I get so excited when I set a date on my calendar with my super-fabulous stylist, Catie, and it's much less to do with getting my hair cut than it is to do with the overall experience.
When I arrive at the salon, there is always ample parking close to the door. I like this, I'm lazy. When I enter the salon, it's basically like instant tranquility, I know I'm about to get zen to the max. There are always cookies and coffee aplenty waiting for me *if* I have to wait for a minute or two before my appointment. I'm greeted at the desk with a "Hi! Catie will be right with you!" and a sincere smile, EVERY.TIME.I.ARRIVE. It basically makes me fee like a movie star that they both recognize me and greet me so personally, and yet, I know this is how everyone is treated but I still basically feel like Beyonce' rolling up in there.
When she's ready, Catie comes over and leads me to her station, where we talk about what we're going to accomplish in that visit. She faces me and always has great eye contact so that I know she is really listening to what *I* want, not what she has preplanned for me. Now, sometimes, I just tell her to "do it" because she is such an expert that always knows what is going to work and what isn't. Not only that, she knows ME and takes notice.
When I walked into the salon about a year ago, after having taken about 6 years to grow my hair to the middle of my back, I told her, "Cut me like a pixie!" Her reply? "No." Really? She's going to tell me no? It's my hair and my money, right? Kind of. Here's the thing; Catie has known me for many a year and in that moment, she took all of her experience and knowledge of the person I am and made a choice to do not what I thought I wanted, but what she KNEW was best. I am not a girl who can handle big change all at once, she knows this. So, she gave my hair a Bob, a super cute, nice short Bob, but still not a Pixie. When we finished, I knew she made the right choice and she made that not because she woke up and thought, "I'd like to cut a Bob cut today," but because she's an expert who listens and cares about her clients self-confidence and made the call to ask me to do a Bob first and THEN a Pixie if I was still feeling it next time. THIS, this is why I would pay her 3 times what her service fee is. I'm not paying her for just a hair cut, I'm paying her for her expertise and the overall experience I have when I walk into Renew Salon and Spa in Saline, MI. (Shameless plug, sorry not sorry, she's best and so are her co-workers!)
When our appointment is finished and I walk to the desk to pay my bill, I go up there with the full knowledge that I could go to "Super Cuts" and pay $6.99 for my service. I also know that at some of the chain salons, they have a timer system where they have a time allowance of how quickly they are supposed to get each cut in and out. That isn't what I'm looking for, I like and want the experience, the whole experience. I would gladly pay so much more than she charges because for me, it's more than just a hair cut.