I’ve been on the search for a new colorist for the better part of a year, looking for a one who specializes in “fantasy” hair color. In early November, my hair was black (3 inches of grown out roots), with blue panels throughout. I wanted to touch up the black and add more blue. After some research and a few recommendations, I made an appointment at trim., a boutique salon on Rose Ave in Venice (they also have a location on Abbott Kinney).
Big mistake. Big. HUGE.
You know what happens when I experience an unpleasant salon experience? I end up on my parents’ couch eating my weight in carbs. Should’ve just bought new shoes. Would have been cheaper in the long run. Ugh.
Image via salon’s website
I called trim. on a Tuesday: I asked if they had anyone who could do the color. They gave me the name of a senior stylist, and she and I chatted for a bit. I told her I only use Pravana Chromasilk Vivid for the blue in my hair; she said she’d pick some up and we booked an appointment for the following Thursday. She made it a point to let me know she was coming in on her day off for me.
That Thursday, I immediately noticed the chemistry between the colorist and I wasn’t right. I should have bolted then. I think she was pretty annoyed she had agreed to come in on her day off but uh – that’s not my problem. She could have EASILY said no, and I would have found another salon. She looked at and through my hair (with a really rough bedside manner – she poked me with a comb several times) as we discussed placement, then applied the bleach. After she shampooed it, I noticed that the placement wasn’t exactly what I wanted. She rolled her eyes, but acquiesced and applied more bleach. Around this point, I asked her when she was going to refresh my black. She made a face that CLEARLY told me she wasn’t planning to and/or had forgotten, then said, “If you’re planning to keep bleaching it like this, dying it black is going to make it that much more difficult and wreck your hair.” I said I understood that point, but that I wasn’t planning on bleaching the black pieces – they were to be constantly black. She told me my hair was “dark enough”.
Once she washed out the second round of bleach, she applied a deep, really inky shade of blue – a navy, almost – a shade that I’m not used to seeing. My blue tends to look like more of a true primary blue when in the bowl, so I was a bit concerned and asked what she used. She said she mixed Ion Color in Teal with a blue by Joico, which I’m guessing was the Color Intensity in Indigo, because that shit was dark. I’m unhappy, being that I told her several times I only use Pravana, but the color is already on my hair. So what am I to do? After 4 hours and $200 (the most I’ve ever paid anywhere), a rushed blow-dry and no bang trim, I left not being superstoked on my hair, as it’s not really what I wanted, but I figure maybe it will grow on me.
The next morning, in the glory of sunlight, I noticed that the entire back of my hair looks terrible. Not only do I notice it, but my mother does too: “Are you supposed to go back to the salon? The back of your hair looks… unfinished.” You bet your ass it did. There were undone blonde strands; it looked as if the stylist didn’t leave the blue dye on long enough for it to take. Additionally, there were HORRID shades of green present. By Saturday morning (two days after my appointment), I realize that I HATE it and can no longer live with it. I called the salon and was put on hold FOREVER so I hung up. I called again later in the afternoon and the same thing happened. Now, and this part is totally my fault – I didn’t call on Sunday or Monday because I wrongly assumed the salon was closed those two days, as most salons are – I waited until Tuesday (a week later) to call again. I’m told a manager will call me back.
Image via salon’s website
The manager doesn’t call me back until Thursday, a week after my appointment. By this point, I’m livid, because not only do I hate my hair, people keep asking me what’s going on with my hair. I’M A BEAUTY WRITER. I CAN’T GO AROUND WITH BAD HAIR, AND YOUR SALON SHOULDN’T TAKE TWO DAYS TO CALL ME BACK.
Upon speaking to the manager at the salon, she told me she saw my hair when I left and thought it was beautiful. I thanked her and said, “That’s great, but I don’t, and it’s my hair.” She then asked me why I waited so long to complain about my hair. I said, “I didn’t, I just couldn’t get ahold of anyone there.” Naturally, she fought me on this, then asked me what it was that I didn’t like about my hair.
I mentioned that the stylist didn’t dye my regrowth black, like I wanted, and I was stuck with 3 inches of grow-out. Secondly, she didn’t use Pravana, like I specifically requested. Not only that, she used ION COLOR. You guys! If I wanted to use Ion, I would go to Sally’s and buy it myself. In fact, Sally’s SENT ME ONE FOR REVIEW AND IT’S SITTING IN MY BATHROOM. WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT OF MAKING A FUCKING APPOINTMENT AT A SALON AND REQUESTING A SALON-ONLY COLOR!?
Thirdly, there were BLONDE STRANDS THAT WERE LEFT UNDYED, and there were also UGLY GREEN STRANDS. Paired with my mousy brown roots, the allover effect left my hair looking LIKE A SWAMP. When I mentioned all of this, the manager’s response to me was: “That sometimes happens when you bleach hair that’s already dark – it pulls yellow, and mixed with blue, it turns green.”
What? I’m sorry, but WHAT?! I’m a makeup artist, I understand color theory, so duh, I know that. What I didn’t understand was why this WASN’T this brought to my attention during my appointment, and HOW she still managed to miss coloring some blonde strands. Mind you, this is all before I’ve even washed my hair, so NO FADE OUT has occurred.
It didn’t end happily. They asked me to come in so they could look at it and re-do it. I refused a re-do and demanded a partial refund – not even a full one, but a partial one. I didn’t want them to re-do it is because the woman who colored my hair was the only one at the salon who specializes in “fantasy” hair color, and beyond that, she was a senior stylist at the salon. Considering those two factors and her nasty bedside manner up against the fact that I was ALREADY unhappy with the job she did, I didn’t want her NEAR my hair again.
So, my visit to trim. on Rose was a COMPLETE waste of my time and money. The situation could have been fixed SO EASILY and they refused to work with me. On my end, I think I could have communicated a bit better: maybe a better photo (I had used one of Demi Lovato, but I also wanted to keep some black streaks in my hair), and I should have gone in for a consultation first – what’s more than this though, is that the hairdresser really should have pushed for one as well. I really felt that she DID NOT communicate with me AT ALL during the process. She could have easily said, “Bren, we bleached your hair and it pulled a lot of yellow. Mixed with the blue, this is going to give you green tones. So if you don’t want to go that route, here are your options.”
A simple sentence could have easily changed the way I felt about this experience. She opted not to say it. And what REALLY pissed me off is that I SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED a certain hair dye, and she IGNORED THAT REQUEST. There was no explanation and no heads-up on it, she just straight put something else on my hair and left me to “deal with it.” So I did: I went to TWO different salons within that week for color correction consultations, and both of those salons had several stylists looking at my hair like it was a science experiment (which it became). BOTH of those salons agreed that the stylist at trim. totally missed applying color on some spots (which the stylist denied because she said she “would have noticed them during my blow-dry,” yes, the blowdry she rushed through).
Look, I’m not a vindictive person, but I was a paying customer, and I was so unhappy with the results that I didn’t know what else to do BUT write about it. This was an overall AWFUL experience, not only because of the results of my hair color, but because of how the salon chose to deal with it (read: they didn’t) and the serious lack of communication from the stylist. I’ve been getting my hair colored for 15 years and have never felt like I was a burden to the hairdresser until this past appointment. Considering the fact that hairdressers RELY on clients to oh, you know, pay their bills, that’s a really bad vibe to keep at the salon.
So here’s the deal: If you need to get your hair done in Venice, steer clear of trim.