How to Get What You Want at the Salon

Beauty treatment gone bad? Suffer in silence and you’ll end up a sucker. Here’s how to deal with the five trickiest characters at the salon or spa.

Cosmoin India

The Toe-Tapper

O.P.I Vampsterdam or M.A.C Proenza Schouler in Daylight? With a testy nail tech breathing down your neck, you feel pressured to grab a trendy green and convince yourself that you love it. (You hate it.)

What to say: Nothing. Stay strong, and take your sweet time, says Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spas. Tip: go in with bare nails, and test out a few shades before the mani begins.

The Chatty Olive

As soon as the lights go down, this facialist or masseuse wants to know your life story.

What to say: At the first sign of conversation: “Just a warning, I may fall asleep. I’ve been so looking forward to some quiet time.” Or, if you need, pull the syndrome card—say you have a splitting migraine.

The Novice

Has this person actually done this before? You could give yourself a better mani/wax/dye job—for free!

What to say: “Sorry, but I’m in a rush. Is there someone who can do this faster?” says Cindy Barshop, founder of Completely Bare spas. Denied? Tell a manager the treatment feels a little off, or ask for a refund.

The Misinterpreter

You said ‘long layers’ but left with The Rachel.

What to say: First, try not to freak (see box below), then ask for a fix. “A good stylist will do anything to correct the damage,” says celeb colourist Rita Hazan. If the solution requires a total overhaul, don’t leave without a credit slip

The product pusher

Your hair’s not even dry, and your stylist has `5,000 worth of stuff waiting at the counter.

What to say: “Thanks, but I love what I’m currently using.” Or say it’s not in your budget— people get funny about money



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