What do I wear under the salon robe?
September 20, 2007 1:18 PM   Subscribe

What do I wear under the cape/robe at the fancy hair salon?

I grew up going to Supercuts, where they just velcro the sucker on you. Then I went to a place that had fancy robe/capes, but there was never anyone else there, so it didn't even occur to me to change(?), and I just put it on over my clothes.

This evening, I have a haircut at a fancy AND popular place. Last time, there was a weird closet, and places to leave your clothes and maybe there was a lady you were supposed to tip? And you get your robe from her? And all the other women in the salon are wearing these robes, and obviously you can't tell what to wear underneath because they're wearing robes. They look...naked. But that's weird, right?

What do I do? I tried to do what someone else did, last time, but I felt awkward just staring at her, waiting to see how far she stripped down. And it's similarly awkward to say to the robe girl, "Do I just get naked, or what?" And if I do have to deal with the robe girl, how much do I tip her?

I suppose I could just wear it over my clothes, but I'm curious anyway. I feel like I'm Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" and it's scary.
posted by unknowncommand to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
In my limited experience with these types of place, I've just taken my shirt off. I think that this to prevent your shirt from accidentally getting wet and/or hair dye on it if you are doing that.
posted by kimdog at 1:25 PM on September 20, 2007

I'll take a stab at this and guess that you're expected to remove any article of clothing on which you don't want to get hair, water, shampoo, spray or any other detritus of the hair-styling process.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2007

I've always just taken off my shirt, to keep it from getting full of hair bits.
posted by wayward vagabond at 1:28 PM on September 20, 2007

I leave my undershirt on, but maybe I'm weird.
posted by lekvar at 1:34 PM on September 20, 2007

If it's a place that also does massages and body treatments, some of the ladies may be naked or just down to underwear. I had a "day of beauty" once, and it just never occurred to be to put clothes back on after the massage.
posted by saffry at 1:38 PM on September 20, 2007

I always take off my shirt (leaving only my bra). Leaving a fancy salon with (quite literally) a hair shirt takes all the fun out of that "just coiffed and lookin' good" feeling.
posted by ROTFL at 1:45 PM on September 20, 2007

I just wear my bra. If I think I am going to be cold, I wear a tank top. In New York, I tip the woman who gives me back my clothes $3 (if she's just a coat check person). In Seattle, my stylist gets the clothes for me, so I don't add on to the tip just for the clothes.
posted by astruc at 1:50 PM on September 20, 2007

A combination of what has been said above.

The salon definitely offers other services, such as waxing, massage, pedicures and the like, where your street clothes could get in the way. Women getting those services will strip down to whatever level of nude they need (for waxing or massage, might be all the way).

If you want to look like the other clients in the salon, strip down to bra and underwear under your robe. Definitely take your shirt off as it prevents the "hair shirt" ROTFL mentioned. (If you are going to be wearing a shirt with a pullover neck, be mindful that taking it off and putting it on might mess up whatever they eventually do with your hair, so a button-down top might be the best bet.)

If you don't care what other people think and/or would rather not change, leave everything on.

If the robe girl stores your clothes, hands them back to you, takes your robe at the end, etc., you should give her a dollar or two -- or look around for a discreet little basket or jar in the dressing room for that purpose.

If she just hands you a robe when she comes in, and you do everything else yourself including drop the dirty robe in a basket at the end, don't tip her.
posted by pineapple at 1:50 PM on September 20, 2007

When I know I'm going to a salon, I always wear something like a tank top or a camisole as a layer with what I'm planning on wearing for the day. The stylist will be much happier if there's no high neck on whatever you're wearing but there's no need to strip down under the robe (usually they're very cold nylon anyway and that feels awful on my bare skin). So I take off whatever my top layer is (it's San Francisco; there's always a top layer), leave the tank top on and put the robe on over the tank top.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:17 PM on September 20, 2007

Woah! Thank you asking this - I just had the same experience, with a changing room for putting on the cape, and I couldn't figure it out. Didn't occur to me I was supposed to take anything off. Wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:38 PM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, folks. You would be surprised at how helpful your answers were, in terms of my not feeling like a freak.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:36 PM on September 20, 2007

You are so not a freak, I promise.
posted by astruc at 9:28 PM on September 20, 2007

And, feel free to leave your shirt on, as well. It's really up to you.

I'm glad none of my salons have a "robe girl" -- I would really hate to tip someone for that.
posted by amanda at 9:46 AM on October 13, 2007

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