All posts tagged hair

Dream of 2018, Finding My Forever Salon!

Published January 13, 2018 by Maryanne

IZOD 2013 (2)

My hair will look this good again — someday soon! 

Part of getting what you want in life is creative visualization, and putting it out there, which is why I’m writing the following blog, which is part creative visualization and part much needed venting/purging. Because it seems you gotta get haircuts from a lot of frogs before you meet the beautiful princess stylist!

As amazing as 2017 was, having good hair was a struggle. Early in the year I got a bad haircut from my former salon goddess. She had a head trauma, didn’t tell me, and fucked up my hair. We remained friends, and I would like to go back to her someday, but need a break because the trust was broken.

So, I was able to get my hair fixed — and it looked gorgeous. However, would not return to Salon #1 of 2017 because it was too gossipy; parking was a big issue and the salon didn’t have quarters for the meter; and the shampoo girl had attitude problems.

Then I found another Salon #2 of 2017 that did a fab job, but they were over a half hour ride for me, which is inconvenient for a busy person. And another reason … see #3 below under “Reasons Not to Go Back Besides a Bad Cut.”

Finally, I thought I found my “forever” salon. I got three great cuts in a row from Salon #3 of 2017. By the time of my fourth, my intuition told me not to go back. I should have listened to my gut because I got a horrible chop job.

The sad thing is, during the year when I wrote bad reviews on Yelp about Salon #1 and Salon #3, the salon owners took it incredibly personal, instead of dealing with the constructive criticism. Both salon owners taunted me on Yelp, ripping me a new asshole; and Salon #3 even went as far as having one of their friends harass me privately in an email. I actually called the salon and told them, nicely, that I didn’t appreciate the private harassing. The owner played dumb, of course.

Frustrated, I deleted my Yelp account. If I can’t be honest and warn residents in my area about bad hair salon experiences, what’s the point?

And this isn’t the first time that happened. Years ago, a stylist, who did a great job, was on the phone fighting with her husband, now ex-husband, while she was coloring my hair. It took three hours to do a foil job that normally took 45 minutes. When I wrote a bad review, the owner of the shop tracked me down and harassed me by calling my house! Scared about what she would do next, I immediately took the review down.

Before I deleted my Yelp account yesterday, I saw other people writing in the complaint area that they, too, have been stalked by places they gave bad reviews too. One wrote that she was afraid a business owner was going to follow her with an ax! I wouldn’t put it past these narcissists who live in La-La Land thinking they could do no wrong. They’ll go to any extent to get you to remove your bad review. They claim you are ruining their business with not one ounce of compassion regarding how they ruined your hair — and your time!

When I watch episodes of “Tabatha Takes Over” I want to yell at the screen, “Tabatha please come to these terrible New Jersey salons and bitch slap them all for me!” (And I say “New Jersey” because that’s where I live, but yes, I’ve had bad haircuts in NYC too!)

The good news is that over the years, I’ve gotten some of the BEST haircuts from stylists when they had to fix someone else’s mistake. (And even in my 50s, I have the face to pull off short or long hair!)

Though I’d like to point out, there are other reasons why I stop going to certain salons that don’t even involve bad hair. Read the following. Perhaps you can relate?

Reasons Not to Go Back Besides a Bad Cut:

  1. Gossip. I had this guy do amazing highlights on my hair. I never went back because he bad mouthed everyone from the salon owner (I didn’t like her either, but that’s beside the point), all his clients, and even the girl he took to the high school prom.
  2. Boredom. I had this woman who cut hair beautifully. However, she bored me to death with terrible conversation. Example: Her, “So what’s new?” Me, “I had my first book published.” Her, “So what else is new? Are you going anywhere for vacation this summer.” URGH! If someone asks me “what’s new?” and can’t be excited about something as thrilling as publishing a book, I just can’t … Which brings me to Salon #3, mentioned above, the bad cut was definitely a blessing in disguise because I needed an excuse to get away. I was so exhausted hearing about engagements and weddings — yawn! I’m a gal who eloped; so not a “Here Comes the Bride” person. Talk to me about spirituality, music, anything creative — but not a wedding. I’m kinda like a guy that way! Stylists should learn to KNOW their audiences! But then again, many of them are so self-involved, it’s beyond them.
  3. Not “getting” the client. Two stylists did amazing work, but I hesitated going back because I feared getting the same cut every time. The cut in the photo above was from a young woman who considered the cut “rock ‘n’ roll.” It was an a good cut, a great cut in fact, a cut I wouldn’t mind having again, but it was not exactly “rock ‘n’ roll.” To me, messy, edgy hair says “music lover.” I want a stylist who will give me bold colors, fringe bangs, and something that can work with my waves. I do not want to look like a school teacher. Another stylist mistakenly called me “conservative” because I didn’t have a million tattoos on my arms like their other clients. Honey, I’m anything BUT conservative. I even went there bra-less! Her comment reminded me of my teenage punk rocker days. I wore a leather jacket with a ton of buttons on it, heavy eye make-up, and magenta earrings, but that wasn’t “punk” enough for hardcore punk rock chicks and I was called a “poser.” All people, not just stylists, need to look beyond their inner circle.

I wish I could name ’em and shame ’em all, but because hairstylists are such babies who can’t take criticism; and the fact that I don’t want some crazy bitch coming after me with a knife, I won’t. Though it does feel good to get it all out there and purge. And let this also be a lesson to future salon goers everywhere — don’t trust Yelp. Stylists pay for good reviews and harass people who leave bad ones.

Finding a forever salon is a full time job. It’s like dating. Before I started dating my husband, I took all the right steps not to make the same mistakes again. Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity. I now realize 5-star Yelp reviews mean NOTHING. Also note, I am limited because I only go to salons that use products that don’t test on animals, such as Paul Mitchel and Aveda.

But prior to making my appointment, I meditated on it. What I came up with was a NEW APPROACH. Rather than going by five star Yelp reviews, I’d go by how the owner handles a bad review.

The salon I chose had one bad review. The owner reached out to the client and said she’d talk to her about it privately and resolve the issue. To me, that said CLASS. Wow, someone who actually owned up to a salon mistake!

I called the salon immediately and made an appointment with a master stylist — and requested one who is not too chatty. I had a nice conversation with the receptionist. She seemed to get a kick out of my high demands. We even had a laugh over it. My master stylist didn’t have immediate bookings, which was a good sign!

My appointment is Wednesday. Will it be my forever salon, or just a one-cut stand? Only the universe knows. But the fact that a bad review was handled with such finesse, shows me I’m on the right track, and that’s a win/win!

SHARE YOUR HAIR STORIES IN THE COMMENTS SECTION! What was your best cut? How do you choose a stylist? What makes one hairstylist better than another? I want to hear from YOU! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a public speaker, editor/writer of 21 newspapers in New Jersey, and three-time author. For more information and links to her books, visit the “About” section of this blog. To book one of her lectures, or to have her help you ghost write/edit your book, visit:


A Tribute to the Cowsills

Published April 6, 2013 by Maryanne

cowsills-456ak092210The Cowsills

Last night I watched a wonderful, yet tragic tribute to The Cowsills, “Family Band: The Cowsills Story.”

The name may not sound familiar, but I am sure you know some of their hits. They were the REAL musical  family that the Partridge Family was based on. An American singing group from Rhode Island, formed in 1965 by brothers Bill, Bob and Barry, later joined by siblings Susan and Paul and their mom, Barbara. Their other brother Richard (Bob’s twin) was the road manager. And their dad, Bud managed their career. Their ages were 8 to 19. And little Susan was such a doll!

While the dad got them to be very successful, he was a real terror. The over-bearing man harassed, manipulated and verbally abused the kids. The kids said the father didn’t know how to show love and hurt them with his condescending words and hitting them if they did something wrong.

The father didn’t want Richard to be in the band and sent him off to service during Vietnam (imagine fighting a war when your other siblings were all over television?) and in 1969 fired Bill after he caught him smoking pot. Even little Susan said how her dad tried to sexually abuse her for years, but she fought back at age 10. When she fought back, her dad punched her in the face and her mom let Susan go to live with an older brother.

In 1972 after some members left the band, they recorded “Covered Wagon” which failed to chart. The band stopped playing shortly afterwards and they all went on to have separate careers in and out of the music industry.

And it was said in the documentary, there was no money to show for their successful career probably due to mismanagement by their dad.

The kids were always a tight family and regrouped in 1990, playing the oldies circuit and back in the recording studio.

Barbara Cowsill died in the 1980s of emphysema.

Bud, the dad, died of leukemia in 1992.

Barry died in Hurricane Katrina; and Bill, who struggled with heroin addiction, died the day of Barry’s memorial service.

Susan is still doing music with The Susan Cowsill Band.

John Cowsill has been touring as a musician with the Beach Boys since 2000.

Bill moved to Canada in the 1970s and became a country solo artist.

Paul left music for a career in the construction industry. He still performs with the Cowsills but is primarily a farmer.

Bob had a successful career in the software industry.

Here are Cowsills hits.

The Rain, the Park and Other Things is such a gorgeous song, it may bring tears to your eyes:

The Rain, The Park, and Other Things

And their biggest hit, “Hair”:


And the original theme from Love American Style:

Love American Style

And here’s a little snippet from a 2007 tour:

The Cowsills, 2007 tour

In Praise of Short Haired Beauties

Published September 24, 2012 by Maryanne

Mary Stuart Masterson, circa “Some Kind of Wonderful” days

Last night my husband and I were chilling and watching the beginning of “Some Kind of Wonderful,” a cute coming of age movie from the late 1980s. Mary Stuart Masterson played an adorable short-haired tomboy and Leah Thompson played the school heartthrob with the bouncy long hair.

I was thrilled when my husband, Dennis, said that Mary Stuart Masterson’s character was the cuter one. And I always thought she was too.

Even though I’m a long haired girl (short hair is too high maintenance for me, having to get it cut every three weeks) I absolutely adore short hair and I have to be honest, I’ve always felt men who preferred long hair were shallow.

When I first met my husband my hair was super long, heavy with blonde streaks and I always wore it a bit teased and in my face. One Sunday afternoon we were at a Christmas party and for some reason, the house was really hot, so I put my hair up. When I came out of the bathroom with my hair up, my husband said, “You are gorgeous!” Since then my husband preferred my hair up, rather than down, and I do wear it up 90 percent of the time. I even wore it up on our wedding day.

A year ago I was considering cutting my hair short and a male friend said to me, “Don’t do it. Men prefer long hair. Just ask Dennis.” I nearly laughed in this friend’s face because I knew that was not the truth. Dennis would love if I cut my hair off!

I’ve always been more drawn to men who were open-minded to women with various looks. Aside from Dennis, I’ve had quite a few guys tell me I’d look cute with short hair. And the one time I did get it cut short, I got more compliments than ever. I kept it short for three years and then grew it again because running to the hair salon or barber was eating up so much of my time.

I think the sexy thing about short hair on women is that it makes your eyes and lips look bigger and it enhances your cheekbones, showing off your true beauty. This is the same when women wear their hair up — you see the entire face and it’s just so elegant. I have one girlfriend who always wears her hair down. One day we went out and she wore a high ponytail. I told her, “Don’t ever wear your hair any other way — this is the best look for you!”

And for those silly men who think long hair is better — I’d bet my bottom dollar bill they wouldn’t turn down a date from any of these short haired beauties: Linda Evangelista, Winona Ryder, Isabella Rosselini, Princess Diane, Jaime Lee Curtis and Pink, to name a few.

Some day, when I have more time to relax and sit in a barber’s chair, I look forward to cutting my hair short again! (Or maybe I’ll just have to do it sooner and make the time!)

My friend Diane, and me (right) back, circa 1999 or 2000 – both with short hair!