Any hairstylist can tell you—we are the “therapists” of the beauty industry. But, as opposed to having a fancy psychology degree listed on our resumes, our secret weapons of choice are our hot tools, our hands and, believe it or not, our ears.
When in our chair, you—the client—let us into your world in more ways than our beauty school instructors ever prepared us for. It is often shocking the transparency we encounter in between trims and blowouts. We’ve all heard the old saying, “Kids say the darndest things.” But let me assure you that we have heard it all. There are days I think I’m carving out abs from laughing so hard with my clients, but, then again, there are days where I find myself asking, “Um, is Mercury in retrograde again?”
All kidding aside, there are some things all stylists secretly wish you knew about your expectations, your service, and other common salon protocols. Ahead is a list of exactly that, though please understand none of the points are meant to taint or sway your next salon visit. But trust me when I say—if you’ve been coming to us for a while, we’ve likely been with you through multiple breaks-ups, career changes, a marriage, children and other major life events; so at this point, we not only know what you’d do for a Klondike bar, but we knew as soon as you walked in that you cut your own bangs.
So let us dive in.
1: When you are late for your appointment, you are potentially compromising your quality of service. We set aside an allotted amount of time for a reason. Within that span of time, we are assuring you that we can provide you with the best service possible. If that time is cut short, or we are forced to rush through it, we can’t guarantee the most optimal result.
2: A mid-cut critique won’t improve the result of your cut. Please don’t micromanage or overanalyze us while in progress.
3: You’re going to need to tell me what “just a little bit” means. Better yet— show me!
4: The salon is not a daycare center. If your child is not receiving a service, please don’t bring them with you to your appointment (unless it is a special circumstance and you have cleared it with us first). The salon may seem like an unassuming place, but it is full of hot tools and extremely sharp objects. General rule of thumb: children who are left unattended will be given a giant shot of espresso and a free puppy!
5: I am always going to recommend professional products because, nine times out of 10, they are what will best clean, stye and treat your hair. Please do not assume my recommendation is just a quick way for me to make more money.
6: You know your hair better than anyone else. Tell me all about it!
7: If you like my work, let people know. Referrals are a major lifeline within our industry.
8: Lying about cutting your own hair is laughable. We can tell from a mile away that those are not the bangs you walked out of here with last time, OK?
9: Leave your friends at home. With fewer obstacles to work around and less opinions, we can get you on your way with the best service and style—quickly!
10: If you are unhappy, speak up. This is one of those rare places where, if you don’t have something nice to say, you should absolutely say it anyway.
11: I cannot change the texture, density, or curl pattern of your individual hair strands—but!—I can easily manipulate it with products. Buy those products and you can do it, too.
12: Color doesn’t lift color. Ever. If I could make it happen, I would be on my own private island somewhere, sipping margaritas!
13: Only a select group of people can pull off a “wash and wear” haircut, if any. You shouldn’t expect this.
14: Celebrity hair is styled all of the time. Even in the pictures of them wearing baseball caps and ponytails, somebody likely manipulated it. Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston do not wake up with those gorgeous, perfectly-styled waves.
15: If we suggest giving you bangs, don’t immediately picture the scary bangs you had in your elementary grade school picture. Both bangs and cutting techniques have probably come a long way since then.
16: Be flexible if you are desperate for an appointment. This means being willing to forgo the blow dry service if you are being squeezed in between other clients.
17: Don’t cancel on us last minute. We understand things happen and situations arise, but if you are habitual at this, don’t be surprised if we ask you to pay for a portion of your service upfront.
18: Considering a drastic color change? Think sprint, not marathon! Give yourself a two- or three-month target (or longer), and plan it out with your stylist.
19: Just because your previous stylist did things a certain way doesn’t mean we want to be reminded of it every step of the way. Let us do our thing.
20: Instagram photos are hardly the complete picture of reality. With filters and Photoshop apps, rarely do you see an actual untouched photo on Instagram.
21: Trendy colors fade fast. No ifs, ands or buts.
22: Consultations are important to us. Please don’t rush us or say, “Just do whatever, I trust you,” or “You know what you’re doing.” Give us some direction.
23: If you just told me, in one breath, that you broke up with your significant other or quit your job, and then ask me to shave the side of your head in the next, chances are I will decline. Been there, done that.
24: Killing your hair is not an option. Sorry.
25: Please don’t wear anything clothing-wise that you would be devastated to see ruined. It rarely happens, but it does on occasion.
26: Be honest about the previous treatments you’ve done to your hair. (I.e.- chemical straightening, perms, or box-dye color). All can yield unpredictable service results if we don’t know about them.
27: Please don’t tell us something along the lines of, “My friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s landscaper’s neighbor went to cosmetology school and said you shouldn’t razor my hair.” Just don’t.
28: Keeping your eyes open while receiving a shampoo is potentially hazardous. No one wants shampoo in their eyes. Close them, relax and enjoy the scrub.
29: When getting an updo, please tell us if a pin hurts as soon as we put it in. Saying “Hey! Remember that pin you put in 16 pins ago? It hurt,” isn’t what we want to hear. Ever.
30: Frivolous oxymorons and requests such as, “I want a whole new look, but I don’t want to lose any length. Also I want to keep my color the same,” never make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
31: Suggesting that the salon be open on Sundays and Mondays is not the most ideal conversation starter. We need a day or two to ourselves and our laundry. Don’t you?
32: Please be cautious about who and what you are talking about during your appointment. You never know who else is in the salon.
33: If you are committing to a dramatic color change, please commit to the maintenance and products that go along with it.
34: Unless you are dealing with someone incredibly immature, we are actually not offended if you have to see another stylist in the salon if and when our schedules do not coordinate. C’mon, we are a team!
35. We are not lying when we say that trimming your hair is the best way to make it grow faster. While it may seem counterproductive to you, split ends continue to split up the entire end of the hair strand only to eventually break off completely.
36: Kids are sometimes squirmy. Please be respectful if we determine that it is no longer safe for us or your child and, therefore, are forced to stop the cutting service.
37: Being hassled about our prices makes us extremely uncomfortable. We set prices based on what we feel our time is worth. How can you argue with that?
38: Please don’t ask us why our products are expensive and say that you can get them cheaper at a drugstore. Chances are, if it’s at a drugstore, the product is either counterfeit or expired.
39: We are not medical professionals. If you are concerned about any chemical exposure while you are pregnant, please consult your doctor. It’s simply not worth the risk!
40: We all want the same end-goal here. This is not me against your hair. Happy clients are the best clients—show us a little faith!