Posts tagged with "Salon"

The unkindest cut: Why some people hate hair salons

February 5, 2019

A friend told me recently that she hates going to the hairdresser. She is an introvert and doesn’t feel comfortable engaging in the small talk required; nor does she appreciate the aggressively hands-on, eye-to-eye aspects of the encounter.

What’s more, she has been insulted twice by stylists: Once, a hairdresser stage-whispered to the professional working at the next chair, “Finally, she’s growing those bangs out!”  Another time, a stylist picked up a lock of hair at the side of her head and reproved her loudly enough for everyone in the salon to hear, saying, “Do you see how your hair is thinning in this area?”

“How was I supposed to respond to those remarks, except by feeling shamed and even a little bit guilty?” she asked me.

She did not return to those stylists—or to their salons. But, clearly, what was supposed to be a relaxing, treat-yourself experience had turned into a distressing, even mortifying, time on the hot seat.

And certainly, she’s not the only one who enters a salon with timidity, unsure how the next session will go.

An article posted on the website Mic addressed this issue, noting that there are several major reasons why both women and men might avoid the hair parlor or the barbershop—among them:.

  • Being forced to answer invasive questions: When it comes to women’s hair, a drastic cut may be interpreted as the result of a dramatic life change. But how we wear our hair and why we wear it that way is no one’s business but our own. “When I got my hair cut short the first time, I got so many questions about [whether] I was getting it cut for “any reason” (this never happened before). Like what do you expect me to say?” a reader told Mic, noting that the questions seemed intrusive and she didn’t want to answer them.
  • When your stylist is straight-up rude: The comments that are made when a customer presents his or her body to a professional, even if it’s just for a haircut, can be borderline offensive. Molly, a 27-year-old who suffers from  eczema flare-ups, told Mic, “When I was in middle school I had a hairdresser point out my dry and itchy scalp each time I saw her. She rudely addressed it, when, clearly, I knew I had a bad scalp from eczema.”. Molly always felt worse leaving the salon than she did before the appointment—no matter how her hair looked. 
  • When you’re not sure where to look: At nail salons, which also required intimacy—with the strangers who are cutting and polishing your nails (or even cleaning your feet)—the same issues can crop up. A reader told Mic she hates it, “When you see that your nail artist is trying to make conversation and you really don’t feel like socializing; so you force yourself to watch the crappy video that they are playing in the corner of the room.” 
  • When there’s uncomfortable touching: “Massages while I’m getting my hair washed—or after my nails are done—just freak me out,” said another. “It’s too much intimacy.”
  •  When you just can’t think of a single thing to say: One reader described the situation as, “When you and the stylist have nothing to talk about, so it feels like Christmas dinner with an aunt you never met.” 

Many of these problems are exacerbated by social anxiety. “Social anxiety is fraught with people being afraid of being judged,” clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg of Katonah, New York, told Mic“Another really common and overpowering characteristic is that they become avoidant. So I would think in many cases, people would avoid doing things to enhance their appearance, like getting their hair colored or getting their nails done, because they would be afraid of being judged.”

And then there is the person on the other side of the equation—the stylist who is socially awkward, himself or herself. “I love regular clients, that I like, but if I get somebody new, sometimes I can tell they don’t want to talk; and that’s fine with me because most of the times I don’t feel like talking, but I will,” Kat, a New York City hairstylist, told the news outlet.

“Sometimes people ask me questions about myself that makes me anxious. Things that aren’t related to hair at all, but like ‘Where are you from?’ or ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ and it feels like I’m being interviewed. I don’t want to talk about myself,” Kat said.

 Then there are the oversharers: “Once, a fairly regular male client told me a story about how he got gonorrhea from the same girl three separate times!”

So, fixes? You can opt to switch stylists, as Molly did, after her negative experience discussing her exzema.

You also can seek out the now-coveted “quiet chair,” a feature of a U.K. salon that went viral recently. (A salon in Philadelphia has followed suit.)

Finally, to avoid salons altogether, contact Glam Squad ,a service that brings the stylist straight to your home or apartment, so you can stay home and get your hair done in your sweats.

Research contact: @mic

Fishy business: Bogus seafood is everywhere, even in port cities

January 29, 2019

Is your seafood retailer telling—and selling you on—a “fish story”? In New York City according to State Attorney General Letitia James, if you are buying lemon sole, red snapper, or wild salmon, it is likely that’s not what you’re taking home.

Late last month the James’ office issued a report  asserting that 43%t of the time, when premium-priced fish (fetching between $19 and $29 per pound) — like grouper, cod, halibut, striped bass, and white tuna —is purchased, inferior varieties farmed in foreign countries with very little or no regulatory oversight are substituted without the buyer’s knowledge.

“I’m very happy to see law enforcement getting involved says,” Larry Olmsted, author of “Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It,”  recently told Salon.

“Mislabeling is rampant in the seafood industry, and if you can’t reliably get the fish you want in a port city like New York, just imagine what levels of fraud are like further inland,” Olmstead said to Salon, adding, “This business has had a fraud problem for years and years—and the only people tracking it have been public interests groups,”

In the investigation leading up to the release of the new report . samples from 155 seafood retailers were purchased and tested. Farmed salmon samples were purposely mislabeled as “wild” 27% of the time. Sixty-seven percent of red snapper fillets were mislabeled; and virtually every piece of fish labeled as lemon sole (87%) was something entirely different and cheaper.

Across the board, substitutes were cheaper, less desirable, and less environmentally sustainable species. This, while the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood for 2017 has increased to 16 pounds from 14.9 pounds in 2016.

“For white-fleshed fish, supermarkets and grocery stores that are jerking their customers around usually sub-in Asian catfish varieties called swai, panga and basa,” Robert DeMasco, owner of Pierless Fish in Brooklyn, a seafood wholesaler with a client list including many of the country’s most celebrated restaurants, told Salon. .

These catfish varieties don’t even rate compared to the more well-known durable darling of American aquaculture, tilapia. “There’s no way of knowing how swai and the others are raised, what kind of antibiotics are used on them— though, you can bet whatever it is, there’s a ton of it being used. There’s no way of knowing what they get fed,” DeMasco told the news outlet.

“In Asia—Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam mostly—there’s very little regulation and you know what’s crazy? Ninety percent of the fish Americans eat is coming from foreign countries,” DeMasco revealed.

Compare that to the 18% of the total supply of vegetables that are imported, and the less than 30% of total beef eaten each year that is imported, and the challenge ahead for well-regulated domestic fishermen begins to take shape.

“For the most part, the fish Americans eat is already filleted,” says author Olmsted. “The majority of it is already prepared and served in restaurants and we all know that means battered and fried, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for consumer education and that’s what it is going to take to cut down on fish fraud.

“This is the same thing that happened with the organic movement,” Olmstead told Salon. “It can be done, it will just take time and the kind of oversight that’s being signaled from New York.”

“In the fish business there are words that sell fish. ‘Snapper’ is one of those words. Another word is ‘grouper.’ It is really hard to sell a fish that is not called snapper or grouper, so of course they’re the most ripped-off fish in the store, but people just aren’t interested in lieu de mer, or even pollack, really. Turbot? That’s a nice fish,” says Demasco. “Very hard to sell.”

On menus people like descriptions. I think it’s the romance, the story in their head,” DeMasco continues. “‘Line-caught’ this, ‘day boat’ that.’ ‘Diver scallops’ is a big one. People love a diver in a wetsuit getting their scallop for them. There are some, sure. I know a lot of the guys. But how many menus in this city, this country have a ‘diver scallop’ on it? There aren’t that many divers. No. Scallops are dredged. ‘Dredged?’ Dredged is not a sexy word.”

One of the solutions is to know where your fish is coming from. “I’m a big fan of some of the branding efforts that are going on in aquaculture, it makes it easier to identify and patronize the good guys,” says Olmsted, adding, “There are good American outfits farming salmon, even shrimp. People want this stuff and companies know it.”

Research contact: @mannyhoward

Easy come, easy go: Trump seeks new chief of staff

December 11, 2018

Nick Ayers, who currently serves as chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, has turned down the opportunity to do the same job for President Donald following John Kelley’s departs at the end of the year, Salon reported on December 10.

Had he accepted the position, Ayers would have been the third chief of staff to serve the POTUS in the Trump administration—following Reince Priebus (January 20, 2017-July 31, 2017) and John Kelly (July 31, 2017-present).

Ayers, who has worked for Pence since July 2017—and previously served as national chairman for the vice presidential campaign in 2016—is known as a savvy political strategist with many contacts on the Hill. Before his close association with the vice president, the 36-year-old power player—named in 2010 as one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in politics under the age of 40—was executive director of the Republican Governors Association from 2007 to 2010.

“Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @VP, and my great colleagues for the honor to serve our Nation at The White House. I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause. #Georgia,” Ayers tweeted late on December 9

According to the Salon report, Trump himself alluded to the possibility that Ayers might not accept the job later the same evening, tweeting that “I am in the process of interviewing some really great people for the position of White House Chief of Staff. Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers, a spectacular person who will always be with our #MAGA agenda. I will be making a decision soon!”

It is noteworthy, the news outlet said, that almost seven years ago, the president criticized President Barack Obama for running through three chiefs of staff in less than three years — Rahm Emanuel, Pete Rouse (who served as interim), Bill Daley and finally Jack Lew, who left at the end of Obama’s first term.

“3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @Barack Obama can’t manage to pass his agenda,” Trump tweeted at the time. Yet once Kelly departs and is replaced, Trump will have a similar record for his own chiefs of staff.

Nevertheless, Ayers seems to be leaving the White House on good terms, with Pence tweeting on Sunday that “@nick_ayers has done an outstanding job as my Chief of Staff and I will always be grateful for his friendship, dedication to the @VP team and his efforts to advance the @POTUS agenda. Thank you Nick! Karen and I wish you, Jamie and the kids every blessing in the years ahead.”

Now that the president has been left in the lurch, several new candidates reportedly are under discussion—including Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), the chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Research contact: @MatthewRozsa