The last time I went to hairdresser X in June, he pushed pushed pushed products on me – you really need to buy this, you need this chemical treatment, here’s what you need – until I said, with a smile, “I’m good. I like my hair as it is.”

His response: “You like your hair dry and frizzy?”

Astounded, I sat meekly through the session, knowing it would be my last with him. Even if you’re ugly and have horrible hair, you should feel beautiful when you go to the salon.

The big question became, who to go to next?

This week, I went to a new hairdresser, Philip Movius at Liquid Salon. A friend referred me to him after my last haunting experience, and I have to say, this is the way it should be.

I walked into the salon and stepped into a lovely bathroom with candles burning and modern clean-lined fixtures and lighting. I already loved the place. Philip asked me about my work, my children, my husband. I was offered drinks, food, “we have sweet and salty snacks.”

I was ushered to the color bar, a metal table with every recent magazine, where I sat in a comfortable chair while the color treatment did its work on my hair. When he styled my hair, he explained how to do it for best, shiniest, healthiest results and you know what? My hair has never looked better. Even more, it’s easy and I can do it myself.

I described this experience to friends who said, “This is the way it should be going to the salon!” They felt badly that it took me 41 years to find such a setting.

And that’s the thing: why do we put up with sub-par service when we don’t have to? For every mediocre business out there, there is one with integrity and kindness. Sincerity behind the counter. In the business because they truly want to help people.

You know the ones who just want to fatten their bank accounts. You need this product, and this one, and this one. You won’t be beautiful if you don’t buy it. Buy it now.

And you know the ones who care. That’s Philip, who snuck a granola bar into my bag, in case I grew hungry later and said I really don’t need to wear blush (I never do) because I have such nice color in my cheeks. I know it’s true, but even if it weren’t, I walked out of there feeling beautiful, despite my Colorado T-shirt and yoga pants. That’s the way it should be.

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