Q: I'm trying to grow my hair long, but I don't seem to be able to gain any length. Whenever I go for a trim, my hairdresser removes a lot length. When for instance I go for a trim after growing my hair out
for 2 months, she removes so much length that I end up again at the starting point. Even when there is no uneven growth she removes a bunch of length. Is this normal? Shouldn't she simply look for split ends and
remove those? Or is this too time consuming and is it easier and faster to simply remove a lot of length without trying to identify the split ends? Is this professional?
A: A good stylist will also note his or her clients’ long-term goals for the hair. For instance, if a client would like to go shorter, but is afraid of drastic change, the stylist would note that the intention is to
ultimately reach a much shorter length and plan out a set of “stages” to achieve that goal. When the goal is to grow the hair out to a longer ultimate length, this would also be noted so that the stylist is reminded
each time the client comes in to trim the hair as little as needed to remove unevenness and keep the hair free of split or damaged ends.
Of course, many clients see a stylist who they have developed a relationship with over the course of years. This is often a dual-edged sword, for while the stylist generally knows what pleases the client and the
client generally trusts the stylist implicitly, habits can form. In many cases, the client will walk in, and the stylist sees the client’s hair and it triggers a memory of the last visit and the way the hair was
cut at that time. (I personally can look at my regular clients when I see them and immediately remember the specifics of their last haircut.) It is a trait that most stylists develop, due to the fact that in training
we are taught that above all else, consistency is a key to making the customer happy. The client wants to know that you can repeat the look they want when they want it.
The trouble is that this trait can lead the stylist to automatically repeat the previous cut. And often, the client (who was immensely pleased with the haircut before) sees that the hair is just the way it was before
and may not even realize that the long-term goal has been bypassed (or specifically delayed) because the hair was returned to a previous length.
So, the bottom line is that rather than any unprofessionalism, or ineptitude on the part of the stylist, it is a matter of simple lack of communication and differing habits. The client often bears at least a measure
of responsibility, since she is the one who knows what she wants and must make sure the stylist has that in mind. However, if you are clearly stating your desire to the stylist and she or he is not at least trying to
do as you ask, then you should seriously consider finding a new stylist. A stylist should always help steer a client away from unflattering or unreasonable expectations, but should be explaining “why” in any instance
where she doesn’t give the client specifically what is desired.