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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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