hair slut

I’ve been around the chopping block of Manhattan for the past 12 years.  I’ve done Oscar Blandi, Antonio Prieto, and West 14th’s own Edris Salon, but now it’s a blur.  Some have seduced me, but which of these were only called upon out of desperation?  For highlights or a blowout, an updo, or bridal consultation?  I don’t recall who it was, ever, to last cut my hair, but I promise, it was never a boldfaced name.  I’m a hair slut, bouncing from salon to salon over the years without any loyalty. 

Perhaps if I booked an appointment with the hairest of them all, Garren, I’d be loyal, but I cannot justify spending $600 for someone to trim dead matter from my head.  I’ve let Thom Priano have his way with me more than once, but the last time, he left me unsatisfied complaining, still, of many a dead end.  I do recall opting for a woman at Pierre Michel Salon, but she had hair envy and refused to remove the requested four inches.

My mother and her girlfriends swear by the hair orgy.  They invite one very talented Jean Luc (not Madam Tong’s owner) to one of their homes, then, he cuts three of them in an afternoon.  Whereas my closest girlfriends in the city pass along their favorite hair guru’s name and number in a whisper.  "I swear by him."  Of course I don’t trust them, with their long straight locks.  I won’t go to anyone who doesn’t specialize in curls.

I’m beginning to look like a country western singer again.   It’s time for a haircut.  I think I’m going to look for one of those student specials, where on a weekday afternoon, a stylist in training will cut your hair for one less zero, making the cut $30 not $300.  A mid-level cut at a top salon usually costs about $130, more with a top stylist.  And partial highlights are usually upwards of $175!  This is why I only cut bi-annually.

While I’m all about the ouidad products, each time I’ve opted for a cut at the ouidad salon, I’ve been disappointed by their "carving technique."  It sounds like it would do the job, leaving me with soft springy ringlets.  Yes, when they style it, I leave looking like a bouncy girl on the good ship lollipop,  but when I try to replicate the style at home, my hair is the same as it ever was, only shorter.  Clearly it’s all about the product application.

The best cut I’ve ever had was with Damien at the Bumble & Bumble Salon in the 50s.  I’ve hit the Avon Salon which was okay at best.  Zane, I believe was his name, told me the last person who did my highlights must have been "new to the process."  I love how stylists do this.  "Oh dear, this won’t do.  My goodness, who touched you last?"  Gasps.  I feel like ripping the turban off my head and bitch slapping him with it. 

"It’s not that bad, psycho Mary.  Now shut your trap and do what I’m paying you to do."  No wonder I have a hard time understanding why anyone would confide in her hairdresser.  Never mind loyalty.  I want a slam bam thank you Sam, and let’s not ruin this with words.



  1. I was thinking the same thing while figuring out what to do with the hair this morning. I have yet to find anyone I really like in DC and I doubt my parents will fly me back home to get a cut (wishful thinking). Now I'm in hair hell and it needs a cut and I'm wandering around DC with nowhere to go. That's just a little early am rambling.

    and fyi, I like your posts about the random everday shit that happens.

  2. I totally get you, Stephanie. I too, have bounded around the city for the last 5 years in search of the holy hair grail. I went to Prive for highlights (they made it obvious I was Gwenyth Paltrow and treated me as such), the Kenneth Salon with Aki (he's awesome but the atmosphere was too Park Ave matron), and then actually stayed with a small salon on West 16th for over a year until the stylist lost his mind and got too caught up in creating his own product line. I am now happily ensconsed in a relationship with William at Bumble downtown. He doesn't bother with annoying small talk, lets me read my magazines and drink all the coffee and Diet Coke I can handle. The cut is perfection and the blowout fast and silky. All for $90. Swear.

  3. Hey Steph … maybe you'd like to check out Arté, ask for Cristin, she's the queen of curls (and cuts and coloring – but especially curls). Citysearch has great reviews by her clients and it won't cost you $600. She just gave me the most amazing cut and color this past weekend. – It's on Elizabeth, btwn Bleecker and E Houston.

  4. If I had any doubts before about you being the single most vain (self-absorbed, entitled) woman on the planet, this post has set them to rest. But congratulations: your name-dropping skills are top-rate.

    The general lack of criticism in your comments leads me to believe that you won't post this one either, so I'm not exactly sure why I'm writing it. In the attempt to get through to you somehow? To try to wake you up?

  5. I have been to so many salons in manhattan thinking they must be good because they are in manhattan. I miss my hometown LI salon, reasonably priced and do a good but not great job instead of paying $100 and be scared. The last four I have been to didn't speak english well and I spent the entire time being scared about miscommunication.

  6. It's good I don't live in NYC. At those prices, I'd look like Samara in The Ring. Happy hair hunting.

  7. For anyone that thinks this posting may sound trite and superficial, I'd advise them to take a gander at your beautiful locks and they will see that is WELL worth it. Go girl!

  8. You know, I don't really give a gnat about what it is you want me to write. Keep those comments for the suggestion box, and please realize they're suggestions. Know this blog writing is my JOURNAL. I'm not going to write about politics in my personal journal. Greek Tragedy: STORIES OF MY LIFE. Deal with it.

    From now on, comments about how self-absorbed, self-serving, self-centered, and self-everything-else I am will be deleted because it's taking up my precious space. We all know this blog is self-indulgent, as most personal diaries tend to be, so if you're going to comment, tell me something I don't know. It's not exactly insightful saying, 'wow, all you do is write about yourself.'

  9. Stephanie Klein ROCKS! Thanks for the journal, the thoughts, the strength and heart.

  10. Well, thank God I'm a guy. $10 a pop. Not really a lot to do with my hair, so anyone can do it. For some odd reason, when I was younger, it was curly so it was one short step from a 'fro. Now it's pretty flay, so $10 is fine.

    But I have to agree with your last comments. There is no reason for your stylist to disparage your last cut. It is done to empower them, reduce your confidence, and increase your reliance on them. If they have nothing nice to say about your previous cut, then STFU.

  11. I used to go to this guy who is actually in the 59th Street subway station. I'd stop on my way to work and he'd have me in and out in 10 minutes for $10 bucks — Couldn't beat it. Now I shave so I have not been to a barber/hair stylist in years. Never thought losing my hair would have such benefits.

  12. I agree, Stephanie: you should save your precious space for insightful comments like "Stephanie Klein ROCKS! Thanks for the journal, the thoughts, the strength and heart."

    And if you think most blogs are self-indulgent, you need to read more.

  13. Heather B., I live in DC too – totally dank salon options. I've done well at Bang on U Street and I currently love VSL on Connecticut Ave, north of Dupont Circle. I want a good cut, but for less than my mortgage payment.

    Stephanie, I think you have really pretty hair.

  14. Thanks, Stephanie, for taking a stand against the morons who post negative stuff about you. This blog is a guilty pleasure for many of us – I love to sit down and hear all the latest with my cup of coffee in the morning or my diet coke in the afternoon, and I'm tired of the hecklers in the background interrupting the moment. It's like visiting with your girlfriends and having yucky teenage boys farting to get attention. Grow up, go find somewhere else to fart.

  15. I just love the way you write… I read your posts and I think "Oh God, it's true, and I could have not written it in a better way…" Even if english is not my language, your words give me emotions (even if I don't always agree with you, but that's not the point! You don't have to agree with someone else's journal, you just read it to know better who's writing it, or just for curiosity, or for the pleasure to feel there's someone else in the world who feels the same as you…).
    There are so many blogs in the net, but yours is special.
    Thanks and good luck for everything
    Your italian friend

  16. "Stephanie, I think you have really pretty hair."

    Genius. I think I'm starting to enjoy the comments section more than the actual blog.

  17. Por favor, go to the living god of the Chiclets Mr. Reyman @ Aveda. I'll even subsidize; think of it as an early bday prez. He does to do curly…

  18. I used to be a hair slut too! Then I found Massimo at NY Haircutters. I was over by Fairway and I saw this little place and I decided to give it a try. I swear, he really is an excellent stylist and a lot of fun too. Plus, I don't have a big spending account, so he is reasonable for NYC. The place is not chic, but the cut is what matters most to me.
    228 W 75th St…

  19. Now I've caught up on all your entries, I can read your current ones on a daily basis, and it only took me 3 weeks to read thru them.

    Now to comment on your hair stylist dilemma. Fortunately, I don't live in NYC b/c I think I'd have to cut my own hair at the prices you're quoting, or at the least only go every 6 months instead of every 3 months like I do now. I live in the burbs near Houston, so the price to get a haircut are very reasonable. I think I pay $30 plus tip for a great haircut, blow dry and style, and well over $100 for color and highlights.

    My parent's divorced when I was 7 years old, and my dad raised my brother and I in a small town near Austin w/ my mom living in Houston. I remember getting my haircut at a hair salon my mom went to every time I went to visit her every 6 weeks or so. I continued to see the same stylist until I was 22 years old even after I was in college in Austin. I would purposely schedule my visits w/ my mom to coincide w/ a visit to my hairstylist. My point being is you'll drive a good distance for a good cut.

    Oh and your hair length and color remind me a lot of Wynona Judd. She has red hair and really long hair.

  20. When I read the critical comments I have to just laugh, because can you just imagine what these people would have said had they found selections of Anne Frank's diary and not been told of the larger context outside of Anne's daily musings? "She's so self-indulgent and shallow…" Blah blah blah. Not to say that your blog is being written from an attic while you hide from Nazi's, but let's get real for a moment. The only really good blogs and diaries are the ones that give the writer the opportunity to be themselves and indulge themselves. The fools that are reading personal weblogs in search of politics and what they deem to be profound should either start their own blog, stop reading 99% of the blogs out there, or shut the hell up. Now go away "Doubt Confirmed" you are ruining the atmosphere for those of us that enjoy Ms. Klein's daily musings, because unlike you, we can actually relate to them, which leads me to one of the many reasons I feel sorry for you. You are probably too busy not ever changing hair stylists and only thinking about "profound" things to ever stop and enjoy real life.

  21. I agree Stephanie you should delete the negative comments from poor white trash who cant even post their real names. Wheres their book deals anyway?

    BTW you should be a hair model for bumble and bumble, you can sign up on their website and if they pick you they will cut and color you for free!

  22. I too have extremely curly hair, and have suffered many anxiety attacks while sitting in a chair at a high end salon with someone that claims to know curly hair, yet takes off too many inches making it creep up to shoulder length and pouf uncontrollably. Last week, I went for my bi-annual trim, with another highly recommended stylist, but ended up having to get a blow out because it was cut too short. I feel your hair annoyance.

  23. While I know from reading the other comments posted that many people out there can relate to your hair rant, please know that there are several of us out there that cannot. Reading through your salon list I wondered how you could afford those places prior to your publishing deal? See, most of us would never dream of paying $600 for a haircut and in REALITY you don't need to!! $300 spent doth not a good haircut nor stylist make. Sure, stars get their hair done by these very people, but I think we can all agree that we have seen some castatrophes on the red carpet and some hideous haircuts in the gossip rags.
    True talent for hair doesn't come from who you apprenticed with or what prestigious school you attended. So stop paying for the name and broaden your horizons by allowing the thought of possibly entrusting your hair to a less known, less expensive salon.
    Your starting point should be to find someone you actually like. Have a consultation prior to any service to get a feel for the person and make sure you are on the same page. If they leave a bad taste in your mouth, then don't let them touch your hair. Actually, prior to that, you should check out the place and the heads coming out of it, do you like what you see?
    Never hesitate to stop someone on the street and ask them where they got that fabulous cut. Word of mouth is so much better than coldcutting (regardless of the salons status). And remember that many stylists are just as proficient at cutting curly as they are straight. As you mentioned yourself, it is a great deal about product as well as the TYPE of haircut vs someones "style" of cutting.
    You have fallen prey to the materialist in you by buying into the more money = better scam.
    Our hair is our crowning glory, and worth the extra time spent to find someone you can be loyal too.
    Having said all of that, I don't think it right to alienate the readers that have a negative response to your post. I am sure several of them can relate to your posts about men and life, but you did come off pretensious and snobby in this particular rant, and THAT is a turn off.
    The main difference between a blog and a "personal journal" is that a journal is generally private, ya know. Not for viewing of anyone and everyone on the internet. You have opened yourself up for remarks and that includes the negative ones. Why censor their point of view on this topic? You can't expect everyone to agree with you and you just might benefit from hearing them out.

  24. Nicole dear, your heart is in the right place but misdirected. Did you actually read what she wrote?

    "I'm beginning to look like a country western singer again. It's time for a haircut. I think I'm going to look for one of those student specials, where on a weekday afternoon, a stylist in training will cut your hair for one less zero, making the cut $30 not $300. A mid-level cut at a top salon usually costs about $130, more with a top stylist. And partial highlights are usually upwards of $175! This is why I only cut bi-annually."

    Read- $30! Read bi-annually $175! I'm a guy and pay $25/month to get my haircut. that's $150

  25. I am not a hair slut, but rather a make-up slut. My best friend and I both shamelessly try every new, over-priced product on the market, and then move on to the next one. It's like a sick addiction. If you look in my make-up bag, there is truly one of everything in there and it's about half-used. We're probably going to fry our faces off before we turn 40.

  26. Rob dear, saying your going to do something and actually doing it are two different things.

    I was attempting to help her with her hairslutyness. She would benefit from a regular stylist not a fly-by-her-seat visit to yet another new (upscale)place. Desperation can have disaterous results.

  27. Nicole, I was referring to your statement-

    "I am sure several of them can relate to your posts about men and life, but you did come off pretensious and snobby in this particular rant, and THAT is a turn off."

    There was nothing pretentious or snobby about what she said. Now, back to my own hair issues. You think "mega-hold" is stronger than "Max-Hold" gel?

  28. As a self-proclaimed NYC JAP…I can offer this piece of advice for all other men out there…when it comes to hair products, dont buy the cheap stuff. I don't put any gunk in my hair, but I use very good shampoo/conditioner. ALOT of men ingore this. Its similar to having a nice pair of shoes, jeans that make your tushie look god-like and then wearing white sweatsocks with it! If you're gonna go with it…go all the way.


  29. Hair problems in D.C.? I am in Richmond, Virginia and believe me I don't think it could get any worse.

  30. Nicole- I doubt that the majority of Ms. Klein's readers can relate to a $300 haircut, God knows I can't. But most people can relate to being uncommitted, indecisive, etc. when it comes to picking a hair stylist, a cheap place to get your nails done, even a local place to buy milk. One of the unique aspects of the beauty industry is that there is this whole "relationship" like quality that is in my opinion oversold, but definitely valued by some people. I think that most people can relate to wanting to pick something and stick with it, be it a dentist, doctor, gyno, grocery store, etc. You know the whole familiarity breeds comfort thing? Stephanie's post was not about the pros of spending $300 on a haircut, but rather the fact that she is willing to (in her words) "slut" around trying to find a hair stylist she really likes. I and by the looks of the other commenters can relate to that.

  31. im glad im a boy. i had no idea how much girls pay for haircuts. although, for me, finding the one hairstylist who knows how i like my hair is comforting. i was told that ethnic people had to find ethnic hairstylists, cause they know how to cut ethinic hair. as long as its done the way i like it, im happy.

  32. Not to get off the subject too far, but I tell my manicurist more about my personal life than my best friend, my lover, my family…we have an hour every two weeks to delve to the bottom of issues that have been unfolding for over 5 years. And it's only $35 each time. She is a dear confidant, and knows exactly how I like everything. Keep searching, Stephanie – as with true love (er…in theory, who the *&$& am I to suppose such a thing?) – there's someone out there for you who will love every hair on your head.

  33. I love how people act like they're paying for this site; like they've paid there money and now i'ts Stephanie's job to give them exactly what they want. If you think this is self-indulgent… WHY are you reading? I think she writes this stuff for HERSELF, and is generally happy if people happen to enjoy it. This is not a public service, it's Stephanie's diary, and you should feel lucky to even get to see it, let alone comment on it's quality.

  34. I have very curly hair and live in the city, so I can relate to the 300$ scenario. What I do is go to the curl-specialists at Devachan in SoHo, spend $120 once a year or so for a great cut, then have the people at my neighborhood $30-a-cut place replicate it exactly. They seem to be able to do that.

  35. I think you’re on to something, there. Comments like this – “For anyone that thinks this posting may sound trite and superficial, I’d advise them to take a gander at your beautiful locks and they will see that is WELL worth it” – need to be protected and preserved for posterity.

    …and if those nasty white trash folks who refuse to post their real names (Right on… LOLO) are making Steph’s bandwidth suffer, maybe we should help by establishing an off-site place where people can gush and gripe and diss and dissect all SK’s entries.

    Howsabout Is that taken?

    “Not to say that your blog is being written from an attic while you hide from Nazi’s [sic], but let’s get real for a moment.” Did someone really write that? Why yes, yes they did. Y’know, I always thought little Annie looked a bit dowdy on that jacket cover. I bet a session with Philippe would have doubled her book sales!

    I fully support SK’s entry, here; blogs are personal things, and were we to abandon ourselves in the face of something bigger than all of us, the terrorists would have won. Actually, blogging about how the big wash-and-rinse down South affected us, personally would be more offensive. And redundant. Linking to the Red Cross has been done. It’s so last Thursday.

    And the haircut thing is a metaphor people. A metaphor for love.

  36. katieb,
    Comfort is only good as long as you are getting what you want, and, yes, I too can relate to having a hard time finding a good stylist. But you can not ignore the clear fact that she placed importance on the status and prices of who she let touch her hair.
    It appears to me that Ms. Klien was comfortable spending that kind of money because she thought she would come out of there better off for it. I was simply impling that she may have better luck finding what she wants if she stopped looking only at the high end.
    Believe me, I got the overall jist of her complaint (and I addressed it) but I found her trend to frequent only those places worthy of name dropping presumptuous on her part.

  37. I, too, have very naturally curly hair…. and Sandra is so right, "you'll drive a good distance for a good cut."
    Although I've never had to go further than my own backyard. My father was a hair stylist in Manhattan for years (this was before I was born), so from day one he has been my hair guy. But now, unfortunately, as he ages and does not have the steady hand nor the eyesight that he once had, I'm going to have to find someone else. I cannot imagine anyone replacing my Dad.

  38. I have to admit.. I too am a hair slut. I haven't found one person that can satisfy my hair needs and so I keep going from one person to another. I have never paid more than $45 for a hair cut and even that I thought was too much. I did learn my lesson though… never get a $7 hair cut! never! It took me about 9 months to recover from that one, what can I say, it was an impulse. Anywhoo, in my personal opinion it would be much cooler if you left everyone's comments up because I actually find it interesting how other people respond to your posts..I don't know how to explain it. It's up to you (of course), but it would be nice.

  39. Hi stephanie! love love your blog…. I'm a curly girl too and I know the trials of curly hair. Too many times I have looked like George Washington or that triangle haired chick from Dilbert. Not a good look. Try Paulie at PANYC salon, he's great and has curlier hair than we do. Plus his partner's dog Peanut is adorable and fun to play with!
    Keep writing girl! All you snooty intellectuals, remember, this is HER blog. She writes for herself, not us.

    If you don't like it, go read the Op-Ed's in the Times.

  40. And I thought I was the only girl in the world who longed for a stylist who would just shut the hell up. I used to be a Pittsburgh hair slut until I found my current "lover" Jeff. I have been going to him for three years – I know nothing about him and he knows less about me. He cuts my locks in total silence and truly nothing could be sweeter. It is wonderful not to have to carry on a forced conversation – plus I know he is focusing on cutting my hair. What a novel idea!

    Started reading your blog a few months ago and haven't missed a post since. Thank you for doing what you do.

  41. I, too, won't go to anyone who doesn't specialize in curly hair. I love the Devachan salon in Soho. Curly hair is their thing, and I've gotten the best cut and color I've ever had from them. I go to Rick for my cut and Antonio for my highlights.

    I've since moved from the city, and I've been commuting back for my hair. Really. I have moved once again and now live a 2 hr. flight away, but I'm seriously considering making my next appointment there. I'm scared to try anyone else.

    I also like the Ouidad products, but I went to a "Ouidad-trained" stylist in D.C. and she screwed my hair up. Well, I did like my cut okay, but they definitely got out-of-hand with my highlights. I now use all of Devachan's products. I order them online and have them shipped to me, but Ricky's sells them if you are in the city. And for all of you curlies out there, there is a website that gives reviews of salons around the country.

    I enjoy reading your site, Stephanie. I apologize for my little Devachan ad. I do get a little carried away talking about curly hair places. I've had too many bad cuts not to, though.

  42. I've done the search for the perfect hair stylist who knows all about curly hair, unfortunately after many bad haircuts my search continues. The one thing that is worse and more painful than a bad haircut is curly hair in humid weather, then you're left with FRIZZ! Ick. :-) I feel your pain.

  43. Try Jacquelyn @ Devachan in SoHo. They specialize in curly hair and Jacquelyn is terrific. Although they are getting "attitudy" there she's still fantastic!

    Hated Ouidad and not thrilled w/ their products… Love Devachan's gel and anti-frizz stuff