I do dry cuts.

Yes, I do dry haircuts in my salon. Well that’s not strictly true, lol, I actually wet the hair with a water spray first. I feel that hairdressing has become so complicated these days, all this strange snipping, slide cutting, point cutting and suchlike.

Let’s just make it clear, all those Cutting techniques can make your hair fluffy and difficult to style, then you blame yourself because the stylist managed it easily, trust me it’s much easier to do someone else’s hair than your own.

So not everyone wants to go to the salon and spend precious time and precious money on their hair. There are other things in life you could be doing and buying, not everyone needs the latest trend and colour. So that is my USP, I give honest easy hairdressing with honest prices.

My dry cut clients come in, sit straight in the chair, we discuss what they want and away we go. A few squirts of water and snip snip snip, takes about 20 mins. If I wet the hair a lot I’ll dry it off a bit, I always make sure the client goes out feeling good, no fuss no hassle and quick and easy. This is a very successful service and my clients love it.

Also I don’t shove products at people. There’s nothing worse than feeling forced to buy something because your hair is ‘dry and brittle’. I ask my clients about their hair and if they have any problems we will discuss a solution, I will recommend products and leave it at that.

As long as the hair is clean, that’s all I ask, a quick haircut and away you go, you can even do it in a lunch time. I have never had any complaints and some of my clients come from a long way away so they can do without the fuss and up selling and astronomical prices. Added to all that they get a lovely haircut that is easy to manage, every ones a winner.

So if anyone ever tells you that cutting hair when it’s damp or dry doesn’t give you a good haircut? That’s just rubbish, for the record, I do actually do a few people when their hair is dry, mainly people with fine hair who are trying to grow it. Hair stretches when it is wet and what seems like a little bit can shrink up and seem a lot more to someone who is desperately trying to grow their hair. It’s much easier to judge when it’s dry. It’s not good to do a dry or damp haircut on very thick or long hair or on a complete restyle, getting it washed is a must in those circumstances.

Happy styling.


Don’t be early or late.

I like my clients to come into the salon dead on time. When they’re too early they’re cutting into my free time, that morning coffee is important as is getting my mind ready for the day ahead. There’s also the salon to get ready in the morning, towels to fold and put away, money to put in the cash register and an apron to put on.

When clients are early they sit in the reception area and watch you, i mean they watch you walk around the salon doing all the things you need to do, I mean arghh, pick up a magazine for goodness sake. There’s nothing interesting about me folding towels.

If I’m on lunch it’s even worse, I have a precious lunch break, some peace and quiet and a client turns up 20 minutes early, I mean really? I’m trying to relax and now I can’t because I know they’re waiting for me. “It’s ok” they say “carry on with your lunch” but how can I, now I know they’re sat there, sometimes staring at me.

And the reasons for being early, “I didn’t know how long it was going to take to get here” well seeing as this is the 20th time they’ve come here, they should know by now arghhh. Or “my bus/train was early” GO FOR A WALK THEN. I really am jaded aren’t I ha ha. When my friends have an appointment with me, they sit in their cars until the right time because they know what I’m like lol.

I used to have a regular weekly lady who came in for a wash and dry. Her appointment was for 10:20 every week. I had a lady before her at 9:30 also for a wash and dry, which takes between 30 to 40 minutes. The second lady started to come in earlier, 10:10 because she knew sometimes I was finished earlier. Then it became 10am and then 9:50. She would sit at the front tapping her feet, she would get up and use the toilet, she’d rifle through the magazines but not really read anything, she would interrupt my conversation with the lady I was doing. She would walk in the door and I would loudly tut, this went on for years, at least 10 years. I still don’t and never will understand her, she knew I didn’t like her coming in early, my heart would sink every time she came in. I didn’t like doing her hair, took no enjoyment from it at all as she was also fussy and never seemed pleased no matter what I did. She moved away in the end, thank the lord.

So what’s wrong with being late? My appointment schedule is timed right down to the last minute, if a client is late it will snowball throughout the rest of the day. I’ll be late doing the next clients, I’ll lose time from my lunch and ultimately be late leaving at the end of the day, giving me less time to rest in the evening, yeah, thanks. There are so many excuses that there’s no way I can list them. Just know that once a client has been late, I will always remember it 😏😉.

If a client is more than 15 minutes late there is a high chance that I won’t do them, it’s not fair on me or any of the rest of the clients I have that day, just saying.

Should I have a permanent wave?

No. To be fair I am very biased, I have done loads of perms and have hated every minute of it. In my opinion they make you look old, they never come out the way you expect them to and clients always have unrealistic expectations of them.

To start off with lets just look at the main ingredient, thioglycolate.

Whats the main ingredient in hair removal creams, thioglycolate.

Do I need to go any further? The way that I explain perms work is this, imagine you are welding something, you need to melt the metal until it is soft ( perm lotion). Then you need to mould it into shape (perm roller). You then need to cool it down so it sets in its new shape (neutraliser). Now imagine what would happen if the heat was not hot enough, the metal wouldn’t melt enough (perm wold take unevenly). Imagine if the mould Was the wrong shape, it wouldn’t come out right (wrong size roller, curl too tight or too loose). What if it wasn’t cooled for long enough, the shape wouldn’t last, (neutraliser not on long enough or enough put on, curl drops out, complete waste of time). To add to all of that if your hair is too long the curl will be dragged out, not enough layers, again curl will be dragged out.

So you can see there is so much that can go wrong, the thioglycolate literally breaks down the hair, leave it on too long and you can end up with very frizzy unmanageable hair thats prone to breaking. If you’re still going ahead with this choose your stylist wisely. There is no remedy for a perm that has gone frizzy and dry other than to cut it out, you have been warned.

What about the maintenance? You’ve got about 6 weeks of your perm looking good, in that time your hair will have grown around 2cm and those roots will be straight so the top of your hair will start going flat. A trim can help this by taking some weight off and bouncing it back up slightly. Fast forward another 6 weeks and you now have 4cm of straight hair, its going really flat now and you’re beginning to think its time to have another perm even though the ends of your hair are still curly. Your (good) stylist will try to get you to see that if she perms it again the ends will be wrecked, its never good to perm over previously permed hair, remember it does have a hair removal ingredient in it. A greedy stylist will go ahead and wreck your hair, the roots will be lovely but now you have frizzy dry mid lengths and ends. There is no way to just perm the roots, however you try you will get overlap. Are you getting the jist of why I don’t like them?

There are times when a perm is a good choice, if your hair is short and fine, that is the only time I would recommend it. Short fine hair, thats straight, just sits flat to the head doing nothing and if you’re not very good with styling, a perm is the way to go. Ask for it to be soft, a tight curly perm is a thing of the past, thank god. The perm can provide volume, lift and some added thickness but always grow it out before having the next one.

Hairdressers are not miracle workers, we have to work with what you’ve got. There are some amazingly good wigs out there, we have heated rollers, curling irons and straighteners which do amazing curls that last a few days. In fact one of my future posts will be to explain how to curl using straighteners, its much easier than you think.

My experience with perming has been such that I no longer offer it as a service in my salon, that and the fact that it stinks! Oh my god what is in it that smells so bad and why hasn’t anyone come up with a way of getting rid of the stink bomb smell. When I lived at home and used to perm my mums hair, Dad would walk in the door from work and decide he had to go out, he hated it. I do do a few perms on my older clients, they’re the only ones I do but if you ring around the salons a lot will say they don’t do them anymore. In fact at college you can choose a different module to do so its not even a must have skill for hairdressing.

Rant over ha ha. My final opinion is don’t do it unless you have short fine hair or you are prepared to spend longer styling your hair and spend more money on conditioners.

Good luck whatever you decide, if you want more advice just ask ;-).

Be kind to your stylist.

Being in close proximity to people whilst doing your job can be trying at times, there is the issue of personal space and hygiene. Take one lady I had to do once, whilst beginning to shampoo her hair I noticed a smell. ‘What have you been cooking?’ I asked,’oh nothing’ she says ‘I ate some garlic and ginger yesterday’. Oh my god you would not believe the smell, its gross. After being in the salon for an hour the whole salon stinks. I am doing her hair whilst breathing through my mouth.

So please be kind to your stylist and try to smell lovely when going to get your hair cut. You don’t want to get on our bad side.


Does your haircut have a name?

Yes believe it or not some haircuts have names, no I don’t mean ‘bowl cut’ or ‘mullet’ 😏. We have the Flat top, the Rachel and not forgetting the bob, a one length straight around style. Though names change over the years, when Victoria Beckham had a graduated bob it morphed into a pob. The trend at the moment is to have a long bob, now known as a lob. I have seen some people who have obviously asked for a pob walking around looking like they have spaniels ears at the front and a big chunk of hair missing from the back, you win some you lose some. When stylists are at college they have to perform a number of haircuts for examination, if a pob wasn’t on the list hopefully they have had experience of learning it in the salon, if not you better have your fingers crossed. Unfortunately not every stylist has experience doing every haircut, this makes getting a good haircut very hit or miss, going armed with a picture is is very important, especially if you have to go back.

A client Of mine came in asking for a wedge haircut, for all you youngsters out there, a wedge is a haircut that was popular in the 1970’s, it was designed by Trevor Sorbie. It’s basically a style which is longer on the top and angled down to be short into the neck, it can be done on both men and women. If you are old enough you might remember The Human League pop group, the women singers had this haircut.

Back to my client, I did the haircut, she seemed pleased and off she went. Six weeks later she came back and said it was too long and could I cut it shorter on top, so basically it would no longer be a wedge. I cut it shorter, she was happy so we got there in the end. She never did want a wedge, even though she asked for it, it goes to show how easy it is to get it wrong and it all comes down to communication.

The moral of the story is to double check what you’re asking for, research it on the internet, it may have changed due to the latest fashion trends. Ultimately, take a picture with you as there can be no misunderstandings that way. The next time you have a great haircut that you love, take a picture and keep it to refer to. Don’t be worried that the stylist will get pissy if you show a picture, a good one won’t, we love them, it makes our job much easier. If they don’t like it you can only assume it’s because it is something they can’t do. If you’re not sure what you want take 3 or 4, show the fringe from that one, the length of the other one, it’s fine as it’s clear. TAKE A PICTURE!! Love you really.

Good luck.


Hi everyone, my name is Helen and I am a hairdresser. Ha ha it sounds like I am at a support meeting, is there such a thing for weary stressed hair stylists? Maybe there should be 😏. Clients aren’t always the easiest to deal with.

At the moment I run my own salon and I work full time.

I have been in the trade for 35 years and as you can imagine I have chalked up plenty of experience in that time. Different jobs, different products and different clients. As I have amassed so much knowledge I decided I would like to share it, the good and the bad, in a cheerful but no nonsense way. I am going to share my experiences with clients, anonymously of course 😉, with products I’ve found to be helpful and not so helpful, and just general hair chit chat, tips and whatever else pops in my head.

Hair has become very complicated these days and I hope to help people simplify it. Salons are scary places, do you choose a senior stylist, the director or a junior? Why does the receptionist look down their nose at you? Why do you feel unworthy? why do they talk you into things you don’t want? And why do you say yes that’s lovely when you hate it? How come you go in with a picture but come out nothing like it? I hope to answer and solve all these problems for you so you can get the hair you really want. Let’s have some fun along the way too.

Please feel free to ask me any hair questions or leave your own stories of woe.

Helen X.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
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The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

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You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.