The 9 Emotional Stages of Visiting a New Hairstylist

I’m pretty sure they could write a movie about what it’s like to visit a new hairstylist. It really has everything: suspense, anxiety, excitement . . . sometimes even horror. There’s so much to consider: the way it feels walking into a new salon for the first time and checking out the scene, the worry of hoping she got your color formula correct and of course, the excitement of bouncing out with a fabulous new style! Let’s go through these emotions and laugh about them together, because even those of us who stand behind the chair every day have totally been there!

1. When the receptionist says it will be a few minutes, so you wait in the lobby

And when I say waiting, I mean “watching intently and nervously judging every haircut I see taking place.” OK, maybe some nail-biting and hair-twirling, too. Why does seeing a new hairstylist have to be so scary?!

2. When you immediately take advantage of the adult beverage menu

Hey, if it calms the nerves on a first date, it can work for a first date with a new hairstylist, right? (Right!)

3. When your hairstylist greets you and finally takes you to her chair

OK, I’m digging her brightly colored hair and her (insert quirky hairstylist fashion trait), but I’m not sure that’s quite the look I’m going for. Oh my gosh, what if she tries to talk me into pink highlights and when I say no, she just does it anyway?! I’m still panicking.

4. When she leaves to mix the hair color and you find yourself wondering what magical formulations could be taking her so long

Okay, seriously. It’s been ten minutes. What could she be doing? At least I have this second glass of wine and a copy of People. I guess I really can’t complain when this is the first moment I’ve had to relax all week. Do these chairs recline?

5. When you can’t stop talking while she works her magic

Okay, what did they put in this wine? An hour later, I’m pretty sure this stylist knows my whole life story including the horrible breakup I had after college. Maybe that’s how they get you! They massage your head until you tell all your darkest secrets and then you have to come back, because they know too much.

6. When you can’t say a word because that scalp massage is nap-inducing.

What was I saying again? Oh. My. God. This scalp massage is heaven! And the smell of that shampoo is so amazing. Did it come from the end of a rainbow? No, don’t turn on the water! I should find a subtle way to ask if I could pay her to just give me a 20 minute scalp massage. Is that a thing? I should Google it.

7. When you realize this appointment was a great idea

Alright, it seems like she knows what she’s doing. And it doesn’t seem like she’s taking off more than I wanted on the length. Phew! Definitely glad I skipped trying this at home. I still remember when I had to grow out those horrid at-home bangs of 2011.

8. When you realize you could probably be a supermodel if someone styled your hair everyday.

Am I walking taller? Did I just swivel my hips? I think this is what fabulous looks like! Check out this blowout and my fresh cut. It’s like I’m still me, but a more perfect version of me! I have to make plans to show off this look tonight.

9. When the receptionist says, “That will be $200, please.”

I can’t believe I used to make this much in a week when I was in college and now I’m spending it on one hair appointment. But then I catch my reflection in the mirror, and hey, you can’t put a price on a killer hairstylist (and free wine).

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