Reference photo only. Tom does not photograph clients.
Having been out on hiatus since early July, I am definitely eager to get back to my studio once it's sufficiently safe to do so. Goes without saying that anyone reading this is also waiting for that day to come. As the entire industry has been shut down for some time, there's been a few articles recently published online that address this situation. One in particular, a front page story that is linked below, is the subject of this post. Unfortunately, none of what follows is, at all, surprising.
First, a few things to state upfront. This article probably won't remain on the site long term. Despite the important points made, it's a little too topical for the general archives. While some of what is written can be best described as strongly opinionated social commentary, there is also a lot of truth expressed in an effort to raise awareness. Overall, this is just a little something to help pass the time, for both of us. Let's start with the section in question.
She said she hoped to be back in swing for the busy Christmas season, although she said some clients had been tempted to cut their own hair at home.
To begin with, repeatedly using "she said" in short sentences like that is lazy writing from a journalist whom, I assume, gets paid for their work. Actually, hold on. Perhaps I should take back a little of that criticism. A quick Google indicates that the author of the article linked above is a journalism student. She hopes to be back in swing for the busy Christmas season, although some clients had mentioned they'd been tempted to cut their own hair at home. That reads so much better, doesn't it? Honestly, poor writing just really annoys me. Something tells me you already knew this though. To be fair, it's an article from 'The Age' so perhaps we're supposed to have lower expectations? Sadly, writing of this quality is what we have come to expect from educated mainstream journalists in this country. If true, it might also explain the disappointing skill level of mainstream salon hairdressers. That's a topic for another post.
The main issue here is the direct statement from the salon owner, "It will be a lot more expensive to fix it". What?! Like so many clients, I don't often have high praise or expectations for most local hairdressers but this comment is particularly troubling. First, anyone is well within their rights to cut their own hair if they choose to do so. Don't we regularly take care of other self-grooming needs in many different areas of our bodies? Why should what's on top of our head be any different? A little secret? It's not. Sure, having a professional tend to our hair is a wonderful personal service to receive, but in times like these, if anyone feels the need to cut their own hair they should not be discouraged, especially by their hairdresser. Also, last time I checked, "my body my choice" includes your hair too. To be clear, if anyone is feeling in such a way that cutting their own hair right now might provide them with a little lift, literally or figuratively, I say go for it. Do what you need to do. It's hair. It'll typically grow back whether you want it to or not. This isn't about me as a professional giving anyone permission. It's about reminding you that it's your body and you can do whatever you want to it. Now, I certainly don't encourage you to take up a misguided recreational crystal meth habit over the next 7 weeks, but I think you get my point here.
That proclamation from the salon owner regarding significant financial consequence for cutting your own hair is what truly grinds my gears. She actual chose to use the words "a lot more" in something I assume she knew would be published online. What does that actually mean? Twice as much?! This is just so incredibly unjustified and corrupt. Unfortunately, these are the exact same tired, asinine pricing practices the salon industry has been engaging in for decades. To reinforce these tactics, hairdressers will often use their professional voice as part of a baseless manipulative effort to control clients for financial gain. Allow me to set the record straight. Regardless of what anyone does to their own hair with a pair of scissors at home, that should never, ever justify or warrant an additional cost for them at the salon, especially right now. If any hairdresser feels an additional cost is warranted for 'fixing' a home haircut, either they don't know how to cut hair very well or are blatantly using this pandemic as a means of overcharging a client for something they felt emotionally compelled to do during a very difficult time.
Now more than ever, we should be shifting towards being more empathetic and understanding, not less. As someone who is also unable to work right now, I completely understand that anyone who is employed within the hair and beauty industry is incredibly stressed and frustrated. Too, that there are those out there enduring serious financial hardships as a result of the extended lockdown. However, when I read a salon owner comment like this, it just saddens me. Isn't this pandemic meant to wake us up, to change our society for the better? It is unconscionable that any hairdresser would feel the need to take advantage of a client in order to make up for lost income during this pandemic, yet I can almost guarantee you this is exactly what is going to be happening in many conventional salons starting October 27th. I really hope not, but I'm thoroughly pessimistic about this topic. They will likely use all sorts of ridiculous, unfounded justifications similar to what was so casually mentioned in that Age article. Hence, the title of this one.
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