I have commitment issues - I'm a hairdresser monogamist

I have commitment issues. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser, in the same salon for over ten years. Probably a lot over ten years actually. That’s more than a third of my life.
Publish date:
July 25, 2012
hair, hairdresser loyalty

Perhaps somewhere in this post I should admit that I haven’t really changed my haircut over the past decade either so maybe that’s something I should think about too. I really am stuck in a rut. A contented rut.

Me at my cousin's wedding in 2006. Same girl, same hair.

I fear change – and rightly so I think because once when I needed an emergency haircut sometime (possibly) in 2006 and chose a conveniently located salon somewhere between work and my night out destination their untried and tested scissor-wielder said, ‘Oh, you have a really decent haircut there’ and proceeded to give me a shit one.

I don’t mind getting my hair ‘done’ (not cut) by strangers for occasions (I’ve been to six weddings so far this year, SIX) but again, every time I stray elsewhere for some kirby grip and hairspray-action, I‘m reminded why I never get my hair cut anywhere else as hands limply flail around my head and I inwardly cringe in terror.

Me at my friend's wedding earlier this month. Very cold. Same hair but with a few blonde bits done by Conrad.

My loyalty lies entirely with the tattooed Glaswegian ex-club kid Conrad at the Tusk salon in Camden. He somehow intuitively gets what I want my hair to look like (messy but under control) with very limited reference points and instructions (I’m shy) and manages, in the style of a magician-illusionist to make my limp mid-brown hair look like it’s bit textured and wavy.

Even after all these years he’s not my friend, he’s a professional doing his job, but I wouldn’t keep going back unless I found him highly entertaining, bloody cool and I wholly trusted in his hairstyling skills.

Me and Phoebe, summer 2011. Same hair.

When I have those conversations with friends or colleagues where they say they’re bored of their salon or their hairdresser’s emigrated, I can always helpfully add, ‘YES! I know someone and somewhere you should go’, and so over the years, a lot of my ladies have been seen by Conrad too, and yes, have gone back and back. I don’t feel possessive; I want to share the love. Or at least just recommend someone reliable.

I’ve only had one major problem with my hair over the past few years and that really wasn’t his fault. In early 2010 I decided that I wanted to try having a bob in a reckless act of boredom after years at shoulder-length and badly timed the cut just before my older brother’s wedding.

Me at my brother's wedding in April 2010. The bad haircut.

I regret that day deeply - now I’m not me in all of his nuptial snaps and it ruins the continuity of my ‘in-my-twenties’ look online and in the photograph albums. However, my hair grew back, as it tends to do, and I told Conrad to ignore me if I ever suggested such a thing again.

Is anyone else a saddo serial hairdresser monogamist? Or perhaps you’re bargain-led or you go wherever’s convenient? Let me know how you decide where to go just in case Conrad ever moves to Berlin (which he does keep threatening to do).