Here's hoping my trusted hairdresser will one day deliver the big hair

Find the right person for the job

Get smart. Get results. 

Like many people I’ve had some bad experiences; I’ve taken a heating engineer to the small claims court, suffered hair loss from a poorly trained hairdresser and been sworn at by a rude gas engineer who refused to fix a problem he had created. But I’ve learnt from these and got much smarter.

It’s no surprise, trying to find the right person for the job can be daunting and stressful. And it usually doesn’t make much difference whatever service you need, be it a hairdresser or a builder. All you want is the peace of mind that you will get perfect results. I‘m going to share some of my hair-raising hair experiences to demonstrate the key things that you need to think of when looking for the right person.

A hair-raising experience

When planning my wedding I decided at fairly late notice to buy some new makeup. The beautician, sensibly, made me up fully so I knew the colours worked. As we chatted I decided that it would be great to have my hair and make-up done at the house instead of doing it myself. The beautician said she could do it and that she would. Job done. I told her exactly what I wanted, we exchanged numbers, I gave her my address and gave it no more thought.

She was late, very late. I did my own make up and she got there just in time to do a quick, mediocre job on my hair. I know what I did wrong, it’s blatantly obvious. No R&R – references and research, but I liked her and trusted her word. What was I thinking?

Be loud and clear

When I moved from London to Cambridge I needed to find a good local hairdresser who could deal with my afro hair. This time I did seek out the recommendation of a friend and was directed to someone who “has done some afro straightening”. Now, as soon as I sat down in the hairdressers chair I felt nervous.  She didn’t seem to be very well prepared.  I should have left, but instead stayed put and made polite conversation. Halfway through the procedure I screamed at her to wash the treatment off my hair because I could feel my scalp burning. She had no idea what she was doing. She tried to sort it out, but I wanted NOTHING further to do with her. Over the following weeks my hair fell out and I developed a bald patch in the middle of my head. A visit to London to get a TWA – teeny weeny afro – gave me a new look, and although I was distraught at the time,  I now love my natural hair.

I have no idea why didn’t I trust my gut instinct.  There is no way this will happen again, in whatever circumstances.  It is so important to speak out when you are not satisfied with a job at the point of dissatisfaction so that it can be dealt with straight away.  This is always preferable to reaching the end of a job and then complaining.

The right person for the job

More recently I felt like a change and thought about trying something new with my hair. Over days I spent hours deliberating – go straight again or stay natural? I carried out extensive research, which included approaching strangers with enviable hair, trialling different products and visiting numerous hairdressers. My husband has had enough of hair conversations, so I turned to my sisters and talked over every option during long phone calls. Finally I decided to stick with my natural locks but the research process was cathartic and I knew I had made the right choice.  Furthermore during the research process I found the perfect hairdresser and Jasmine of Jasmine Photography took some great photos for my powerful personal brand.

Lessons learnt

I now impart this learning when I meet and invite suppliers for my business. I prioritise careful research, and although I put some faith in my gut instincts I always, always check references and carry out background research.

Laying down the foundation to build a trusting relationship starts at the first communication.

One day ... the big hair
Large – in my dreams
Small – my TWA






Medium. Re-branding photo taken by Jasmine Photography

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Dawn Giesler, is the founder of scuseme Cambridge, an online marketplace that helps your family run smoothly. She has lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and offers advise based on her own experiences. For more information visit scuseme

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