It’s all so terribly British, Isn’t it?

There aren many things British People have a reputation for, some good, some bad.

Resilience in a crisis, the ability to form an orderly queue, moaning that it rains all the time, yet as soon as the sun comes out, it is too hot, being able to complain about the minutest of things, to name a few.

There is also the terrible behaviour we are known for; the drunk fuelled binges in Ayia Napa and Magaluf, vomiting into the gutter at 10 in the morning after partying all night, football hooliganism and knife crimes as examples.

So what is the difference between these British Quirks, or just good manners?

When I was young, my Mother taught me “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and this an adage that I try to live by and certainly have taught my own children. It is far nicer to give a compliment than to be negative.

But does this always pay off?

A recent trip to a hair salon proved this point.

I was booked in with a vintage stylist for a fringe trim and a put up. This was in preparation for one of the biggest events, “Twinwood”, which started the next day.

I turned up ten minutes before my appointment, only to find the salon was not yet open and another stylist standing outside. She explained that the girl due to open up was running a bit late…

I should have seen this as an omen.

Eventually I was sat in the stylists chair and asked for a straight fringe just about my eyebrows. She sectioned up the top of my fringe, showing the lower layer.

SNIP.

My heart sank. It was certainly not “just” above my eyebrows. In fact it was only about an inch long.

But what could I do?

It wasn’t like she could glue my hair back on, so I sat there as she snipped and snipped away. Eventually my fringe was done and she asked how I would like it put up. I requested a poodle.

For those who aren’t into vintage styles, a poodle is a curly hairstyle that is pulled up onto the top of your head a la Lucille Ball.

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A Perfect Poodle

I should have panicked when she had to Google it to see what it looked like.

Again, not wanting to cause a fuss, I sat there as she beautifully curled my hair. Maybe this was going to turn out alright after all…..

I wish I could say it did.

Sadly I ended up with two Victory Rolls on the side of my head that looked like wings and some pinned sections all at the back of my head. Definitely not a Poodle Do.

Added to that was my fringe. My “I would like a straight fringe, just about my eyebrows” was a super short curved fringe. I looked like Dave from the 70’s band Slade.

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Dave Hill from Slade

I mean, I know I wanted vintage but the 70’s is clearly not my era!

Now there may be some people out there who would have immediately complained. Me, I don’t like confrontation or hurting someone’s feelings.

I thanked her, paid my £40 and left the salon without a peep of a complaint.

It was only when I sat in my car ten minutes later, in floods of tears that I slightly regretted not saying anything.

Things certainly weren’t made any better when Baby Bear got home at lunchtime and said “What the F**k have they done to your hair?”

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Not quite a poodle…..

She asked what I had said when the stylist was finished and I told her I had said Thank you and paid up.

She called me a total mug and asked what I was going to do about the mess.

Well, there wasn’t much I could do. The fringe was gone and only time would change that. I just had to hope that my Vintage chums who I was camping with could help me with the rest of my hair disaster.

Now, in a previous job I was the supervisor of a busy supermarket Customer Service Desk and can handle complaints with the best of them.

I can even write a cracking complaints letter. So why haven’t I?

Well, I could say it’s not worth it. That my hair will grow back. That what is done, is done.

But the truth is, I just couldn’t be bothered.

I deal with enough stress and dreadful situations in my current job that I REALLY don’t need to get stressed over something that in essence if pretty trivial.

As they say, “Baby Llama don’t need no Drama”

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Baby Llama…..

I am too middle-aged to cause a fuss, and it is simply not nice. Now if that makes me a mug, then so be it. The stylist did her best with what skills she had. Whilst they weren’t up to the vintage styling I am used to, she did try to give me what I want. And I can appreciate that she tried. She simply didn’t have the vintage experience to get there.

And after all, who hasn’t had a bad experience at the hairdressers before? Those dodgy streaks in the 90’s where you thought you were Britney, the poodle perm of the 80’s that meant you ended up looking like Deirdre from Coronation Street or those Sinead O’Connor buzzcuts?

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The wonderful perm of Deirdre

Genuinely though as distraught as I was on the day, there have been no lasting effects. My wonderful Pal Lucy Stanton from Era.Go.Again performed wonders on my hair for the start of Twinwood and in fact, the whole weekend and it was an amazing festival!

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The amazing Lucy

lucille ball, vintage stylist, vintage hair, poodle, vintage girl, twinwood, lucy stanton, october divine, the pinup academy, plus size fashion, vixen by micheline pitt, pin up style, dave hill, slade, baby llama, deirdre barlow, hair disasters

Hair by Lucy, Dancing by Andy

Last weekend I was at Londonedge and went to see “Jesus Hands” herself, Miss October Divine of The Pinup Academy. She literally can perform miracles with the worst hair and she certainly did that. Even my fringe looked amazing when she was done, and I had a perfect poodle too!

lucille ball, vintage stylist, vintage hair, poodle, vintage girl, twinwood, lucy stanton, october divine, the pinup academy, plus size fashion, vixen by micheline pitt, pin up style, dave hill, slade, baby llama, deirdre barlow, hair disasters

In progress

lucille ball, vintage stylist, vintage hair, poodle, vintage girl, twinwood, lucy stanton, october divine, the pinup academy, plus size fashion, vixen by micheline pitt, pin up style, dave hill, slade, baby llama, deirdre barlow, hair disasters

The end result

Whilst I will be returning to Twinwood next year, you can be sure I won’t be returning to that particular salon for my vintage styling again……

lucille ball, vintage stylist, vintage hair, poodle, vintage girl, twinwood, lucy stanton, october divine, the pinup academy, plus size fashion, vixen by micheline pitt, pin up style, dave hill, slade, baby llama, deirdre barlow, hair disasters

Two days later….

What do you think? Should I have caused a fuss? Was it worth the stress?

I would love to hear your comments on it!

Leave a comment

  • Ohhh Tanya I choked up reading this I had a very similar experience last month, when the night before I was due to be filmed for Dutch TV and then take part in MBBC, my hair almost fell out due to heat damage.

    I most definitely would of said something to her. I’d of still paid and appreciated her effort but I’d of told her point blank that if she intended on doing vintage styles she should at least practice more / research them better. I’m glad all worked out for you though and I can’t believe I didn’t make the Pin Up Academy at Edge.

  • I love your sense of style and grace. Paying for what you wanted and not getting it isn’t acceptable. You should have spoke about your disappointment. As you said you can’t glue the hair back on, but it will grow again. I would certainly research the best options for you desired style and speak to another woman who is happy with a salon that can deliver.

  • I have to admit I am one of those people who just pays up, says thank you and walks out I hate making fuss (though I do sometimes when I’m really irate).

    Once your were away and your friends had got there hands on it your hair doesn’t look back at all – but the first do was so not you.

  • Super Busy Mum

    You style is amazing – I wish I had the confidence you do when it comes to wearing dresses!

  • Healthy & Psyched

    Oh my gosh Noooooooooooo!! I hate it when the hair dresser doesn’t do what you want and then you’re to polite to say anything and have to pay anyway!!

  • Jinzo_2400

    I am tolerant to a certain point,I know a lot of places here in the States aren’t very good. But when a stylist starts slamming my head when using the shearers,I will speak up and say something. For 40 pounds,I would have sang like a canary….but you still looked great in the end and glad it didn’t ruin your weekend

  • Laura Dove

    I never make a fuss, even when I really hate it! I’m way too polite (scared!) and end up paying to go to another stylist to fix it!

  • Jennifer Gladwin

    I’m sorry you were disappointed but I have to say I love your style, you look great! It’s definitely a British thing to keep quiet and “make do.”

  • Melanie

    I hate when hairdressers fluff up!! You should have complained for sure. However, I must say you can pull the fringe off which luckily is great for you. Love how you have wrote this very light hearted. Great post as usual 🙂 x

  • I definitely think you should have said something as soon as she started cutting. There’s a way of complaining without hurting people’s feelings, although it can be a fine line x

  • Kacie

    I hate it when hairdressers don’t fully understand what you’re after, and still go ahead and do it anyway!

  • oh honestly I know the feeling I had a hairdresser come to the house to cut my 8 year old daughters hair and I asked for 4 inches and I swear she took 10 off it was awful and my poor daughter cried for nights at loosing so much of her long hair

  • I long for the day I can find a hairdresser I trust and that doesn’t end up moving! Personally I think you look great and I bet it won’t take long to grow out anything you don’t like!

  • I had so many disappointments with my hair when I was a kid that I haven’t actually cut it (except for trimming the ends) for years!

  • I’m too polite to make a fuss either, unless the customer service is exceptionally bad. But then I’d probably just write a letter rather than complain face to face x

  • haha I love your pics but I think it looks lovely! Although I’ve never met a hairdresser yet that ‘gets’ me! x

  • Kegs

    I’m so sorry you had such a horrible experience at that salon. As a small salon owner I would truly want you to let me know that the service you had received was not up to standard, how else would I know the stylist is not up to the job you requested? You paid the bill and left, I would therefore think you were satisfied.
    You should never have been assigned to a stylist for vintage hair if she could not carry out this service.
    Please consider dropping a note in to the salon owner. It doesn’t have to be in the form of a complaint, just some feedback on that the service you booked in for was not provided. Xxx

  • Shame that the first haircut was not what you asked for and I applaud you for staying so calm . I would have gone mental!

  • kitty kaos

    oh no T that is terrible. Have you been to the salon before and had a great experience? New stylist or trainer maybe but either way it isn’t cool sadly if you don’t complain in some way then they will never know they did you wrong if that makes sense? I hope you at least didn’t have to travel far and you still look divine x

  • Jenna E Morley

    I had someone cut my hair uneven at the back once, but I didn’t say anything as it was a friend of a friend! Your hair looked fab on the day and I’m glad you enjoyed the festival 🙂

  • Laura

    Aw I’m sorry to hear about your experience at the salon. Giving feedback is so important to the salon so that they can have the opportunity to put it right xxx

  • I’ve had a few hair disasters but yeah, I never really say anything. It’s definitely a british thing! xo