I discovered a really cool way to ensure exceptional customer service when shopping for Christmas gifts: get a great haircut.

After leaving Salon Fontana (the studio of Francesco, my personal hair god) I felt a new sensation travel through my veins. Gone were the nagging holiday humbugs; I suddenly felt that my impossible to-do list could actually be done.

I walked into a crowded store and had to wait only a nanosecond before four salespeople tripped over themselves to serve the Customer with Great Hair. I selected the older man in the group. Experience = knowledge.

"I need a Moroccan sea bass charm bracelet," I said.

The other three staff shrank away. The gentleman's smile faltered for a second.

"Oh, we don't carry those," he said. But before I could turn away, he added: "Two shops west of us. Ask for Stella." With a wink he was off to serve the next person.

At the recommended store, Stella was waiting for me.

"We also have Caspian ones, 40% off," she said.

"I'll take two, gift wrapped please," I said as I crossed two names off of my list. "Now I just need a jade bust of Elvis."

She handed me my receipt and the wrapped items in a lovely shopping bag with soft rope handles. "Rudy's has them on sale. It's just east of the coffee shop."

And on it went. Salespeople met my gaze, offered helpful suggestions and one nice woman even confessed when an item was cheaper at another store. The power of being the Customer with Great Hair enabled me to get almost all of my Christmas shopping done.

I hope it still works for me tonight.