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View Full Version : Why does a real world 'trim' mostly end up as way more?



Heavenly Locks
March 15th, 2009, 02:06 AM
One of the horrors we often talk about or even have nightmares about is the dreaded hairdresser of doom. The scissors keep snip snip snipping and before you know it we've lost 3 inches (or more EGADS!) of length. :scissors:

WHY does this happen? When I think I need a trim due to split or dry ends...I don't think that the majority of the time I need to take off more than an inch. Most of the time it's 1/2 inch or less.

Do they not teach this in cosmetology? Anything more than 2 inches IMO is a hair CUT, not a trim. :justy: I mean, I have a girl friend who is talking about going to get a trim to 'get off my dead ends' and she says she expects to have 3 inches taken off 'just like last time'. Poor girl, no wonder your hair 'doesn't grow'.

I am seriously dreading ever going back to a non GM salon...I will stick to FST as long as I can stand it.

Omens
March 15th, 2009, 02:22 AM
I agree that a trim should be less than two inches. When I say "trim" I mean the barest minimum that can be taken while still snipping off any split ends or scraggly, dry bits. Usually, if hair is fairly healthy it doesn't need much more. The only time I've needed more than an inch was when I did something stupid with hairdye remover or I wanted a new style.

I think the problem is, a lot of the people at salons want to "style" your hair. To do that---make a comprehensive style---generally requires taking a lot of hair. Unfortunately many people just go overboard trying to give you a haircut or "trim". I once asked for a "trim" and ended up with three inches of hardwork sheered off because the lady kept insisting that it was damaged. :(

Not all places will give you a bad haircut, but to me it seems like you really have to be cautious. I hate that I feel so apprehensive that I won't even go to get a trim anymore. I do it myself, or have a family member do it. Nowadays I just to s&d because I feel like cutting is just going to slow me down.

EvaSimone
March 15th, 2009, 02:23 AM
Honestly I think a lot has to do with communication. Most of the time if you are clear with a hairdresser you will get what you want.

I go to Great Clips which is a super cheap hair salon and I always have good experiences. The stylist lets me comb out my own hair. I explain to her that I am growing my hair out to my tailbone and that I do not want more than an inch taken off, even if it seems like more should be taken off.

Sometimes I ask them to show me how much they are going to trim before they do it. Once I even asked the girl to show me what an inch was to her.

I am always polite, friendly, and most of all clear.

The kiss of death towards having a good experience is using phrases like, "well I am growing my hair out and I only want to lose a bit but my ends are really bad."

Most hairstylists think BSL is long so taking two-three inches off waist length hair is nothing to them, your hair is still "long."

It's not that hairstylists are teh evil they just have different perceptions of trim and long for the most part.

Of course their are the few stylists who disregard what their customers want but mostly they want to make the customer happy. So they can A) Get a decent tip. B) Not get yelled at by a hysterical client

just my :twocents:

RancheroTheBee
March 15th, 2009, 02:25 AM
The "real world" (as it were), I suppose, is not as attached to hair as we on the LHC are. Thus, three inches to them does not sound like "six months" and "trim" does not translate to "1/16th of an inch". We speak a different language, because we value our hair in a different way.

GlennaGirl
March 15th, 2009, 02:27 AM
I don't really blame hairstylists for doing this. They've gone to school to learn how to put together all the different factors in order for hair to look its best as far as they've been taught. So they may see a degree of damage or dryness (obviously not the same thing), plus some unevenness here or there in length, and possibly sun bleaching on the ends...all sorts of things that can easily add up to three inches.

I think since it's their job to pull together a "good" look in various respects and not simply to take a tape measure and measure exactly half an inch, it's not always altogether fair to go to a stylist and then get upset when he or she goes over that amount. :)

Instead, people who really are committed to JUST one-half inch, come hell or high water, no matter what, should either Feye self-trim or get a very trusted and talented friend to do it. :) Just my thoughts on this issue.

Silverlox
March 15th, 2009, 02:51 AM
I don't really think losing 3" qualifies as a horror, as least not unless you've led a truly sheltered life! :p

After having said that, I should probably confess that I'm as hair obsessed as anybody else on these boards and have not been to a stylist since the one I went to in 2006 cut 4", when she was only supposed to trim the very ends. Not because it was "horrible", although it was definitely a bummer, but simply because I'm just not very inclined to spend half a fortune of my hard earned and severely taxed money to pay for something - and not be happy about the result. :rolleyes:
Stylists aren't cheap, not in my part of the world, anyway!

Thus I use Feye's self trim method*) and it works well for me and saves me money which nowadays goes towards hairtoys instead.:D

In my daily life, my hair is very important to me. On the other side, given a real disaster, it is "only" hair and will probably grow out again. On the odd chance that it won't, luckily it's one of the body parts you need least for your body to function.
Not that I would be happy about that, but I'd probably find it easier to lose my hair than an arm or a leg.. :shrug:


*) We don't usually abbreviate that, as there are already enough abbreviations here to confuse all newcomers and non-native speakers, myself included. :flower:

jera
March 15th, 2009, 03:06 AM
As far as I'm concerned an inch = a cut. :( Since I'm not a cosmetologist, I an't say why they do this. Perhaps because it takes more time and they make more money.

hanne jensen
March 15th, 2009, 04:20 AM
Every time I went to get a trim, I'd walk out of the salon 3 inches shorter and have the stylist tell me that some women just can't grow their hair long. All that to the tune of about 50 dollars. So, I bought a pair of hair scissors and have my DH do a dusting every month. Since my last salon visit my hair is growing like a weed!

ilovelonghair
March 15th, 2009, 04:30 AM
Self trimming is much better AND cheaper! I wouldn't spend money on a trim

eadwine
March 15th, 2009, 05:54 AM
It's all about communication indeed.

I always tell my hairdresser to take off the very tips, and then show her with my fingers how much exactly that is. She takes maybe a mm or 2 more off but that isn't too bad. It's not an inch where I was going for a quarter inch..brrr.

So.. communicate, and be visual along with it. :)

minkstole
March 15th, 2009, 06:29 AM
^I use the same hair-between-the-fingers-method.
My hairdresser knows I want waistlength long hair, and has recomended I only get it cut every three months in order to gain length. She will cut 1-2 cm off each time. The hairs that grow fast will have more cut off, and the areas that are stalling will only be reduced by what looks like sawdust. This way I gain length, get rid of old haircolour, and have some sort of style while reaching my goal.
I think the key to success is to go to the same hairdresser. She will know what you want and what you mean by "just getting a trim".

Pixna
March 15th, 2009, 09:21 AM
I would suggest trying to find a hairdresser who has long hair herself and thus appreciates the time and effort you've put in to grow your hair. Then, have a good talk with her before she even touches the scissors and let her know EXACTLY what you want. Have her show you the amount she will take off (usually this is done by showing a space between the extended thumb and forefinger). If it's too much, tell her so immediately. Let her know that you ONLY want 1/16 or 1/4 inch removed, and no more. When you find a hairdresser whom you can trust, return only to that person. And if she does exactly what you want, give her a big tip and a heartfelt "thank you!"

When I was first growing my hair out (the first time, not this time), I found two women hairdressers who helped me enormously. They did just what I asked, and I never had a bad experience with them.

Now, however, I know how to self-trim using Feye's method. I do not feel the need to use or pay for a stylist. It is empowering to be able to self-trim. My only investment was a high-quality pair of small hair scissors -- that's it! They cost about the amount as two salon visits, and they'll last me for years and years.

So, yes, absolutely, it is possible to get just the trim you want in a salon. But you'll have more control and save a lot of dough if you learn how to do your own trims at home.

Speckla
March 15th, 2009, 09:26 AM
I always go to the same stylist unless I'm just looking to have my bangs cut. I don't care if they are too short because they will grow fast. I held up the ends of my hair and showed her exactly how much to cut the first time. I've been going to her for almost two years now and now just tell her to cut what needs to be cut. I trust her that much because she knows I'm growing to hip and she won't cut more than necessary.
________
BLUE OVAL NEWS (http://www.ford-wiki.com/wiki/Blue_Oval_News)

Elphie
March 15th, 2009, 09:28 AM
Yesterday, my sister (currently earning her licence as a hair dresser) showed me her "trim comb". It has a ruler on it. I thought that was a brilliant concept!

AJoifulNoise
March 15th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Self trimming is much better AND cheaper! I wouldn't spend money on a trim

Agreed! :D

spidermom
March 15th, 2009, 11:02 AM
I haven't had this problem, except once when I asked for a 1/2 inch trim, then started babbling away about wanting to get rid of the layers. So she cut off about 2 inches to get some of my layers even. Other than that, which was my fault, I've found that stylists give me what I ask for.

Forever_Sophie
March 15th, 2009, 11:33 AM
My awesome stylist has measurements on the side of her comb, like a ruler, so when I ask for an inch off, she cuts exactly that :)

Roseate
March 15th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Those measurement combs sound like a great idea!

I think part of the problem is that most people have no idea what an inch really is. Seriously. Contractors know, and other professionals who deal with precise measurements on a daily basis (like me!) but ask 10 people on the street to show you an inch and you'll get 10 different answers, usually ranging from a half inch to an inch and a half.

Since most people are not growing their hair very long, the difference between a half inch and an inch and a half is not important to most customers a stylist encounters. Most people are more interested in keeping a perfect blunt hemline, or crisp new layers, or whatever, so the stylist learns to please the majority.

I've gone to the same stylist for twice-yearly trims for years, but he's left town, so I'm going to need to dust off my communication skills for the new one in April!

florenonite
March 15th, 2009, 12:59 PM
Those measurement combs sound like a great idea!

I think part of the problem is that most people have no idea what an inch really is. Seriously. Contractors know, and other professionals who deal with precise measurements on a daily basis (like me!) but ask 10 people on the street to show you an inch and you'll get 10 different answers, usually ranging from a half inch to an inch and a half.

Since most people are not growing their hair very long, the difference between a half inch and an inch and a half is not important to most customers a stylist encounters. Most people are more interested in keeping a perfect blunt hemline, or crisp new layers, or whatever, so the stylist learns to please the majority.

I've gone to the same stylist for twice-yearly trims for years, but he's left town, so I'm going to need to dust off my communication skills for the new one in April!

I only know how much an inch is because it's the distance from the tip of my thumb to the first joint :p

I think the problem is in communication. To stylists, a trim is probably either a systematic removal of damaged ends or a restoration of a 'style'. So if you have three inches of splits, that's what the stylist will remove if you ask for 'a trim to remove the splits'. If you've had your hair cut in a bob or something and ask for a trim, the stylist may well cut a bob for you. Therefore, if you want a half-inch trim say so, indicate how much a half-inch is to you, and explain why you want so little cut off.

GlennaGirl
March 15th, 2009, 01:27 PM
When I was first growing my hair out (the first time, not this time), I found two women hairdressers who helped me enormously. They did just what I asked, and I never had a bad experience with them.

I've always had good luck with this too! Actually, even at Fantastic Sam's or another not-so-hot reputation place, all I've had to say is "as little as possible...half an inch...I'm growing it out" and in the past 30 years I've never had a problem with that (although I don't go very often lately, of course).

In fact, during times when my hair was longer, if I said "take a bunch off...a couple of inches...I want a change," I have pretty much always gotten the pause and, "Are you sure?" and then after the first cut, "This is that amount. Are you really sure now?" :)

Maybe I'm just lucky?

ktani
March 15th, 2009, 01:27 PM
This is funny to me because I have not gone to a stylist for a good while now and I use Feye's method to self trim. I was trilled with the idea of only taking off a small amount only, myself and I did at first. But it had been over 7 months between trims before my first self trim, then 2 months more etc.

By the time I trimmed recently, my hair was definitely longer but I had a growth taper, not a bad one but I wanted my ends to be more blunt. I trimmed an inch. Then a few days later 2 more inches and lamented the loss at first.

Then I just washed and styled my hair as usual and was thrilled. My hair looked and felt better and it was worth it. That does not mean that I am taking anywhere near that amount off my length each or every other time (it had been over 4 months between trims this last time) but I may just trim much less hair, more often.

Rohele
March 15th, 2009, 01:35 PM
I agree the problem lies in communication. The most horrendous cuts I've had have been, in hindsight, in my failure to communicate with the stylist.

The stylist I see now always gives a short consult before cutting, so we can iron out any differences in expectations before she starts.

I agree self trims are the way to go if you only want to a little off the ends. I recently paid a lot of money going to my regular stylist to get 1/8" trimmed off the ends. She did a good job, and I was happy but I disliked spending the money on it (and I think she felt she did not do enough on her end to justify the cost, lol). She did mention too, that a lot of her clients with long hair come in 2 times a year and get several inches cut off at a time as "damage control", so going in and asking to cut off the damage (a least with her) would probably result in several inches being gone. And that's probably OK if someone is maintaining their length (at least it would be for me if I was maintaining), but for someone wanting to go longer not so good. Anyway, again, communication is key.

Darkhorse1
March 15th, 2009, 01:40 PM
Ah ha! I did ask this question. Apparently, to a hair dresser, a 'trim' implies removing damage. So, unless you specify how much you want trimmed, and clarify, you may end up with more hair cut. Also, apparently according to some hair dressers, they feel the need to cut so that you 'see' a noticable difference hence, you are getting your 'money's' worth.

Reptilia
March 15th, 2009, 02:06 PM
I actually had one hairdresser who DID cut off just a 1/2 inch! She did a fantastic job. I think it was due to the fact she had really long hair, and I told her I was trying to grow mine out.

Still cost me $40 though... pfft.

freznow
March 15th, 2009, 02:19 PM
My very last cut, it was in 8th grade and my dad took me and my sister in because our hair was getting tangly and such at that length. He held up his palm and said "about that much". I really had no preference, this was before I was growing my hair out, but the hair dresser actually cut about an inch less than that. I'm rather thankful to her, as after that I realized I didn't like it so short and started growing it out and taking care of it, and that extra inch was nice to have.

enfys
March 15th, 2009, 05:29 PM
Also, apparently according to some hair dressers, they feel the need to cut so that you 'see' a noticable difference hence, you are getting your 'money's' worth.

Gah! That makes me feel ill. I'd ask if I wanted to see a difference. The evidence is on the floor if you don't believe they cut it.

Jim
March 16th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Since I've been growing my hair for over 30 years and I've been getting hairdressers to trim it all that time, I have some experience. I think it is important to be clear what you want. Whether you call it a trim or a cut isn't as important as telling the stylist how much to take off. Hold it in your hand and show him or her what you want. Or ask them to show you how much they want to cut. Sometimes they have a reason for wanting to cut a little more. I've had times when my stylist has said to me that there is damage to a certain length and an inch off would take care of it. So that lets me decide.

A second thing is to find a hairdresser you like and stick with him or her. I've had the same hairdresser for 20 years. I read these threads about bad experiences on here so often and they often start: " I was walking by a salon and I thought I'd get a trim." or something like that. or "a new salon opened and I thought I'd try it". Take some time to find a stylist with a good reputation. Ask some longhairs you see where they go. Find out which salons do good french braids or updos... stylists who do these styles usually like longer hair. Go in and get them to do you a french braid or some other style you want. See how they are and whether you like them. Your first experience with a hairdresser shouldn't be a cut.

Anyway. that's my take on it. It was good to read some comments about good experiences on here. I look forward to going to my hairdresser. It feels great to have a good shampoo, and my hair looks its best when I leave. That's the way we should all feel when we walk out of a salon.

Jim

JamieLeigh
March 16th, 2009, 10:40 AM
Because if you walked away from that type of salon, thinking that it was okay for your hair to grow longer and healthier on as little maintenance as possible, they wouldn't be able to make their house or car payments, and we just can't have that!!! ;)

It's all a money thing. They know that people will listen to them, and often the advice they give is purely to make money. Of course, there are those innocent stylists, who have just been taught that way from the start, so you really can't completely blame them for being ignorant.

Although, I don't think I'd offer a service to the public without being completely informed (or at least BETTER informed) about my field of expertise......but that's just me!

Aisha25
March 16th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Thanks god I never had a bad cut by a stylest, bad highlight job yes and it was in a high end fancy salon. I had that fixed by a very good stylest in saturdays(a alittle chain salon,like super cuts etc..) she was great and was experienced with long hair. She told me that I could not just go into any salon and have a trim or color done on me. She said I would need to find a long hair stylest because most hairdressers only know short styles and how to dye them. After the horrific job the first stylest did on me,the second one,she fixed it and dyed my hair back to black and had to cut them very short,cause my hairs was so bad from the bleach he had done. I couldnt even comb my hair it would fall off in chunks. She had to cut them to my neck because of what happened. But thanks goodness I found her. She fixed my hair and its been growing ever since.

Alun
March 16th, 2009, 11:59 AM
In the past I've always specified how much they could take off as a number, and they have always taken more, so I asked for less and less to be removed and wound up asking for only 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch to be taken, knowing that most of them will then stop at about an inch. Very occasionally, I have encountered some stylists who will actually only take the amount I specified, but they aren't common, IME.

I also decided I wouldn't have it cut more frequently than at nine month intervals, but it still grew only slowly. I could seldom build up a relationship with the stylist. The last regular stylist I had, her shop was literally destroyed by a hurricane! It was over a year later that they popped up at a temporary location, and of course she was gone. Nobody could wait that long for a job to reappear, obviously she had had to find a job somewhere else, who knows where?

Maybe holding the ends of my hair and indicating how much to take off would be more succesful.

At any rate, I haven't had a trim since the hurricane. That was a few years ago

Dreams_in_Pink
March 16th, 2009, 01:18 PM
there are many reasons for this:

First, they want to make MONEY. They would love to give you a haircut that requires highlights and flat-iron every day.

Second, they try to fit you into the majority. They consider our haircare routines as "something psychologic" (sp?) as in, we're "hiding" behind our hair like we don't have anything else to worry about. They think doing what others do will make us feel better. (this is something i concluded from these makeover programes)

Third, they assume you know nothing about hair. So they're doing what should be done according to their hairdressing education (or course, whatever). There's this popular saying among experienced hairdressers "I'll give you a hairdo and you'll be very pleased." Which means "I'll cut your hair to meet the hairdressing rules".

blondecat
March 17th, 2009, 03:30 AM
I've been to the same salon for 5 yrs now, they are great, very gentle and they listen. And best of all, they love my hair :)

Before that, I had every bad experience in the book, mostly due to them wanting to razor cut my hair constantly. Something to do with my wavy hair. I never undeerstood it.

I hate razor cuts.

annie09
March 17th, 2009, 11:01 AM
I think sometimes hairdressers want to feel like they have given you your money's worth, i mean hairdressers may feel a little bad taking money for what they must feel like is half a job, ie not cutting much off.

Myrrh
March 17th, 2009, 11:31 AM
I am always very firm about what I want. I tell my hair dresser no MORE than 3/4" of an inch, and that was only when I was wanting to trim my razored layers completely straight across because I want my hem-line to look thicker.

I went in for a "trim" once and they cut 12 inches off. I ended up with hair to my ears. I was not happy.