I have not edited the colours in any of these photos, only adjusted the exposure slightly as it was getting dark outside.

If you’ve read my post on that awful “makeover” Ingvild and I went to together, you’ll know she’s a real trooper when it comes to trying out beauty treatments here in Oslo (and then letting me blog about it!). This time it’s about bleaching hair – more precisely, getting her roots bleached at Hendrix Hair. As you can see from the pictures, it didn’t go as one should expect, to put it gently.

Now, Ingvild has been in the process of going platinum blonde for some months now. When she made the decision, she was smart and decided to do it gradually, as she didn’t want to damage her hair and scalp too much in the process. After a couple of rounds of home bleaching (with some assistance from yours truly), and then an appointment at Hårny in Harstad, she had pretty much become completely platinum blonde. The very bottom of her hair was still a bit yellow because of previous colouring, but as that could be cut away when the hair grew, it wasn’t a big deal.

When it was time to get her roots done, Ingvild did a lot of research on hairdressers in Oslo. She settled on Hendrix Hair, after reading a lot of recommendations from major Norwegian bloggers (international darlings: that page is in Norwegian, but suffice it to say that these are some of the bloggers in Norway, and they all rave about Hendrix Hair).

The guy doing her hair was called Kim V. She told him she wanted her roots bleached, so she’d be completely platinum blonde again. The procedure itself was… interesting. Ingvild looked like she wanted to laugh and break something simultaneously when she told me about it all later. It started with Ingvild having to brush off a previous client’s hair from the chair before sitting down. The hairdresser applied the bleach unevenly, and then tried to fix it by applying a bit more when he’d really intended to rinse it all out – which explains why it’s so uneven, and why the roots aren’t blonde enough by far (see picture two). Let me remind you that she went there to have her roots done.

When he saw that the roots weren’t white enough, he tried to fix it by using purple shampoo (but you can’t change the paleness, only the tint, of hair using purple shampoo). By this time Ingvild was rather worried, so she told him that her previous hairdressers had used colour corrector after the bleach, and wondered if he was going to do the same. After some rummaging in the back room he found some corrector, and then had to ask a colleague how to use it (apply it to wet hair? Dry hair?). When the corrector was rinsed out, Ingvild still had yellow-ish roots, but now also a purplish halo where her hair had been platinum.

Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes people make mistakes while working. It ought not to happen, but it just does, and I’m willing to forgive people for pretty much anything – as long as they admit their mistake, act as if they’re sorry about it, and then offer a solution. That’s what any professional would do. But Kim didn’t do this.

Instead he acted as though he simply couldn’t see that her hair now had a whole rainbow of different colours (and neither was the colour she had asked for). He said the cool, purplish colour “should fade in time”, and when Ingvild still didn’t act satisfied, he asked her if she wanted him to bleach it again. As Ingvild’s scalp is a bit sensitive and she was worried about the quality of her hair, she said she didn’t think it was such a good idea. His reply? “No, I don’t think so either.” In his own words, his solution simply wasn’t a good idea, and could have caused a lot of damage to his client’s scalp and hair. Well done, mister.

In the end, Ingvild got a 100,- NOK discount on the original 900,- NOK price, and an offer to come back if she still wasn’t happy. She paid in cash, and was then told she couldn’t get a receipt, only his business card. By this time Ingvild was traumatized enough to just want to escape the place, and met me at a café to hear my opinion about it all. We decided the best thing to do was to return the next day (with me as moral support), and ask if it was possible to get (at least a partial) refund. Not only had they not managed to bleach her roots, but they’d also turned her previously platinum hair to a pale purple. The pictures speak for themselves; nobody should have to leave a hair salon looking like that.

I’ll give them this: the girl who worked there the next day was very, very helpful. It took a while to get anyone to help us (there were three clients in the room, but no hairdressers, and nobody showed up when we called hello), but when Ingvild got to explain the problem and show off her hair, the girl promptly offered to call Kim and have him fix it. The thing is, though, when someone has turned your hair yellow and purple, you don’t really want to give them a second go at it, so Ingvild finally asked if it was simply possible to get a refund. She got 500,- NOK back without question (I assume they subtracted the price of the actual bleach and so), and that was the end of it. Ingvild is travelling to Harstad tomorrow, and intend to go back to Hårny to get it done properly.

In short: the hairdresser didn’t know how to bleach roots, didn’t know how to use colour corrector, and behaved unprofessionally when his mistake was pointed out. The bloggers might adore this salon, but if this is how they treat “normal” people, I say stay away.

And Ingvild, thank you so much for letting me write about this, you’re amazing!

EDIT, 22nd of June 2012: The owner of Hendrix Hair has left a comment to this post, you can find it by scrolling down or clicking here.