Bill Lawrence Salon, Adams Morgan

So, I made an appointment for a new style with Marissa at Bill Lawrence Salon. Now – to be honest – I never spoke with Marissa when making my appointment. I spoke with the receptionist. When I spoke to her I made it perfectly clear that this was a wedding day hair trial and I had long locks. I told her I wanted maintenance and a full style – this will take some time so I warned her in advance. She told me to come at 1pm and quoted me a price of $100 for maintenance and $55-$65 for the style. WOW. I have to pause in remembrance of that.

I get there at 1pm. I felt pretty happy about my expectations because I picked a relatively easy style. Granted, the picture I had to show Marissa (which I can’t seem to find now) was of a white girl – but still, it looked easy. The woman’s hair was wavy – like she’d had it curled and then the curls brushed out – from root to tip and it was gathered into a low side ponytail. (My fiancée likes my hair to the side:-) My hair is mid-way down my back; I’d think it can do a ponytail.

When it was my turn to get started, I introduce myself to Marissa and explain what I was looking for. She gets a worried look on her face and says that she can do my hair like the picture but in the “interest of time” she wanted to complete my maintenance first.

Side Note – for those of you who don’t have locks or don’t get them styled. When setting locks for a style, it’s always best to set the hair while wet. When getting maintenance done at the same time this means one of two things should happen: A) the stylist is very fast at performing maintenance and will be done before the hair starts to dry or B) the stylist does the maintenance and the setting of the hair at the same time. If the hair is not set while wet the desired set will not be achieved. What makes this more difficult is that locks dry slower when being set – meaning that the stylist has to spend more time with [you] than a typical client.
The fact that she seemed so concerned about time bothered me a little, as it felt like my desires for my hair style are to be sacrificed to her clock.

Marissa is a sweetheart and I enjoyed talking to her. She seemed knowledgeable about her craft. She used rather great smelling hair pomade made primarily of lemongrass. It’s made of all natural products so I grabbed a container to test.
Marissa completed my maintenance in about an hour and a half. That was about 30 minutes longer than at Twist It Sista. I have to admit that I liked Marissa’s maintenance a lot more. She took her time and made sure everything laid flat and held tight.

Once she was finished twisting my hair she told me that she didn’t have enough time to do my hair exactly the way I wanted or even the way she thought would look best. She told me she thought my hair would look best if my whole head was braided, set, dried completely, and then unbraided. After that she would style my hair.

That was what she thought would make my hair look best. What she was going to do was to braid my hair into one huge ponytail (without even a ribbon to hold the ponytail closed) and tell me to use my imagination for the rest. So I’m bummed. She’s obviously not thinking things through. She braided my hair ends about 4”-6” up and sat me under the dryer. She never checked to see if the ends of my hair were under the dryer, I did that myself.

After about 30-40 minutes of drying (my hair normally takes much longer than that) she takes me out. There is no bend or curl or anything to my hair. She pulls my hair into a side ponytail and sends me on my way – AFTER she reminds me that my hair will look much different on my wedding day.

I know it will, since I’m not coming back.

Maintenance $100
Style $30
Total $130 + tip

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