I had the day off work a few weeks ago and went to see my hairstylist. I tend to wait about six months between appointments, so while I adore her, it does mean I often miss big changes in her life.
Growing up we all went to the same hair stylist through my middle, high school, and college years until she decided to make a career change to become a nurse. So I knew the value (and the privilege) of a great stylist who knew your hair well.
As someone with wavy curly color treated hair, that curls more on the top layer and in back, the journey to finding good stylists has been filled with ups and downs. Stylists at low end salons who do okay cuts, to stylists who nod at the things you request, and then do what they want once the scissors are in their hand. I read a tip a while back, that when they ask what shampoo or other products you use, reference brand names they sell in that salon. It doesn't always mean that they don't make new suggestions, but there are a lot who just say, oh good, and then talk about the weather.
Anyway, I had reached a point where I found a great stylist and then she moved to Arkansas to open her own salon. I hopped around to other stylists at that salon, and then scoured the local salon roundup, and decided to make a switch. I found a good stylist, and then, she was on vacation, found I liked the stylist they had referred me to even better. She was great. She was the first stylist I had who cut my hair dry, so she could keep an eye on the unusual curl pattern, and then wash and dried it and double checked. Unfortunately she was just far out enough in the suburbs, that one I gave up my car, it did not make sense to rent one to visit her.
This time I referenced a thread on, of all places, Ravelry, and found a great salon in walking distance. My first visit I recognized the receptionist as a former yarn shop owner, talk about a sign you were in the right place. I loved my stylist there. She paid careful attention to the fact that I tended to stretch out the time between visits and cut it with that in mind. And then she decided to move to Charlottesville. I made an appointment with the person the salon recommended as a backup and it was - not good. She was clearly not prepared for someone with wavy hair, she cut it wet and then flat ironed it so straight that I actually went home and fixed it. (I have a long face, stick straight hair that doesn't even curve a little around my face is not a good look for me.)
I asked around and got some new suggestions and found my current salon, where I've been for a few years. So, there I was, and my stylist let me know that she is moving to Nicaragua. I am thrilled for this new life chapter for her, and of course sad for myself. I've made use of other stylists in this salon when she's been sick, and she also gave me a referral, so I know I and my hair will be okay.
But change is hard, and unwished for change can be very hard. The good news is I have a few months before I have to worry too much.