How long have you been searching for the perfect haircut? For me, it’s been 29 years. In that time I’ve had haircuts that were reasonably priced and reasonably good. I’ve splurged on embarrassingly expensive haircuts that were lackluster and not worth the money. And I’ve gone the other way too, thinking I’d be happier with a budget haircut that was easy on my wallet and just got the job done.
That was what my last haircut was – perfunctory. At the time, I was so in love with my long locks that I didn’t want to lose any real length, but I knew the ends were getting scrappy. So I went to the Aveda Institute and had a student cut my hair straight across the bottom for $20. I was satisfied.
But I still hadn’t had a haircut that made me feel like a million bucks. And I wanted an experience that left me feeling transformed, the kind of haircut that made people say “wow!”
In my hunt for a great haircut, I’m not sure why I never went to one of the tried and true, industry standard salons. Especially when some of the most legendary hair stylists have salons right here in Los Angeles; Vidal Sassoon, John Frieda, Frédéric Fekkai and Sally Hershberger are all just minutes away.
I was reminded of Sally Hershberger when I stumbled on an image of Jenny Ong (from Neon Blush) and her freshly cut locks. Her hair looked amazing and she’d named the salon and stylist where she’d had it done.
I picked up the phone and made an appointment.
I sat down with Tanya at Sally Hershberger and knew pretty quickly that she was going give me something I liked. Usually stylists see my long hair and start dreaming about all the ways they can chop it off – I swear, I can see it in their eyes! But the first thing Tanya said was, “I really like this length on you. You don’t see hair like this anymore, so I’m not going to tell you to cut it all off.”
I was in heaven.
We talked a little more and I started to get a feel for the kind of haircuts she likes to do. Minimal upkeep, lots of movement and something that won’t require a lot of product to look great. Sounded too good to be true. But when it was all done, which took about an hour, I told her, “This is easily the best haircut I’ve ever had.” And that’s the truth.
My hair has never had this much volume or bounce to it, and it’s never looked this perfectly messy. I was a little worried that with all these new layers, I’d never be able to make it look as good she did, but as promised, it was super easy to recreate the same salon styled look.
After washing, I just sprayed a little bit of volumizing spray on the roots of my towel-dried hair and some Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray all over. Then I finished drying and used a 3-inch curling iron to lightly curl the ends. That was it.
But let’s talk money.
Full disclosure, this haircut at Sally Hershberger cost $270 including a 20% tip. So it’s not cheap. And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve spent more on a haircut before and been totally unhappy. So I know that the price tag on a haircut can’t be used as an indication of quality or how satisfied you’ll be when it’s all over.
That said, Tanya at Sally Hershberger lived up to the salon’s reputation and for me, was well worth the money. Part of the reason I can justify a several hundred dollar haircut is that I really see great stylists as artists. Just think about all the bad experiences you’ve had and you can see how rare it is to get a great cut or color. I’m happy to pay for something that requires a lot of vision and skill to execute.
And if you’re like me and only get your hair cut once or twice a year, the cost is pretty minimal. I know guys who spend $40 every 5 weeks on haircuts, which is double what I spend on haircuts in a year.
And even more important that that, I think it’s important to view a haircut more like a good pair of glasses or jeans. It’s an investment. And your hair is something you “wear” every day. Rather than splurging on a fancy dress you might wear once a year or spending money on lots of cheap fashion, wouldn’t you rather invest the money in something that’ll make you feel amazing every single day?