A scene from “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover”

 

I’ve had quite a few requests for this post from friends, family, clients, & fellow stylists!  If you’ve watched Tabatha’s Salon Takeover then you’ve seen a firsthand glimpse at salon no-no’s!  None of us are perfect and we all have our off days….but if several of these things are happening on a regular basis it’s time to switch.

I feel that in general most people are hesitant to change stylists whether it be between salons or chair-hopping.  Sometimes your fear of what you will get overcomes your feelings about what you are getting out of your salon appointments.  As long as you choose wisely you could be on your way to happier hair in no time!

 

Here are a few signs that it’s time to get a new stylist….

 

1.  Your stylist is constantly texting, taking phone calls, or cigarette breaks during your service.

Smoking, chatting, and digging for a dangler?

 

I’m pretty sure most of you can agree that this is a number one pet peeve when you’re at the salon!  I’ve had this happen to me before I became a stylist and it drove me nuts then!  You are paying good money for your stylists time and full attention.  I can say from experience that distractions of any kind aren’t good for the outcome of your hair.  You deserve one-on-one time with your stylist during your appointment.  It shouldn’t be constantly interrupted because her boyfriend is texting her or she is constantly answering the phone.  At my salon our phones must be kept in our break room, no exceptions.  It helps us to keep a happy and professional atmosphere while you’re getting your service!

Sometimes there are exceptions like when the receptionist steps out for a break and no one else is around.  As clients you can’t be harsh about every little thing.  There will be moments when we do what we have to do!  But texting in-between snips is simply unacceptable!

As for the smoking….I don’t think I need to explain that one….ewww!  Do you want those nasty nicotine fingers in your face?

 

2. Your stylist is “multi-clienting” during your service.

Ever felt like your stylist forgot you were under the dryer?

 

I know that some stylists do this everyday and depending on what type of salon you’re at it’s just going to happen.  If someone needs a bang trim while your color is processing then who cares!  She has about 35 minutes to kill and a 10 minute bang trim or wax is bound to happen.

It’s not okay when you’re color is processing and she’s taking a 45 minute haircut.  The client who needs the haircut is probably the one getting the short end of the stick here but chances are your color is going to be rinsed out 10 minutes later than normal, or worse.  If you’re getting highlights it needs to be checked regularly and if she’s doing a haircut you basically don’t exist for the next 30-45 minutes.  Now that you’re appointment is running behind your stylist will probably end up rushing through your haircut and blow-dry.  Does this sound like a quality service for your money?

 

Stylists squeeze clients in-between clients for many reasons:

  • To make more money in less time
  • To please a demanding client (I talk about this in 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Stylist)
  • To correct an earlier mistake in scheduling or if she was running behind
  • Your stylist has trouble saying “No”
  • To help out another stylist in need

Now that you know a few of the reasons why, I leave it up to you to make the judgement call.  These things happen.  For example, I have taken a child’s or men’s cut during a color service.  It takes 30 minutes or less and as long as I know that my highlights are processing safely then we’re good to go!  But….if you’re sitting under the dryer for longer than 30 minutes….you’re among the forgotten and hopefully it’ll be your turn again soon :).

 

3. Your hair isn’t in as good of a shape as it used to be….or it’s “fried”.

Oh boy…she looks concerned!

 

Have you ever heard the phrase “Fried, dyed, and laid to the side!”?  Well, now you have and if you’re hair is hanging on by a thread then here’s your sign.  Just because you get highlights or color regularly does not mean that your hair should be in bad shape.  This is a common misconception among clients.  I always hear “Well, maybe we shouldn’t keep doing highlights….I don’t want my hair to be damaged.”.  If you feel that way it’s probably because your last stylist didn’t know what she was doing and your hair did get some serious damage.  Your stylist doesn’t have to be a certified haircolorist to be good at color.  Although certification is the ultimate guarantee of experience, another indication is when you’ve been getting color and your hair still looks and feels great.

 

Signs that your stylist is damaging your hair beyond repair:

  • Lightener is being applied from roots to ends every time.
  • Color is being applied from roots to ends every time. (There are exceptions with certain types of color, but not permanent!)
  • You are getting a perm and color on the same day or in the same week.
  • You are getting a relaxer and color on the same day or in the same week.
  • Your stylist insists that you take at least an inch off every time you get color….she’s cutting off EVIDENCE!
  • You are sitting under the dryer for excessive amounts of time with color or highlighting services.

Can we say OVER-PROCESSED?!

I’m guessing that about 75% of stylists are applying color incorrectly(and it could be higher).  Throughout my career I have seen MANY stylists put lightener from roots to ends on each foiling application.  This is insane!  It’s so unbelievably bad for your hair that you will probably have breakage after 2 or 3 services depending on the condition of your hair before you started.  If your stylist knows what she’s doing she will stagger the lightener with her brush, avoiding ends to preserve the integrity of your hair.

A good indicator that your color isn’t being applied properly is something we as certified haircolorists call “blonde build-up”.  Slowly but surely your ends will be solid blonde and your roots will start to look like they’re barely being touched up.  At this point you have breakage, your hair is hard to comb when wet, and your ends look unnaturally bright.  I could go on about this for days…..so the general idea here is it’s definitely time to change stylists!

 

4.  Your stylist talks about their own problems more than yours.

Our job is to listen to you and your needs. Clients come to us for beautiful hair and a little therapy, not vice-versa!

 

We’ve all experienced this at some point….the Debbie Downer!  A stylist/client relationship explores many topics of conversation during a service.  If you’ve been with the same stylist for a very long time then chances are you vent to each other and share stories.  This is perfectly fine, especially if both the client and stylist are okay with it and both benefit from the conversation.  On the other hand, if your stylist does nothing but talk about her baby daddy issues, ex husband(s), how much her job sucks, how tight money is, in-laws, her list of health issues…you get the picture.  This is not a good sign!  Chances are there’s way too much wrong with her life for her to have a clear mind while making decisions regarding your hair.

I have clients that share some of the same dilemmas that I do and we may talk, share advice, and laugh it off from time to time.  That’s considered a healthy conversation in my opinion.  Although sometimes we may go on a rant, a good stylist wants the appointment to be about you.  I feel that a hair appointment can be a huge outlet for some women and I strive to listen, relate to them, and offer my insight or share a similar experience.  Your stylist is there to help you, you are not paying  to get a great color but have to listen to someone else’s problems.   It’s all about making sure that you feel good about yourself and your hair when you leave the salon.

 

5. Your appointments are constantly being changed.

Mix-ups happen, but if they happen too often it’s time for a change!

 

This one is pretty simple.  Stylists experience appointment cancellations on a daily basis.  Of course we don’t like it but your stylist should not be cancelling on you!  It’s understandable if your stylist is out sick or an emergency pops up.  If you’re feeling like you constantly get that phone call…“I’m sorry but so-and-so won’t be in today and we  need to reschedule your appointment.”……then it’s time to make a switch.  I’ve seen it happen quite a bit and I don’t know why the clients stay loyal.  It’s a two-way street, if you are loyal as a client then we should be loyal as a stylist!

 

 

 

Decisions, Decisions….

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons on whether or not to stay with your stylist, there are a few things to consider.  Are you going to change salons all together or are you going to chair-hop?  If you love your salon but not your stylist then stick with it and find another stylist to better suit your needs.  If the whole package just isn’t cutting it anymore then maybe it’s time to start googling other salons in your area.

  • Chair-hopping– There are some rules to this option.  I have seen it quite a bit and I think that clients deserve to know the stylists point of view.  We don’t take it personally, we understand that change is normal and we’d much rather you be happy.  If you express your concerns a good stylist will happily match you with someone you will like. On the other hand…..if you chair-hop and talk about your previous stylist….you will probably lose everyone’s respect in that salon.  If you’re willing to talk trash about a stylist two stations over then who’s to say you won’t do it again.  And yes, we label you.  You’re probably hard to please and we all know it’s not the first or last time you’ll chair-hop.  Also, don’t expect to chair-hop numerous times and continue to expect special treatment.  Every stylist, including your first,  knows your tendencies and probably won’t strive as hard to please you or take unnecessary requests.  Your just another client who’s just going to chair-hop again!
  • Switching Salons– If you switch salons be sure that it’s a decision your ready to make.  Permanently.  Think of it as making a job change.  Your not going to take a new job unless you’re sure you don’t need your old one and you’re going to stay at the new one.We understand if it doesn’t work out and you come back to us, but don’t try to act like you didn’t get a color or cut somewhere else.  We already know!  Any stylist can instantly identify someone else’s work so just be honest.  At the same time don’t expect the special treatment you may have received before for being a loyal client.  You’re now back to square one, it’s kind of like breaking up and getting back together, trust must be rebuilt.  And if your hair got jacked up…don’t expect a miracle just because you came back to the stylist with better skills.  It was your mistake and now you’ve got to pay the price…..time, it takes time to correct hair boo-boos!

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits

18 Responses to Signs That It’s Time to Get a New Stylist….

  1. Connie says:

    I recently got my haircut by a stylist that someone I know recommended. I went from pretty long, about mid-back, to short, collar length. I loved the first cut. When I went back for a trim about 2 months later, I was running late to my appointment. The stylist works out of her house. She’s been doing that for many years and has a day job. When I got there she was cutting someone elses’ hair, an older man, who had very little hair. It took her about an hour. A little long I thought, but since I was late I didn’t mind or say anything. I sat in her living room waiting for her to finish. When she got done with him. She brought me into her dining room, where she does her hair cuts. When she was done she had me come stand next to her in her formal dining room and we looked in the mirror at my hair. The lighting was dim so I really couldn’t see too well but I thanked her & told her it looked great. Then she started sweeping back my hair from my face on the side she was standing on. As she did she was stabbing her nails into the side of my face very hard over and over. It was really painful. I almost hauled off and hit her. I finally drew back and she stopped. When I got home I realized she had butchered my hair. She cut it on some kind of bias angles and now my naturally curly/wavy hair is bone straight and looks like a man’s haircut. I just tried to put rollers in it but for some reason, even though I can get the hair around the rollers, it won’t stay on the rollers. The techniche she was using and having me put my head down at times in weird ways was very strange but I didn’t think or say anything about it at the time. I was freindly and talkative during the cut. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. It’s going to take a long time, maybe months or more for my hair to grow out to where it can be corrected. I don’t know how anyone could do this to another human being so maliciously. I paid her well. She said she would charge me $15.00 but I paid her that plus another $6.00 (she doesn’t shampoo. You have to come with your hair shampooed and in a towel) I’m almost in tears everytime I look at my hair. Do you have any suggestions to fix it and why would someone do something like this?!? The only thing I can think of is because I was late (I apologized for that profusely) and maybe shouldn’t have talked as much, though I didn’t complain and all my conversation was cheerful and positive. I’ve come to think that if I’m ever going to be late again to an appointment I will call, cancell the appoint ment and NEVER go to that salon again!! I don’t know what else to do. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you.

    • Erika says:

      That’s very strange….I don’t know why your stylist acted that way or if it was intentional….but at-home hair just isn’t the same. She could have been taking a long time in hopes that you would say you had to leave and reschedule(that’s what it sounds like and I’ve seen stylists do that).

      Is there a mirror in the room where she’s cutting your hair? If not…then that’s one red flag. We need mirrors. We’re taught to use the mirror to create the perfect style/cut. The only at-home salon I would recommend is one that is built and operated as an actual business. They should have a salon chair, shampoo bowl, mirror in front of the chair, etc. It’s awkward to go to someone’s house for a haircut….and even more so if you’re just sitting in a chair in their dining room. I will do that for family in the garage if they really need me to and can’t make it to the salon…but only family.

      On your hair….

      I need to see your hair before I can give you really good advice about what to do while it grows out. You can send me a photo via my contact page or through my Facebook page. I can promise you there’s always a way to make it work!

  2. Holly Harvey says:

    Hi, I have dark hair and had used ION dye from Sally’s to cover my roots. I waited six months befor going to a new stylist at this really raved about salon. I live In a rural area and most of the stylists have damaged my hair or not listened to me. Anyways, I wanted to go from a brown fade into an ashy blonde. I told the stylist about the dye I had put on it months ago, I also told her I wanted my hair done in three or four stages to keep it from being less damages as possible, the first round went well, s lightened my hair to a lighter brown and put a few highlights n it. The second time was bad, she had some blonde highlights all the way to the top of my head (with the hair style it’s like balyage: an even amount of brown that fades into lighter colors) she totally left a jagged line of color so I called and asked for her to fix it, I got in less than a week and she put more bleach in my hair and set me under a dryer for a very long time. When I got home I noticed that the top layer of my hair was about three inches long and she had tried to blend and hide it while styling my hair. Now my hair is severely fried. I went fro, having waist length hair to hair to the very top of my shoulders and the top layer is only three inches long and it is damaged one inch from th scalp. I can lift my top layer up and it is also fried off..I look like I have a mullet. I specifically told her I wanted to take my time to get this color, and if she thought it wasn’t reasonable to tell me…I did NOT want my hair damaged. Now I’m a stuck in this nightmare, I wear a hat all the time out of embarrassment and people know me for always having my hair fixed and makeup done to perfection. I am currently looking for a wig to wear. I am so embarrassed about this. What do you think she did to my hair? I even paid for an Olaplex treatment each time. Please help!

    • Erika says:

      That’s just awful…bleach and heat are a bad mix! IF I use heat with it then it’s only for a few minutes, and I haven’t done that in years. They really should have given you your money back.

      Is your hair that bad…to need a wig? There are things you can do to style damaged hair while it grows out and you treat the damage.

  3. Holly Harvey says:

    Hi, I have dark brown hair and had used ION dye from Sally’s to cover my roots. I waited six months befor going to a new stylist at this really raved about salon. I live In a rural area and most of the stylists have damaged my hair or not listened to me. Anyways, I wanted to go from a brown fade into an ashy blonde. I told the stylist about the dye I had put on it months ago, I also told her I wanted my hair done in three or four stages to keep it from being less damages as possible, the first round went well, s lightened my hair to a lighter brown and put a few highlights n it. The second time was bad, she had some blonde highlights all the way to the top of my head (with the hair style it’s like balyage: an even amount of brown that fades into lighter colors) she totally left a jagged line of color so I called and asked for her to fix it, I got in less than a week and she put more bleach in my hair and set me under a dryer for a very long time. When I got home I noticed that the top layer of my hair was about three inches long and she had tried to blend and hide it while styling my hair. Now my hair is severely fried. I went fro, having waist length hair to hair to the very top of my shoulders and the top layer is only three inches long and it is damaged one inch from th scalp. I can lift my top layer up and it is also fried off..I look like I have a mullet. I specifically told her I wanted to take my time to get this color, and if she thought it wasn’t reasonable to tell me…I did NOT want my hair damaged. Now I’m a stuck in this nightmare, I wear a hat all the time out of embarrassment and people know me for always having my hair fixed and makeup done to perfection. I am currently looking for a wig to wear. I am so embarrassed about this. What do you think she did to my hair? I even paid for an Olaplex treatment each time. Please help!

  4. Ashley Atton says:

    I’m worried my stylist doesn’t know what she’s doing. I’ve been trying to get my hair platinum and my hair has been bleached 4-5 times and it’s still not blonde. I have a lot of dark orange pieces. Is that normal?

    • Erika says:

      No…unless your hair was super dark and/or had been colored several times. Even when someone has dark hair and wants to go light, I tone their hair so there’s no orange or other unwanted tones.

  5. Gradyn Carthon says:

    I recently called it quits with my hair stylist. I’ve been going to her for 2 years. I could tell that she was still developing her techniques but I haven’t been happy with her last couple times I’ve seen her. The last straw was when she botched a coloring, then cancelled 20 minutes before a “fix it” appointment. She’s constantly cancels or reschedules. I felt like my time was disrespected and I don’t feel bad about making a change.

  6. Bre says:

    I love my hairstylist but she is now recently doubled the price of a highlight and color was 60$ now 85$ and I have a friend in a different salon that charges 60$. The other reason is she made my blonde 2 different tones so when its put up u can tell where my roots was -.-

    • Erika says:

      Well, if you’re not happy then you should definitely switch! I would much rather have a client tell me why they are unhappy or just go to another stylist than stick with me and be displeased. Some people don’t switch because they don’t know where to go or they’re scared.

      Raising the price of your services by $25 is outrageous. Price increases should be done in increments(like $5 or $2 if prices are generally very low in the area). If it is done once per year or only when a certification is earned then clients will appreciate it more and be happy to pay a little extra.

      There is one other explanation….your stylist is adding for hair length, toner, flat-ironing, etc. Even if that is the case….you should still be given a breakdown of services and costs.

      • Erika says:

        In response to your hair being 2 different tones of blonde….

        It depends on where the blonde tones are. Do you get an all-over blonde and there’s a difference in color going down the hair shaft. Or…is your stylist adding in a blonde low-light for dimension? If it’s the low-light then it will not make your regrowth more noticeable, if anything it should conceal it a little bit better.

  7. Teresa says:

    I know this is an old thread, but I need help! I really like my stylist and last time we both forgot (maybe she doesn’t want me, anymore) to schedule my next appointment. My gray is really showing. My last appointment with her was 2 months ago. I’ve been sick. Anywho, I called Tuesday to get an appointment the same week and she said she is completely booked for 2 weeks! She asked if I wanted her to call me if she has a cancellation and I said please! Then she asked me if I would like the next appointment. So, in a nutshell, my hair looks awful and I need some root touch up. Got any advice?

    PS. I am a young 60 and have dark brown hair with a mixture of gray. I get base color and highlights to help hide the gray as it grows. I normally go every 6-7 weeks.

    Thanks!

    • Erika says:

      It was probably just a mistake, especially if she was very busy! Are you happy with your haircolor? If you like her and she does a great job, then I would stick with her.

      If you’re a very loyal client and you’ve been going to her for a long time, then she(most stylists would) should do her best to work you in. I have come in early or stayed late for a client, and I’ve even done it for a new client!

      If she feels that she can no longer make you happy, then she should tell you that and refer you to someone that you’re more compatible with.

  8. thecasualcat says:

    I love my stylist but she is out of town and it has been hard to get a day off to see her. She suggested I try someone else in the salon. I ended up going somewhere else . I would like her to do it. I left a message with the salon but usually I don’t hear back till she gets in though which is about four days.

    • Erika says:

      If you really like her, then I think you should be persistent with your phone calls(a few times per day) until you hear back/are satisfied.

      I RARELY suggest that a client of mine see someone else in the salon. IF I DO….I will give my client the stylists name and leave instructions with that stylist as to what my client prefers and/or the color formula and technique to follow (this is a RARE occasion). Were you happy with the results from the salon that you went to when your regular stylist was not available?

      The other possibility is that your stylist may not feel compatible with you/your needs. She may be trying to get you to see someone else. That does happen, and I’m not saying that’s what it is, but just follow your gut. When you find someone that you like, does your hair the way you expect, and works hard to fit you into her/his schedule…..then stick with them!

      Great hairstylists always make an effort to fit in their regular/loyal clients! If your stylist isn’t making that effort….maybe you should look elsewhere. Good luck!!!

  9. Carol says:

    My problem isn’t my sylist,she’s awesome! The problem is she lives 3 hrs away and it’s hard to keep making regular appointments.I’ve tried numerous times to find someone in my town,but every place I’ve gone has messed up my hair,didn’t listen to me at all and I left there feeling very unsatisfied!

    • Erika Brown says:

      I know the feeling! I live in a rural area and I just wish I could do my own hair! I have to drive about 2 hours to get to the girl that I really like, and it’s rare. Do you get color, or just cuts? I might be able to help you find someone…..

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