For great haircuts and haircolor at tiny prices, my favorite source is the SalonApprentice website. Here, apprentices from top salons — in New York, Arrojo salon (from TV’s “What Not to Wear”), Paul Labrecque, Oscar Blandi, Bumble & Bumble — post their needs for cut and/or color models. The charges run from $20 to $40; blow dry services are often free.

For years, I have had only positive experiences, at Arrojo, at Paul Labrecque, at Louis Licari and others.

Yesterday was my first miserable experience — it was at the Mizu salon on Park Avenue. A few weeks ago I’d had a fine color service at Mizu. While I was there, one of the stylists suggested I come in for razor texturizing of my hair. Subsequently I phone the stylist and arranged to come into the salon yesterday at 2 p.m.

I arrived at 1:45. With apprentice services, I xpect to wait, I expect everything to take longer than it normally would. I also expect common courtesy.  So I sat. And waited. A couple of people asked who I was waiting for; I told them, they said they would inform the apprentice.

A solid hour passed. Another half hour — and another. Finally, at 4 p.m., the stylist appeared. Things are so backed up, she says, and she will not be able to do my service. HUH?

Why couldn’t someone have told me this an hour ago, before I killed my free afternoon waiting for a haircut that never happened?

The stylist was sorry. I could come in next week if I wanted to. I didn’t.

The Lesson here: My mistake was to wait patiently for two hours when something was clearly wrong. This never happened anywhere else. Though apprentice appointments don’t always start on time, after a reasonable wait, say a half hour, ask if your service will, in fact, happen. And don’t ever return to a place where you are treated badly.