Karma Salon & Spa
- Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, United States
May 27, 2011 - I knew it was all over from the moment she pulled out a bristled brush.
When I say dry cut, we discuss the curl by curl process I prefer, and I explain what not to do specifically (no brushes, no shampoo, no parting my hair AT ALL) I expect you to either follow my requests because I am the customer, or tell me that you can't meet my needs.
First of all, I booked my appointment weeks in advance and showed up 15 minutes early. No one was at the desk and a lone manicurist sat at a table in the back and basically watched me looking for help. When I tried asking her if someone was coming back, she got up and went into the back room. Rude.
I waited for Rachel for almost an hour past my appointment time. She never apologized for being late. At the same time a woman and her son were waiting for their male stylist, who was (according to the phone call made by the receptionist who finally showed up) almost two hours behind schedule and not even in the salon yet. When he finally showed he also failed to apologize. A casual relationship with time is one thing, but I work 60 hours a week and like to spend my Saturday doing things other than waiting around being ignored.
Rachel asked me questions about my hair, but seemed more interested in correcting my thoughts than understanding my needs. I explained I follow some of the same rules other curly haired girls do and needed to keep that going - that meant a dry cut followed by a simple rinse and condition, a firm hold product (either gel or mousse, no creams or lotions) and then drying with a diffuser. I even stated that I brought my own products to show her what I use, and would be fine leaving wet if there was no way to diffuse dry my hair. I was interested in color but it needed to be no ammonia and all the products needed to be free of sulfates and silicone.
I explained AT LENGTH how my hair has a hard time breaking the parts used when someone cuts it, and that I really wanted her to try to avoid parting it. I also have a hard time getting my curl structure back, so separating the curls was a no-no.
She clearly ignored all my requests, then whipped out a bristly brush and caused me a significant amount of pain as she ruthlessly ripped through my hair. It was humiliating to sit there looking like Diana Ross on a bad day, but the point of the dry cut is to see how my curls work! Why would you spend a half hour destroying my hair? I was fuming by this point. She parted my hair in multiple places - including the horrible back center part making me look bald from the rear for days - shampooed my hair against my wishes, and applied color. My timer went off and 15 minutes went by before someone finally decided to rinse me. My drape came undone and I ended up staining my shirt during yet another shampoo.
She then trimmed my hair up wet (again, why?) and ignored my choking and reaching for my water. Apparently the discussion of her trip to see Lady Gaga with the other late stylist was more important. To top off the ordeal, she ignored my final requests of a firm hold product and diffuser and did exactly what I asked her not to do - rubbed a "curl lotion" into my hair, added some frizz balm of some sort, and stuck me under a halo dryer. As I had predicted, my hair was sticky, frizzy, and flat. My scalp was fried, and I was annoyed. She then basically stared me down for a tip when I was paying - a HUGE no no in my book is ever tipping an owner - and kept telling me how "pretty" I looked. The moment I walked in the door my boyfriend laughed at me. It took almost a week to get it back to normal, then I had to trim it again myself.
I don't know what is so difficult about listening to someone with 28 years of experience with this head of hair, but it seems to be a running theme that stylists think they know better than I do how to care for my own curls. Needless to say, this salon has now made my ever growing blacklist.