I've been using Rudy's on and off for over ten years - in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles (Silverlake and Santa Monica).
It's hard to communicate how frustrating Rudy's Santa Monica can be. On one hand, I've had many of the best haircuts of my life from this shop. On the other hand, I've also provided exceedingly explicit instructions to the stylist and received the exact opposite - getting some of their employees to wake from the deep trance-like state in which they reside is nearly impossible.
I can't be much more explicit than saying ""please don't take off more than a quarter of an inch."" It's maddening to communicate so explicitly, and then have someone completely ignore you. It's as if they have an idea for your hair, that they would rather you look a certain way. That, of course, is completely illogical - they simply want to get the cut done and move on, and they're defaulting to a job that's easy and quick for them. Taking the time to more carefully measure the ends and compare to the customer's expectation is more work.
At first I thought it was because I was a man, and my hair approaches mid-length - but then I red CELESTE T's review on Yelp:
""She asked me how much I wanted to take off and how I felt about the length - I said not a lot, just a trim. If taking 3 inches off of one layer is a trim, someone tell me what to ask for or else I'll never get another ""trim"" again in my life!""
This is exactly the same problem I have had on a regular basis.
I have tried to get it over the edge (length-wise) several times - many times their staff was thoughtful and attentive and did EXACTLY what I asked for. The problem is that some of the kids that have other things on their mind, and need to get you in and out of that chair extremely quickly.
Ultimately, it becomes a matter of consistency, communication, and trust and whether or not you can expect a very basic trim for $24 plus tip. The answer here is no.
Cons: It's a roll of the dice