I’ll Help You Divorce Your Hair Stylist!
That’s right, I said it. I’ve unfortunately heard one story too many of how unhappy you are out there. A lot of you. And I’m here to help you navigate the waters. Complaints range in size and severity. From “It wasn’t what I asked for,” to “She hasn’t listened to me in a year!” One client of mine said even though she was unhappy with her stylist, she continued to stay with her for 6 years!
So let’s discuss why women continue to give up their satisfaction with their hair? First, I really do believe that as women we are genetically pre-disposed and raised to cater to others needs and put ourselves last. So part of this is in our nature. We don’t want to ask for what we want. We don’t want anyone to think we are a bitch. And as women we are already very good at reading facial expressions, body language, and using our intuition, or gut to help us navigate our surroundings in the world. Also, we dread the trial and error of finding the next person that may potentially only do “ok” with our hair type. In our minds, that means lots of mess-ups, and growing out something that should have been more Heidi Klum, than Halle Berry. And let’s face it, it is embarrassing if our hair is messed up. It makes us look like we are incompetent at selecting the proper stylist, or salon, which in turn makes us look like we are incompetent of making other decisions in life. These days society makes it seem like the choice of leaving your husband because you are unhappy is easier, than it is to leave your stylist. Oh the glory of hair!
Many of you are probably wondering about the etiquette surrounding the separation process. It’s actually very simple. Wanna know the secret? You control the money.
Option #1– Give your current stylist one more chance to get it right and tell him or her that you have been unhappy with previous visits. Explain why. Bring pictures of what you want. At this point, your stylist should re-consult with you like you are a 1st time client, and try to figure out what’s missing in their communication with you. They should be polite, and show sensitivity to working it out with you. If she brushes off your concerns, move on. If he/she once again doesn’t listen, move on.
Option #2– Just don’t re-book. When you don’t show up, they will know why. Either option is perfectly acceptable. Some stylists or salons will call if you’ve been missing for a while. This is a chance to repeat your concerns while standing firm on your decision. Other good things to say are: “I don’t feel like the two of us have the same vision”, “We just aren’t a match,” or “I think we have a communication barrier & have decided to move on.” Don’t be surprised if they ask for the opportunity to try again, or offer you a “special” to get you back in their chair. Part of this is a business tactic, but hopefully a stylist would say that because she truly does care. Even so, if the two of you are not a fit, then you are not a fit. Keep in mind that stylists consider themselves artists, and not every artist’s work is enjoyed by every person. We know this, so professional stylists will not be offended at your decision, and may even wish you luck or suggest a stylist they may know of that they think you might like.
Being a stylist who loves to do hair for many different reasons, I get it. I understand it’s scary, confusing, frustrating, and… it’s a process. But as a professional my number one concern is communication with my clients. This should be the concern of any reputable stylist out there. This is really the key thing to look for when selecting a new stylist. I pride myself on asking the right questions, being able to see or hear a “red flag.” In which case, my job is to ask more questions. And if their vision changes in 6 mos, or 2 years, I know I still need to be able to deliver what they want. Beyond that, it’s part of my job to keep their look current, and suggest new thoughts or options to them every time I see them.
Your first visit to a new salon is like an interview. Sure, the stylist is asking you questions…. but what are you asking her? What should you be asking her? This is your interview too. Please ask lots of questions! Let them know your concerns, or problems you’ve had in the past. If you’ve put box color on your hair, please say so. We are not judging, we need to know how to deliver what you want. Box color may pose a challenge that I need to formulate around. Pictures are welcome. And always ask if they participate in continued education! Any stylist worth her salt will say yes, and attend at least once a year. Ask what kind of continued education, and is it mandatory? Do they receive it in house, or attend trainings at a different locations? What did they learn last? As they answer you will be able to get a sense of if the education is forced by the salon and whether the stylist loves learning, or resents it. If the stylist is receiving continued education outside the salon you can bet he or she is paying for it on their own, because they love what they do. Any resentment towards continued education is completely unacceptable in the beauty industry. If you find yourself sitting in that persons chair… move on!
Let me give you an example of what a guests’ first visit with me entails. I ask what they are wanting to achieve or what their dream hair is, if they have had their hair similar in the past, if so, did they like it, and how much time do they usually spend styling their hair, how they feel about maintenance, and their schedule for repeat services and a close guesstimate on the pricing. I also try to offer solutions for anyone who informs me of budget concerns. I let them know about my passion for what I do, and explain that I want them to love their hair every time they walk out the door. Therefore, I guarantee my work, I give free fringe trims, free massages with all shampoo/conditions, and blowouts are always free as well.
Part of my job is suggesting ways to get the hair into the most healthy state possible. (We all want that gorgeous shine that we see in the celebs’ hair.) And making sure they can re-create the look at home, with the proper tools. With liquid tools, I explain why it will work for their hair, how much they will need to use for their hair type, and the amount of product for the desired result. I also explain how to use the dryer, brush, and flat iron to get results with ease while doing the least damage to the hair.
This is my standard of service, to every client, every time. So get out there, and make a change. Life is too short to be unhappy with your hair!
And P.S.- You can ask any salon for a consultation appointment, or a Blowout to test the waters before making the leap.
Happy Perfect Hair Hunting!
Xoxo- Kacie DeJesus
Sexy Hair Education Expert
This was a great post and very well written! I shared this with all of my girlfriends because we were just talking about this a few weeks ago! I have struggled with this for awhile, and now I know that I should not settle and how much more I should be getting from my stylist. Thanks Kacie!
This is some good advice and tips. I like my stylist and for the most part, I like the way he does my hair, but how do I approach him when I am not happy with the result after I have gone home? What is your suggestion to tell him I need it fixed, or more color without him re-charging me? I usually just deal with it because I can’t afford to pay twice or I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or confrontational. Your advice is appreciated.
Anonymous- First, the color will always be truest in the sunlight/natural light. So make sure the color you see isn’t being tainted by bad lighting in a dressing room, or your bathroom. Second, did you change your mind about what you told him? Many women will tell their stylist they love it when they leave. And they do. But then a friend or foe will make comments like “oh, it looks green”, or “it looks the same.” Beware of these nay sayers. What is their relationship to you, and are they sincere? Some times stylists have to fire clients because even though they loved it, they keep coming back after a snide comment from a sister/friend or husband. Lastly, do you feel like he gave you the color you both agreed on while in the chair? If not you should tell him so before you leave the appointment. Ask when you can get back in for him to “adjust” it. Because his idea of cinnamon, or golden maybe different than yours, it’s always a good idea to use pictures or look at the swatch book to help you choose the color. If you did that and the color doesn’t match up, or isn’t the same intensity from root to tip, then ask for an adjustment before you leave the appointment. The only charge you should be paying for after that is the cost of the color, never his time. Other than that, re-read paragraph 2. :) You are not being ungrateful/confrontational…. It’s YOUR hair… You should love it!
These IDIOT “hair stylists” NEVER DO WHAT YOU ASK THEM ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked for a one length blunt cut, showed her CLEAR pictures of the front and back of a COLLAR BONE LENGTH BLUNT CUT and this IDIOT cut the front blunt (where I was looking) and chopped 3″ LAYERS IN BACK so it’s like 2 separate haircuts and not only that but the covertly malicious moron cut off 3″ MORE than asked for so, here I am 5 months later (my hair grows painfully slow) and it’s just now reaching the length I asked for in the beginning except for the 3″ shorter layers in back. I suppose if I had asked for layers she would’ve gave me a blunt cut (who knows, I might’ve gotten a mullet!). At another salon I asked for angled layers around my face and a few long layers in back I walked out of that particular salon looking like Keith Partridge of the 60s Partridge Family. BEWARE OF HAIR STYLISTS ! They don’t like being told what to do by their PAYING CLIENTS and will do the OPPOSITE just for SPITE and still expect you to pay them. I’ve been to a dozen different ones mostly women and 2 men in the past decade and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS MESSED UP MY HAIR BY CUTTING IT WRONG AND CUTTING OFF TOO MUCH OR FRIED IT WITH COLOR!! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM. At yet another salon I asked for ombre and I left the salon looking like Morticia Adams. My hair later broke off and I had to cut it short after growing it out for 2 years. And that lady was the owner of a ritzy spa and salon with 30 years experience. Every time I went to one of these “stylists” I looked WAY BETTER when I walked in than when I walked out.
I don’t know what they are teaching them in cosmetology schools nowadays but from what I can see they aren’t teaching them ANYTHING except how to be an asshole. They could pull homeless people off the streets and give them a pair of scissors and a bottle of developer and they would do a BETTER JOB! I can cut hair better (and color better) than ANY of these idiots in my area. Evidently, only the celebrity types get good hair stylists nowadays. I will never again allow one of these IMBECILES to touch my hair. Never. Again. I’m sure there are still a few good ones out there but I’ve had 10 out of 10 bad odds so far. My hair grows too slow to take the “hair stylist” gamble again. I think I’d have better chances of winning the Power Ball Lottery than to get a hair stylist who will do what I ask and do it with accuracy. I’ve spent the last decade of my life waiting for bad cuts/botched color to grow out because of proud, incompetent fools. End of rant.