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March 04, 1990

Regarding "Weekly Ritual," by Paddy Calistro (Looks, Jan. 14): Weekly ritual? I would love to go back to being pampered and beautified weekly at a salon. But where to go? Any woman who is a victim of California salons sighed nostalgically at "Steel Magnolias," where women who went into Dolly Parton's salon actually looked better when they left than when they walked in the door.

California hairdressers seem to be trained to do only three different hairstyles, max. Forget what the customers ask for; forget pictures they bring; forget everything but getting them in and out of the salon as fast as the stylist can, dripping wet if the stylist has his or her way. (That way we can't see what's been done until after we've paid.)

I have looked for 10 years in Orange County for a stylist who could send me from the shop looking well-groomed, in a style that resembled something worn in the 1980s. Even a style that lasted as far as the parking lot would be a plus.

I've been sliced, diced, frizzed and fried. And, like everyone else I know, I've invariably had to go home and restyle my hair myself.

The problem is so consistent it has to be the training--or glaring lack of it--in California. When I moved here, I was appalled when I saw the hair of far too many California women damaged, shapeless, badly cut and frumpy. I couldn't understand why they didn't take any pride in themselves.

Now I understand. I don't have a jet on which to zip off to another state for a hair style, so I now have hair that is shredded, frizzed and so damaged it looks like hay (even though it isn't colored, and I religiously condition it).

How come a state that exports glamour via Hollywood can't get more sophisticated hairdressing skills to rub off on the hairdressers it licenses for the rest of us?


Mission Viejo

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