My Life As A Hairstylist

Salon owner, hairstylist, educator, product maker, photographer

Hairdressers! This Is The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Read


My blogs and videos are generally about a reality check, attitude adjustment and improving professional behaviour for hairstylists.

This is the most important and powerful blog I’ve ever posted. And I didn’t write it.

It came in as a comment on one of my other blog posts, and there is something in here for every one of us. I’ll leave it here without any further comment.

“I personally have found most stylists to be very pleasant people. In addition I would not want to ever hurt someone’s feelings or be rude in any situation.

There are, however experiences I have had in the last several months with stylists that have made me wonder if my communication skills are lacking, or is there a trend for stylists to only half listen, and then give you the look THEY want you to have, instead of what you asked for.

Also after I have explained what I wanted and ask them to reiterate it, and they do so, it still turns out to be not what I asked for.

These are lovely sweet stylists. I feel they somehow are distracted, half listening, or already have in their minds what they think I need.

I’m learning nowadays, its wise to bring a picture of what I want, to ask them to show me what they mean by words like caramel, smokey, cream, blend, undercut, build, pull, etc.
A lot of misunderstandings occurred because they were using terms of the salon trade which they did not explain to me.

Yesterday I was accused of trying to leave the salon without paying. I was not happy with my color at all. I was trying to pay and get out of there. I had never been there. I went to the waiting area up front, where I thought there was a reception desk.
I did not know you paid the stylist at the chair.

So not only was I shocked at what the stylist had done to my hair, because she did not listen to me, I was humiliated because I didn’t know where to pay, because both the stylist and the owner were actually angry with me because I did not like my hair.

I sat in my car and cried.

I’m 62. The stylist was about 25.

The rudeness of the stylist and the owner was breathtaking.”

11 thoughts on “Hairdressers! This Is The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Read

  1. That is so sad. Stylists like this are ruining our business. I have witnessed poor treatment by stylists to the clients in the past and those stylists are thankfully no longer in business. At what point in beauty school do they teach that attitude. We all need more compassion in this industry.

    • I just think, how would you feel if your mother was being treated so poorly. She may be a challenging client, but I always say this. Nobody other than a complete psycho wants anything other than to just leave a salon looking and feeling good.
      We are in the “make people feel good business.” It’s not always a home run but we sure as hell should be trying as hard as we can every day.

  2. Politeness and caring is becoming a lost art form,I’m afraid”(

  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! It seems to no longer focus on “customer service ” which is a sad fact nowadays. I as a stylist, in the business of which I consider my passion, for over 30 years, have decided I will no longer try to hire or rent to other stylist that do not believe in great customer service. I love being treated well as a customer wherever and whoever I’m doing business with, follow the golden rule, “treat people the way you want to be treated” it makes for a happy day behind the chair.

  4. The stylist and salon owner should be embarrassed to have treated this lady so poorly. The client is correct in that many stylists only half listen- which I find a combination of arrogance, laziness, and they simply don’t know how to achieve the look the client wishes for so they do what they know how because their knowledge is limited.

    In all aspects of the human experience, LISTENING is a lost art, and we hairdressers should be masters of this skill. We can’t get it right 100% of the time (perfection is a wasted goal anyway), but the chances of a successful service and a delighted client are vastly improved by tuning into the client during consultation.

    Focus on what the client is asking for, then tell them what is possible and how it can be achieved. If you have the knowledge to explain the whys and hows of what you do, the client should be at ease and enjoy the experience from beginning to end. And if you’ve truly listened, hugs and smiles will come your way.

  5. The art of the consultation, the art of listening and repeating back to acknowledge is huge, with that said its also educating guests on what will work for them. As educated stylists and colorists we are not bartenders serving up anything, we consult on face, hair, texture, and all the variables to create what would be best – its in that dialog that honestly coupled with good listening to offer the best custom version of what a person wants and to explain why one thing works and another may not. I sit facing eye to eye for all consultations, we use images and I always ask if they have a picture of a time where they liked their hair, its important to guide them in a construcive positive way – great topic thanks

  6. Wow this is a great example of what I’ve had so many clients tell me when I dive into why they are so nervous about the way their hair will turn out in the end, or when I have clients tell me they didn’t tell their last stylist they were unhappy with the end result because they were afraid to.

    It’s literally our job to give the clients what they want in the best possible way or tell them why we recommend something a little different than what they are asking for and make sure before we even start the service that we all have a clear idea of the end result. If we don’t do that we can’t say that we are good at our profession let alone build a clientele and succeed in this business. It’s so absurd to me that across the board I’ve heard horrible and almost shocking stories about stylists that have ruined their clients hair to the point of scarring them for future appointments. Also, if you can’t give amazing customer service to your clients or you can’t be nice at least to them then maybe you should consider a profession that isn’t basically 90% customer service oriented.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, I hope you wrote a yelp review about this behavior and attitude. Maybe the stylist will learn from her mistakes and try harder if she knows she made that big of an impact on your day. No client should ever cry in their car after they leave a salon, I truly hope you find a great place and a much more professional stylist to get you the results you wanted originally.

  7. Great comments and advice thank you. Off topic but I’m a stylist and I’m currently trying to figure out of leaving my salon is the right thing to do. Is the grass greener in a better managed salon or should I try harder.

    • It all depends on the situation. Sometimes a little change is needed in order to push yourself to the next level. But often that change can come from within. Get a new cut and colour and go shopping. Make some kind of physical or routine change that will make it easier to have an attitude change.
      If the salon is nice and kept up well and has nice owners who listen, i would stay.

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