Confessions of a Hairstylist

Dirty secrets about dirty brushes. And, can you tell a $600 cut from a $75 one?
8:16 | 05/03/13

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Transcript for Confessions of a Hairstylist
You may remember the old ad, only your hairdresser knows for sure. Well, they sure do, about everything, from rip-off prices to those stray hairs in the brushes, some of them run over your head. And men, you're in the cross hairs, too. Our cecilia vega sat in the chair to weedle out some hair-curling confessions. Reporter: From sandra bullock's long locks -- to jessica biel's perfectly messy pony -- to that famous anne hathaway cut -- to get their hair red carpet ready, the a-listers turn to this man. Adir abergel. When you have the talent, you have the talent. Reporter: Adir rarely does regular janes anymore. Probably because they can't afford him. What you are paying me for is 20 years of experience. This is something I love and i am passionate about. You are paying for my vision. You're paying -- why would season pay millions of dollars for a monet? Reporter: Monet? More like mo-ney. M-o-n-e-y. The price tag for this masterpiece? A whopping $600. Is this a monet? Hopefully it will be, you know? I'm going to give it as much love as I can. Reporter: We'll show you later if that love pays off, but do we really have to spend big bucks to look good? No way, says ilona shine, a master colorist at shin salon i santa monica, california, and a 15-year veteran of the industry. Tonight, she's lifting the dryer and letting you in on some closely guarded trade secrets. I am going to hell. Reporter: Starting with those hair-raising prices. Wait, the price is negotiable based on what someone looks like when they walk in? Yeah, well -- I've seen that happen at other salons. Where somebody walks in with a beautiful, you know, expensive bag, expensive shoes and then suddenly, whatever she was quoted at the beginning can end up being $400, just because they look expensive or rich. Reporter: And the deceit doesn't end there. Ilona confesses there are even more lies -- especially when it's a botched job. What happens when you've chopped off a side that you shouldn't have chopped off? They just chop another side to match it and they say, "oh, that's better for your face shape." "You look great!" The. Reporter: It seems like betrayal. So many women confide everything to their stylists, even treat them like therapists. They come in, they sit in my chair, and they tell me everything. Reporter: Nothing is off-limits. Sex, infidelity and, yes, even coke habits. But be warned. Ilona says, behind your back, your stylist is almost also always spilling your secrets. And judging everything about you. She needs to lose weht, that's a big one. Reporter: It sounds very mean girl-ish. It is. It high school. Reporter: Or perhaps -- a james bond movie. Some salons keep more tabs on you than the cia. Receptionists may make secret notations about you, like, "poor tipper," "bad attitude" or, the kiss of death, "always late." If you have a client who is constantly late, they your whole day. Reporter: You're going to take it out on me? Some people do. Reporter: How do they take it out? Here's the blow drier, here's a brush, blow dry yourself. Reporter: Wait, blow dry your own hair? What happened to the customer being untouchable? It's crazy, I know. But that's the reality. Reporter: But the dirtiest secret of all -- so, um, hair salons and sanitation, are they clean or dirty? Dirty. One client leaves, another one walks in. That brush gets reused again. Reporter: The brushes never get cleaned? Some stylists brushes, if they get cleaned at the end of the week, it will be great. I've seen someorrifying brushes with all kinds of color hair in them. Reporter: Scissors? Ah, no. Reporter: Never? It's not only nasty, it's against the law. California issued more than 10,000 citations last year to hair and nail salons and barbershops -- most for sanitary code violations. But we all know it always comes down to the money. Women in this country spend $75 billion on hair care each year. Ladies, most of us fork over our fair share, something i discussed with my own hair stylist, gabriel mendoza. You think your haircuts are $1,000 worthy? Of course they are. Wouldn't you say that? Reporter: I'm not going to pay you $1,000 for a hair cut. And fellas, don't get me started on the outrageous gender inequality at play here. Oh sure, john edwards may drop 400 bucks for that golden boy trim, and "jersey shore's" pauly d packs on the product to fix his situation -- no way I'm going without my hair gel. Reporter: But check out these other rich and powerful men who have sported famous fright fros. The donald, russell brand and, of course, illinois ex-governor rod blagojevich. You're fired. Reporter: These games are getting perfectly acceptable cuts at an l.A. Barbershop. But for most wouldn't dream of spending more than a cool 20 bucks. Whenever I told my friends i was paying that much, they always wanted to slap me. Reporter: Wait, a $20 haircut is -- seemed like a lot to your guy friends? Most of my friends pay $8, $10, for a haircut. Reporter: That got us thinking about adir and his -- um -- monet. Are his customers just paying for the glow of his celebrity cache, or is his $600 cut something that really stands out in a crowd? Do you think you can tell the difference, walking down the street, of somebody who paid $20 for a hir cut and somebody who paid $500? No. Reporter: Same haircut. No, I can't. Reporter: We had to find out for ourselves. So, we sent four women to four different stylists in los angeles. Each was charged a different amount, from the low $28 to $75, $200, and, well, you already know about adir. You look gorgeous. I love it. Reporter: We took the ladies to hollywood boulevard, right on the walk of fame for a very unscientific experiment. All of these woman have had lovely haircuts and your job is to guess how much each spent on their hair cuts. Some spent a lot and some spent a little. People of all sorts tried to match the dollars to the do. Missing each time. Ustruck out. Yeah. Reporter: And what about this purple-haired granny? Oh, no. I mes that one up. Reporter: You gave the $28 hair cut the $600 price tag. It looks $600. Reporter: It looks like $600? Maybe the guys would do better. Hardly. If I get one right, I'll be proud. Then brandon showed up. I know how girls are with their hair. I have two sisters. Trust me. Reporter: Ladies, reveal at the same time. Oh! Reporter: You are the first person to get all of these right. Let me just say. The hair dance. Okay. So, I was going to ask, can you tell the difference between a $28 hair cut and a $600 hair cut? Kind of embarrassing to say, but yes, I can, apparently. Reporter: But everyone else in our test couldn't. So, the moral of this tale? It might not matter what you pay, but who you pay. So, did you pick out the most expensive cut or the cheapest? We've been asking online at abcnews.Com/2020 and boy did we get an earful. Even when the price was right, outrage at charges that much. Let us know your thoughts tonight, use #abc2020 on twitter.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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