I decided to go to Charmed Salon in DC because I was in need of a straighten (I had already recently washed my hair but was not up for the blow-dry battle) and saw when I saw their Groupon: Charmed Salon $75 for a Cut, and All-Over Color or Highlights at Charmed Salon – 59% off Beauty & Spa – I thought why not. It is the start of spring and some color sounded good! I was really excited because my coworkers had been teasing me about the frizz and I was looking forward to some pamper. Sadly it started off far from that. I called the salon before purchasing the Groupon and was able to get an appointment for 7pm. It was later than I was hoping but I figured that I could stay a little later at work and then head over since the salon is walking distance from where I worked that day.
I headed over and entered a small but decent salon and released the mane only to be told by my stylist, Reda, that they don’t do “my type of hair” here. I am a 26 year old African American female with long (past my shoulders) thick natural hair. While at times it will fight you, it is well trained and takes heat well so it does not take a lot to get it to lay down. In my younger years, I would have probably jumped down his throat after a statement like that but now I am a pretty calm and rational person most of the time and even though I was exhausted and already on edge, I can proudly say I did not jump, although I could have, and I simply asked what he meant by that. He stated that although the Groupon did not say it, they usually charge extra for my kind of hair because of the extra time and what not to straighten it. I stated that I understand but like he said, that was not stated in the Groupon so that was his error and not mine. He then stated that it would take longer which I had already known and prepared for so I said fine. He continued with some back and forth and I finally asked, bottom line, what are we talking about in terms of extra? He stated that it would cost me another $70 to have my hair straightened. I told him that was unacceptable. Now maybe I missed something but since when does a color and cut not come with a blow-dry and style?
However there was this one time that I was in Chicago and I got my hair done for a wedding and the girl neglected to inform me when I made the appointment that blow-dry and style are not included at that salon and so at the end when the girl directed me to the blow-drying station I was almost in tears because I had a wedding to attend and had no idea that was their set up and because they were supposed to tell me first, they ended up completing everything for free.
So I simply asked him to explain to me what is normally included. For example, if a girl with straight hair comes in and gets a color, does she walk out of the salon with wet hair or do you blow-dry it for her? Also how can you properly cut my hair if you do not have it styled the way that I wear it? He seemed up prepared and baffled by my questions and then told me that no worries, if I didn’t use the Groupon, my money would just be refunded and there would be no issue. Well on top of wanting some pampering, it was also a girlfriend’s birthday that night and I could not go rocking the messy fro. I needed it done and I told him so. He also told me that Groupon takes half and that all that was a lot to do for like $35 and while I sympathize, again it was not my issue. We picked a highlight color but I informed him that I was already unhappy with how things were going and he stated that he was uncomfortable then to work on my hair. There was another girl present who he stepped outside and spoke to and then he returned and with barely a word began coloring my hair. At this point, it was 7:40pm, my appointment was at 7pm. I sat in the chair for 40 minutes before being worked on.
He attempted to make some small talk but I was still wounded and offended so I answered but it lacked my usual warmth. The woman doing shampoos and Reda would occasionally speak in French some of which I could follow. He later asked me if I spoke any other languages and in French I said I spoke a little. He noted that I hesitated to tell him and I just said it was because I was rusty but I had really been listening to see if they were talking about me lol. After he finished the color, which at one point I did ask him about his technique and he assured me that it was that same as the blending version I am used to (which it is not totally but I digress), he put me under the heat.
Once that was complete, he left me with Bushra, the shampoo woman, and she turned the appointment around. She is a wonderful and warm woman from Morocco who spoke with me in French (so I only caught about half of it lol) but she told me that I had beautiful hair and gave me a free deep condition to help make it soft and we talked about her home and laughed and she soothed my wound which is when I realized that Reda had managed to make me feel ashamed of my hair and Bushra helped bring my pride back. I will give him credit where it is due, the color came out beautiful on top. It is a burgundy red that looks very natural and I have received a lot of compliments. However, underneath it is streaky when I pull it straight back and I already have roots (it’s been about a week, I’ve had roots since it was done). Also he did not do a good job straightening it, it was puffy and basically just looked like it had been blow-dried and nothing else but I worked it. When he got me back in the chair from the bowl and began working to blow it out, he started to realize his error. My hair straightened out pretty quickly and was soft. He began to apologize for how things had started and stated that the next time my highlights would be on him. He also stated that he was used to the simple easy hair that usually comes through the salon and that’s when it hit me. He didn’t know what he was doing! Now hair is hair but there are definitely different techniques and approaches to each type. It would have been a very different conversation if he had said in the beginning that he was not as experienced with my type of hair and did not want to mess it up or something than to say, we don’t do your type of hair here!! Overall I am mostly happy with the color but I definitely would have appreciated some better customer service!! I will probably go back and get my free color but I doubt I will pay for any additional services there… I feel like I have already paid enough…