Dear Scott: I have two pet peeves when going to a hair stylist:

1. When the stylist talks on the phone while cutting my hair.

2. Allowing other clients to walk into the cubicle to carry on a conversation with the stylist while he/she is working on my hair.

I feel that this is rude as I am paying for the time and deserve full attention.

This seems to be the norm in smaller cities, however, seldom happens in a large city as the stylists are more attentive to their clients. How should this be handled?

Answer: Iím having a hard time visualizing a stylist talking on the phone while they are doing your hair. As far as I know, it takes two hands to do hair.

They must have an old fashioned land-line with a big phone that can be held between the head and shoulder. In which case, their head would be crooked and cocked to one side while performing a task that requires symmetry and where angular direction is of the utmost importance. Please tell me there isnít a cord.

If the stylist is using a blue-tooth, the one-sided conversation you are subjected to is enough to make anyone pull out their hair. So the need for services will ultimately be unnecessary.

Both of your peeves can happen no matter what the size of the city. Many salons everywhere are not set up with a front desk that prevents a client from interrupting a stylist.

In a large salon, the front desk is necessary to juggle all of the procedures to be executed by multiple staff members, as well as preventing interruptions. You most likely will make an appointment with one stylist for a cut, another one will do your color, and another one will dry your hair.

Personally, this kind of salon structure feels more like an assembly line rather than receiving personal attention. Hair cut, color, and styling the design, are a simultaneous work of art. Itís a little like having three artists trying to communicate an idea for a finished painting, then all of them taking turns on it.

In a small salon, the front desk can become more of a hassle than an asset for too many reasons to list. I handle the situation of client interruptions by simply explaining that I am working on someone at the moment, but would be happy to make them an appointment.

The best advice I can offer, is to address your concerns with the person that does your hair so they realize that you are unhappy. If that doesnít work, move on. Not all hairdressers talk on the phone and chat with clients.

Remember that the finished result is what is important. If you like your hair, ultimately, this is what you are paying for.

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