Model wiith pick and drop style (curly)

I have met several women who say they have given up on hairdressers due to far too many bad experiences and now opt to wash, treat and style their own hair.

After a rather unfortunate hair experience several months ago I can’t say I blame them.

Earlier this year I was bored with my usual hairstyle so my hairdresser suggested I try ‘Pick and Drop’ braids. The ‘Pick and Drop’ style involves braiding long extensions in to your hair, stopping just as you reach the end of your natural hair, tying a tiny knot and then leaving the rest out.  (Click HERE to watch a full demonstration).

I arrived early for my Saturday hair appointment full of beans and excited at the prospect of leaving the salon in the late afternoon with a new sexy look. My hairdresser gave my hair a steam treatment first and when that was over and done with her Jamaican trainee took over. The trainee is a pleasant enough young lady but at the same time could also benefit from attending a customer care and communications course.

Anyway when the trainee reached the section of the hair that’s supposed to be tied in to a tiny knot my hairdresser handed her a bottle of black BONDING GLUE!!!  Now I am not an expert when it comes to braiding and the different techniques used in 2011. I am clueless. The last time I had my hair braided in extensions was way back in the 1980s, when I was still in primary school. However something about this did seem a little off.

I turned to the trainee and asked her if this was a new technique. When did they start mixing bonding glue with braids? I was under the impression that bonding glue was only used sometimes to glue in weaves (at the customer’s request).  But the trainee just mumbled something about it now being in fact the norm to add bonding clue to the ‘Pick and Drop’ style,  so on she went using bonding glue to seal each individual braid as she went along, under the “tuition” of my hairdresser, who I still assumed knew what she was doing.

Fast-forward to late afternoon and my hair was finally complete.  It looked pretty good and I was happy. But as soon as I got home a few braids fell out because the trainee hadn’t braided them in reasonably tight enough, the hair felt sticky and wet (thanks to the bonding glue), and as each day passed the situation worsened. Traces of black bonding glue were all over my hands, my pillow, some managed to get on my clothes and some even dripped on to my beige carpet. I was livid!

When I told my friends about the situation they were shocked (particularly the ones who have worn the same hairstyle style before).  Not one of them had ever heard of any hairdresser using this “technique” before, and called my hairdresser a “mad woman” and “just lazy – she used the glue to save time”.

After about a week I had had enough and ventured down to the salon to show her the mess that cost me over £100. She seemed stunned and insisted that this had never happened to other customers. I sat there thinking ‘that’s highly unlikely. Those customers probably experienced what I experienced but chose not to say anything. Or I was the first customer you tried out this little “experiment” on’.

It was then later agreed that I would go back and get it redone for half price. I did return, this time insisting that they NOT use the bonding glue or any other type of glue.  The trainee did a slightly better job this time around and I ended up paying less than half price but I’m afraid that the damage had already been done.

It was during this experience when I realised that although extremely gifted and skilled at weaving, styling and cutting hair, my hairdresser clearly lacked knowledge and skill when it came to the different braiding hairstyles and therefore failed to guide her trainee effectively, which I later ended up paying for.

She should have just been honest.

The relationship between a hairdresser and client can be a complex one. When they advise well, listen and go on to do a brilliant job you just want to hug and kiss them. But when they mess up the anger that builds up within is quite frankly indescribable. You just want to buss heads.

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20 replies »

  1. You shouldnt of had to have paid again, even if it was half price. She took the piss and used you as her guinea pig. Feisty and out of order!

  2. I think I was used as a guinea pig . and I also learned that braiding etc isn’t this hairdresser or the trainee’s speciality at all. There are people out there who can do that style a hundred times better and charge a lot less! And looking back I shouldn’t have been charged at all because they messed up big time.

  3. Talk about a bad hair day or in your case a bad hair week. This type of stuff isn’t funny as it is sometimes not always the case where you can start again from scratch. There are alot of back street cowgirl hairdressers popping up nowadays, thought that because they worked on their bredren’s hair on road, that this now qualifies them for the salon. Sorry to hear about your experience.

    You have to learn to go with your instincts more, you knew something was wrong as soon as the glue came out but this system has trained us to always give the benefit of the doubt, keep quiet and not kick up a fuss, however sometimes that benefit of the doubt treatment can come back to bite us in our backsides hard.

    We as so called black people were a more vocal nation back in the day however regrettably we have been lulled into the “stiff upper lip” mentality for fear of being called “unprofessional” or being “too emotional”. We have to regain that courage to speak out again.

    Just a few months ago, I stood outside my home station for about 20 minutes where I blasted 3 toy town cops(community police) for telling me to press my oyster card on the reader. I told them straight that they were not qualified in revenue inspection, they did not have the relevant licences or equipment to determine who has the correct ticket from who hasn’t. They tried to tell me that they could enforce the railway bylaws but I told them that they should come back with revenue control inspectors to do that.

    One thing I have learned is that if you do not speak up, people will see that as a sign of weakness and take the mikey out of you. As one of my friend’s used to say to me “familiarity breeds contempt”.

    You don’t have to start big either, just a small questioning of so called “authority” here and there is enough to get the fire burning in the chest again.

  4. Sorry to hear about your experience. Did the lady mess up your hair because she was Jamaican? Didn’t get why you mentioned her nationality.

  5. When the glue came out you should have run. Plenty of hair ‘stylists’ calling themselves hairdressers these days. I stay away from weave shops where my natural hair is concerned 90% of them have no clue how to handle hair they can’t buy.

  6. The thing is up until that point I had no problems with her. She’s good when it comes to weaving, cutting, styling etc and I just assumed she would be good at braiding, so there was that trust there. Boy was I was wrong … LOL.

    “90% of them have no clue how to handle hair they can’t buy.”

    That’s so true

  7. On the one hand I can understand people wanting to get training on the job to perfect their skills, but the problem comes in when some of these hair stylists are not supervised by their bosses, make a mess of one’s hair and scalp, charge extortionate prices and then tell you how you look beautiful. And on looking in the mirror, its a different story. I had a nightmare of tight cornraws for 2 weeks. I blame myself for changing a hairstylist. I didn’t complain but I never went back again. And yes, you just want to punch them sometimes. Haha

  8. As a very rare wearer of any weave, braids etc (I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had this done ever) this is another reason why.

    I had my hairdresser of eleven years up until the beginning of this year look after my hair and our relationship was more than client and hairdresser. She ran a tight ship, I was always early if anything, was seen on time and left no more than 2 hours later (2.5 was seen as leaving late)

    So the experiences I’ve had since she has retired due to ill health have been horrific. I don’t know how you can sit in a salon all day and have people putting their hands in three, four other people at the same time. And half of these places resemble a deli counter.

    I’d only used when my hairdresser was away for a significant period of time and my hair would look a state if I waited until she came back, I didn’t trust just anyone relaxing and cutting my hair, I’m not a fan of weaves etc but it ‘would do’ until she came back.

    I honestly can safely say I feel u on these frauds passing themselves off as stylists.

  9. OMG Jan!! That is awful! I have had every experience with hairdressers – good and bad and I know what it is like to have a wotless hairdresser. Glue on a pick and drop? Who does that? Glue is really damaging to our hair, why would they think that was ok? They should have done your hair again for free. Losers!!

  10. Janice your hair look lovely. Nice pic. Too bad there was that glue fiasco. What baffles me is that she had the nerve to charge you half price, for a mess they created. I have learn that you never let your guards down with a hairdresser regardless of how long you have been their customer, they’ll will neglect you just to make a buck. I’m assuming she was busy reason why she did not give her employee the proper supervision.

  11. My advice is to always youtube the ‘how to do’ of your hair style! Then you get to see it being done and hear peoples opinions on what works best!

  12. Wow, sorry to hear about this bad experience. Some hairdressers do get a bit lazy when it comes to single braids. I can only imagine people would have been able to see the glue too. As everyone else said it was a real cheek you was charged again.

  13. Yes after a couple of days if you looked close up you could see the glue and it had turned white. When I showed my now FORMER hairdresser she couldn’t understand why it was white, because she had used black bonding glue. She then suggested using clear glue next time. *shaking my head*

    I shut that down!

  14. LOL @ glue turning white. It’s not even funny but I am just visualising the white glue. Madness. As if black woman hasn’t got enough problems with her hair. *shakes head*

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July 2011
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