A Hair-Raising Experience At Great Clips

This morning I need to start the day by spending a few minutes writing a rant. Last night Grace and I had an experience that I can not come to terms with as of yet. I thought that by letting it rest for the night, sleeping on it if you will, I would somehow feel better, less upset, but alas it is not the case. I still feel very angry. Be it the “don’t mess with a mama’s cubs” mindset or pure unadulterated justification in feeling like I want blood — I have to get this off my chest. Writing for cathartic reasons has been somewhat helpful in the past, so here I go again.

Last night Grace decided that she wanted to get her hair cut. She has wanted it done for some time now, but with her work schedule, she has very limited options as to when she is available to go. We do not go to a “salon” where you make an appointment. We try to get away with spending very little in the way of haircuts and yet for the past 16 years that I have been taking Grace for haircuts, this has never been an issue. (Yes, she’s 18 but the first couple years I let her hair grow out.)

For the past four or more years we have gone to the same shop, a Great Clips near the grocery store we frequent three or four times a week. It was convenient, yes, but at the same time we have been very fortunate in having friendly, satisfactory service without incident. That is, until yesterday.

There are several people who through the years have remained a constant at this location so when we’ve dropped in for a haircut, most of the time we’ve had the same people cutting our hair. On occasion there were new people who with the luck of the draw we ended up with, and we either put them on the list of those we liked or would avoid. If no one that we liked was available when we showed up, we would ask for the schedule of one of those we did like and come back another time.

Last night when we arrived the woman who cuts my hair was there, but the person that Grace really liked was not. Still, there was a woman with very long beautiful hair, a new person, cutting hair and Grace decided that if she got her, she would be fine with that. As it turns out, that is exactly who she got.

I have always tried not to hover when Grace gets her hair cut, even when she was much younger. I believed in allowing her to cut her hair the way she wanted. There has only been one time that she regretted what she had done, which took two years to completely remedy, but for the most part she knows what she wants.

Grace showed the woman a picture of how she wanted her hair to look after it was cut and the woman told her that it was no problem. Watching from my seat in the waiting room, I noticed how this woman just whipped Grace’s long hair into sections, dragged a comb through the tangles and began to cut — and cut a lot. Before she got to the second layer of hair I couldn’t contain myself and walked over.

I hate to embarrass Grace in public at all so I tried to be very diplomatic in my comments. I prefaced my comments by telling Grace that I had to pull the “mom” card and make a comment before the haircut went much farther. I told her how short the back layer was, reminding her of the little incident that devastated her four years ago when she got it cut short. She told me it was fine. I apologized for interrupting and went back to my seat.

The haircut continued and I watched as this woman used a razor to cut several layers of hair, a tool which I know from experience is not the most pleasant. Then I watched as the woman used the razor to trim the ends of the hair on the back of Grace’s neck. She was quick and what I considered rough, but before I could say anything, the haircut was over.

Grace was very happy with the new style. She had about five inches of hair cut off the back but it tapered down long in the front. Very stylish. Trendy as Grace put it. We paid and left.

The moment we were in the car Grace began complaining about the woman who cut her hair. She told me that she thought the woman was going to pull all of her hair out. She’d been poked in the eye so many times that she thought for sure she was going to have a black eye, and the razor thing she did was like torture. I told her that this was definitely going to be someone we put on the list of stylists we were not going to allow to cut our hair.

Once home, Grace wanted to style her hair, but decided to shower to wash off all the hair this woman had managed to get completely down the front and back of her shirt. When she got out of the shower she came downstairs complaining that the back of her neck felt like it was on fire. I pulled up the hair on the back of her neck and there along the entire base of her neck was a red line. The woman had cut her completely along the back of the neck. This wasn’t a little nick. It wasn’t just a scratch. This was almost as if she’d been sliced.

Immediately I got some alcohol and put it on the red mark. Grace screeched. I blew on it to sooth the sting and repeated with more alcohol.

Needless to say, I was livid. What type of person does this? This wasn’t some sort of mistake that a hairdresser makes. A mistake is an occassional scratch or nick, not a five-inch slash across the neck.

Now I absolutely hate confrontation, but when it comes to my kids, there isn’t anything I won’t do. I immediately went to the computer and got the phone number for Great Clips and called. The woman who cuts my hair answered the phone. I told her who I was and explained to her what had happened. I told her that I didn’t want anything, but I thought they should know. She agreed and told me to hold on because she was going to get the manager. The manager got on the phone and I relayed the story to her, telling her how rough the woman had been and about the cut completely along the nape of Grace’s neck. Again, I reiterated that I wasn’t looking for anything other than I felt she should tell this woman what she had done. I also explained to the woman that we had been coming there for years without incident and had always been satisfied, but this was not a good experience at all.

The manager apologized for the poor service, thanked me for calling, and hung up.

I didn’t feel any better. I don’t know what I expected, but I was still angry, hurt, and truly wanted blood. I don’t know what I want out of this situation, but for some reason I am just not happy with a mere apology. Getting our money back isn’t going to change what happened. Actually, nothing can change it, but I am angry and still stewing about the whole situation.

This morning when Grace got up she told me that her neck was still very tender and sore. I lifted up her hair and this is what it looks like:


Absolutely despicable. I know that we won’t go through this again because that woman will NEVER have the opportunity to cut Grace’s or my hair ever again and yet I am don’t feel any better.

I am waiting until it gets a little later this morning so I can call Hubby, he’s working a 24-hour shift, and tell him about this. I know that he will probably say something wise and comforting to make me feel better or suggest another course of action to resolve this situation. For now I am sitting here in the backyard, enjoying the morning sunrise, listening to the birds singing, and trying to calm myself down enough to start canning some pickles.

It is a beautiful day, the humidity is supposed to dissipate by noon, the sun is supposed to shine and the temps are going to be in the upper 70‘s to low 80‘s. Deep breath.

My garden looks wonderful in the morning shadows and I look forward to harvesting more cucumbers and tomatoes later in the day. Grace is safely at work, sharing her experience with all her co-workers, Zeb is at school, and Hubby is probably still sleeping. I have almost four hours before I pick Grace up for lunch, enough time to get the pickles made and perhaps hang a load of laundry out on the line.

Deep breath. Bell is sleeping between my legs as I calm myself here on the lounge chair on the patio. It is a gorgeous day and despite the tension I feel and the lump in my throat I still am — Simply Grateful — or at least I’m trying.


8 responses

  1. Wow. That is awful! I have never seen anything like that. I think I would have to show the manager (either in real life or with a picture) not just describe it over the phone. I can’t imagine the manager understands how bad it was just by describing. Plus they might think it was an over-reaction. But if they see it they will see how bad it is.
    I hope Grace feels better soon and you get some peace of mind.

    • I thought about taking Grace over there, but didn’t want to put her through that. I have pictures and next time I go in there, I am definitely going to show them.

      Hubby calmed me a bit, Grace feels better after getting lots of sympathy from her co-workers, and I got some great advise from a friend about taking pictures for any future problems like tetanus. I hadn’t thought about tetanus shots or anything like that but I suppose that could be a real concern.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

    • I try to take all of Grace’s aches and pains seriously, even though Hubby claims she’s a wimp. Just looking at the redness on her neck was enough to prove to me that it had to be painful. The alcohol helped with the burning and hopefully will help keep away any infection.

      I cut Hubby’s and Zeb’s hair, maybe I should work on learning to cut Grace’s. Not sure she’ll go along with it, but it sure is tempting.

      Thanks for your thoughts and hope you have a good week as well.

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