A Mad Hair Day

Gosh I’m mad. I mean like banging doors, I want to scream, thumping the keyboard, sort of mad. I shouldn’t even be here. I should be swanning around the shopping centre, pushing my sleeping baby, showing off my expertly coiffed hair. But oh no. Here I am mad, with frizzy hair which is still damp at the roots and a major hole in my wallet.
I’ve written before about the palaver of driving into Oslo (to Toni & Guy) to get my hair cut and coloured. It’s a bit of a pain getting parking, as well as organizing the trip around feeds and sleep – mine and baby’s. I’ve also mentioned how I never get my hair blow-dried at a salon here as it’s exorbitantly expensive. So, when I do get my hair cut – about every 10 weeks if I’m lucky – I try and make the most of it by timing it with a social outing, an interview or a weekend, if the former two aren’t on the agenda.
Well my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, whom I’ve never met, are arriving from Denmark tomorrow morning so I thought as I really need a good trim and tidy up why not also use the hairdresser visit to give my potential sister-in-law (sort of) the impression that I have wonderful, shiny, straight hair. Who knows? This first impression might last so that the next time she sees me as the frizzy-haired mess I really am she may not notice.
I couldn’t face the trek to Oslo. Frankly with a house to clean from top to bottom - also in the hopes of making a good impression - I couldn’t defend the time it would take to do so. So I made an appointment at one of the salons at Sandvika Storsenter – soon to be Norway’s largest shopping mall and three minutes drive from the girls’ school – for today. Thrilled I was at the prospect of a bit of indulgence. Thrilled at the thought of how lovely I’d look afterwards. Last night, I even planned what I’d wear, considering a trip to the hairdressers as something bordering on a momentous occasion.
Thirty minutes after I arrived on time for my appointment this morning, I stood outside the salon stunned that I had just been charged 680 NOK (84 Euros) for what was essentially a dry cut with damp roots. I looked no different that when I wash and dry my hair myself. I’d even go as far as saying that on occasion I’ve done better.
Just as I was settling into a magazine, relieved that the baby had fallen asleep, savouring the indulgence of sitting down and not pumping milk, nursing or typing (I regularly try to do all three simultaneously), the senior stylist (that’s what the receipt calls her anyway) was finished. She had washed it, cut a bit at the back, then dried it messily without using a brush, trimmed a few bits at the front, fobbed off my suggestion of trying a fringe with “if you’re not sure don’t bother” and voila I was done.
You bet you I was done. Done out of hard-earned money. Robbed! In broad daylight! There I stood, like a lemming with a hole in its pocket, in the shopping centre, gawping at my watch, stunned at what had happened but feeling powerless to do anything about it (it's Norway - everything is overpriced - what do you expect?). Not only had I been cheated out of my money but I had also been cheated of the rare luxury of sitting and being pampered and looking well as a result.
Of course to look on the positive side, the speedy Gonzales stylist left me plenty of time before school pick-up to run the vacuum cleaner around the entire house but really I just can’t face it. Instead I'm wondering why the hell any woman would return to such a hairdressers, why the entire population of Oslo doesn't go to Toni & Guy where for the same price you actually get service and a decent hair cut, and why oh why am I not brave enough to complain to the people in question instead of metaphorically tearing my hair out in front of my computer.
There. I feel a bit better now. No I'm lying. I'm still bloody mad!


Anonymous said...

Hi, just stumbled upon your blog through another blog and loving it!

Your experience at the hairdresser is just what has happened to me at the hairdressers in Norway. I have a few theories:

1) They have to dry your hair because it´s cold out there, but they don´t have to style it.
2) Styling it is another price on the "menu", and you will pay dearly for it!
3) hairdressing is such a cash cow it´s in their interest to get you in and out as fast as possible so they can rob the next customer!

Have you wondered how all of the hairdressers here stay in business? There are sometimes two on a block...

Stay with T&G as they know how to do a blow-out :-)

OSLO said...

thanks for visiting and commenting. I've just had a glorious child-free week in England during which I had my hair washed and blow-dried twice at a third of the Norwegian price.
I'm a devoted T&G customers since my 'mad hair day incident' - at least they have some concept of service (and know how to have you leaving the salon actually looking like you have been there).