Good business practices typically lead companies to share their successes and hide their failures, but a Philadelphia-area hairstylist took to Instagram on Thursday to share a story about what she called the worst moment of her career. .
It’s brave, but the idea behind the decision is also quite admirable.
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Jess Dworniczak, known as @JessDeeHair for her 23,500 Instagram followers, works at the Love Salon in Southampton. She shares her work on Instagram, the majority of which is social media-worthy hair dye. But she posted a long story on Thursday about a big mistake with a client because she said she “can’t stand us admiring people who only post their highlight reel.”
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No, that’s not an understatement. It’s a short version of the worst moment of my career, and it happened the other day. WHY GOD would I post this? Because I can’t stand that we admire people who only publish their summary. How can I help someone? My client arrived with incredibly long brown hair, a change from her usual blonde Barbie years. Living far away, we weren’t able to do a wick test ahead of time, but I knew her personally and had general knowledge of her hair history. We had discussed the inevitable damage that would occur, she was realistic about expectations. Anyone who knows me knows that I am certainly honest about the expectations. Shortly after foiling, I quickly started to see a problem. It wasn’t just her ends showing that telltale “gummy” look, in many places it started about 4 inches from her scalp. Fast forward several hours, bowls of toner, bonding treatments and puddles of sweat later … it was the worst case. If there ever was a time when I wanted to get in my car and leave while a client was treating, this was it. We went through the checklist, was it drugs? Treated water? Hormones? Satan? We have had no response. Ten years behind the chair, hundreds and hundreds of satisfied customers. I never thought that this day would come. Believe me when I tell you, nothing will humiliate your ass like this. Not all horror stories and memes in the world set you up by the time this happens to you. “What could I do?” This poor girl was walking out with literally half the hair she had walked in, and just as dark. She was crying, I wanted to cry … in fact I wanted to throw up. I’m sure she does too. I’m not telling you this to get away from my chair forever. I hope you will keep this in mind. Stylists – THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. Cover your ass, and when you think it’s covered, cover it a bit more. Clients, don’t think so, because the Kardashians seem to be able to skip the color spectrum every month, that you can too. It’s not the E! network, and not everything you see on TV is real life. Please, my God, be realistic with your hair choices.
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Dworniczak said a client came to see her to go from blonde hair to brown hair. While the client lived far away and was unable to perform a strand test – essentially a test, with a small amount of hair – Dworniczak felt comfortable with the client as the two had already a story together.
The two had discussed the minimal damage the client’s hair might suffer as a result of the procedure, but early in the process, Dworniczak said she could tell something was wrong. After hours of work and salaries, it was “the absolute worst case” with nothing to show for work, time or money.
“If there ever was a time when I wanted to get in my car and leave while a client was treating,” Dworniczak wrote, “this was it.”
The client ended up with “literally half the hair she walked in”, Dworniczak said, and she started to cry. The hairdresser paid for the service out of pocket, according to Modern Salon, but said the experience made her want to vomit.
Dworniczak said she didn’t want to scare future clients away with her story, but wanted to keep the realities of hairstyling and coloring at the forefront of the conversation.
“Stylists,” she finished the message, “THIS MAY HAPPEN TO YOU. Cover your ass, and when you think it’s covered, cover it a bit more.”