“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Today I share with you a tale of a doomed relationship .

Looking back I guess I should have known.  All the signs of a deteriorating relationship had been there for months, maybe even years.  Maybe I saw them, maybe I didn’t.  I do know that I didn’t want to admit it to anyone, most of all myself.  As with many close relationships, I was blissfully unaware while “love” slowly slipped away.

At first, he just rescheduled a few of our dates.  Then, it progressed to his cancelling them outright without explanation.  Finding time to rendezvous was proving more difficult and onerous.  And when we were together, it was like he was really somewhere else.  Like so many other signs, I put this off also to his crazy schedule, and remained happy – grateful even – for the attention he did bestow upon me.  Still … there were some days he would barely look me in the eye, too busy with satisfying his own needs.  I slowly began to realize that all he saw was another woman.  I was just another woman.  Another woman for whom “doing the little things” was too much of a burden.

And so now I am faced with the grim and painful reality:  it’s time for me to find a new hair stylist.

I feel so naive. I’m not even sure how to go about this … what words to say to make it easier on us both. How did I not know that more than half of all relationships with hair stylists sadly end in split ends. This is all still fresh to me and a little hard for me to fully articulate my feelings, but this I know to be true:  I’ll be better off for it!  This is something I’ve put off for far too long.  Plain and simple, he no longer fulfils my needs either.  Instead of making me look like Meg Ryan, I look like Camilla Parker-Bowles.  It’s pathetic really; how much my own self-worth and acceptance relied on his judgment of me all these years.  Even more pathetic is the small fortune I’ve handed over to him, the mountains I’ve moved just to get in to see him, and the babysitters I have paid.  If my husband ever finds out… Well, then again, my husband is still barely speaking to me after I rescheduled our 21st anniversary dinner just so that I could take my stylist’s last minute cancellation (costing as much as our anniversary dinner).

A break-up with your stylist shouldn’t be messy, but it can be tousled.  I mean, it’s one thing to break up with my stylist, but I do now have to worry about the colour-lateral damage. I will no longer be able to show my face in that same salon again, so have to break up with my pedicurist and esthetician as well. These are the unfortunate side effects of a break – up:  it will sadly affect so many innocent nail polish colours.

And so? What now? How does one go about finding a new stylist? Is there a eHaircuty.com? LavaLocks.com? A stylist and his or her client are a match made in heaven, until dark roots do they part. I’m not sure if I can deal with an exasperated new stylist bending over me, prying for personal details like, “Oh my God, who did this to your hair?!”

No.  Maybe I should just stick it out.  Stay together with him for the sake of the highlights.  I’m so conflicted.  Someone please help me before I resort to blind appointments, clandestine one-afternooners, or an airport salon tryst [gasp!]!

I think need an intervention …

I hear there’s a new masseur at my salon …

34 Responses to Breaking up is hard to do…

  • Stylist breakups are so hard! I eventually wrote one of those “it’s not you, it’s me, I just need a change” letters to my former hair stylist. Good luck! Hope it is a good PARTING ( I just had to add one more hair reference!)

  • Oh, I feel your pain! Some years ago I found a woman I just adored, and then she got promoted and left the shop. I’ve been adrift ever since, “dating” but never “committing.” We recently moved, and the stylist I found did a darn-near perfect job on the second haircut. When I went in for a trim the third time, I said, “What you did was just right. Let’s do that again.” She proceeded to cut my hair shorter, leaving it completely unmanageable! Six weeks later, it’s just starting to look right again. I will take a deep breath and give her another shot since she’s still getting to know me, but…ugh.

  • It’s so hard! I realized after so many years that my hair was my hair and not my hair-guy’s art project. I know with biracial hair everything is tricky and complicated and you think no one will EVER get your crazy mixed up texture AGAIN, but it was time to move on. My next person was way worse, unfortunately, but now I’ve got someone who gets it and, I don’t know why this makes all the difference: she is also a mom. She knows I have exactly zero time to mess with my hair! Best of luck!

  • This is why I cut my own hair. It may not be pretty, but at least I don’t have to make an appointment with myself!

  • I advocate a clean break, just don’t go back there. As for finding a new stylist, start stalking women whose hair you like and ask them who they’re using.

    We had been taking our daughters to the same hairdressers since their first cut but they just weren’t keeping up with the times. My youngest was invited to a beauty birthday party where her friend gets her hair done. She fell in love with one of the stylist so we’ve switched to her salon. Well, not my husband who is loyal to a fault and started doing his own after practicing on me—he’s getting pretty good.

  • Go cold turkey and do it now! Resign yourself to never going back to that establishment, not even for the new masseuse. Find yourself another and you’ll be happier in the long run!

  • I get my husband to pull my hair through one of those cheap Target-bought highighter caps (while asking him to speak in a French accent). He’s an artist. I figure if he can paint, he can highlight my hair.

  • It’s very hard to break up with your stylist. However, you have to play the field before you leave him for another.

  • Oh, this hits home with me. I had the same stylist for thirty years – yep, that’s right. She did a great job – people would stop me and ask me who cut my hair. But, I was ready for a change. During one appointment, I mentioned letting it grow out; her face rearranged itself in a look of horror. No, no, no – this cut is you! Sigh…

    Then, I moved. I kept that last appointment – why, I don’t know since that would have been another month’s growth I would have now. I probably did it out of a feeling of guilty commitment. Now, with hair at shoulder length – which I don’t have to get cut *every four weeks* – I’m slightly richer and I have hair I can pull back and doesn’t require fixing every morning. Much easier when you live on a body of water where the humidity does unkind things to blowouts. I did what Lynne suggested above – start looking around for women whose hair you like and ask them who did it.

    But you’re right – breaking up with a stylist is harder than breaking up with your doctor.

  • I guess I am the odd one out her, I am the breaker upper. I leave my stylists often. I think they get too comfy and less innovative over time and yes, I look for younger and fresher. I hang my head as I confess these words here, but it’s the truth, I am a trollop.

  • I am on my 5th or 6th stylist (don’t judge) because after the third visit, they can barely remember my name, let alone my dye color. It’s so frustrating. I would really like to stop dating. I have a woman now who just might be the one, but I’ve been so burned in the past, only time and color will tell. GREAT post!

  • So clever, original and funny! I would rather change gynecologists than hairdressers. If they screw up, at least it doesn’t show. I stuck with one for 15 years after I had moved 2 hours away from him because — yes — I hate change that much. It took gas topping $4/gallon to force the break. And what do you know. The new guy is cheaper AND better!

  • What is it about the stylist/stylee relationship that is just so…awkward? I’ve gone to a stylist after being away from them for a long time and felt the barrage of questions regarding my hair in my absence from their salon. The judgment for cutting it myself (hey I was broke!) or worse, the looks if I admitted to trying a different stylist.

    • Amber, it’s so true! I also felt this awkwardness (and this is even more troubling) when I worked full time and had a nanny to look after my two young boys. I found it so difficult to give her any corrective feedback. I resorted to leaving her notes in our ‘journal’. How pathetic is that?!

  • I’m having the same stylist angst. I love my old stylist but we broke up when I moved from Las Vegas back to Portland. We see each other from time to time and it’s good. So good. Maybe because we know it can’t last – I have to go back home. Lately my hair is trying to tell me its not happy. Same cut, same color – used to look so fabulous but now it just looks OLD and TIRED. Oh dear, maybe it me – I am old and tired and my hair is taking it hard. I keep hoping a change of stylist will pep my hair up for a while longer and at some point I’ll just be so damn old I won’t care. Great post – we can all relate.

  • Fabulous post!!!!….( I seriously think it would be more tragic than a marriage break up….but then again I AM the vain one in the family ;p) .

    I went through a parade of ‘recommended’ stylists from friends that resulted in ….well…me continuing to drive 40 km to my chatty, vapid, yet oh so talented colourist/stylist for the past year. My plan ( well….when I have the time to **note*** these things) is to note the photo creds in newspapers, mags etc and hunt those folks down to try ’em out. Yes…I may have to sell my first born for an appt….but this is what I’ll do to hide that gray 🙂

  • Bahahaha!!! Oh my goodness. You had me. I have gone through hairstylists like a sorority girl does eating disorders. All I can say is you have to shop around. There are bigger, more talented fish in the sea, ones who know their way around a headful of foils and some shears.

  • bwhahahaha! Astra, I am howling with this post! Oh my goodness, you are funny! Alas, I’m still astride a dead horse with my present stylist. He knows it’s over, I know it’s over, and yet we continue together till something better comes along. My question is simply, when will something better come along? With my curly mop of hair, I’m afraid to risk going to someone new. I ask myself, will the give me a hair cut that makes me resemble a broom? Will they say that I’ve been mislead into believing I have “curly” hair when in reality what I have is a frizzy nap? Will they advise me to cut it all off and start fresh, get dreadlocks, a weave? It’s too much for me to process. And so I continue in the hair race on top of a dead horse. The good Lord help me! ha! 🙂

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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