To Refund or Not to Refund?

hair nightmareRecently a client had a highlight and glaze service rendered at a salon that will not be named.  This client, we will call her ‘Ashley’ was of african-american decent with previously relaxed, sandy brown, or level 4 and 6  hair.  The stylist, we’ll call her ‘Kim’, proceeded to give Ashley blonde or level 8 and 9 highlights with a level 8 glaze to tone.  At the conclusion of this service, Ashley, proclaimed that her hair was darker than it was when she arrived and that her highlights were in fact now low-lights (meaning her natural color) and her base color was now darker.  Essentially, Ashley was very upset that her base (she thought) was now at level 2 and her highlights were level 4.

Now, I do wear glasses, and out of the four eyes I have on my face, at least two of them work most of the time and neither of them saw dark brown hair with medium-brown highlights as she was asserting.  None-the-less, Ashley was adamant about her hair being too dark and even-though the glaze was a Redken ShadesEQ tone that fades out after a few shampoo’s, she was still unhappy.  Her exact words, I did not pay all this money to have to my hair too dark and have to shampoo it out to get the color I want.  I have to say, I agree with her however, the stylist and I are still operating under the notion of, ‘your hair is NOT too dark and is maybe only a half-shade, if that, darker than what she wanted.

hair nightmare

When coloring African-American client’s with relaxed hair, highlighting is not a service to take lightly, so we always air on the side of caution when going two shades lighter, any higher than that is playing with fire.  With that said, suggesting that she be content with her level 8 high-lights and same base (the actual color results) until the toner faded out gradually, was not what Ashley wanted to hear.  (Her hair was only highlighted nothing done to her base but the all over glaze in a level 8) So, to satisfy the client and against Kim’s better judgement, the stylist agreed to remove the toner from Ashley’s hair the very next day, by means of a clarifying treatment and deep conditioner to maintain the integrity of her hair.  Ashley was even offered a free follow-up deep-conditioner as a courtesy for being inconvenienced by a second day visit. Ashley left the salon satisfied and without a word otherwise.

Fast forward, one whole month later, guess who calls the salon demanding a refund for said highlighting services?  Wait-for-it…ASHLEY.  It gets better, the basis for her refund request is on the strength of her neighborhood Dominican hair salons’ diagnosis.  Apparently, Ashley went in for a blow out and given an emergency hydration treatment and relaxer. Unbeknownst to Ashley, her hair had suffered major damage as a result of the color service and their solution was A RELAXER.  Now, is it me or should  the remedy for ‘damage’ be yet another chemical service?

Generally,  African-American clients have to choose between color and relaxer, Not both. If they choose color and happen to already have relaxer, than they must  wait until they have enough new growth so that the risk of overlapping is minimal to none existent.  But Ashley insisted that she MUST have a relaxer because her new growth was unmanageable and she had no alternative. She allowed the other salon to administer this highly volatile chemical service and hydration therapy without ever considering coming back to the original salon for a second opinion, or even a first opinion for that matter.  It was perplexing that a seemingly intelligent woman could have overlooked the critical step of allowing the salon that supposedly rendered the damage the opportunity to asses said damage.


Ashley never called nor come back to the salon with any complaints regarding dryness or  breakage.  Ashley never called or came back in the salon to complain about the level or tone of her color being unsatisfactory based on her original request.  Ashley never presented any evidence that the original highlighting service was the cause of her alleged damage.  But an entire month later and on the of the opinion of another stylist, who may not even be licensed,  in a different ‘salon,’ Ashley demanded that we refund her money immediately.

What would you do?

To Refund or Not to Refund??

Result:  Refund DENIED!!!

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