I Went to a Two-Star Hair Salon and This Is What I Learned

As a girl, like I’m sure many do, I prioritize my hair just as much as my clothes. Once I finally found the exact color and cut I love on me, I always pamper myself for a day at the salon to get it all done.

I was recently in desperate need of getting a full color and many inches chopped off. Because I waited so last minute and needed to get an appointment booked for the same day I was scheduling it, my only option was a small shop I’d never heard of in a location I’d never been to.

Up until this point, I was a loyal customer to the five-star salon back in my hometown. Everytime I walk in there, I’m greeted with a cup of coffee and offered to have my coat hung up in a closet, while I immediately get a whiff of expensive hair products. The whole place and its workers look and act so professional and it is shown through their work on my hair as well. And I, of course, have to thank my hard-working mom as she continues to support the five-star bill that comes with it. There’s not many things I enjoy more than a relaxing day at the salon, and I am very grateful I’m able to go to this one over and over again.

I was fortunate enough to get into this place within a couple hours of calling, but I was somewhat skeptical of the photos and reviews I saw online.

When I got to my 2 p.m. appointment, there were a couple kids running around while their mom got her nails done. Two people were working, a woman, the owner, and her daughter, who I found out was turning 19 years old that day. The daughter brought me to a seat to get me prepped for my coloring. Luckily I spotted a coat rack in the corner of the room, so I got up quickly to hang it. My bag, however, I had to put on the ground along with the previously cut hair.

I noticed things weren’t very organized and the counters were messy. The appliances didn’t coordinate and furniture also didn’t coordinate.

Once the owner finished the woman she was taking care of, she mixed my color and started dying my hair. I’m used to the cosmetologist going through layer by layer and painting it on, the layers being just as thin as a paper’s width. This time, however, she dabbed the paint brush around my head in no particular fashion, as my head jerked every which way. It only took about ten minutes for her to go through my extremely thick locks.

I started getting pretty concerned at this point. Did the dye get all the way to my roots? Is it going to last in my hair for the regular amount of time?

My absolute favorite part of going to the salon is getting my head massaged while it’s being washed. The daughter washed my hair after letting the color set for 30 minutes. No massaging took place, think more tugging and rushing.

When it came time to blow dry it, she seemed as though she was going to fall asleep waiting for it to not be wet anymore.

The owner then cut my hair, in a strategy I’ve never seen before, and I was finally finished.

Granted with this experience, I didn’t pay nearly as much as I would have at other salons in Chicago, however it was almost even with my favorite place back home because of its small-town prices. It’s been over a week now since I got it done and I’d like to revisit my attitude towards the two-star salon:

Today, my hair is much shorter and healthier than it was before I went there. The color is also the exact shade I wanted, and it is still fully showing up even after a few washes. The layers in the back of my head don’t necessarily look how layers are supposed to, but I can work with them. I also didn’t break the bank by going there.

No matter the look of the salon or personal treatment I received there, I went in asking for something and left with exactly that. The owner was working her butt off as at least five more people came in for a walk-in appointment in the span of me being there. She strategically placed and worked on us so that no one was waiting too long and made use of every second of her time, while munching on strawberries whenever she got the chance to pick one up.

I give this woman and her daughter major props for hustling and making a living with a local business that clearly many people appreciate. They do what they have to do to get through this crazy world and I’m grateful they took the time on me to do what they do best.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a hair salon by its rating or physical features inside it.