Over the years I've had my share of horrific hairdresser experiences, including the Scoopon hairdresser who had unbearable body odour and took it upon herself to attack my eyebrows "as part of the service". This involved her climbing on top of me in my chair, spitting on pieces of cotton, while I was lying back at the basin and couldn't defend myself. Needless to say I walked out of there with less facial hair (and more issues) than when I walked in.
I went to an 'at home salon' which was actually a ghetto-style-unit where the hairdresser (and I use that term loosely) had various personal paraphernalia on display (use your imagination kiddies), and rinsed my hair in her kitchen (term used even more loosely) sink. I escaped with the vision of dirty mattresses and overflowing ashtrays in equal measure stacked up against the back wall on the way out. I think myself lucky that the only scent I didn't get a whiff of was burning hair.
Figuring I was obviously targeting the wrong geographical area, I set about walking the length of Prospect Road (dotted with hairdressing salons) and finding me a gem to write home about. I based my research on factors such as the warmth of the staff when I walked through the door (or rather, how "interrupted" they appeared to be); how long it took to notice me (a 6 foot tall well-dressed woman in her 30's with a disposable income); and how happy they seemed about actually quoting a price (even though the hair in question was right in front of their face attached to the customer); and the price itself. Well, what an adventure.
Firstly, I ruled out any salon that seemed inconvenienced by my presence (3 of 10). Secondly, I ruled out any salon that frowned upon my asking for a price list as if I had just demanded their first-born child as a human sacrifice to a bald devil (2 of 10). Thirdly I ruled out any salon that wouldn't quote at least a ballpark figure because they were either too busy or too important, or both (2 of 10). Then I ruled out any hairdresser who quoted a basic blowdry above $55, seeing as this is Adelaide and not a spa in the hot springs of the peninsula with a million tiny bees trained to slide down my hair strand-by-strand infusing it with equal amounts of honey and love.
I was left with one hairdresser, nay, saviour. Jamie of KAOS HAIR, 50 Prospect Road welcomed my custom (who woulda' thought); quoted a very reasonable price straight away (which he held true to); was delighted by my presence, and oh-so-gentle on my baby-fine locks.
Even better – he works alone.
No squealing, gossiping hairdressers wearing last night's clothes, chewing gum and wafting hairspray over my shoulder as if it were magic dust. No being palmed off to the over-zealous apprentice who asks me how old I am and why I'm not going out tonight, while dropping soap in my eyes and water down my top.
No (and this is the best bit) salespeople wearing too much makeup and pushing too much product.
Just genuine concern for my wellbeing and satisfaction with the service. It was like going to visit a friend for a coffee and a chat (albeit a madly skilled friend who accepts payment).
Give Jamie a call, and feel the same sense of relief I did.