May 09, 2019
Good business practices usually lead companies to share their successes and hide their failures, but a Philadelphia-area hair stylist took to Instagram on Thursday to share a story about what she called the worst moment in her career.
It’s gutsy, but the idea behind the decision is also fairly admirable.
Jess Dworniczak, known as @JessDeeHair to her 23,500 Instagram followers, works at Love Salon in Southampton. She shares her work on Instagram, the majority of which is social media-worthy hair coloring. But she posted a lengthy tale Thursday about a grand mistake with one client, because she said she “can’t f***ing stand that we look up to people who only post their highlight reel.”
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No, that’s not a euphemism. It’s a short version of the worst moment of my career, and it happened just the other day. Why THE HELL would I post this? Because I can’t fucking stand that we look up to people who only post their highlight reel. How does help anyone? My client came in with insanely long brown hair, a change from her usual years of Barbie blonde. Living far away, we weren’t able to do a strand test ahead of time, but I knew her personally and had a 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 I am certainly honest about expectations. Not long into foiling, I quickly started to see a problem. It wasn’t just her ends showing that telltale “gummy” look, in many spots this was starting about 4 inches from her scalp. Fast forward many hours, toner bowls, bond treatments, and sweat puddles later... it was an absolute worst case scenario. If there was ever a time I wanted to hop in my car and drive away while a client was processing, this was it. We went down the checklist, was it medication? Treated water? Hormones? Satan? We had no answers. Ten years behind the chair, hundreds and hundreds of happy clients. I never thought this day would come. Believe me when I tell you, nothing will humble your ass quite like this. All the horror stories and memes in the world don’t prepare you for when it happens to you. What could I do? This poor girl was walking out with literally half the hair she came in with, and just as dark. She cried, I wanted to cry... actually I wanted to vomit. I’m sure she did too. Im not telling you this to scare you away from my chair forever. I’m hoping you will keep this in the back of your minds. Stylists- THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. Cover your ass, and when you think it’s covered, cover it some more. Clients- please don’t think because the Kardashians appear to be able to jump the color spectrum every damn month, that you can too. This isn’t the E! network, and not everything you see on tv is real life. Please, God, be realistic with your hair choices.
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Dworniczak said a client came to her looking to change from blonde to brown hair. While the client lived far away, and she wasn’t able to conduct a strand test — basically a test run, with a small amount of hair — Dworniczak felt comfortable with the client because the two already had a history together.
The two had discussed some minimal damage the client’s hair might endure as a result of the procedure, but early in the process Dworniczak said she could tell something was wrong. After hours of work and treatments, it was “an absolute worst case scenario” with nothing to show for the work, the time, or the money.
“If there was ever a time I wanted to hop in my car and drive away while a client was processing,” Dworniczak wrote, “this was it.”
The client was left with “literally half the hair she came in with”, Dworniczak said, and she started crying. The hair stylist paid for the service out of pocket, according to Modern Salon, but she said the experience made her want to vomit.
Dworniczak said she doesn’t want to scare future clients away with her story, but said she wants to keep the realities of hair styling and coloring at the forefront of the conversation.
"Stylists," she ended the post, "THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. Cover your ass, and when you think it’s covered, cover it some more."