My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
While we’re off gallivanting in New York City, I thought I would introduce you to the Katy from nearly a decade ago. This post was written on Tuesday, April 13, 2004, on “Postcards from Leeds,” a blog I kept during my year abroad as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar in Leeds, England. Any comments in brackets are made in present tense to clarify for my Katy in a Corner readers. Warning:  I ate an obscene amount of scones while I lived in England. So, that accounts for the 50 additional pounds I’m toting in these photos.

Hair cut

Big Girls Don’t Cry…They Get a Refund
Originally Published:  April 13, 2004

I have a great idea for a new movie. Picture this:  The Sound of Music meets Edward Scissorhands. Except, rather than taking place in Salzburg, it’s set in Leeds, England. The plot goes something like this…

The film begins with a young, blonde girl in the hills of Yorkshire as she frolics and sings to herself without a care in the world. She is content with life away from her native America. Yet, she feels the need to experience Europe to the fullest. That is when, at the suggestion of her British friend Kelly, she rings [calls] Vidal Sassoon to make an appointment.

A bit of a trend-setter at times, the young girl has no fears as she makes her way into the city. She arrives, hair in a mess, and ready for a new look. She waits 30 minutes before the stylist appears to explain the long, arduous process.

As the stylist picks up pieces of hair, she examines the length, texture and lack of style before she makes a few suggestions. A bit shorter, thinner and more trendy, she suggests. The girl agrees to the changes before she is led to the washbasin [sink].

After a shampoo, rinse, another shampoo, head massage, another rinse, conditioning treatment, and a refreshing glass of still water [bottled water] delivered on a silver tray, she is ready to begin the transformation.

She returns to the elevated chair set before a retro mirror and waits as the stylist approaches, weapons in hand (this is where the Edward Scissorhands part comes into play). After she pins up the front, top layers of hair, the stylist begins the work underneath. Since she has complete confidence in the skills of the stylist, the girl relaxes and lets the artist do her work.

The girl does notice, from time to time, as the scissors fly and large sections of severed hair slide down the polyester gown that “a bit off the back” means something completely different in America than it does in England. In fact, it is not until the chair turns sideways that the girl notices the massive sections of hair that were completely cut TO THE SCALP.

The girl bites her tongue as she gazes into the mirror—as she realizes the damage has already been done. The stylist manages to leave a thin comb-over style layer of hair on top to cover the sections of baldness underneath. As she carefully styles the THREE strands of hair that remain, the girl looks on in horror. She calmly thanks the stylist, pays an arm and a leg and leaves before the redness creeps fully across her face.

She walked into that salon a conservative girl with an all-American hairstyle and walked out a guinea pig for a European beauty school experiment gone awry.

Sound like a movie any of you would want to see? No? Me neither. Too bad I have to live it.

Since Saturday, everyone has tried to counsel me through my “European” hairstyle experiment. I immediately called to tell my mom and dad about my situation. Through their laughter they reminded me of the time I had to live with the world’s worst perm until it grew out months later. That didn’t make me feel much better.

Then I spoke to Brian [we were “just friends” at the time]. He reminded me of that same horrible perm but sympathetically added, “It wasn’t that bad.” Thanks.

Where does a girl need to go to get some sympathy?

Heather [my best friend] laughed, and laughed, and kept laughing, and then begged me to post pictures to the site. Forget it. My camera is officially lost until my hair grows back again.

And, since I couldn’t exactly hide in my room for the next couple of months, I was forced to show Genii [my Chinese roommate] and her friend Hubert. Genii’s comment was, “I like the front, but when you turn to the side, I don’t like it anymore. You look like the lady from The Sound of Music.”

Great. Now I look like Julie Andrews?

Hubert gave the me the most flattering comment when he said that I no longer look like a little kid.

You know, I really ought to find some friends who will just lie to me.

After all of this positive feedback, I decided I needed to let Vidal Sassoon know the extent of my dissatisfaction. I returned on Monday to speak with the assistant manager. She listened intently as I described my vision of what my hair should have looked like versus what I ended up with. I lifted the top layer of my hair to reveal multiple laters of centimeter-long hairs.

Her face gave away her obvious disapproval, and she struggled with what to say next. “Well, normally, we don’t give a full refund. We would rather work with the customer to see if we can rectify the situation. But, in your case, she didn’t leave very much to rectify, did she?”

My point exactly.

Needless to say I was pleased when I received a phone call today from the manager. She approved a full refund of 46 GBP [approximately $85 at that time] to my account. Believe me, had I known it would cost that much to begin with, I wouldn’t have put myself through all this.

I could have done the same thing with a pair of dull hedge clippers and a blindfold.

Hair cut


The photos I posted here were taken MONTHS after the initial hair cut. I wasn’t kidding about hiding from cameras for a while.

What was the worst haircut you ever had?


Comments to "Big Girls Don’t Cry…They Get a Refund"

  1. Lisa Ejnik Haney

    April 12, 2013

    ok— ut seriously the pic you did post looks like a really cute haircut. I don’t look good with short hair, but I did like it… (Yes, I did notice the “months” later comment)

    • katyinacorner

      April 16, 2013

      @Lisa Ejnik Haney As you can tell, Lisa, I’ve always had a knack for melodrama. I felt justified getting a refund, though, since this “trim” was more of a mauling. 🙂


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