What price haircare and its customer service?


I had my hair cut last week. It’s no news at all but I’m a rubbish woman if ever there was one. I’ve never known what women do who spend so long getting ready to go out, be it during the day or the evening. I’ve never understood why it should take an hour to get up in the morning – 30 minutes if I’m really pushing myself to wear make-up. OK that doesn’t include washing my hair but you get my point.

So it stands to reason that I’m not the kind of woman who gets her hair cut every 6 weeks like some – no no no, it’s twice a year and if it’s more then I’ve got it wrong.

So I get a bit annoyed when people say to me, “What? You’re driving to Manchester to get your hair cut? Do you have to go to Vidal Sassoon? My God how much does that cost you?”

Well, a lot, frankly, but not so much more as you’d imagine. And I only have my hair cut twice a year so my annual bill comes in at a lot lot less than those questioning my spend. It’s a day out. I get my hair cut and for one of those visits I get it coloured too plus get to go shopping and maybe meet my beloved from work!

The first time I went I couldn’t believe a place could be staffed by so many beautiful women looking so bloody miserable, like they’d really honed that moody model look – but that was nearly 10 years ago and nowadays they’re all very jolly, equally beautiful but they’re not doing that whole grumpy look all the time in an effort to appear gauche and aloof. And I am sure it was not all down to my saying to the stylist – when I’m paying this much I’d like to think you all at least enjoy your work!

My last stylist, Jenny, left earlier this year and to say I’m gutted is an understatement. She was a superb stylist, a great conversationalist and it was really lovely knowing her – I just wish I knew where she was now.

When I received the letter saying she had left and was recommending another stylist to her customers I thought to myself I’d not bother going to Manchester any more but would try someone in Preston. The last time I ventured from VS I tried the then new Toni and Guy – DISASTER. Why tell the person doing your hair that you do NOT want them to use straighteners as you’re pushing 40 and don’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb only for them to do exactly the opposite and you come out looking like a fat chav with thin greasy hair? My feel good factor was just not on their radar. Utterly dreadful experience from start to finish. In fact I’d no idea why they even bothered asking the customer how they wanted her hair only to do the opposite at every possible moment.

I do think that cutting hair is an art and I can see why a stylist wants to do their own thing when they get a head of really thick curly hair but not on me please and certainly not when I’m paying.

And that’s the point, if you’re paying shouldn’t you get what you want? It’s certainly my thought for newroomsoline. Legal compliance aside, I genuinely want people to think they had good service when they shopped with me or why come back? If they don’t return an item within the prestated length of time, unless it’s taking the proverbial I genuinely try to accommodate all requests for returns….but luckily I don’t get many anyway.

I digress. So this time round I tried a local salon and asked the stylist – a very capable, amiable, chatty young woman – to cut two to three inches off, told her how I style my hair on occasion and like to wear it. She talked me out of that amount of hair saying that she could achieve a beautiful look without having to cut so much off, I had lovely long hair yadda yadda. So I went with it…..and lo….within days regretted not having had the balls to say, “No, I really want 2-3 inches off!!”

So last week it really was 6 weeks since my last cut and I was bitter about having to spend money again on having it cut but decided to return to VS.

My new VS stylist, Charlotte, did a great cut but it still felt too long so I asked her to cut another 2 inches off…..now this did delay her, of course, but there was no huffing or puffing, she meticulously recut my hair to perfection for another hour. In the meantime my sister had arrived to meet me thinking I’d have been done by then but obviously wasn’t so they sat her down with a cup of tea and as many bourbons as she wanted.

The service was impeccable.

The colourist was fab too, Bobby. She asked if I’d like a deep conditioning treatment that stays in your hair for about 3 weeks. I asked if it had parabens and sulfates etc in it…she said yes but offered to go and try and find me one that didn’t. I politely refused but only because I felt it was all a bit of a contradiction given I’d not asked the same about the shampoo. It never occurred to me that they would have been able to entertain my current fad.

I don’t even know where it came from but I was either listening to the radio or watching something on the TV and ever since have striven to find some products that don’t contain them…to that end the mix is odd.

Naked shampoos I find do a great job but smell awful – I particularly dislike the one which is for coloured hair which contains cinammon I think. Hair looks fab but I gag at the smell. Their mint bodywash however is fabulous.

On the subject of bodywashes…this smells like a dream and is absolutely wonderful..Kings and Queens Mango. It is paraben free although does contain sodium laureth sulfate – booo!

It does make me itch a bit too but that’s because I am also allergic to most bath products – talk about a tough customer!

Back to shampoos…I love the smell of the Organix range but my hair goes greasy overnight every time I use the conditioner and shampoo. If I just use the shampoo and someone else’s conditioner then it lasts but for some reason Sainsbury’s only seem to sell the tea tree conditioner and not the shampoo…so I end up with the coconut shampoo followed by tea tree conditioner and smelling like a cheap cocktail!

Organix is Australian but isn’t the same range as the actual Australian Organics range which I’ve only found on sale in John Lewis….that one smells a bit herby but is lovely stuff. My only complaint is that it’s really thin and fluid so you try to pour a bit onto your hand and lose half the bottle!  Surprisingly reasonably priced too but again…my hair goes greasy overnight….I reckon it’s all a conspiracy to make you go through the product faster and have to buy more sooner…oh yes when it comes to conspiracy theories and cynicism, I have it all sewn up.

I also like the Organic Surge as a good all rounder. Smells nice, hair doesn’t need washing every day and doesn’t go greasy. The only trouble is that it’s not that easy to find. Sainsbury’s used to stock it but now I can only find it in Booths which is OK but expensive.

It was my favourite of all the products I’ve tried until now.

So now this is my favourite – just arrived in our local Sainsbury’s – smells divine, feels divine, divine results and a good price point too!

try it, I love it….but remind me why I stopped using the paraben and sulfate stuff in the first place!


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