I am ready to explode. I am sitting in my hairdressers house with wet hair and a towel over my head while she puts in highlights and color in someone else's hair.

She is a really good hairdresser who does my hair in her home. We were friends first and then she offered to do my hair at her house at a discount. I still pay $75.00 for a cut and color so it's not that cheap.

But what has always bothered me is that she always complains about how people take advantage of her and friendships/relationships end. She tends to bend over backwards but I always worry about accepting her "kindness" because of her complaints about being taken advantage of. Then I feel compelled to perhaps tip or do something nice for her "kindness" so that she won't feel taken advantage of my me.

I called her last week to see if she could cut my hair today. She left a message telling me that she was going on vacation on wednedsy (tomorrow) and was all booked up on Tuesday (today). Tuesday is the day she works out of her house.

She told me that she couldn't do my hair until the 26th. I left her a message that I would take whatever she had on the 26th

A few days later I get a message from her that she could possibly fit me in Monday or Wednedsy and when was I available. I couldn't do either so she offered me a spot this morning at 9 with the caveat that I couldn't be late and I couldn't leave the house while my color was processing. (I often leave to go to the ATM to get money to pay her).

I agreed and I was ten minutes rarly this morning. I knocked. No one answered. I sat on her stoop for a few minutes then called to tell her I was here. She let me in at 8:57

She wasnt completely ready. She spent a few minutes organizing herself wtc and then put my color in. I was tired and didn't feel like chatting. I was hoping she had some housework or something to do while my color processed but she sat and talked to me for the 25 Minites.

While she was rinsing my hair, her next client came. At 10:08, she decides to put in highlights and color of the next client so her hair could process while she cuts my hair. Now it's almost a half an hour later and I am still waiting.

My anger has been building up for a long time over how long it takes to get my hair done. I usually have to sit a bit like today while she puts color in someone's hair but she knows that I am going on a long road trip today. She also talks a lot and I think uses the appointments to fulfill her social needs.

So now I have been here an hour and a half and she still hadn't cut my hair. Is that how long it would take if I went to a salon?

Why couldn't she have had me come at 9:30 so while my color was processing, she could color and highlight the woman she is doing now. I am so furious and trying to contain my anger.

I don't know if there is something I should say or can say to let her know I would rather not wait so long. Or should I just find a new hairdresser. You know how it is with hairdressers though. It's hard to find a good one. And she has done the best job with my difficult hair than anyone ever. Though I am willing to look for someone else but can this relationship be saved???

Okay now it's officially a half an hour.
Original Post
I've been seeing the same person for 6 years. My full color and cut takes 2hrs every time. My stylist doesn't talk to me while I process because I just chill, however I've yet to meet a stylist who doesn't talk, or hang out with their client. I know several friends (and me too) who find their stylist to be a sort of therapy... I love talking to her about gossip and trashy reality tv that I would never admit to someone else I know anything about. Anyway, I am not really qualified to diagnose my stylist with a social issue but I think a lot of them talk.

I'm sorry you've had to wait - I really hate waiting. It's not surprising you've had to wait so long if she is applying highlights to someone else, that stuff takes a while. Even my all over takes a while to get on there! Waiting with wet hair cannot be fun either. You'd think she would have scheduled it so you'd be processing while she did the other person but then of she was it ting and they needed a wash out it would such for them to lose hair or whatever. Crappy situation.

If it makes you mad and is bad service, I'd mention something. I have in the past with a medical provider I saw. I also saw, when I was in my late teens, some jerk at a salon who wouldn't dry my hair because the highlights he was putting in "took too long"... As if that was somehow my problem... I expressed my extreme disappointment (especially because I was walking home and it was sub zero outside) paid them enough for the product they used and left. Since you don't tip her anyway you can't really say it that way... You could ask for a discount though or something?

If you don't like her in general and she talks about annoying stuff and takes too long for you is suggest finding someone new. Any chance a friend can recommend? You could also ask a stranger whose hair you like... My stylist is amazing and I get compliments or questions from strangers about her work all the time. It's awkward but I feel good in a way and I'm happy to brag about her and give out a card!

I think getting your hair done should be a relaxing experience, something to look forward to. I just saw mine this past weekend early in the morning at her salon... She always greets and says goodbye with a hug (she's adorable and young) but welcomed me this weekend with her arms in the air saying "ready to do this!?" It gave me instant happy energy. She also asked if we could try something new (I trust her with my hair), etc. That's the kind of person I think everyone should see - someone who makes them happy and feel pretty.

If it's all negative and icky that's no good Frowner
Hey Liese-
I'm wondering, did you feel criticized by her requests that you be on time and not leave? I hate feeling criticized, it makes me super defensive and pissy, and I probably would have felt that. I'm wondering if that's a factor.

I think getting your hair done should be a relaxing experience, something to look forward to. I just saw mine this past weekend early in the morning at her salon... She always greets and says goodbye with a hug (she's adorable and young) but welcomed me this weekend with her arms in the air saying "ready to do this!?" It gave me instant happy energy. She also asked if we could try something new (I trust her with my hair), etc. That's the kind of person I think everyone should see - someone who makes them happy and feel pretty.

If it's all negative and icky that's no good

Yes, I agree. It may be time for a change. I can't believe it takes 2 hours to do your hair. Wink What the heck do you have done?


I was okay with what she said. I'm often 10 − 15 minutes late and always feel bad. She was doing me a favor by getting me in. I did also have a 6 hour car ride after I got my hair done. I wanted to go home and straighten up the house before I left. And, I also wound up spending an hour at the mechanics getting my oil changed and brakes checked. I didn't have the extra time. Maybe I should have just turned down her offer to see me before she left for vacation?

I felt like I was on the verge of a reenactment but can't really sort it out. It was if I should be grateful for her getting me in and that it took away my right to be assertive about my needs. Honestly, I would have been fine waiting until the 26th. Yes, I was happy that she was able to squeeze me in BUT I really would have been okay waiting.

It's like someone wants you to be happy because they are doing something nice for you but offering you something you didn't ask for and they will get angry if I don't like what they are offering. Does that make sense?

Maybe I just don't like her anymore? I used to enjoy the chatter and, yes, it often was therapeutic but the time it takes to do my hair just got longer and longer and we kind of ran out of topics except for "so, how was vacation?" I started to resent the delays. She often stops doing my hair to talk to me and I sit there seething, just wanting to get on with my day and get out of there.

Our kids are in the same grade and used to be great friends when they were little. (They are different genders and both going into 8th grade. On a good day, they might acknowledge each other.) But, the parents invite us to parties when they have them and we have always had a good relationship with them. It would be awkward to stop seeing her. However, if I go to a salon, at least I won't feel as rude if I decide to be quiet and just chill.

But maybe am I wrong in that I have to keep my mouth shut? Like, today, for instance, after I finished writing the above, I calmed myself down and just went over and asked how they were doing.

It made me think about my Old therapist and how he had an expectation that people should be in therapy to change. There was no doubt in my mind that I was there to change. I just didn't know how. My therapy stalled. I felt frustrated but he thought I just fell in love with him and so was putting "professional" distance between us. Yes, I wound up developing feelings and I do think his inaccessibility played into my issues BUT it was the same sort of situation where I really did feel unhappy that I wasn't changing, that I was still the same person. I really was there for therapy. I felt as though I couldn't help it that I developed feelings for him. I also knew that I certainly didn't GO to therapy in the first place to develop feelings. I didn't want to live but with a house full of kids, knew I had to do something about it.

At the time, I remember reading things on the internet like, "if you have this problem, go see a therapist." I would read it and say, "yes, I do have that problem and I am seeing a therapist but for some reason feel as I am inappropriate somehow." I also remember reading, "go to therapy and transform your relationships." I thought it was ironic that I was in therapy and felt very frustrated that my relationships weren't transformed and I had not resolved the anger towards my mother that I wanted to resolve.

What happened was that I picked up on my old therapists expectations and doubted myself. His shit (the "I have to be careful or else clients will fall in love with me") got in the way of him reading me the right way. I wound up putting myself in the position of trying to prove to him that I really wanted to change while stuffing my anger and growing resentment that he didn't actually know what he was doing and feeling like I had to be grateful that he kept me on. It was so screwed up and I sense a similar dynamic with the hairdresser that I don't want to repeat. Does that make sense?
Hi Liese... It's uncomfortable but I do think it's okay to say something if you need to. It's also okay to say No (if the 26th is still good, and sooner is inconvenient... No is okay). It does get tricky with things that are sorts favors. Lots of feelings to work through, and sometimes we assume the expectations, feelings, thoughts or reactions of others... I think that is why it is important to talk about or modify things we decide are important to us. My hair... she is highly skilled and has had a lot of continued education. Our time goes: I get in and we discuss what I want for 5 mins.. She figures out if dying roots or all is best... 10 mins she mixes color(s) then comes back, some unknown amount of time painting my roots and then all the rest of my hair (we talk while she does this and she is fast), process for what I assume is 20-30 mins, shampoo which takes a whole because she puts 3 things in there and sometimes gloss (and I get an arm massage while my conditioner goes), I wander back to the chair with her and immediately we start cutting... She cuts parts of or wet and other parts dry, and flat irons it to get the shape right (uses texture scissors, razor blade,
Electric razor and normal scissors)... I have enough hair for 7 heads. I always thought 2hrs was normal lol :/ I wake up and do nothing to my hair and it pretty much stays perfect and looks like I bothered to do it... When really all I did was blow dry or wake up that way!

Anyhow... I've complained to her before about stuff. It's had but.. Yea. Sorry to ramble...
Hi Liese,

Those parallels are interesting - it sounds like there's something there worth teasing out. Like you feel that the other person has the right to prioritise their needs in the relationship but you don't. Or maybe it's that your own needs come as a surprise to you because you're focusing on not being an unappealing person or making the other person angry or something.

It seemed like you were already angry by the time you got to hairdresser. I wonder if it would have been different if you'd been able to say something like 'an appointment would be great, but how long do you expect we'll take? I'd need to be out of there by 10.30 so I can get on the road'.

Yes it is hard when people are doing you a favor. An expression I remember hearing very often as a child, "you can't look a gift horse in the mouth," springs to mind. Maybe what I need to learn from this is that whenever someone offers to do me a favor, I need to take a second look before I accept because 1) there might be strings attached and 2) will I wind up feeling resentful if I accept?

And also 3. In the case of my former therapist, I just have to pay more attention to the things people say and how I play into them.


That's exactly it: both that the other person has the right to prioritize their needs and I don't AND that my needs come as a surprise to me. When I accepted the apt. I didn't give much thought to what my day would be like. I just felt like I should NOT look that horse in the mouth. Just take it and don't look and be happy. I figured though that since she was getting ready for vacation and had originally told me she was booked yesterday, that she would have things to do while I processed and would have been a bit more organized and looking to get me in and out quickly. My anger surprised me.
Hi Liese, Perhaps she has a laid back perspective on appointment times which might be the message you gave her by often being 10-15 minutes late. If you don't want to switch, how about saying something like... I know we have interesting conversations with each other and I know you need to fit multiple people in, I'm finding myself so busy lately that I need to get in and out more quickly. How about I start being on time for my appointment and can you be more attentive to the time that I'm actually here?
Hey Liese -

Sometimes people give us stuff with strings attached (they have a covert expectation of us) but I'm not sure that's what's happening here. Your needs are yours - the strings seem to be your own, where you kinda tie yourself with the belief or expectation that you don't have those needs. Likewise, I don't think it's accepting the gift that makes you resentful, but that in accepting it you kind of give up responsibility for knowing what's important to you and looking out for it. I hope this doesn't sound harsh - I do exactly the same thing and often get into situations where I'm overwhelmed as a result. So it ends up that I am the one in the equation with covert expectations, because I'm unaware of my own needs. They are present in the interaction, everyone feels them, but I'm not looking after them. Make sense? (((Liese)))

Good point about the message I was sending her. It's so important to pay attention to how we teach people how to treat us and/or what messages we are conveying without intending to.

I know lateness often drives some people crazy and that it is seen is rude. I often have a ton of anxiety leaving my house that I am trying to get a handle on so I can be more prompt. Also, since we weren't allowed to have feelings as children, it became important to me to NOT let other people know that I take things seriously or that something is important to me or else I might get made fun of or the other actually might try to destroy or mess with with what I want to try to hurt me.

I give the impression that I am laid back because that is what I was taught when I am not laid back at all. All these competing forces tend to paralyze me.

I like what you suggested I say and need to say something along those lines.

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