The following is an email conversation between one of my readers and me.

It is such a typical conversation that many people will read themselves in it. Hopefully our conversation will help someone else with the same problem. It's not an uncommon one.

Dear Scott: I hate my haircut. You didn't do it. I had it all gown out to where I liked it, and it was perfect. Now I hate my hair. It is time to have my hair colored because I was growing out the cut and let the color go. Since she cut my hair I don't know what I should do with it. Can you give me some advise, please?

Did you go to the same person who has been cutting your hair?

No. I went to someone else because the other girl was so expensive. The stylist that's been doing my hair would cut it in 10 minutes. This new person took 45 minutes. You would think that she would have done a better job on it after taking so long. Wouldn't you?

I would recommend that you go back to the original person that has been cutting your hair. If you loved your hair before, you are going to have to grow it back out. That will take some time to do. The reason the original hairdresser was able to cut your hair in 10 minutes was because she knows what she is dong. She got the cut right the first time around instead of cutting, and re-cutting, and cutting some more. She will need to correct the errors from the last person. Sometimes it can seem to take forever to grow back into the preferred cut if the design has been compromised. Eventually, it will be back to where you had it though. If it is time to color your hair you certainly don't want to do the same thing all over again with your color, especially if you are unhappy with your cut.

I don't understand why it turned out so bad. I can't believe that someone could make such a mess out of a haircut. I thought that I could go to someone else and they could just follow what the other person had been doing. Now it is short, and I can't do anything with it. Shouldn't I at least go to someone else and have it cut again? I hate it and I can't do anything with it.

If it is uneven, a slight reshaping will help. But if your hair is too short right now, I would recommend that you be patient and let it grow some. Then go back to the original person that you were happy with in the first place to straighten things out.

But they were so expensive. I don't understand why someone can't just follow what the other person has been doing. Everyone who cuts hair has to go to beauty school and take a test to get their license, right? Then why shouldn't I be able to go to someone and have them follow what the other person did?

The original haircut is gone now anyway. There is nothing for anyone to follow anymore. Haven't you ever been to a bad doctor or dentist? Like any profession, some people are better at their job than others. We may all have the same licensing, but some professionals are perfectionists and artists. These people go the extra mile. They spend extra time and money on their education to become better at their job.

These dedicated professionals usually have the kind of personality that drives them to be the best that they can be at whatever it is that they do. They not only do this for the sake of the client, but because there is something within themselves that motivates them. Usually it is a passion for the business, or they are obsessive, like me. Also, knowing that they did the best possible job they could do during the course of the day helps them to be able to sleep at night. A great hairdresser considers the extra effort to be a part of their professional obligation to the client, and to themselves. There are people, in any job, who just want to get the job done.

My guess is the original person who has been doing your hair, which seemed to be more expensive, was better at their job than the other one. That's why she charges more money. If you went to someone because they were cheaper, but you hate your haircut, did you save money?

In my opinion, you actually wasted money by spending it on something that is inferior and that you don't like at all. Please don't take this as condescending, but there really isn't any logic in this way of thinking.

Well, I guess you get what you pay for. Go ahead and tell me. Go ahead and tell me that you get what you pay for.

You already did.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and Master Stylist. He can be reached at 803-979-2126 or for questions and comments.