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Dawns Column The Breakup
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I recently broke up with my hairdresser.

Over the phone.

With a voicemail.

I know, it sounds terrible. But I had to do it. It couldn’t be helped. I think I broke up with a guy that way once.

Hey, breaking up with your hairdresser is hard. Believe me, the last thing I need to do right now is try out a new hairdresser. I have too much pre-wedding stuff to worry about than to worry about my hair. But I have been worried.

My now-former hairdresser was going to nursing school, which made her schedule complicated. Now, she’s graduated and has taken her test so it won’t be long before she finds a nursing job. She plans to continue doing hair but her schedule, I believe, will become even more complicated.

There was one time last year when she was in school and I needed to reschedule an appointment before a trip I was about to take. I couldn’t reach her for two weeks. I ended up going to someone else at the last minute, and thankfully that turned out okay.

I had recently set up my next few appointments with the hairdresser so that it was all planned out to sync with my wedding. But I began getting anxious. I decided that I couldn’t risk having her call me right before the big day and telling me she couldn’t get me in that week because she was scheduled to work at her new job.

Her focus was elsewhere, and that’s fine, but it just wasn’t working for me.

It wasn’t her, it was me.

So before I could breakup with my hairdresser, I had to find someone new. Finding the right hairdresser is harder than finding the right boyfriend. I had to do some research, ask around for opinions and references, conduct an interview.

Now that I think about it, maybe if I’d taken that same strategy with previous boyfriends, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.

My male coworkers said that when they want to break up with their barber, they just stop showing up. Then they go to the guy down the street.


For the most part, I’ve learned, breaking up with people or entities that provide your services is usually unpleasant and awkward.

Have you ever tried breaking up with your gym? You’re not allowed to say, “I want to quit.” No, they continue to take money out of your bank account, just like a vindictive ex.

You actually have to write a letter to the corporate office, sort of like a Dear John. Then you wait for them to process it, knowing it will take longer than a month. So then you call them and tell them that you wrote them a break up letter. Once they have you on the phone, they try to talk you into staying.

One time I started receiving a magazine subscription that I never signed up for and they sent me a bill. I had to write them a letter, too. That’s sort of like when a person believes they’re in a relationship with you but you’re unaware of it.

I’m a little giddy right now about my first appointment with a new hairdresser. It’s that new relationship excitement. What should I wear? Will we like each other? I’m wondering how the conversation will go on our first meeting. Will it be comfortable and easy or awkward with long stretches of silence? Will she understand what I want and really “get” me?

When we spoke on the phone, she said everything I wanted to hear. That’s a good sign. Now we just have to have the right chemistry — and my hair needs to look great when I leave the salon.

Of course, I won’t be sure if it’s a permanent relationship until after the third hair appointment …


Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.