Like most people I’ve had some bad experience; I’ve taken a heating engineer to the small claims court, suffered hair loss from a poorly trained hairdresser and been sworn at by a loathsome gas electrician who refused to fix a problem he had created. But I’ve learnt from these and got much smarter.
It’s no surprise, trying to find the right person for a job can be daunting and stressful. And it usually doesn’t make much difference whatever service you need, be it a hairdresser or a builder. All you want is the peace of mind that you will get perfect results. I‘m going to share some of my hair-raising hair experiences to demonstrate the key things that you need to think of when looking for the right person.
When planning my wedding I decided at fairly late notice to buy some new makeup. The beautician, sensibly, made me up fully so I knew the colours worked. As we chatted I decided that it would be great to have my hair and make-up done at the house instead of doing it myself. The beautician said she could do it and that she would. Job done. I told her exactly what I wanted, we exchanged numbers, I gave her my address and gave it no more thought.
She was late, very late. I did my own make up and she got there just in time to do a quick, mediocre job on my hair. I know what I did wrong, it’s blatantly obvious. No references, no research, but I liked her and trusted her word. What was I thinking?
When I moved from London to Cambridge I needed to find a good local hairdresser who could deal with my afro hair. This time I did seek out the recommendation of a friend and was directed to someone who “has done some afro straightening”. Now, as soon as I sat down in the hairdressers chair I felt uncomfortable. I had a terrible gut feeling, I should have left, but instead stayed put and made polite conversation. Halfway through the procedure I screamed at her to wash the treatment off my hair because I could feel my scalp burning. She had no idea what she was doing. She tried to sort it out, but I wanted NOTHING further to do with her. Over the following weeks my hair fell out and I developed a bald patch in the middle of my head. I went to London to get a TWA – teeny weeny afro. I was distraught but I did grow to love my natural look. Why didn’t I trust my gut instinct?
More recently I felt like a change and thought about trying something new with my hair. Over days I spent hours deliberating the decision – straight or natural? I carried out extensive research, which included approaching strangers with enviable hair, trialling different products and visiting numerous hairdressers. My husband can no longer do hair conversations with me, so I turned to my sisters and we deliberated every option over long detailed phone calls. Finally I decided to stick with my natural locks but the process was very cathartic and I knew that I had made the right decision. Furthermore during the research I found the perfect hairdresser.
I now impart this learning when I meet and invite suppliers for my business. I prioritise careful research, and although I put some faith in my gut instincts I always, always check references. I’m a firm believer in “manners maketh man” and punctuality and reliability are so important. Laying down the foundation to build a trusting relationship starts at the first communication.
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