I’ll level with you. You know those ‘pampering’ things which ‘us girls’ are supposed to enjoy? Sometimes I don’t really enjoy them all that much. Sometimes they kind of become items to ‘tick off’ an ever-growing to do list. Not all the time… when I had my hair trial and subsequent wedding day ‘do’, I loved it. But going for regular trims is not something I’m very good at. In fact until Friday night I hadn’t had a hair cut for… six months!
As luck would have it I managed to score a free cut and blow-dry by sending off a coupon from Elle magazine. Even though my local salon had ended their membership of The Hair Group (the promoters of the offer) they were kind enough to honour the promotion as a gesture of goodwill.
So after work on Friday I battled through the sleet and headed to Tulip Hair to be pampered. Colleagues had warned me that the salon would try to up sell treatments and products to me to make up for the fact that I was having a free cut, so I was a little worried that I would spend most of my appointment saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ as various stylists bombarded me the virtues of a selection of hair care products. I needn’t have worried.
I was a little early for my appointment so plonked myself on the trendy sofa and flicked through a copy of Harper’s Bazaar whilst sipping a cup of tea. The salon was bijou but funky and very friendly. The fact that it was open until 8pm on a Thursday and Friday was a bonus and there seemed to be a lot of regulars who had good rapport with the staff.
I had my hair washed by a junior who asked if I would like to try the massaging chair. I gave it a whirl and whilst some of the vibrations helped to untie some of those knots, others were just reminiscent of being on an old and knackered bus. Hmmm. The hair wash was thorough, but lacked the normal mini-scalp massage which I get at my usual salon. She did however amuse me with tales of how she and her boyfriend built an igloo at the weekend. A real igloo, in the West Midlands!
With clean hair I was seated in front of the mirror and awaited my stylist. When she arrived she immediately apologised for keeping me waiting – she hadn’t. She took my brief – a trim to take the split ends off (it was a free hair cut remember, not time to try anything crazy) – and set to work whilst making appropriate hairdresser small talk. I have to take my glasses off while I have my hair cut and as my eyesight is poor, it’s difficult to see what they’re actually doing during the snipping bit. But I am reliably informed that she took an inch off and tidied up the layers. Indeed she must have. I went in with straggly hair and came out with, well, as near to Jennifer Anniston’s hair as I’m ever likely to have. Impressed.
As for hard-sell? She asked me once if I’d thought of colouring my hair, but didn’t force the point when I said I’d thought about it but wasn’t sure. She asked if I used heat-protection products and seemed happy with my response that I had a couple which I switched between (I must admit that whilst I didn’t want to be sold to, the marketing part of my brain was thinking – try to sell something to me, you’re missing out on an opportunity here) and at the end of the hair cut she asked if I wanted to make my next appointment or if I would call. To be honest I always call to make my next appointment at the hairdressers anyway as I go by how my hair looks rather than how many weeks it’s been since my last visit.
Did their ploy to convert my custom work? Well, I would go back… but it’s a bit further away than where I usually go and I like the Cappuccino at my usual salon. So… it’s not a no, but it’s only a maybe. But still, thanks to Tulip Hair for my fab free cut.