We’ve all been there. You walk into a salon knowing what you want
— or thinking you know what you want. Then, somewhere between that first sip of green tea and the buzz of the blow dryer, you barely recognize yourself. You came in asking to look like Kate Mara and left looking like Rooney, and at the end of the disorienting process, you’re actually expected to hand over your hard-earned cash.
Unfortunately, you’ve just encountered the hair bully
. This person can be extremely charming and convincing. He (or she) may persuade you that they know better. But, in reality they’re steamrolling you into changing your mind in favor of a totally different look
. Maybe you remind them of an ex-girlfriend who broke their heart and they’re looking for a bit of retribution. Or maybe they honestly feel like they know better, and their advice comes from a good place. Either way, there’s no reason to play Pygmalion when, as the client, you should be calling the shots.
Here, we arm you with an arsenal of tools and tricks to face a hair bully head on
: how to recognize one before you’re even sitting in their chair, what to say if you suddenly find yourself in a tug-of-war over a Japanese straightening treatment, and how to deal with the aftermath if you happen to fall victim to a particularly persuasive bully. Read on for our tips, then tell us in the comments if you've had your own hair-bully drama.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan