my chair about an hour.She made this known when she was paying and said something along the lines of “Gawd, it’s already 3!”  I admit, that is a much longer haircut than it should have been, but it’s not like I did that out of enjoyment. But because I was so slow and such a pain to her, she didn’t leave a tip.

It was clearly all my fault.

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