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Answer Angel: Bait-and-switch hairstylists

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Is there any recourse in this situation I ran into recently? I made a beauty salon appointment with my regular stylist, and they even confirmed that appointment, reminding me if I don’t show up, I’d still be charged 100% of the scheduled service price. Then, when I show up, they tell me my stylist no longer works there. They assign someone else to take care of me — someone with whom I have not had a consultation, who is not experienced with my hair type. These “pink-collar” workers often are spoken of only using their first names, so it’s impossible to locate the new salon when they jump ship. I understand the business owner wants to protect herself from having stylists work for a year and then disappear with all the good clients but this seems like bait and switch!

— Diane D.

Dear Diane: A lot of us have had this exact situation. Sure, sometimes the new stylist turns out to be even better than the old one. But sometimes it is a terrible experience. The client should always be alerted in advance if they’re being switched to an unfamiliar stylist.

What’s your recourse? You can express your dissatisfaction, walk out and make certain you aren’t charged for the service. Or give the new stylist a try.

In the future, be proactive. Early on, get your stylist’s contact info. If the stylist says that’s not allowed, give your email and cellphone to the stylist with a note explaining why you want to be have the info — so you can be sure to follow to a new employer if that ever happens.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have hardly any eyebrows left and the ones I do have are very light. I found a powdery eye shadow that worked great but is no longer available. I’ve tried eyebrow pencils but applying pressure pulls out the hairs I have left. Any suggestions?

— Emily S.

Dear Emily: I’ve had excellent results from eyebrow wands that contain fibers. The brand I favor has been discontinued — of course — but unlike most of my discontinued favorites, I bought a half-dozen when I detected them hard to find at the drugstore. That, incidentally, is a big tipoff that the product you love will soon be discontinued. I haven’t tested other similar products that go on like mascara, but an internet search for “eyebrow makeup with fibers” turns up a good selection of wands for under $8 (,, drugstores) to over $25. Readers: Let me hear about your fiber-infused brow makeup favorites.

Angelic Readers


From Alice W.: “I save the extra buttons that come with blouses and sweaters and other clothing purchases. Today, when I needed one, I realized I’d have to plow through all those individual little packets. Next time I get a blouse or sweater with an extra button, I’m going to sew it to an unobtrusive spot inside the garment so I can find it easily.”

Reader Rants

Just a small selection from your gripes to start the new year …

Bobbie W. asks, “What is it with long-sleeve women’s T-shirts? Be it crew neck or turtleneck cotton tops, the sleeves are SO tight on the arms — all the way down to the wrists. Are the manufacturers skimping on the material to save money? Boy, in some I can hardly bend my arms. Get it right manufacturers. We need comfortable arms!!!!!”

From Don W.: “For all the ladies out there: The bright red lipstick look is not attractive. At all.”

Patricia L. says: “I wish there was an industry standard for labels on coats that indicated how warm a garment would be. It would be nice to know that the jacket you’ve selected would keep you (or your child) comfortable during football practice.”

Ann A. asks: “Can someone please tell clothing manufacturers to stop making drop-shoulder women’s shirts, sweaters, etc.? This style was popular in the ‘80s; it was ugly and unflattering then, and is ugly and unflattering now! Thanks! :-)”

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