After growing out a bad haircut for nine months I visited Salon du Beau Monde, a high-toned salon/spa in New Orleans, seeking a new stylist. I chose this salon due to myriad glowing reviews regarding the competence and high standards of the place.
I wish I'd paid more attention to the dates on said reviews, some of the most recent were two years old.
Melissa, a stylist on duty, agreed to accept me as a walk-in. She was pleasant and hospitable and gave me a lengthy consultation. I explained to her that I disliked the current shape of my hair and had grown it out most of the year (hair length to my middle back, choppy assymetrical layers past chin length.) I explained the "edgy" look did not work with my wardrobe, lifestyle, or employment and specified I needed more even harmonious distribution of layers to allow my natural curl to show to full advantage.
I explained to her I was very low-maintenance with my hair. I also requested that she blow-dry my hair in its natural texture so that I would be able to see what the cut actually looked like. I was emphatic in my wish to avoid the thick clump of bangs obscuring the left side of my face and requested she angle them and allow them to blend with the length. Melissa agreed with everything I said and I felt confident in allowing her to cut my hair.
Melissa did a good job with cutting most of the choppy layers out. However, she cut the ends to encourage flipping (I preferred the ends to roll under, not flip). She also angled the front of my hair as I requested. However, after parting my hair to the side, for some reason she proceded to re-cut the thick clump of bangs I'd told her NOT to cut!
Then she blow-dried my new shoulder length hair...and styled it straight! I objected, stating that I wished to see the natural shape/texture of my hair, I NEVER blow-dry styled my hair at home, etc.. Melissa persisted, stating it was "necessary" to dry it straight "so that (I) could see the layers were cut more evenly." She reassured me that, if for some reason I was dissatisfied "just come back after the weekend and (she)'d fix it."
Styled straight, my hair looked very nice and orderly. I was not happy about the bangs but they were cut pretty long (hit my cheekbone) and I rationalized I could grow them out.
One shampoo later...I found myself in wiry/flipping uneven HAIR HELL.
I returned to Salon du Beau Monde the following Monday. Melissa was less gracious about the touch-up than her earlier assurance led me to expect. I pointed out to her the hair was more thickly layered on one side and the bangs were falling into my face. Melissa claimed she "could add a few more layers on the opposite side to balance things out."
This sounded reasonable to me, so I sat in the chair. Melissa draped my shoulder with a barber cape and snipped a few quick layers into the BACK of the opposite side of my hair!
So, I now had uneven shaggy front layers on one side of my hair and uneven back layers on the opposite side. Meanwhile, the thick shaggy bangs stayed where they were.
After one week of attempted styling options (combs, barettes, clips, roller sets) I came to the painful conclusion that my hair was mutilated. There was simply no way to style it into a flattering look. The bangs were cut thick and shorter than the fringe on the opposite side of my face. I have a broad squared face shape and this only enhanced the width. I have oily skin and so my hair was constantly dirty. Meanwhile, I have chronic breakout because styling product is being rubbed into my face by the shaggy hair.
I phoned the salon and made a third appointment, explaining the haircut just did not work for me on any level and I needed a new cut. I arrived at my appointment with photographs (of myself) with more flattering hairstyles and I also brought a bonnet (I'm a historical reenactor).
I met a tight-lipped unsmiling Melissa at the front desk and she bluntly asked, "What do you want me to do?" I explained to her that the bangs were uncomfortable and unflattering, I put on the bonnet to demonstrate to her how unsuitable it looked. I also held up pieces of my hair showing her how uneven and awkward the hair looked.
Melissa explained to me she was "unable to fix my hair any further since (the salon's) policy was to guarantee a haircut for one week only." I told her I had no problem paying for a new haircut as long as the problems of the cut were dealt with. Melissa politely declined to cut my hair. I asked if anyone else was able to assist me with this problem.
Dallas Alleman, the salon's owner/proprieter, came to the front desk and grudgingly offered to look at the pictures. He refused to cut my hair and claimed the cut was not the salon's fault "because it was already badly cut before I came to them." I pointed out to him that my previous haircut was 9 months old, grown to mid-back length with chin-length layers. I told him I wanted aid with getting my hair in a decent shape and style that enhanced my looks and hair texture. I reminded him the stylist re-cut the unwanted bangs, etc.
Alleman grew loud and abusive. He insisted I needed to grow my hair longer (but did not provide a specific duration of how long my hair needed to be to correct the problems) and repeated he was unable to help me. I asked if there were alternatives--such as a shorter length--where the thick bangs might be more easily blended into a more attractive look that I might grow out. I kept my tone moderate and polite, hoping my calmness would calm him. Alleman screamed at me that he would not cut my hair.
It was the most dehumanizing experience I've ever had. The man would not even look me in the eye as he shouted at me. I requested a referral to an alternative stylist or salon and he refused to provide that assistance as well.
This salon came highly recommended. Quite frankly, this is not what I expect when I patronize a well-reputed salon. It's not just that I've got nothing positive to show for growing out my hair for a near year and the fee I paid the salon, it's the hostile abuse heaped upon me by Alleman.
The very least the man could have done was feigned interest in helping me, perhaps offered to teach me some styling technique that might make the cut more "workable" until it grew out. Instead he treated me like I was a bother to him and not worthy of his time.
At this point, my hair has grown enough that I can at least sweep it off my face. It still looks chronically messy and unruly. Some of the bangs still fall out of the barettes or hairpins and dangle over my eyes and nose. I HATE peek-a-boo hair.
I am resigned to living through another year of hating how I look every day. But this man and his company will never have my good opinion or my recommendation.