January 21, 2007

My hair has reached the stage where it’s been far too long since the last cut, and no amount of blowdrying, flatironing, goopy serums, and fervent prayer can corral the mess into something attractive. It’s heavy, it’s frizzy, it’s both lank and flyaway at the same time, and if there were some sort of Split End Olympics, well, then I couldn’t be typing to you now, as my entire body would be weighted down by my many, many gold medallions.

So I was really looking forward to getting a haircut on Saturday. That was going to be the zenith of my weekend, the sole activity that involved neither child nor husband nor vacuum cleaner, and I was ridiculously thrilled about it, right up until the moment when the uptight girl behind the salon counter told me my appointment was cancelled.

It was my own fault, according to Ms. Customer Service, who rolled her eyes and did something unpleasant with her mouth that involved pulling her lips away from the surface of her teeth, probably in order to keep the half-inch layer of gloss intact while she deigned to speak to me. I was eight minutes late, and they operated a tight schedule. Sorry.

I am the last person on earth to pitch a public fit but I honestly felt like draping myself across the counter and either choking the bitch with her phone cord, or weeping with disappointment. Eight minutes, jesus.

My regular stylist isn’t even there anymore, but I figured I’d try someone new because the location is normally convenient, being right by my office. Unfortunately, it’s also in the middle of a stupidly busy mall, which was the reason for my unpardonable delay — I was circling the parking lot, dodging strollers and gaggles of Abercrombie-clad shoppers.

I’ll note that if the front desk girl had been even halfway decent about it, I would have chalked it up to bad luck, made a new appointment and planned to arrive at least 30 minutes early next time. But she wasn’t, she gave me sand-in-the-vaginattitude, so screw it, Headlines Salon. Nice job driving away a loyal sucker who repeatedly paid through the nose for cuts and color and bought product on every single visit.

Uh, so anyway, this was one long boring windup to asking those of you who live around here if you maybe have any recommendations for a hair salon? Because I’m about to attack my own head with a Flowbee.

:::

Attention film geeks: my friend Scott wants you to know about the Stockstock Film Festival. Stockstock is a cool idea, basically you use existing stock footage to create your own 2-minute digital film. It seems like a fun challenge, especially if you’re into editing. Check it out.

And while I’m poking around Scott’s site, look at what a ridiculously good-looking trifecta Scott, his wife, and their daughter make. Seriously. Also, who are these jackasses? And why didn’t anyone tell me I needed to powder, like, my entire head?

:::

Those of you who suggested Regina Spektor when I asked for new-music ideas, thank you, thank you, thank you. I bought Begin to Hope and it’s currently on constant play in my car. I’m particularly fond of her voice on these lyrics from “That Time”:

Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Parliaments
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Marlboros
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Camels

“Paaaaaaarliaments” and “Maaaaaaaaalboros”, man. So great.

I don’t remember who recommended DeVotchKa, but for some reason I got exactly one of their songs, “How It Ends”, and if you don’t already own it I suggest you go download it right this minute because it is a hair-tinglingly, eye-wellingly beautiful tune that you will want to sing along with in a dramatic style that requires you to point your face at the sky and sweep one arm outward, unless you’re driving, in which case you’ll need to grip both hands on the steering wheel and crumple your forehead while bending the inner corners of your eyebrows up and forming your mouth into a wolf-howl O shape. I’m just saying, it’s that good.

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omuchacha
15 years ago

That salon bitch.

I’ve got a salon like that too – but I have great luck calling when I get stuck in traffic and asking for the message to be relayed to my stylist. Hell, I’ve been 15+ minutes late and haven’t had a problem when I’ve called. They always manage to fit me in. Of course, the guilt makes me a fabulous tipper those times too, so that may have something to do with it.

I hope you find a new fabulous salon! You should book a massage too. You deserve it!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
15 years ago

Ooh, DeVotchKa! That was totally me! I was just listening to them in the car as well. Simply sublime, is it not?

Mrs. Breedorf
15 years ago

I had a bad experience at Hairlines, too. Not an attitude-related problem so much. I asked for a trim, got several inches lopped off instead. Also, I’ve had some experience trying to park at that mall. It’s always worth it to just head for the parking garage instead of trying to nab a spot out in the lot.

orangepeacock
orangepeacock
15 years ago

You’re welcome for Regina Spektor. NPR.org has a free online recording of the only time I’ve seen her live somewhere in the depths of their music section, if you’re into that sort of thing. Good long concert. I’d also recommend trying to pick up Soviet Kitsch and 11:11 – just as awesome as Begin to Hope, but in her original stripped-down style.

kara marie
15 years ago

I might have said Devotchka, too. Earlier. Or just thought it. Get the whole album. Get all the albums. They’re great, and the girl wears a sousaphone with Christmas lights at their shows. And she also wears dresses and heels, while playing a light-up sousaphone. I wanted to kiss her a lot when I saw them, for her dress/heel/large brass instrument wearing ability.

Daily Tragedies
15 years ago

No one to recommend (unless you’d like to travel to NorCal for your next cut and color, in which case I will gladly bequeath you my stylist), but you may want to call the manager this week and let him/her know what happened. At the very least they should know how their front desk staff is treating customers. Just offer “a little friendly feedback.” (I find it easier to be confrontational over the phone. And with someone who has actual AUTHORITY.) You may even get some free product out of the deal!

mom on a wire
15 years ago

Yes! I have a recommendation! My hair lady is AWESOME. She COMES TO MY HOUSE and is so affordable, and seriously the best I have ever found. I have been to salons all over Washington in search of someone who could make my impotent hair even somewhat presentable, and I swear this woman is a miracle worker. I actually have to make an appointment soon, maybe you could come too? Let me know if you’re interested. I’ll just tease you with this: I can get a cut, color, AND foil for less than $100.

Mary
15 years ago

Is Shoreline too far north? I know a great place there. Both my daughter and I go and we always have very good luck with the people we see. Email me if you want details.

Serror
Serror
15 years ago

Love Lynn C. at E Clips. She is great great great with color and has a real talent for cutting hair. She will spend 2-3 hours on a color and cut, so you get your money’s worth, but she has great prices too! Know it is in Seattle, but not all that far from the mall of doom you spoke of earlier, just across the University bridge.

206) 322-9280
3101 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle WA 98102

Laura H
15 years ago

I was just contemplating the giant pored dryness that is my face so your powder comment made me almost wet my pants. As a used to be hairstylist who hung up her scissors when she picked up a diaper bag I say you’re making the right decision to move on. Paying hard earned money for snottiness is crap. Good luck in your search.

Bethany
Bethany
15 years ago

Mary mentions a place in Shoreline….and I’m guessing it’s the place I go. It’s called James Alan Salon, and you will not only find TERRIFIC hair stylists, but they have wonderful owners who do all sorts of good stuff for their employees and the community. They’s been named one of the best places to work in Washington (twice, I think). Love them. I go to Kristina W.

Ashley S
15 years ago

I’m so sorry you had to deal with a bitchy receptionist during your alone time, what a total drag.
I highly recommend Jenny at Kismet in the Medrona area of Seattle. She rocked my hair last time. She is the 2nd one down http://www.salonkismet.com/kismetstaff.htm AND there is a Cupcake Royale on the corner!

Mary
15 years ago

Yep, Bethany got it the first time. I recommend both April (older and more expensive) and Mandy (younger and cheaper).

Chiara
15 years ago

I used to go to KC at Derby Salon on Roosevelt right across the street from the Whole Foods. He brings his dog to work with him and all the stylists have very nice tattoos, and then you can stop at the cheese counter (“Have you heard of…cheddar?”) and Trader Joe’s on your way home.

sooboo
sooboo
15 years ago

Don’t you guys have a Rudy’s barbershop or ten in Seattle? They don’t take appointments, you just show up. I’ve always gotten great cuts/styles for pretty cheap.

Scott
15 years ago

Thanks for the Stockstock mention, and thanks for the nice compliments, picture-wise. You are too kind.

I personally love that Fireside Lounge picture of you guys. Are those lights in the background, or are the walls on fire? The amount of smoke in the room made it impossible to tell.

Julia
Julia
15 years ago

If you could go during the week, the salon in the University of Washington’s HUB building called Scissor’s Edge is surprisingly very good. It’s opened from 8-5 M-F, I think. I’m very picky about my hair, but I go to Ellen and she does such a fantastic job. I haven’t gotten a color done or anything, but if a basic haircut is all you need, she sounds closer than Shoreline and is very, very good.

Kym
Kym
15 years ago

I’m an Aveda salon junkie. I used to go to Foxfire in Tacoma when I lived there but I’m guessing you don’t want to make that trek! But, if you visit Aveda’s website, you can find Aveda locations close to you. I would think Seattle would be an Aveda mecca. If you pick a good location, they’ll give you a scalp massage and perhaps even a hand massage while you’re there.

Oh and music? Kate Havnevik. I keep repeating her songs over and over on my iPod! Not sure if anyone else mentioned her.

honeybecke
honeybecke
15 years ago

Threatening to Flowbee your husbands hair: uh, free

Best friend gives you a gag flowbee: uh, free and cool

Actually flowbeeing your husbands hair: uh, free with a side of ear

Selling the flowbee for $43.00 on ebay: Priceless

My favorite RS song is Samson. Loves it.

Holly
Holly
15 years ago

I’ve always liked Obadiah in Bellevue… Here is their site http://www.obadiahsalon.com/hairsalon.asp Upscale, just trendy enough, a little pricey but totally worth it. Plus they train in house, the trainer flys all over the world every year learning all the new cuts and then teaches everyone there so no matter who you go to you’ll be getting a great service. I haven’t been there in forever but now that I’m typing this I’m remembering how good it always was! it’s funny looking on the site, there are some people who’ve been working there since I was in high school at least, I’ll be 28 this year. :) Good luck -h

Eviedee
15 years ago

Excellent music choices!! Have you heard Mew and Of Montreal? They are my My 2 current faves. Also, though this may ruin your opinion of my music choices, my husband LOVES the Flowbee. In fact I believe that the Flowbee SAVED our marriage as I used to be the poor unfortunate soul who had to cut my husband’s hair.

jen
jen
15 years ago

I found the most awesome salon ever… Beehive in Tangletown/Wallingford. They are awesome there! Super friendly, donut and coffee shop across the street, and I love love love what they do to my hair! :o)

Josh
Josh
15 years ago

It’s posts like this that make me question, as a man, why I infringe on this predominantly (completely) female sleepover. Salons, who cares? It’s just a haircut. Regina Specktra, way to girly/touchy/feely/notheteromale.

But then (and by then I mean right in the middle) you bust out the Stockstock Film Festival. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I’d go to a salon and listen to acoustic Speckter while painting toenails and comparing bad relationship stories to get sweet tips like this. I am a total film geek. I’ll be looking into this one real close. Expect to find me in the section near the dumpsters, and far away from the Editing Gold Medalists. (but loving it)

Thanks.

canknitian
15 years ago

DeVotchKa did (or contributed to) most of the music for Little Miss Sunshine. It’s all beautiful, but “How it ends” is a hair-raiser, for sure.

hello insomnia
15 years ago

I learned about Devotchka from KEXP 90.3 FM, the station that keeps me updated on cool indie music. I started listening to them after an embarrassing incident in the U-District in which a guy asked me what music I was listening to and I stupidly said, “Uhhh, The Strokes?” and he replied, “The Strokes? Isn’t that album TWO YEARS OLD?”

And when I have money, I see Carinn at Vain. I always with a light wallet but a big ego-boost. When I don’t have money, I go down the street to the Vietnamese woman who gives me the best cut $12 can buy and whom I’m not sure asks me if I “work” or “walk.”

Swistle
15 years ago

Hey! I got my hair cut on Saturday! …Or, maybe that doesn’t come across so much “Look, we’re twins!” as it does “Nanner-nanner, I have fresh clippy hair-ends and you don’t.” So what I meant to say is “That SUCKS. They are SO BAD. They will PAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!”

HollowSquirrel
15 years ago

Headlines Salon is dead to me. DEAD.

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

Oh, Linda, sorry about your aborted haircut. Seriously, why do so many salons make their customers feel so worthless and intimidated? While simultaneously collecting $150+ for a fricking haircut & color – as if they are doing you some huge favor? It is appalling and men would never stand for it, as Josh illustrated in the comments above. My boyfriend cannot for the life of him understand why I pay so much and inevitably come home so miserable – me and my salon, it’s like an abusive relationship. “You are six minutes late, no color for you today!” “Um, I double-booked so I don’t have time to dry you, go back out into the freezing air now, looking like ass. See you in eight weeks, if you can ever get another appt.” “That will be $190 this time, because I added two more foils.” “Oh, I thought you WANTED it red and spiky.”
I have bounced all over my state looking for a great salon/stylist, and every time I think I find one, she either moves away or ends up fucking my hair up beyond recognition (but not before I am lulled into a false sense of trust by her last good haircut). And I pay $160 for it and choke back my tears before the requisite freakout in the tiny visor mirror in the car. And then I find a new salon, lather, rinse, repeat.
REVOLT!

JudyU
JudyU
15 years ago

Ok. Everyone should call Headlines Salon and book appointments. When no one shows up they will wonder WTF is going on.

Mare
15 years ago

I think that Hello Insomnia’s “Isn’t that album two years old?” jackwipe needs to start dating the receptionist at Headlines Salon.

Kristen Voskuil
15 years ago

Whenever I think I have found the stylist of my dreams, she vanishes: I call for an appointment and she no longer works there. I am starting to feel personally responsible for this, even though I am meek and undemanding and I tip well.

I have sometimes had surprising luck when, in a pit of despair over the turnover rate in salons, I’ve gone into one of those “walk-in only” places that costs about $15 for a cut. Perhaps it is my low expectations that make me me think, “Hey! Hey, this isn’t too awful!” Or maybe it is that the more-expensive places disappoint me, too. It doesn’t matter, though, because if I try to go back to that same walk-in place, the stylist I liked will have moved on.

Oh, and I have a story. The last time I got a cut, my stylist was in a huge tizz because an order hadn’t come in and she needed a certain item for a customer later in the day. While I was in the chair, she excused herself to make a call, and I heard her on her cell phone to her mom saying, “Can you go to Walmart and get me any of those frost-and-tip box things?”

Ang
Ang
15 years ago

You got nixed for being eight minutes late? Wow. Well, to hell with them anyway. You can find another place that isn’t full of beeyotches. Unfortunatly I have no suggestions, but I will keep my fingers crossed for ya!

Mary
Mary
15 years ago

Wow, I’m glad I cut my own hair. And yeah, it may look like total crap, but I so don’t care. It saves me money and hassle.

Dana
Dana
15 years ago

I know this is a moot point, but I bet if you had thrown a fit at the hair place, they would have cut your hair.

I am usually one of those nice, shy, “I’m sorry” type of patrons who will allow snotty spas, nail, and hair places to just walk all over me, while I sit there in the waiting area like an asshole, thirty minutes after I’ve arrived ON TIME for my appointment, just waiting in agony for them to call my name.

But, every once in a while I get pissed off, and actually say something, and, don’t ask me why, but the receptionists tend to appreciate my snotty behavior, almost respect it. I’ll go up and make an issue out of waiting for so damn long when I had an appointment, and their eyes will light up like, “Oh, she’s one of us!” and suddenly their offering coffee and giving me the play by play on the status of the person who “Ricardo is juuuuuuust finishing up and he’ll be right with you why don’t you go back and get washed?!”

The same thing happened to my nail lady when, week after week, she kept trying to turn my hand into some weird position that it wouldn’t go in and I got so pissed off I finally just blurted, “For the amount of money that I am paying you for this service, do you think you could move 4 degrees to the left RATHER than try to move my hand in a position that is clearly doesn’t go in? Huh?” And, miraculously, her shitty scowl turned into a smile, and she actually apologized and moved!

Now, it’s not my way to act like this, and in my 30 years of living I’ve done it twice, AND that nail lady probably peed in my polish later on, but all I’m saying is that sometimes saying something is necessary. Especially if one is sporting really bad split ends.

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

Oh, Dana! So many times I have been that on-time asshole, waiting forever, silently stewing, saying nothing. And you’re right – the very few times I have ever dared to speak up – “um, listen, I’m not trying to be a bitch but my appointment was for forty minutes ago and I don’t have time to wait all day” – well, the saying is true: the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease.

And oh, God, my manicurist always tries to contort my hand into a non-possible position also! And she actually shakes my hand vigorously, telling me to “relax,” as if *that* is the reason my hand does not bend 84 degrees to the left. And every goddamn time I just sigh, and say nothing.

Erin
Erin
15 years ago

I have been going to a girl in downtown Bellevue for over 12 years now. She is seriously one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is at a salon called Michaels of Bellevue off NE 12th ST.

http://www.michaelsofbellevue.com/

Her name is Michelle and I seriously think you would adore her. She has a little boy that is just under a year and one of the best personalities I have ever met. I also find her to be affordable and a create hairdresser. I look forward to going to see her to chat and catch up like an old friend. Let me know if you have any other questions!

katie
katie
15 years ago

regina spektor has been one of my favorites lately. i saw her live and had goosebumps the entire time. on the radio is my favorite. love the lyrics. also check out goldfrapp. i’d be glad to amke you a sampler CD of cool stuf if you were interested. i’m pretty good at it. let me know.

Kara
Kara
15 years ago

Go see Jessica Cole at Blonde, downtown Seattle, 2nd and Virginia-ish. (2028 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA
(206) 728-8007). She is by far one of the best colorists in Seattle, and I’ve followed her for years. she even did my hair on my wedding day!

Shannon
15 years ago

I’ve been going to Vain downtown (1st and Virginia) for the past 7 years. They have *never* done me wrong. Jenny Slay is my stylist and not only is she the Queen of the Color, she’s hilarious to boot! We sing earworm songs to each other and exchange dirty jokes. You can’t get that kind of service anywhere else!

Jen
Jen
15 years ago

Oh, cool! I’m so glad you liked the DeVotchKa! Did you have a chance to check out any Iron & Wine or Calexico? Iron & Wine is pretty mellow, but so gorgeous. Isn’t finding new music great? I’m really looking forward to the next couple months, music-wise – there are lots of new albums coming out: Shins, Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah… LOADS of great stuff. As hello insomnia said, I too get my music tips from KEXP. John in the Morning has been responsible for introducing me to most of the music I love these days. You should go online and check out some of his play lists. You really can’t go wrong.

Oh, and Shannon, I’m right there with you! I’ve also been going to Vain for years, and Jenny Slay is the absolute best! I could not possibly recommend her enough. She’s great at her job, and just fun to be around. And, I must say, the staff there are the ultimate anti-snobs – just wonderfully nice, friendly, fun, and down-to-earth people.

Quiana
15 years ago

Alderwood Mall might be too far, but I use Kia at the Alderwood Mall Gene Juarez. She does great work.

Philos
15 years ago

Well, I’m a guy, and I just get my hair cut – no special styling, no coloring, no product – so I don’t know how useful my recommendation would be. However, I go to Vain, which I see has already been recommended twice, and I like their service. I do believe it’s expensive, although the “free” 4-week touch-up trim lets me continue to justify the cost as paying for two haircuts, and as I haven’t checked out prices anywhere else I don’t know whether it’s actually expensive compared to most other places. The main thing is, I have very curly hair, and my stylist there (Jennifer C) knows how to cut it short without making it look stupid.

As for the Vegas picture, don’t trust how it seems to make you look. You looked fine at the time, that’s why we didn’t tell you you needed to powder your entire head (well that and it would’ve been rude to say something even if it were true, though I’m sure Elizabeth or Cara could’ve said something discreet if necessary). I agree with Scott too, I like that picture, you guys look great.

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

I will totally second Holly’s recommendation of Obadiah salon in Bellevue (pretty close to Bell Square mall, so probably somewhat convenient to where you live). I went to Vu for about two years before I moved, and let me tell you, I have never had a good haircut or color since then. He is amazing… plus he’s hilariously funny and will keep you laughing the whole time. Yes, he is quite expensive, but very much worth it!

SJ
SJ
15 years ago

I would recommend my stylist to you but I would gather that there is no way in hell that you’d actually be able to pay her a visit, being that I’m a few states away. I have been going to her for about 10 years now and I love her.

Regina Spektor – I love her too.

I hope you find a stylist soon!!!

Kim
Kim
15 years ago

Being a salon/spa owner myself, I can say with full authority that THAT FRONT DESK GIRL IS A BITCH
and that 8 minutes is NOTHING. They could have cut out your blowdry and still given you your much desired trim. Your stylist must have been running way behind or something to blow you off like that. We take guests as late as 15 minutes unless the technician isn’t booked after that service, then we take you no matter what, with a stern, “next time give us a call first”. Being all the way in AZ I can’t give you any recommendations, but if you are ever in my area you can get your hair colored, cut, hilighted and a massage, ON ME for all the hours of entertainment you have provided me.

Stefanie
Stefanie
15 years ago

I don’t know how far you want to go, but I love, love, love Eric at Sarantos. They’re on Roosevelt just south of Northgate at 96th. I don’t know if they have a website, but the number is 206-523-9266. Never had a bad cut there and I can’t even imagine getting ‘tude from anyone there.

Lisa B
Lisa B
15 years ago

Downtown Kirkland too far? I’ve been seeing Monica at Viridis Salon for about 7 years now and am still happy happy. Great color, great cut, very funny. Somehow she makes me happy every time, even if I’m late, even if she’s late. And a wicked sense of humor.

Christine
15 years ago

Oh boy, I think I would have cried if the bitchy salon person happened to me….not from being bitched at, but for losing the sacred alone time. Hope you find a new salon that you love!

angela
15 years ago

I totally go to Fantastic Sams. Or Super Cuts. Or the Hair Cutters. And I only go once every six to nine months. Every single time I shell out big bucks for a hair cut, the stylist does something I explicitly told her not to do. Over at Fantastic Sams, they actually listen to what I say. I don’t care how much experience the girl at the fancy salon has cutting hair, I have 26 years experience with MY hair, and I know what works with it. I don’t care what fancy salon you trained at, when I say NO LAYERS I mean NO LAYERS, not A LITTLE LAYERING, or SOME LAYERS, I mean NO LAYERS! Sheesh. I’m bitter.