My Favorite Hairstyle and Anxiety at the Hair Salon

I’ve never enjoyed going to a hair salon, I find it a huge anxiety-producing experience, mostly because I rarely walk out with a haircut that I like. Many years ago I had a stylist who did cut my hair just as I liked, but the salon went out of business and I have no idea where she went or if she just retired. She was consistent and always cut my hair the same way without me having to do a full rundown of what I wanted. It’s one of the few periods in my life when I didn’t dread getting my hair cut the way you dread getting a root canal.

One of the issues I always have is due to having thick hair. That seems to annoy and create a problem for a lot of stylists. A few years back while looking for a stylist in my area, I saw great reviews online for a stylist who cut/styled hair from her home salon. She lived very close to my home so I decided to give her a try, romanticizing that it would be like the good old days when hairdressers built a close relationship with each of their customers, the kind of relationship my Aunt Aretta had with the stylist who permed and cut her hair every month in her Beauty Shop when I was growing up.

It was a terrible experience, she didn’t seem to understand at all what I wanted when I said I didn’t want my hair to curl under and cup/hug my face, but preferred it flip outward and back away from my face. She complained about how much hair I had the entire time she was cutting it. In the end, as she was ringing up my ticket, she irritatingly informed me that she should charge me extra because it took so long to cut and dry my hair. She made it clear that she was doing me a favor by not charging more than her published fee. Needless to say, I never went back.

Frustrated by so many negative experiences, often at high prices, I’ve many times resorted to just letting my hair grow long and getting it cut one length at one of the local discount chain salons. It’s hard to screw up a completely straight cut and at least if the cut I get isn’t the greatest, I’ve only paid around $30 after a generous tip, as opposed to $65 + tip.

Every couple of years, I get up the nerve to try again. Last summer, I searched the online reviews of the salons near me and found one that looked promising. While on an errand one day, I stopped by and booked an appointment with a stylist who they promised was experienced. The big day arrived and with the usual trepidation, I entered the salon. Here’s how the conversation went.

After introductions to the stylist, I share with her a photo of what I would like–the photo below. I tell her I like all the movement I see in that hairstyle, the way it’s cut. I mention that I have thick hair but I don’t want my hair thinned out, just layered a bit in mostly long layers, the way it looks in the photo. I say that I like for my hair to kinda flip out and away, back from my face. It’s more flattering that way on my roundish face.

I explain how I don’t have to wash my hair that often (every 4-5 days since it’s never oily) and when I style it with my Calista Tool, it holds that shape until the next time it’s washed. I finish by saying that I don’t like my hair blow-dried really smooth/flat (a popular look these days) that I prefer a lot of body and movement. I mention that since my hair is so thick, it can take a long time to blow-dry.

Cute Long Layered Hair Style

This photo below is from Pinterest and I think it’s an actress, but I’m not really sure. Update: Thanks to Olivia for identifying the photo below as British singer Mollie King.


The whole time I’m talking, the stylist is just staring at me. She pulls my hair out from the back and sides, checking it out for herself. She says nothing but I can tell from the look on her face she doesn’t really get what I’m saying. We head to the shampoo area.

Stylist While Washing My Hair: Wow, you have a lot of hair! Your hair is really thick!

Stylist Still Washing My Hair: You have sooo much hair and it really holds the water!

Me: Yeah, I know. ~~sigh~~

Stylist Beginning to Cut My Hair: Your hair is really too thick. We need to thin it out. (Knew that was coming.)

Me: Again, I say that I don’t want it thinned out, just layered similar to the way it’s layered in the photo. I tell her that with a really good cut, it will be fine and I’ll be able to recreate the look. I definitely do not want it thinned out.

(I’m speaking from past experience, whenever I get a great cut, I can do anything I want with my hair. The cut is everything!)

Stylist: Looks annoyed and keeps trying to convince me why I need to let her thin out my hair and how it’s the preferred way to deal with thick hair. She does a mock demonstration on my hair with her thinning shears, showing me how she plans to thin it out.

Me: No, I really don’t want it thinned out. I reiterate everything I’ve said before, becoming more anxious by the moment.

Stylish: Looking super annoyed, she literally rolls her eyes. She proceeds to tell me she went to school for X number of months and has her license and wouldn’t recommend something if it wasn’t the right thing to do.

Me: Trust waning, all I want to do is get up out of the chair and run! I spend the entire time she’s cutting my hair tense and worried, wondering how long it will take me to grow my hair out this time. I glance up every once in a while to see if she’s secretly thinning my hair. I actually ask at one point, half-jokingly, and she assures me she’s not.

Again, the haircut below is what I had asked for, only I requested that it be a little shorter and that the ends flip slightly out, not under, a look that’s never flattering around my face. I’ve found if I get a great cut that naturally lends itself to being turned out and away from my face, I can easily duplicate the look with my Calista Hair tool.

I also asked for some light, natural-looking highlights. The stylist recommended Balayage Highlights to achieve the natural-looking highlights I wanted. She described the process and how it looks and it sounded exactly like what I wanted.

Cute Long Layered Hair Style


This was the end result. It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted with a bit of layering, balayage highlights and no thinning. I don’t like tons of layers, especially short layers since it requires a lot more time/effort to style each day. I loved the end result but I was completely exhausted afterward. Anxiety will do that to you.

(I hadn’t realized how much sun I had gotten on my shoulders last summer playing outdoors with my grandsons until I saw this photo.)

Favorite Hairstyle


The stylist liked how it turned out so much, she asked if she could take photos for her Instagram page. I’ve been back to her 3-4 more times since I’m happy with how my hair turned out, but each time I dread the visit. I always show her the original photo for reference, along with the photos she took and mention that I don’t want my hair thinned out. Each time she acts annoyed and talks to me in a condescending way like I’m an irksome child.

The third time I visited, I told her she didn’t need to worry about blow-drying my hair. It takes sooo long and honestly it always feels so destructive, the pulling and dragging of each small section of hair through the brush. She was obviously thrilled with that suggestion because the next time I went back she eagerly asked if I wanted to forgo the blowing drying again.

A Favorite Hair Style


By the way, the dress I’m wearing in the photos above is the pretty shift dress I purchased during the trip to Maui that you guys convinced me to take two summers ago. (Read more about that trip here: Maui, Hawaii. Click any picture link on that page to view a post.)

Tommy Bahama Floral Linen Dress


I love Tommy Bahama dresses! They have the cutest dresses every summer and I always add one or two more to my summer wardrobe when I catch a good sale. You can see this year’s spring/summer offerings here: Summer Dresses. 

Cult Gaia Style Arc Bag with Floral Shift Dress by Tommy Bahama


This is the tool I use to give my hair body and a bit of curl. I loved it so much, after I purchased the 1.5-inch barrel size, I later purchased the 1-inch size. You’ll find it in both sizes here: Calista Hair Tool.

Best Hair Tool for Smoothing Frizzies and Creating Beautiful Curls


I came across this photo a few weeks ago in an ad on Instagram and it’s very similar to the cut I’ve been getting. So now I have an additional photo on my phone of the cut I like.

I had an appointment booked for the 17th for a cut and highlights since it’s been well over 6 months since I last got highlights. Unfortunately, with all that’s going on right now and the school closings, I had to cancel the appointment and head to Ohio earlier than anticipated.

My hair is so long now, longer than I like. When I get back, I’ll go for another cut and more of the balayage highlights. Love how natural they look!

Just wondering, anyone else out there hate visits to the hair salon as much as I do?

Great Hair Style


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  1. That is a gorgeous cut and your hair in the photo looks beautiful ! It is very frustrating and anxiety provoking when you feel the stylist isn’t listening to a word you are saying. After working with our own hair our entire lives, I feel we know better what we want and what works. Good for you for not caving in to the stylist ‘s pressure ! I also use the type of blow dryer/ styler that you are using, only mine is made by Revlon. I love it and it has made such a difference in my hair. I don’t dread drying it anymore. I love your blog – it’s always a ‘breath of fresh air’ and full of great info ! Take care and stay safe.

    • Thanks so much, Patricia! Appreciate that so much! I so agree and we know what we like, don’t we? I really do love the cut. When the quarantine ends and I get back home, I need to get it cut/colored again. It’s gotten so long through the winter months. Hope you stay safe, we are staying in with only trips to the grocery store.

    • I have the Revlon version also. My stylist says I blow dry my hair better than him now!! LOL

  2. Martha Lander says

    How I love your hairstyle, Susan! I wish you would show a picture of the sides from the front, also. I would love to know how you style it. I, too, have thick hair. Does it honestly stay like that in the back after you sleep on it? I am a back sleeper. People at home orders that have been enacted or going to help please feel free to email me @[email protected].

    • I’ll try to do that when the quarantine ends and I get it cut/colored again. My hair really takes the curl very strongly. I have to be careful I don’t curl it too long with the Calista or I end up with Mary Tyler Moore hair with a complete flip. lol I loved how that looked back in the day!
      I’m a back sleeper, too. I usually sort of separate my hair in back with hands when I lay down, but even it I don’t, it holds the curl pretty well.
      By the time it needs washing again, the curl is a little looser but still there. I’m super lazy with hair, so other than brushing it, I don’t do anything with it on the days between washings.

  3. Dot Van Dyke says

    Susan, you perfectly described how most of us feel!! I LOVE really
    your thoughts. Since my hair is Auburn, I have been all over Atlanta
    looking for someone who did not make it Burgundy, Apple Red, Fire
    Engine Red, etc, etc,etc and I found a wonderful Hairdresser 7 years ago and
    LOVE Him!!! BYW, he is very near you. He is on Woodstock Road!!!
    He is at the Nusance Hair Salon by Home Depot and King Road.
    Keep up the Good Work!!

    • Dot, that’s awesome that you’ve found a great stylist! If you ever need a new one, I’ve heard great things about Elon Salon on Piedmont Rd. I’ve had my hair cut there once many years ago. A co-worker many years ago, came to work with bright orange hair. She had always had it colored a strawberry blond and one day she attempted to color it herself. It was literally the color of an orange crayon. She was very upset and I told her I had always heard great things about Elon. She booked an appointment right then for that day and the next day when she came to work, her hair was beautiful. They totally knew what to do to fix it.

  4. My stylist never cuts my hair the same on my visits. Like you she can color and highlight great. Her prices are very reasonable for my area. I recently moved 165 miles away so now I have to find another hair salon! ‍♀️

  5. Beautiful hair colour and cut! You are lucky to have such thick hair. I have had my share of hair salon disasters over the years, believe me! I’ve been with my current stylist a year and a half and she does a pretty good job.
    How long do you plan to stay at your sons. I know you are a huge help to them now with the schools closed.

    • Thanks, Donna! I guess I get it from my Mom, her hair was very thick.
      I’m not sure, probably until everyone can return to their normal routine. We are making it work but I can tell the kids are missing playing with other children.

  6. Ha – I do feel exactly the same way but for the opposite reason! My hair is VERY thin and after every haircut I either look like a dutch boy or a pinhead! There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, but my current stylist is figuring it out. So glad you found one that can do it right. Even if she complains while she’s doing it, your cut and color are gorgeous! Love the dress too. You’ll be the belle of the ball this summer! Thanks for another informative and entertaining post!

  7. Your hair is beautiful! Wish mine was that thick. I really love the style, color and especially the cut you held your ground to get. That color technique is perfect for your hair. Yes I hate getting my hair done. For years I tolerated a stylist who was an expert with color, but she could never cut my hair the same way twice. She liked short hair with bangs in her eyes. I hate that style and she kept trying to cut my hair closer to her style every time. Finally, I got up the nerve to let my color grow off and go white. I was surprised that I actually had more white than grey hair and I love it. Now I’ve found a new stylist who can really cut hair and listens to what I want. I go every six weeks and she keeps it right above shoulder length with long layers. It’s simple and if I don’t want to blow dry it still looks ok.

    • Oh, that would drive me crazy. I wonder if she realized what she was doing…cutting it more and more like her own style.
      That’s the length I like mine, just above my shoulders. Unfortunately, it grows so fast, it never stays there very long.

  8. Mary Anne says

    Your hair looks great in those photos!! I bought that tool too (thanks to you) and love it. Honestly, you must be a saint to put up with that stylist’s attitude!

    • I keep thinking I should look for someone else, but she does a great job. I just don’t like the attitude. I think she must think that I’m just an old fuddy duddy who doesn’t know what’s good for them. lol

  9. Susan, I really like this last photo, but my hair is not easy to style. It’s not thick! I wish it were! I get a trim every six weeks and have

  10. Oh, Susan, so funny, plus everyone will relate. Stylists, if you can call them that, who don’t listen, Grr.

    My sweet Mother with zero fashion sense or interest went for years to a lady with home salon because her church/ community friends went there. Her hair looked awful for many years, cut and color. Even the stylist hair looked awful. And, when I would see this lady occasionally when visiting, she would even make snide remarks about my hair, knowing I probably paid a lot more for it in the city.

    Finally this person retired. Now my 95 year old Mother’s still thick hair looks beautiful.

    I have struggled for years with thick hair, but better than thin or thinning hair.

    Thanks for the funny post. Your hair looks great!

  11. Donna Nance says

    *sigh* I really envy your lovely, thick hair. The cut is very flattering but you should not have to argue with the hairdresser to do as you wish. Eye rolling is not acceptable…I would have walked out. My hairdresser lives next door and I sit in the chair in the shop, she wets my hair and snips away…about 10-15 minutes and I’m done. All the shops are closed here so it may be a while before I get a trim.

  12. Terri Gonzalez says

    Your hair is gorgeous! Lucky me, I’ve had the same hairdresser for the past 40+ years! He knows my hair very well, which can be frustrating, especially when I show him a photo of a look I’d like to try but he always tells me my hair is to thick, I have cowlicks at the nape of my neck…so I’ve worn my hair the same way for the past few years. Sometimes I think I’d like to “divorce” him, but he also colors my hair and I like the color. He, his wife and I have grown old together.

  13. I NEVER used to get my hair cut the way I want. But, I found a stylist, she knows what my hair needs. I only go once or twice a year but now I cannot get it cut until all this is over.

    • I know, they hadn’t enacted the quarantine when I first made my appointment. I made it weeks in advance for about a week before I had planned to leave to visit my grandchildren. If had known I would be coming earlier, I would had set it for much earlier. Glad you have a great stylist, Marge! I know you appreciate her!

  14. Just wanted to say that your hair is glorious!

  15. I really like your cut. I understand the anxiety and what feels like a fight. I went to someone for awhile and liked the cut but she drove me crazy. She would do all this other stuff while cutting and styling your hair – digging in her purse, talking on the phone to her boyfriend etc. I finally quit because she was too annoying. My hair is fine and I don’t like flat or curled under. I’ve been going to the same person for about 15 years. He always curls it under. I go straight home and wash it and style it the way I like which fortunately I can do with the cut. I had an appointment this week but our salons have all been closed. We may all end up cutting our own (cringe). You’re lucky if you don’t have to cover gray.

    • Sandy, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve always had to go straight home and wash/style my hair because they either turned it under where it was framing/cupping my face or it was as limp and flat as dishrag from all the product they used on it and from dragging it through the brush while drying it. Even when I tell them I hate flat, limp hair, they do it that way anyway…except this stylist. I guess I got through to her on that since she leaves it with a lot of body.
      I know, the salons are going to be booked solid for weeks after this quarantine ends!

  16. Susan, I totally understand how you feel about going to the hairdresser. Mine NEVER is the same way twice and I have been going to the same person for 5 years! Your hair is absolutely gorgeous! I would kill to have your hair instead of my straight fine chicken feathers. I do think that you should stick with your stylist, because she seems to do a beautiful job.

    • That is sooo frustating, Linda! I totally get it. I feel like a nag having to go over exactly what I want every time, but it seems to be the only thing that works. Thanks for that input, I think I will and maybe with time she won’t act so annoyed when I tell her what I want/don’t want. We are the ones who have to live with what they do for months/years so we should feel free to state exactly what we want.

  17. Well it looks great! Just keep showing the picture and telling her no thinning. Maybe one day you’ll have her trained…of course then she’ll retire.

  18. Right now there is no way to stay 6’ from a stylist. So no one should be getting a haircut right now, or their teeth cleaning by a hygienist, or a massage, or a manicure or pedicure. We will all be looking pretty rough after awhile.

    • Spot on Marsha as in the Province I’m in, Emergency Measures have been enforced and all those you mentioned are closed as classified as non-essential services. Shall also add there is only a dental hotline plus even for the health care provider I go to; you must first arrange a phone appointment in order to consult with the doctor which is done through an online portal, then if granted an appointment you must have a cell phone upon your arrival in order to identify yourself, before the door is open to you. Accompanying persons are also being discouraged unless of course under specific circumstance.
      P.S.: I’m a Canadian and many provinces have adopted similar policies.

  19. Olivia Mandry says

    The blonde girl in the original photo is Mollie King. She is a British singer and always has great hair. I share your wishes to not have a rounded look to my hair and not having enough left around my face. I either end up with a big swoop or a totally square Dutch boy effect. I have even taken pictures of what I want and what I don’t want (marked with a big”X” lest they get confused). It doesn’t help. Right now I would just like to find out who cuts Dana Perino’s hair and fly there when all this is over.

    • Thanks so much for identifying her for me, Olivia! I just added that info to the post.
      I know, I love Dana’s hair, too! Yesterday, I played “Storytime with Dana” for my grandsons and they watched with rapt attention. They loved it!
      Have you seen her storytime? We missed it today so we’ll have two to watch tomorrow. lol

  20. Selma Kessler says

    Susan! Oh my WORD! Your hair is absolutely GORGEOUS. I certainly understand why you would be anxious about someone thinning your hair. You are very fortunate, and it’s wonderful you found a stylist that, forgoing the eyeroll, treats your hair like a medium for her art! Maybe you could pay your stylist in advance for your next appointment to help her bridge the period when her shop is closed? She’s definitely talented!

    Enjoy this time with your grandsons, it’s probably the greatest thing in the world for them to have their grandma with them!



    • Thanks so much, Selma! That actually a good idea, I bet stylist are having a hard time right now.
      We are having fun! I don’t think they’ll ever forget this time in their lives, having Mom, Dad and Mimi with them all day every day. lol

  21. Sue Klingseis says

    I am in California desperately needing a cut and color and our salons are all closed until who knows when. Those of you who can still get your hair done, do it before your state gets more serious about this.

  22. I’ve had the same experience. I have thick hair also. They always tell me how nice it is and how lucky I am but I rarely walk out with the style I wanted.

    • Soo frustrating! They tell me how lucky I am, then try their best to get me to thin it out. Arggg. Maybe it’s just easier for them to cut it when it’s thinned out. I’m sure it’s much faster to dry, but I def don’t like it that way. Thanks, Diana!

  23. Love your haircut! Can you possibly provide item numbers for the 1.5 inch and the one inch Calista tools? They have several options and I am not positive which tools you use. Thank you from Deidre ( a Pennsylvania reader)

    • Thanks, Deidre! This is the 1 inch barrel: . I think it works better for shorter hair where the 1.5 inch barrel works better for longer hair.

      I’m starting to wonder if they’ve discontinued the type I have because on this page at the Calista website, I don’t see one exactly like mine. You can see what they offer now here:

      That really upsets me if they discontinued it because it’s so gentle on the hair and I LOVE the body it gives my hair.

  24. Snowflake281 says

    Spot on with the haircut. Now if only the hair stylist would lose the attitude. I have naturally curly hair that frizzes at the first sign of humidity so getting my haircut is always an adventure in anxiety, along with trying to buy comfortable, nice looking shoes & bras! I wanted to buy that Calista hair tool but when I saw the price of the one with the 1.5” barrel I just couldn’t. In any case, enjoy your do!

  25. Love your cut. Lucky you have found someone. I disliked having someone else do anything to my hair, so one year when I broke my leg I took my crutches and cast to beauty school and got my license so I would be able to do my own hair. Haven’t been to a beauty shop in 30 years. I have lots of fine waving hair and stylist always had trouble with it.

  26. My hair is also very thick, like a sponge and takes ages to blow dry. I could never get anyone to cut it the way I wanted and never got a cut that I liked, thought suited me or lasted and looked good after washing, until my daughter tried modeling and I went to the hairdresser her agency used. He was wonderful. He has moved on but I have stayed with the salon he was with and the style. Ironicall now I am 69 everyone raves over how thick my hair is. Most older people suffer from thinning hair. Your time will come.

    • Barb, I’m 64 and it’s thicker than it has ever been. My Mom had very thick hair so I don’t expect it to ever really thin out. I don’t know what causes it to thin for some people. It could be hormones but I’m passed that, too. So I think it will stay this way.

  27. I don’t hate it now because I have a hairstylist who knows how to cut my curly hair. She’s been cutting it for 33 years and heavan only knows what I’ll do when she retires. In the past, however, I have had some doozies when the stylist didn’t know what to do with my curly hair. Many years ago I booked an appointment with someone who supposedly specialized in curly hair, and it was one of the worst haircuts I’ve ever had! needless to say, I never went back to him!

  28. Wow, Susan, I felt like you were writing about me and my hair! I, too, have very thick hair and have had numerous hair stylists who have complained about having to cut and style it. One stylist just told me she refused to dry my hair any longer because it cut into her schedule too much. I left the salon with newly cut, but wet hair, each time. I’ve also been charged extra because of the thickness of my hair. What amazes me is how nasty some of the stylists have been – as if it’s my fault that my hair is thick! After a number of stylists, I have found the most wonderful gal right in my town who actually says she loves blow-drying my hair! More importantly, she has developed a special cut for me. Like you, I wear my hair below my shoulders and have blonde highlights. She has done three different layers in my hair that give it bounce and allow me to wear it several ways, including an updo. I’m eager to try the Calista tool. I guess I should try the 1.5 inch barrel first. Thanks for writing this post, Susan! I can really relate!

  29. Marilyn Comer says

    Your hair is GORGEOUS!

  30. When I told the young lady that cuts my hair that I wanted movement in my hair ,she told me she didn’t know what I was asking for.

  31. I don’t mind salons and my hair isn’t thick but a friend has the same problem you do. She has enough hair for 5 people. Your hair is gorgeous! I thought you were a blonde. Very rude of that hairdresser to act like that, by the way.

    • For a while I was coloring my hair a lighter color so the gray wouldn’t show so easily before the next time I colored it. I didn’t like how that looked on me, though…so I’ve gradually gone darker again. I don’t like blonde hair on me but if it’s too dark, the gray shows so quickly since my hair grows very fast.

  32. Oh, I screwed up my email address on the post I just made. Below is correct.

    • For a while I was coloring my hair a lighter color so the gray wouldn’t show so easily before the next time I colored it. I didn’t like how that looked on me, though…so I’ve gradually gone darker again. I don’t like blonde hair on me but if it’s too dark, the gray shows so quickly since my hair grows very fast.

  33. Nancy Brantley says

    OH, I CAN SO RELATE! I have thick hair and every stylist thinks it should be thinned…..why??? I’m going to get thin one day probably. But I don’t know my parents had thick hair up to 86yrs of age. I can never get the same cut and one side different than other. I’ve been going to same stylist for 12yrs. I’ve tried other stylists where someone gets their hair cut but was worse….I just go as long as I can before cuts. My cut is similar to yours and easy. I use the same tool. I’m with you, the right cut is all it takes to make hair beautiful.

  34. I feel so bad for you! I have been w/t same stylist for FIFTY years!! Yes, 50!! He was just out of beauty school, I was still in high school. Except for his tour of duty in Vietnam, NO ONE else has cut/colored my hair (3 exceptions for hair styling/makeup for sons’ weddings & baby shower for first granddaughter) I hope you can find some solace when you go next time.

  35. Carol Matthews says

    Oh yes – I know exactly how you feel! I’ve even had the “just let me out of this chair NOW” feeling. So you’re not alone – and it’s nice to know I’m not alone either! Your hair is lovely – I hope you eventually find someone who know how to cut what you want as well as have some social skills!! Hugs from Nova Scotia

  36. Oh my goodness, you could be telling my story! After my favorite hair stylist suddenly retired I was lucky to find someone I liked but the problem with her is she didn’t want to hear anything about how the cut didn’t work or any other problems you might have plus I had to book 5 weeks out….I stupidly stayed with her 5 years before I got the nerve (and an excuse) to go elsewhere. The next person I really liked but after 2-3 years she’d cut my hair differently each time even though I’d show a pic and tell her how I wanted my hair, long story short, eventually I left her last May after seeing a girl at my bank’s hair that I loved….I started going to the person I’m now seeing….she was wonderful (at first) and at her own admission said she was a “B……” my husband knows her husband and he (my husband) said her husband says the same about here….when I got highlights she does the old way by pulling your hair through a cap, I’m so claustrophobic that I had a meltdown in her chair and had to pull off the cap, told her I’d always got foil for highlights, to which she stated she didn’t “do” foil (WTH?)….now I just get color and cut and she’s another that rolls her eyes if you mention you want something different…..I could go on and on but you get the picture. I don’t know what I’m going to do….plus she’s very very expensive more than I’ve ever paid to anyone. Here’s hoping I find someone else or I’m afraid I’ll end up going off on her one of these days (LOL)

  37. Love your haircut and highlights!
    I have the same problem with stylists. I, too, have very thick hair and have similar conversations with stylists. And, unfortunately, I’ve ended up with some terrible haircuts. They always want to cut mine short and thin it out. Thinning my hair makes it frizzy. Since moving a few years ago I haven’t been able to find a good stylist. But I keep hoping.

  38. Michele M. says

    Your cut looks gorgeous – looks like my sister’s hair – style and color.

    I have very fine very thick and very long hair. I am blessed my youngest is a licensed hair stylist – she understands cut and performance so perfectly….funny we were discussing something similar recently.

    I nearly never blow dry my hair – you are right, feels damaging and hurts my tender scalp.

    SO happy you found a good stylist. I always get their personal cell in case they leave. (well did before my daughter moved back from SoCal that is.)

  39. Your hair looks just beautiful…healthy, shiny and a fabulous cut. I have just the opposite~~thin hair. My challenge is finding someone who can do a cut that makes it look fuller and not flat after one night’s sleep. I have been so fortunate to have found someone who works his magic every time. We’ve had a wonderful relationship for over 25 years. I’ve never gone to anyone else and I actually look forward to going because he makes me feel beautiful. Glad you found someone who does what you want. Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with her about how she makes you feel? All done, obviously with complimenting her on her styling abilities?Your feedback will make her a better service provider.

  40. Cyndi Raines says

    Well Susan, first let me say you are a saint. The audacity for her to be so rude, roll her eyes and speak to you so flippantly, that is just wrong! Oh my, you are a true southern belle for sure. I am afraid this northern girl would have to let her know I appreciate her good work in the cut and highlights and would like to continue using her, but only if the attitude stops since I’m the one paying her for her “service”. Gosh, going to the salon is supposed to be a time to relax and feel pampered, not an endurance test! With that said, you do have very beautiful hair. I have a good amount of hair, but is is fine. I have had to be very firm with my hairdresser as she like to “texturize” the hair which I don’t like and have to tell her to not do it. I do like layers to give it more body, but for sure no “texturizing”. Lol, the things we go through to get our point across. I am curious, does your hair ever get tangled in the teeth of the comb? I have tried to use similar brush type curling irons, but always get tangled up, so I use the large smooth curling iron. On a funny note: I was just looking at my dog today and he’s overdue for a shampoo and cut too! And he hates going, totally gets stressed, Haha, but he looks good when he’s done and he knows he does, haha.

  41. I quit going to professional hairstylists about 10 years ago. They always insisted that I needed to cut my hair shorter than I wanted and insisted on blow drying my hair straight. Now I cut my own hair or have my husband or daughter cut it straight across the back. My hair is to the middle of my back and I only use sulfate free and silicone free shampoo and conditioner. I never use heat on my hair, either. My hair has become much curlier as I’ve aged and it’s healthier than it’s ever been before. I love your hairstyle. Please keep looking for someone that treats you with respect when you’re paying them for such a personal service.

  42. Susan,
    Your hair cut and color is beautiful. I, too, have very thick hair, and it’s heavy without any curl. It always takes so long to dry. It grows very fast so I need a cut and color every four weeks. I plan to show my stylist your pictures of your hair. It might be what I’ve been looking for, for years! I’m going to try the styling tool you use. Hopefully you are able to get back home before too long. Our family has had a college and high school graduation cancelled plus a wedding.

  43. Cecilia from Georgia says

    I have been going to the same stylist for over 15 years and I never make an appointment in advance. I just call her and say “it’s time” and she tells me when she is available, which is a couple of weeks most of the time. I grew up in Florida and had straight blonde hair which was great at that time! Now, not so much. I will always be blonde with straight hair and have fortunately found the style I love. My girl is the Bomb! I can’t imagine losing her! You have wonderful hair and the color is lovely.

  44. Seems like we have a common problem here. When I went to a tech school for something else, seeing who goes to cosmetology class explains a lot. I have fine silky hair. Finally I quit over paying under-qualified people and went to the school for a $5 “customized” haircut, got a box of Roux temporary color and I’m happy. The color lasts longer than expected. Unfortunately, schools are closed and my hair is getting longer by the minute.

  45. Susan, your hair is beautiful! Love the cut, style, and highlights. Yes, I agree, finding the right hair stylist is torture. For years I went to two stylists because one did an exceptional job of cutting and styling while the other one was a perfectionist on highlights. After about ten years, decided enough of this, decided the coloring, highlights was the most important and switched to one stylist. Made my life much easier. Is your Calista hair styling tool for use only on dry hair. It appears the style you have can still be ordered, but says foe dry hair. Enjoy those grandsons.

  46. Your hair cut is beautiful!!! You are lucky to have such thick hair. My hair has thinned over the years. Fortunately I have a good hairdresser whom I have gone to for a little over 20 years. She does a good job with my thin hair. I can certainly sympathize with you. In the past I had a hair dresser that was suppose to layer my long hair and ended up with short hair. I am glad you found someone who can do your hair how you like it.

  47. Loved reading all of the comments and, as I’m not seeing one that celebrates “going grey” thought I’d share my story. For the longest time, I wanted to stop coloring my hair. I’ve been fortunate throughout the years to have always had great stylists and, when the salon I was going to sold her business, I was even more fortunate that the woman who bought it happens to be amazing at the cut itself – which is everything – in addition to coloring hair. She was brilliant at helping me get to my natural color faster – and, as I decided to go with shorter, edgy hair styles she proved to be fantastic at sizing up any photo I brought to her and either duplicating it or adding her own unique touch. I can sympathize with those of you who have struggled to find the right stylist over the years because at various times in my life, this was true for me too.

  48. Linda Page Gurganus says

    I love your haircut in the pictures. It looks really good. It’s so difficult to find the perfect stylist and when you do, they are worth their weight in gold!! I hate getting my hair cut. I’m never happy. They always want to blow my hair into a style and it will NOT do that but they always insist it will…. then it doesn’t. My fine hair has to be curled with a curling iron. Don’t understand why a stylist who has never touched your hair before thinks she knows more about your hair than you! I am months past a haircut and just can’t make myself go. So glad you found a good stylist.

  49. Susan your hair is so pretty. I had no idea people had such a hard time getting their hair cut the way they like. I have been going to the same girl for many years just for cutting, I do my own color, and sometimes trimming in between. And that Tommy Bahama dress is lovely.!!

  50. Susan H Whetstine says

    I love your hair!!
    I’ve been going to the same hair guy for almost 40 years. He started out working at a salon the he was able to buy the building about 3 years ago from the person he started out with. From the get go he listened to me, made a few suggestions and has done what I’ve asked him to do from the beginning. He is like a son to me. He did everyone’s hair for my daughters wedding even. I went on Tuesday for a hair cut because at 5:00 today, Wednesday, a lot of businesses will be shut down due to the virus. I feel so badly for him and his crew. He told me he had 3 months of bill money kept back for emergencies and after that he would be done unless they will be giving small businesses some kind of help. He also said he would not be taking rent from his other hair stylist for their booths during this time. When I paid him I paid him for my cut and 2 more. I told him to call me when he was back up and running. I felt so bad walking out of their not knowing when I would be back again.

  51. Gail Bell says

    This post is exactly why I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I’m sure every woman can relate to the anxiety and stress that goes along with finding the right hair stylist and the excruciating moments until we see the final results, hoping we can easily style at home.

    After years of botched hair cuts and colors, I finally found a hair stylist with hair that behaves just like mine so she gets it. I’ve happily been with her for over 8 years. Of course, with the current situation, it will be awhile until we all can return to the salons. A lot of us are going to discover our real hair color;–)

    By the way, your cut, highlights, and hair is gorgeous!

  52. I would love a tutorial on the Calista. I have one and can’t seem to get it right! Your hair looks lovely!

  53. Susan,

    I totally agree: your cut is awesome. Here’s the thing, go to my awesome stylist one time and she’ll explain what to say/how to say it to the stylists by you. Leslie has been working for at least ten years and regularly updates her skills. (She takes that part seriously. As do I. I don’t want people who just exited beauty skill or never bother to update their skills.)

    I’m serious, you’d really like her and she’ll give you the vocab to talk to a stylist close to you. Plus she might have an actual name of someone by you.

    Again, ask specifically for Leslie. (She’s pregnant so you might want to get in before July. Last time she had a baby, she barely took time off so that’s good too.)

    Image Makers Salon Suites — Leslie
    3675 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024
    Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 5PM
    (678) 758-5857


    • Wendy, thanks for this info! I wish she wasn’t so far away from me. It would take me about an hour each way to go to her. You are so nice to give me her info…truly appreciate it!

  54. Cheryl Gordon says

    I have the opposite problem. Thin hair and a long face. I had a good stylist years ago. Hte was the owner and was recommended to me by Mr Blackwell.
    One day, the shop just disappeared! When I retired I began going to my local cosmetology school. On a visit last year, one of the teachers recommended I leave my hair curly instead of trying to cut and style to cover thin spots. She told me what to ask for each time I returned and now I get good cuts every time!

  55. OH, BOY…can I relate. But first, your hair looks great! Yes…have gone to many salons over the years with the opposite problem. I have very fine, baby thin hair. I stopped taking photos of what I want to look like because I fell they are thinking ” unless I staple this photo to your forehead this is never gonna happen”. Over the years I find I look best with a pixie that is very layers and it takes less than 2 minutes to dry (sorry!) with no tools, just my fingers. My husband says this is the best I have ever looked. SO, just like you, I had several stylists over the year that I loved, but like you – they moved out of state, or became way too expensive for a cut that needs to be done every 4-5 weeks. So, recently moved to a new area and retired. Tried the several shops near me and was not thrilled. Went online and looked at the BEST OF list from the local newspaper and made an appointment. Asked to be put with someone who is good with short, fine, thin hair. They recommended someone and I made an appointment and when I got there someone else took me to a chair. I said, hey, wait…”oh, she had a bridal consult so I am going to do your hair”. No, I will wait for who your owner recommended was good with my kind of hair. They were a little miffed, but I waited. It was a disaster…I looked like a reject from a punk rock group. BUT, she was nice, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and went back with a photo of ME when I loved how my hair looked. STILL….punk rock reject. So, now I go to Great Clips…I was getting whoever was next but found one girl did a great job. So now I request her…no appointment, but you can check in online and be on the list. It is super inexpensive and now that I turned 65 I qualify for the senior discount. I just hope she does not move…..

  56. Franki Parde says

    GREAT CUT ‘n COLOR!! I am SO fortunate to have found my “gal!” She is from Sweden so I enjoy “visiting” with her as well since it helps me understand my son–i-l a little better…born in the SAME region, too! She only uses organic…everything…I don’t even go under a dryer. She IS a miracle worker with my “stubborn hair.” I am truly “concerned” when I’ll be able to go to her shop again (we drive FOUR hours…I know, NUTS…she is that good…) I’ve been going to her 15 years now…*sigh*

  57. I too hate to go to a beauty salon. I don’t like other people washing my hair and always hated the cut. My hair is wavy and used to be thick (age has now made it “normal”). Back in January 1981 we moved to Seattle. I had a new patient whose husband was a hairdresser. At her prenatal visit I asked him is he could cut my hair so I could just comb it into place without using curlers or blow dryer. He said sure. Best haircut I ever had. Our boys were about the same age so they would come to the house and I would wash my own hair and he cut it on the back porch while the boys played and then we would send out for pizza. No stress. As we are now in our 70s I was worried what I would do when he retired. After he closed his salon started doing home haircuts for a few old clients like us. I’m going gray but will never be able to sit in a salon to get it colored. Heaven help me if he ever stops doing my hair.

  58. Brenda Lawrence says

    Yes, I hate getting my hair cut. The stylist’s never listen to you, don’t understand you or just want to do their own thing. I can’t tell you how many times I came home so disappointed in a haircut. I could never get it across how I wanted my hair cut! I’ve only had two people that could cut my hair and make it look great, the one I can’t afford anymore and the other one moved to Florida. I have a lot of hair too, it isn’t as thick as yours, but I have a lot of it. I also have a mix of fine and thick stands. They always want to thin my hair too. I just get mine layered now as well, only since the passing of my husband 4 years ago, I only get mine cut once in a blue moon because I can’t afford to color and cut my hair. I color it myself and get a hair cut once or twice a year. That takes some of the anxiety away because I’m not going ever 6 to 8 weeks anymore. But the anxiety is even worse when I do finally go. lol I don’t let the gal dry my hair either because she makes me look ridiculous, so I just go home and dry it. My gal complains too, on the rare occasion she dried my hair, that it holds the water so badly. Yep, it does…so I will dry it myself! At least the gal is cutting your hair the way you want now, but don’t get why you have to keep explaining it over and over how you want it done. They really don’t listen and just want to do their own thing!

  59. What I dreaded most about going to salon was how long it took – 3 hrs min. ugh but what I loved about it was having my hair shampooed…heavenly. I have thick hair also & had a great stylist but due to health issues haven’t been for 3 yrs. I do miss the coloring. I do it now but boxed coloring doesn’t compare, just covers gray. My hair is now all one length and long. It grows like a weed. Fortunately, my dil does good job cutting/trimming it for me. I use to use the same curler as you but few months back I bought the Chi Spin & Curl and glad I did. It’s so easy and quick which is rare for thick hair. I get curls identical to Nancy Travis’ hair style on Last Man Standing. The curls last til I wash which like you, is every 4-5 days. I don’t like using any hot tools regularly, so a lot of times I just put in pony tail. I’ve come to appreciate the flexibility of longer hair…it’s just the washing that drives me nuts now.

  60. It sounds like your latest post struck a nerve! Like so many others I don’t feel my hair has ever been optimally styled, and I just settled with whatever. I finally found a stylist in Florida that I liked so much, and was even willing to wait to see her when we went down. Unfortunately she had to reschedule my last appointment so now my hair is easily 3 inches too long. I’ve been toying with the idea of cutting it myself. I once let my husband try to blunt cut my hair, as I thought how hard could it be? Apparently pretty hard, and I’ll never make that mistake again. 🙂

  61. Donna zoltanski says

    I agree! You have gorgeous hair!

  62. I think your hair right now is gorgeous. You are blessed to have so much hair and filled with body. Yes, going to the salon is always an ordeal, but it looks like you found your “place” !

  63. Susan, that looks great! Next time show us the front view, too. I also have long hair and like you, never seem to get the cut I want, so wind up just letting it grow and grow. It’s longer than it’s ever been, lol. But I do want something fresh, feminine and with bounce, so I am trying to find a stylist through recommendations. It’s hard! Anyway, glad you finally got a cut you like, but I don’t like the way she acts so annoyed every time you go in. 🙁

  64. You have beautiful hair! I, too, had very thick hair, but it has thinned as I’ve gotten older. I LOVE going to the beauty shop, and the same stylist has been cutting my hair for almost 40 years. She does a really good cut. I’ve told her she has to work as long as I’m mobile. She is always upbeat and interested in my family. I’m always interested in her home projects. I’m glad you finally found someone who cuts your hair the way you like it.

  65. First of all Susan, I’m relieved to hear during these trying times you are with your family. Now regarding stylists have had my fair share and can relate to what you are saying, however fortunately now have one whom I adore. Surprisingly though I found her actually out of desperation and believe it or not she works out of a walk-in salon; so needless to say because the price is so right, I ensure to tip her generously. STAY SAFE and PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. Warmest hugs -Brenda-

  66. I did, until I found my current stylist.
    Your hair looks so lovely, Susan. The cut is cute and stylish and highlights make your hair glow! You are ready for the warmer days my friend 🙂

  67. Douglas Denny says

    Hello Susan, It’s Doug from Washington, DC. I have read almost ALL of the posts here on your blog.
    I have been a professional, licensed hairdresser for 45 years and although I am retired, I retained about a dozen clients (who are more like long time friends). I used to have such a client list in the day, I was booked weeks in advance. I was successful, albeit old school hairdresser because I actually loved pictures since sometimes we all use different terminology. Once in beauty school I had a client that I asked if she wanted the new “over the ear: cut and she said “oh yes”. When I cut her hair “around” her ear instead of “covering” her ear, I thought she was gonna cry. Lesson learned. I have always listened because I did learn early on in my career that if you didn’t listen the customer doesn’t come back. I love trying new things on my clients. I have also had clients in the day that if one hair was different than the week before, they were upset. I have been doing hairs so long that I was a master of the “mile high” hair-do in the late 60’s early 70’s. I was loved creating those hair sky-scrapers. I still have one of those until recently who drove 30 miles after she moved because the young ones had no idea what she was talking about. I apologize to all of you that have had bad experiences with hairdressers. I have gently tried to persuade change in some of my clients who wore their hair too dark for too long or something more flattering. Ultimately it is the client’s hair and choice. I have had a few that I prayed they would never tell where they got their hair done because it looked so “old fashioned and out-of-date”. Susan your hair looks great, colour and cut. I am glad that you also take the time to dry and style your hair every time you shampoo. The last new client I had wanted all these “things” and I cut her hair step-by-step, added some product for volumn and it looked great and she loved it and then said “it will never look this good when I do it, all I do is wash and wear”. I can give good colour and cut but there is no magic that will make it style itself. Bottom line as a hairdresser, you can TRY and give everyone the look they desire, but you just can’t please everyone.

    • Hi Douglas, Hope you are staying safe in Washington, DC! Thanks so much for this perspective. I do think sometimes the problem is a customer not really “getting” what the stylist is suggesting, or not understanding the terminology. I’ve had that happen to me in the past where I thought the stylist was describing one thing and they actually meant something very different. That’s one reason I try to take a photo of what I want, if I can find one.
      Oh, I remember those mile-high styles, those took some serious hairspray, I bet! lol
      Too funny about hoping some of your customer didn’t share who was doing their hair. 🙂 I know some of us get stuck in our ways. Occasionally, I’ll see a photo of someone online wearing a style that looks straight from the 80s. I’ve thought about that and why folks do that. I think what happens is as we age, we miss/long for the days when we were looked our best (in our eye) so we try to recreate those days by keeping the hairstyle we wore during that period when we thought we looked our prettiest.
      I sometimes get the urge to wear my hair realllllly long again like I did in highschool, then I come to my senses and realize it actually drags down my face and ages me. I look much better with it just above my shoulders.
      Thanks so much! I really do love that style, although it does take regular salon visits to keep it up. When this whole virus thing is over, I’ll go back and get it cut to that length again and add back the highlights.
      Thanks again, Douglas (d0 you go by Doug or Douglas?) It helps to hear the other side! I know you have some great stories you could tell! Would make an interesting book! 🙂

  68. Love, love your hair…I have the same problem with thick hair and the stylist wanting to thin it all the time and I cringe…I found a solution to blow drying my hair faster, I got a 2000 watt blow dryer…wow does it ever help! thanks for your honesty! Love your blog!

  69. Bobbi Duncan says

    Your hair style and the highlights look gorgeous! I have been lucky in that I’ve had the same great stylist for 19 years and had a great one when I lived in VA. as well. The only bad hair thing happened to me when I lived briefly in Ohio. I was having a light perm done back then, but she literally fried my hair–it looked and felt like carpet fuzz! Had to have my hair cut REALLY short to lop off most of it , then wait 6 months for the remainder to grow out Certainly made me stylist-anxious for awhile afterwards. Hugs!

  70. Hi Susan, Just a hello and (late) comment that your hair is absolutely, positively, simply beautiful! The cut and color are just perfect for you.
    In spite of the scariness we’re all facing, it’s nice being home and getting some house projects done! Moms are home with their kids and people are gardening, taking walks, etc. Circa 1965! Stay well, friend …

  71. Susan, The new cut and color is wonderful! It looks so chic and youthful! I know EXACTLY how you feel! I have very thick hair as well with good body and texture and have had the same conversations and eye rolling with stylist over the years. In my high school days,l I used to be a hair model for the famous Mr. Frank Arnold (if you remember the Farah Fawcett Majors cut with layers upon layers when it first came out in those days). Since then I have had some fabulous cuts especially when I worked in Beverly Hills; however nowadays because we live on the Coast at the beach I find there is no way to keep hold a good curl, so I just get a nice rounded turn under cut three or four times a year and best of all I don’t need to pay for highlights any longer, as the sun does it naturally! Yay! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and salon experiences. Best to you always, Stay In and Stay Well! Bren

  72. Did you ever see that cartoon where the hairdresser is washing the client hair & she keep talking & rubbing the side of her hair over & over as if the hairdresser didn’t know how to wash her hair .At the end of the shampoo the hair dresser sprays the water all over her face. I don’t know of a hair dresser doing that, but I am sure that’s what they like to do lol. So many girls wants their hair to look like the hairdresser has spent one hour blow drying it… right after they have just cut it. It’s best just to have clean hair before you go & just let the hairdresser wet it & cut. You go home & style it the way you like. That would take a lot of stress of the hairdresser also.

  73. Your hair is gorgeous! Lucky you. Enjoy it. Mine has thinned since I’ve gotten older. Plus I got allergic to the hair dye. Arrr
    You’ve hit on a nerve that everyone seems to want to talk about!
    I always look forward to your posts.

  74. Sara Grant says

    Girl you are speaking my truth!!!!! I have your hair. And if another stylist gasps when she feels how thick it is I’ll scream. It’s thick. I know that by now (61). And it has lot and lots of wave. I’m going in on Friday and going to ask for something similar to what you show here. It’s so tempting to go short again. It is so hot!!!! And it’s not hormonal. It’s from having a rug on my head. I hate feeling like I need to either apologize or be grateful for my thick hair. I need a blow dry brush like you. Anyway, glad to know I’m not alone. I do ask for a much longer appointment. Wish me luck!

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