Unwittingly Offending Hairstylists

I have this non-habit—if such a word exists— to not choose my hairstylist when I get a haircut. In fact, I used to not even make reservations for haircuts because I find it a hassle. But while most hair salons do accept walk-in customers, I always feel like I’m given a dirty look when I walk in and tell them I do not have any reservations made. And because I don’t like to wait indefinitely and I definitely don’t want to get turned away (even though making reservations doesn’t guarantee you an on-time service), I have grown to start making reservations before heading down.

Regardless, I do not have the habit of specifying which hairdresser to do my hair. After all, I would assume the bulk of the salon’s hairstylists are of a certain standard and that makes it pointless for me to pay an additional 500-1,000 yen (approx. SGD$6-12) to choose my stylist if I was going to get the same quality. Even though I gradually learned the hard way that is not always the case, I still mostly do not fork out additional cash to choose any single person. I just stop going if someone there ruins my hair.

But every time I return to a particular salon and not choose the same person, sometimes I get assigned the same stylist and sometimes I don’t. And during the times I don’t, there were a few times my usual stylist was attending to a customer just next to me and she could recognise me and then there would be this awkward exchange of nods and smiles. And that made me wonder:

Do hairstylists feel offended when their customers don’t choose them for repeat visits?

Because if it were me, I would assume that the customer didn’t like how I did it for them the last time which is why they didn’t choose me this time round. And even more so if I was available during that time.

The first time I started specifying my hairdresser was when I was going to artist AX near Shinjuku station’s west exit. That was also where I experienced a huge earthquake as the old building shook while I was seated at a pretty high floor but I digress. The manager of the store was so good, I felt like I can request for any hair style and he can do a great job at it, and in the many times I’ve been there, he’s never failed me.

Unfortunately, the shop folded for what reason I do not know and for a good while, I have been switching hair salons frequently since nobody was able to make the cut (pun unintended).

There was also this girl at a Mitaka salon who was very skilled with the scissors that I used to choose to do my hair but that was several years ago.

Recently, after having my hair grown pretty long (“short” in Japan’s context), Dirty Shoes decided to get a hair cut and color it herself. So she suggested going together. I left the search to her and she found salon Funic (pronounced fah-nik) in Yokohama. Since it was our first time there, we were randomly assigned a hairstylist and I think I just found the second guy I would pay extra (500 yen max) to have him do my hair. He was so good, I decided I would stick with him merely some 2-3 minutes into my haircut.

With the Shinjuku guy, I could tell his skill after he gave me my first haircut, but with this guy, it was obvious he’s got the chops (pun intended) when he just started with the side of my hair.

I just hope my lack of interest in having someone familiar do my hair repeatedly hasn’t offended anyone so far. After all, between looking good and saving money, I’d choose the latter. That’s why D also said my clothes look like crap.


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