“I went to an expensive stylist, but it was horrible!”

I get comments about this ALL THE TIME, so I felt the need to elaborate a little more. I’m not trying to persuade those that are anti-salon, or frighten those that want to try out a new stylist.

I simply can’t understand why people don’t have the sense to see that there is good and bad with everything….everywhere.

The subject of hairstylists seems to be a little more personal to a lot of people, and that’s why I think they forget that it’s a little bit their fault too.

If you go to a bad hairstylist….don’t get mad at her for giving you a bad haircut. Ask questions, schedule a 10 minute consultation (usually free) the week before your cut or color.

In 10 minutes you will know whether or not you trust that stylist to give you the look you’re dreaming of. Most people just go with it to avoid an awkward situation and deal with the bad style why complaining about it everywhere else. It’s better for both of you if you just politely say…

“Thanks for your time, but I don’t think you’re the stylist I’m looking for.”

It all depends on where you go, and unfortunately there are more of the bad than good out there.

That’s true for anything in life….

1. There are more “bad” people on Earth than there are good.

2. For every 5-star hotel there are probably thirty 1-stars….or more!

3. Some women try on 20 or 30 pairs of jeans or dresses before finally finding the right one.

4. MEN, lol! How many perfect gentleman do you come across? Not many if you’re considering how many more are jerks or just not worth wasting your time on.

5. Doctors or other service career professionals…are just the same as hairdressers. There are plenty of them out there, you’re not going to like every doctor you have an appointment with, and you may have to try a few out before you find the one you want to stick with.

Skills and areas of expertise aside, our professions are the same. We must complete schooling, acquire and maintain a state license, attract and retain clients, consult (to identify the problem, asses the needs or wants, and provide a complimentary solution that is in the clients best interest).

THEN they may have to perform a task and/or prescribe (just as we suggest hair products) something to help the client in meeting their goal or solving their problem.

THEN they must hope that the client listened, took their advice, changed their habits, and remains satisfied with their service even after they go home.

Considering the uneven ratio of the good and the bad …

You don’t hear people ranting about how their gynecologist was SO horrible that they will never go to another one again.

“No way, sticking to good ol’ DIY methods from now on! I can do it with out that cocky over-licensed professional!”

“Never heard of anyone dying from using too much Monistat to treat their own yeast infections or using the wrong antibiotics that were tucked away in the medicine cabinet from last years ear infection.”

Maybe this comparison is a little extreme, but you can see my point. There will always be people who swear by at-home methods for many types of services.

I won’t get too far into this, but there are a lot of factors to consider about the people who swear that their only “very expensive” salon experience was a total disaster and they’ll never do it again.

Some of the variables are:

1) Location- Rural, Suburbs, City, Countryside, Culture, etc.

  • If you live in the country and there is only 1 hair salon per every 50 miles, then it will be the most expensive and almost everyone will recommend it or say that it’s the best. Doesn’t matter the service or quality that they provide….everyone goes because it’s better than driving an hour or more to the next salon and paying 2-3 times as much!
  • If you live in the city there may be 15-20 salons per every 5 miles, and in some cities it’s 40 or more! You’ll get recommendations from women (or men) with all different kinds of hair and hair dilemmas. Cities tend to have more ethinically diverse populations as well, so if your best friend is from Europe or Asia then you may not like their hairstylist as much if you are from Puerto Rico.
  • Not only do people from different states or countries have many different tastes and fashions, but the hair textures are immensely different! All stylists are different and one may be much better at cutting & styling someone with very thick, coarse hair opposed to someone with very thick, fine hair.

2) Availability of a wide variety cosmetology schools and continuing education opportunities.

  • If the nearest school or training center is 1 or more hours away, then your chances of finding a great stylist our of pure luck are going to be slim.
  • “Nearby” cosmetology schools or training does not include your local high schools vocational program. No offense, but they are in no comparison the the stylists taught at actual academies and institutions.

3) The consultation and how well you describe or show your stylist what you expect your hair to look like.

  • Don’t go to your hair appointment without a clue about what you want, and then complain when it doesn’t turn out how you expected.
  • If your stylist doesn’t ask you the right questions…then tell he/she that there are a few other things you would like to mention before proceeding with the appointment.
  • If you don’t feel that you described what you want very well, then you probably didn’t and it probably won’t look like you thought it would.
  • The complainers that don’t like stylists are the worst for not speaking up enough about their expectations in a clear way.

4) Personal habits and maintenance are a big deal and vary from person to person.

  • Do you use the suggested products or regimen that your stylist gave you? If you don’t go to a professional, then do you properly care for your hair? How do you know that you are using the right products and techniques if no one taught you?
  • So….sometimes the complainers aren’t telling you everything! Even more so, they are not considering their own bad habits or lack of hair care as a factor!


How can I find the perfect hairstylist if there are so few?

1) Do your research, and then do some more.

2) Check for stylists Facebook pages, salon websites, or blogs. Lots of clients have found me through my blog. They liked my photos and the styles that I create, so they knew (after consulting over e-mail, on the phone, or in the salon) that they would be happy with my work.

3) Ask your friends and co-workers who their stylist is if you like their new hair-do. Don’t forget to consider that persons style, type of hair, age, lifestyle, etc.

4) Ask that lady you see at the grocery store with the cut you want so bad. Women love compliments! Anyone would be thrilled to hear a stranger tell them how much they like their hair! They won’t mind the few minutes of conversation, and they certainly won’t mind telling you where they went!


Lastly, you went to a very over-priced male stylist that talked himself up A LOT.

All stylists say they are good, if not no one would make appointments with them!

Men are generally a lot more boastful than women are. In general, they like to “toot their own horn” whereas women are more conservative about showing off or talking about their talents or achievements.

I’m not saying that this is always the case! I don’t like stereotypes and I believe that no one should be categorized and labeled (just like many people do to hairstylists).
There’s just something about male stylists that women like.

They like it when a man washes their hair, it’s better. They like that for 2 hours a man (gay or straight) is telling them how beautiful they look and assuring them that this new color & cut will be awesome!

They love to say….

“Trust me, I know what you need and you will love it when I’m done. So just relax, grab a magazine, and let me do the work.”

It’s true! How often to men “take charge”?
We ask…

“What do you want for diner?”…they say…”I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, you pick.”

We say…

“What do you want to do this weekend?”…they say…”I don’t know, why don’t you plan something for us?”

Also, they are very good at saying we look great when they should be encouraging us to change into a different dress, or go back to blonde hair.

I could come up with a million reasons why women like male hairstylists. It’s not that they always do better hair, but it’s how they make you feel. Most of the male stylists I’ve worked with were sloppier, not as precise with haircuts, never wrote down color formulas, rarely measured or put any thought into the colors they were mixing…and so on. The clients didn’t care, because they love their male stylist and that makes up for the not-so-perfect hair at times.

The inspiration for this post came from the many reader comments on

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color.


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About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

One Response to I went to an expensive stylist, but it was horrible!

  1. […] “I went to an expensive and reputable hairstylist, but I didn’t get the results I was lo… […]

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