Beauty Guru: How Far I've Gone for Beauty

How far I've gone for beauty? Hmm, let's see. Well, I've hopped a plane for a lip gloss that I couldn't get online; I've shaved my head only to glue pieces of hair back on, and 10 years ago I watched and said nothing while my hard-to-book, extremely talented manicurist filed my nails down to raw skin. However, the most memorable experience would have to be the time I let a so called "celebrity hairstylist" charge me $800 for a $150 service that left me bald.

My favorite part of working in the beauty industry is networking with other professionals and picking the brains of those featured in the media. So when I discovered that the featured hairstylist in a popular hair magazine owned a swanky salon in my area, I was more than ecstatic. I couldn't wait for her hands to touch my hair. On the day of my consultation, I immediately noticed that the lackluster environment was noticeably different than the magazine photo of her salon. After about an hour wait, she began my consultation by explaining her sew in technique in detail, which was corn-rowing my natural hair, sewing a net on top, then sewing the extensions to the cornrows. She then showed me samples of hair I would need to purchase from her exclusive supplier. Total quoted was $800 with a $350 deposit. Although initially surprised, knowing the normal rate plus quality hair is around $350, I paid the deposit and booked my appointment. Crazy, I know.

My hair turned out gorgeous, installed and styled to perfection. Fast forward one week later. During a family outing to the water park, I noticed that once wet, my extensions matted into a hard ball. When we arrived home the hair had literally knotted into dreadlocks. I was horrified! At that moment, I knew that this was not Allstate; I was not in good hands. I immediately contacted the salon.

Upon arrival, the "celeb stylist" instructed her shampoo girl to comb out and wash my hair until she finished with a prior client. As soon as the shampoo tech began, I could see her horrified face through a mirror. The poor girl struggled and got nowhere all while shaking her head in disbelief. The "celeb stylist" finally came over appearing shocked herself. She tried to comfort, me but it was too late. It took a silent prayer for me not to jump up and go crazy. The "celeb stylist" explained that some of my real hair would need to be cut out along with the tangled web of extensions, which at this point looked disintegrated. The tears began to roll. Did I just spend money I really didn't have because I was star struck? The outcome was a painful three-inch chop, thinned ends, spaces throughout my scalp and sides that have yet to grow back. The "celeb stylist" never fully apologized. She blamed it on a bad batch of extensions from the supplier, comped all my services that day and two complimentary future appointments. I never returned to her salon afterwards.

I saw her teaching at a hair show a few years later, but I had no words. I was livid at the entire experience and it taught me a valuable lesson that just because someone has worked with a few celebrities doesn't make them perfection. Nothing even remotely close to that incident has ever happened since even when I sat in the chair of an unlicensed stylist. My current sew in's run around $80 and are done by a true professional; no celeb status needed.

So, ladies and gents, what would you have done in my situation or feel free to share your similar experiences.