Ninja Mom

Ninja Mom: Hair Salon Horror Stories from around the World

Hairdresser vs Dentist – which is worse ?

I seem to be one of the few people who don’t enjoy going to the hairdressers, for me it actually ranks way worse than going to the dentist, Which is the lesser of two evils: Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors or Sweeney Todd ?!

Ive always felt the same way, maybe its because I have very curly hair that no-one seems to know what to do with.

I always opt for a wet cut now because Ive had some frightening blow drying experiences where I walk out of the salon looking like a wannabe 80’s pop star with a big frizzy blonde afro.

Once I find a hairdresser who understands my wet hair is about 30cm longer that my dry hair I tend to be faithful for a long time.

The thought of changing hairdressers EVERY month for the next year is a pretty scary prospect but those pesky grey hairs are beginning to appear so I will be forced to bite the bullet !

Im going to document my experience here, fingers crossed I find some nice stylists and not too many “Hair Salon Horror Stories” because Im not sure Im brave enough to post photos when I encounter a Sweeney Todd hatchet job 😉

(Scroll down for older hair mishaps)

Miami Beach, Florida, USA: Contesta Rock Hair (October 2015)

The fact Im writing this while drowning my sorrows with a bottle of wine from a plastic toothpaste cup, locked in the hotel bathroom sobbing, is pretty much an indicator to my satisfaction with todays haircut.

I chose this salon after reviewing a few places in Miami, lots of them seemed too posh and way out of my budget. I so wanted to like Contesta RockHair because it had a funky vibe about it, an industrial looking Italian salon with great artwork on the concrete walls (Im always a sucker for vibrant modern art).

My stylist Enzo (I even loved his name) is Italian and had previously worked in Barcelona. I told him I just wanted my long wavy beach blonde hair trimmed slightly to get rid of the dry ends, as Im trying to grow it while we travel & the roots touched up a bit to hide the dreaded grey “highlights” from shining through.

An hour later as he was towel drying it my stomach turned over as I saw a brunette with bright silver streaks in the mirror !!! Even ZZ said, “Mama I think your hair’s gone wrong” 🙁

Those who know me appreciate I absolutely hate complaining, even if the service/food etc is dreadful/wrong, Its a trait I need to work on but today I was so gobsmacked by how bad it was I found myself saying “Im really sorry but I just hate it, there is no way I can leave my hair like this”.

I explained to him AGAIN I’d only asked for the roots to blend in with the rest, hiding the grey, I sat ZZ next to me and said “my hair was the same colour as his an hour ago, thats how I want it” ! In hindsight I should have asked for a different stylist to fix it but I was already mortifiedly embarrassed that Id complained in front of a full salon that I couldn’t face causing an even bigger ruckus (stupid, stupid, stupid decision).

3 1/2 hours later after god knows how many consultations with his colleagues in hushed tones (in Italian so he thought I wouldn’t understand ?!), Id lost count of the toners & highlights he’d tried, and I still looked like a 60 year old lady with mousey brown hair and silver streaks. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer so I told him to just leave it. He apologized profusely and said he’d quickly trim the ends, again in hindsight I should have legged it and not let him anywhere near me with a pair of scissors, where the devil was my common sense?!?!?! (stupid, stupid, stupid decision).  My shoulder length waves were reduced to a chic jaw length bob in seconds, whilst Enzo proudly proclaimed “that got rid of all those dry ends”, what he’d obviously forgotten in his colour induced frenzy is that I have corkscrew curls which when long are manageable waves, they are NOT compatible with short bobs !

So now I looked like a 60 year old lady with mousey brown hair, silver streaks and an 80’s afro.

With my hair dripping wet, I leapt out of my seat, gathered my stuff and fled to the front door where the receptionist informed me they wouldn’t charge me for the extra toners & highlights, just root colour & trim (ie: what I’d actually asked for), a grand total of $145 USD. Amazingly I actually paid, although I did refuse to pay the 18% service charge ! (check out my assertiveness hahaha). I just wanted to run away and cry (stupid, stupid, stupid decision).

Half an hour later after drying my hair at the hotel and gathering my thoughts I decided I couldn’t do anything to fix the hatchet job on my flowing locks but I seriously couldn’t live with the colour. So ZZ & I marched back down to Contesta Rock Hair, as soon as I walked through the door the place fell silent, 15+ people were staring at me (most of them had been there when I left), strangely enough Enzo wasn’t there so Im not sure if he’d been fired or escaped for lunch.

I explained to the manager I was extremely upset and needed a solution, he totally agreed the colour was not appropriate and another Italian Guiseppe was drafted in to manage the damage.  He did the best he could with a terrible hand of cards.

I now have a dark blonde 80’s afro and am planning on buying a hat tomorrow, but hey its not the end of the world, at least I don’t know anyone here, to everyone I meet on the street I just look like a woman with an odd hair style 😉 #FirstWorldProblems

Wet Cut & Colour = $145 USD – 4 hours. LOTS of tears & copious amounts of alcohol to get over this Sweeney Todd, Hair Salon Horror Story !!!

lara short brown bob
Haircut from Hell – short brown bob
Halfway through the Haircut from Hell - Burgundy roots & silver ends
Halfway through the Haircut from Hell – Burgundy roots & silver ends









Ilfracombe, UK: Zig Zag Hair Salon (September 2015)

I needed a trim and so did ZZ to get rid of the summer split ends but as he plans to grow it into a ponytail while we’re traveling he’s slightly adverse to having it cut at all. I had to use the age old “if you have the ends trimmed it will grow faster” trick on him 🙂 ZZ & I chose this place based purely on its name = ZigZag, we figured anywhere with a couple of Z’s in its name was good for us 🙂 The staff were friendly and quick,  ZZ & I both had a wet cut and were in & out in 35 mins !

Wet Cut: ZZ £10 GPB ($15 USD) & Lara £25 GPB ($38 USD) – 35 mins for both of us. Not scary at all.

Portsmouth, UK: Treat your Skin (September 2015)

My sister and niece recommended this salon so I didn’t have to do too much research or worry about my choice. Connor was an amusing, chatty hairdresser who regaled me of his hilarious Barcelona vacation experiences. He did a great job although the salon was jam packed and he was juggling several customers so took much longer than expected. A young girl next to me came in as a platinum blonde and left as a scarlet/bright red head (think English telephone box red !), she was obviously trying to give her poor mother a shock !

Color, no cut or dry: 48 GPB ($75 USD ) – 2.5 hours. Not scary at all 🙂

Peñiscola, Spain: Lisa Dillon home hairdresser (August 2015)

I was recommended Lisa by several friends and she’s lovely. She is British and has been living in Spain for years. She has a mobile hairdressing business so comes to your house which is a total luxury. I sat on the balcony drinking cava in my sarong while Lisa worked her magic. Its nice to have a one on one experience, normally hairdressers are running around the salon trying to deal with several customers at a time, whereas a home visit is a much calmer affair and you don’t get left waiting with a wet towel on your head for them to finish off someone else !  Lisa was kind enough to write down the international color codes she used, as a guideline for my future hairdressers.

Wet cut & color: 40€ ($45 USD) – 1.5 hours. Not scary at all 🙂

Barcelona, Spain: Anthony Llobet salons (June 2015)

Ive been going to Anthony Llobet’s salons for about 15 years, he now has quite a few around the city. All his staff are international, English speaking hairdressers, lots from prestigious salons around the world who have moved to Barcelona for its hip, beach party vibe. My current beau is a french guy called Antoine who Im really going to miss.

Wet cut & color: 75€ ($85 USD) – approx 2 hours. Not scary at all 🙂



  1. Laura
    October 25, 2015 at 6:33 am — Reply

    Omg ! Come on be brave and send pictures I am sure you look trendy and amazing!

  2. Natalie
    October 25, 2015 at 8:34 am — Reply

    What a nightmare! Although part of me really wants to see some photos!! Xxx

  3. Imma
    October 25, 2015 at 10:40 am — Reply

    oh dear me! That’s a horror story..

  4. Angie
    October 25, 2015 at 11:51 pm — Reply

    Feeling your pain Lara. Been there, got the t shirt, who hasn’t, but it will grow in the sunny climes. Enjoy your time with Gill and Tim. They will have you drinking out of crystal once more, I’m sure! Love to you both! Xxxx

  5. Luce
    October 25, 2015 at 11:52 pm — Reply

    we are all adults here and absolutely NEED the visual to go with the story…pretty please
    and so sorry, not fair at all (er pics now)

  6. Gemma
    October 26, 2015 at 9:29 pm — Reply

    Well – not sure about the short brown bob … But the streaky one looks kind of cool. Embrace the change!

  7. louise
    October 27, 2015 at 9:28 am — Reply

    OH my thats enough to give you split ends, never mind getting rid of them, not your usual look, but hey this trip isn’t about usual !!!!!! enjoy Gill and Tim xx kisses for you and ZZ

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