Newest Review: ... up and wait" type of thing but as I'd had my Christmas appointment booked for months (my hairdresser is very organised) I was t... more
Making getting your hair cut a 2.5 hour long people watching experience.
Member Name: MarieHHH
Advantages: No need to pre book
Disadvantages: Long wait, added in extras mean not cheap, no magazines while waiting
There are some things in life that I just accept that I'm bad at, and remembering to book an appointment to have my hair cut falls into that category. As a result of this I'm a frequent flyer at the types of salons that operate a 'turn up and wait' policy, and most recently found myself sitting in a hair express. For over two and a half hours. Therefore, despite my experience of Hair Express being confined to a single visit I feel qualified to write this review, having witnessed at least ten other people's experiences of cuts and multiple more customers experience of the salon in general...
Large 'menu-like' board in window states a variety of cutting options with (very reasonable) prices, which I won't state (for reasons to be revealed later). Clean laminate flooring, lots of products for sale in the front of the salon. I walked in and hovered by the desk and was asked if I needed any help within a minute. Having established I wanted a hair cut I was invited to take a seat. It was at this point I realised there were only 4 uncomfortable-looking chairs squeezed in around all the merchandised products. 3 were already occupied, so I sat down to wait on the fourth.
So, having sat down, I realised there was no-where to put my coat, and no magazines/papers to read. Hmm. Well, I enjoy people-watching, this could be OK still...
The people watching
In the two and a half hours (the ladies working there did concede it was quite a busy day) I observed the following:
- 5 customers who came in to buy styling products, all of whom were dealt with swiftly, courteously and knowledgably.
- 6 customers who came in shortly after me to enquire about a haircut. All were given estimates of around an hour to an hour and a half before they could have their cut. All but 2 instantly declined. Of the 2 who accepted, one loitered uncomfortably by the 'coloured hair' shampoo selection for 15 minutes since there were no chairs then decided she'd go. The other lent against a wall looking moody and eventually got her hair cut after me, well over two hours after she'd arrived.
- 1 customer who for some reason was excused from the queuing system and was welcomed in front of the four of us who were waiting. Being british, we all looked intently at the floor/ceiling when this occurred.
- 7 other customers hair cuts. One lady ended up paying £96 for what I interpreted as a wash, full head of colour, cut and style and blow dry and one product. Hairstyle looked nice. I didn't manage to catch what the others paid for their hair. A stunning lady had her long hair converted into a short bob with just a dry cut and it looked fabulous. A short hair cut and highlights on another lady came out looking quite 'Essex', but that may have been the look she was going for. The other 4 all seemed happy enough with their cuts, and to me as a casual observer they all looked fine.
The hair cut
When I was eventually called into the depths of the salon my hairdresser managed a good balance of friendly chat without being overly prying/verbal-diarrhoea-esque. She grasped what I wanted, washed my hair in a most relaxing way, and subtly threw in a 'conditioning' treatment which would increase my bill at the end. She was also still dealing with another customer, as well as enquiries at the front of the salon, so I didn't feel I had her undivided attention at all, which is always a bit disconcerting when someone is cutting your hair.
The haircut itself was rapid and the end result was a nice shape and definitely bearable, but I think if asked to score it I'd limit it to a 7 out of 10. The blow dry was actually painful as she pulled my hair so much - I think she was so busy supervising what everyone else was doing she just didn't notice my grimaces of pain.
I ended up paying £38 for a wash, cut and blow dry . This was considerably more than the board outside and I'm assuming was to do with the 'conditioning' treatment. I also bought the product she'd used to give my hair volume and when I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find they had sold it at the same price I could've got it on the internet.
All in all, a mixed experience. It irked that the wait was longer than was guestimated, but then I suppose its hard to tell how long a haircut will take. The lady who cut the queue irked more, and the fact I was sitting on an uncomfortable chair with nothing to distract me definitely didn't help my general tolerance levels. The cut itself was fine, the employees were all unfailing professional and cheery despite being busy but were clearly trying to make as much money as possible by adding in 'extras' and pushing products.
Overall it was not cheap and took a long time - I'd advised either going during the week (I'd picked a Saturday) or being organised enough to use a salon that books appointments. If you do use Hair Express and are on a budget, be clear about getting your hairdresser to quote you a price before starting. And take your own magazine.
Summary: Take your own magazine
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