Bad news… I had to break up with my hair stylist last weekend.
It really sucks, because craft-wise, she’s pretty damn awesome. Customer service-wise, she had absolutely no respect for my time. No matter how well I tipped her, how punctual I was for my own appointments, how long I’ve been a loyal client, she often ran late and expected me to just put up with it. It was difficult, and completely inconvenient, but I had to put an end to our business relationship. While she may have no respect for my time, I certainly do.
Whether it’s your hair stylist, nail tech, or personal stylist, if you’re a respectful, paying customer, you deserve to be treated with the same amount of courtesy and consideration as you treat them. There are plenty of other beauty and style professionals around. If you’re getting shoddy service, take your business elsewhere.
No one wants to be an over-demanding customer who feels entitled to special treatment, but when is it completely reasonable to break up with your hair stylist?
- When her rates go up, but her quality of service doesn’t. Professional hair stylists should always be attending conventions, trade shows and classes to learn everything new that’s happening in the hair world. When you read about a new hair trend in Marie Claire, but your hair stylist has never heard of it, it’s time to break up.
- When he’s drama. If your hair stylist is constantly unloading all the negative bullshit going on in his life, ditch him. Your hair salon should be a sanctuary. You shouldn’t be paying your stylist $80, plus a tip, to listen to his drama.
- When she doesn’t respect your time. You’ve got things to do and goals to accomplish. If you made it a point to show up to your hair appointment on time, but your stylist doesn’t get you into her chair until half an hour later, move on. She’s obviously overbooking herself or filling her appointment book with inconsiderate customers who impede upon your own schedule. Respect yourself and find someone who knows how to manage her time and her business.
So once you’ve broken up with your hair stylist, what do you? First off, DO NOT COLOR OR CUT YOUR OWN HAIR! I mean, if you’ve done it before and are pretty good at it, then go ahead. But… if you’re the average woman with no beauty school education whatsoever, hold out until you get an appointment with another stylist.
Bite the bullet and audition several stylists until you find one you love. As you go through your search, have these hair stylists perform maintenance services only, such as root touch-ups and trims. Do not use a new stylist you’ve never seen before for a drastic hair service, like going from long hair to a short bob, or going from brunette to blonde. That’s way too risky.
Depend on several resources to find a new hair stylist:
- Ask your friends, neighbors and co-workers
- Post your desire for a new hair stylist on Twitter and Facebook
- Check out Yelp and see which salon in your area has the highest ratings
- Look for recommendations and reviews on your favorite blogs
- Try a local cosmetology school – these students work under the supervision of an experienced instructor, and you never know which one of them is a rising hairstyle star
And when you do break up with your hair stylist, be kind but honest. Let him/her know the reason why, but wish him/her the best. There’s no reason to turn the situation into a debate, because chances are that your hair stylist never had any intention of offending you and losing your business. Be the bigger person, and just move on.