Planning a wedding has given me a whole new insight into the beauty industry. My current research area? Hair and makeup. I get haircuts every few months like a normal person. But I haven’t had my hair professionally styled since my senior prom.
Back then it cost $75 for an updo. But that was a loooong time ago. And while I’m only getting married 45 minutes from where I live, the styling distance seems to be much, much greater.
For instance, at the first salon I looked at in Westchester, this was one of the sample styles:
Mostly, the issue is that I began randomly calling salons to get more info. Which is something I’ve never done before.
But it wasn’t until I called a a salon that I will call Salon Weirdo (NOT IT’S REAL NAME) that I actually got upset.
In New York City, you pay a lot for what you want, but you can basically get whatever style you’re looking for.
At this salon, I couldn’t even get a price estimate. My younger sister called to see how much hair and makeup would cost, because she met a stylist who worked there and seemed nice. But she reported back that I would have to go in person to get any information about having my hair done.
That seemed silly, so I decided to give a call myself. The receptionist quickly realized that I was related to the girl who had just called and put a man on the phone who I later found out was the owner.
At first he tried to explain that he was an “artist” and needed to meet me and look at my hair before he could possibly give me a price estimate.
It seemed like a bit of miscommunication, so I tried to explain that I didn’t live in Westchester and couldn’t come by the salon easily. If it were an issue of payment, I’d be glad to do the consultation and trial when I came by the salon the first time, but I needed some sort of price estimate before I could consider him as an option.
I said this because earlier in the week I’d been sent to a friend of a friend who wanted to charge me $1500 to do my hair and makeup. Just for me. And I’m pretty sure this would not be a permanent hairstyle and makeup treatment. Considering that I was not willing to pay more for hair and makeup on my wedding day then what I’d spent on my dress, I couldn’t entertain that option. Even if the woman did hair for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
But the more I spoke to this person, the more confused I got. Eventually I got so exasperated that I hung up. And that’s when I got to his website. Where I found entire galleries of this man looking contemplative and amused by himself in his empty salon.
Now, I don’t know if you go to salon websites often, but often business owners use such places to market their services and win new clients. Not this one! He has created some sort of vanity site that is meant to highlight his face from different angles and salon lighting approaches. Like this one!
Aside from a disturbing reliance on Java Script, the website has almost no photos of people who have gotten their hair done at the salon. Though there are photos of hair near Ican. If you’re looking for a contemplative, emotive stylist to pose around your hair, this is the man for you:
It took a little more searching to find out why this man had fostered such an insane ego. But eventually I found out that he does Kelly Ripa’s hair twice a week.
I’m not sure why the rest of Westchester has to suffer for Kelly Ripa’s well coiffed locks, but there is something that severely irks me about people who do not reveal their prices.
It’s not only that he refused to give me a price quote for the bridal services I requested on the phone. I also noticed a little note on his website that says “Salon Ican offers tiered pricing to accommodate everyone’s lifestyle. Each stylist is trained and competent at any level.”
To me, that sounds like a complicated way of saying that you charge people according to how rich they look when they walk in your door. And that, is just a bit horrible.
In the end, I won’t be meeting Ican in person to get an appraisal of what my hairdo is worth to him. But at least I’ll always have this: