Have you ever left the salon secretly panicking? You went in hoping for a certain look but you hate the results you left with, and you’re too afraid to confront your stylist. Here’s some advice from the perspective of a hairstylist.
At the start of your hair appointment, lots of communication should be happening. If you and your stylist exchange questions about what color and cut you’re looking for, you are less likely to leave unhappy. This might mean showing inspo pictures, explaining what things you do and don’t like about your current hair, talking about how you plan on styling your hair day to day, and what is realistic for you going forward. A good hairstylist will initiate this conversation, but it’s okay if you ask questions too.
Nevertheless, there’s still a possibility you don’t like the end result, and I’m here to tell you how to handle it. Depending on the circumstances, you might handle things in a different way. There are times when the stylist flat out makes a mistake. Maybe the cut is uneven, or the color is just not at all what you asked for. Then there are times when your stylist did exactly what you asked for, but you just don’t like how it looks on you. And in other scenarios, maybe it wasn’t explained to you that your end goal hair might take a few sessions, and you don’t like the in-between phase.
Your Stylist Made a Mistake
Don’t forget that your hairstylist is human. We have bad days, and sometimes we genuinely make mistakes. This doesn’t mean you have to suck it up and deal with the uneven hair or the messed-up color. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to go to another salon to get it fixed. It might feel extremely awkward to tell your hairdresser that something wasn’t right, but I promise you that, as a stylist, I’d rather know when I made a mistake, and I’m more than happy to correct it. You are paying for this service, and we want you to like it when you leave.
One important thing I suggest is to tell your hairstylist before you leave your appointment if you aren’t happy. This goes for all scenarios of not liking your hair. There’s a chance if you tell them right away, they can fix the issue then and there. Or they can offer you a spot to come back in sooner than later. Telling them you love it when you’re in the chair, and then texting them later makes the entire situation more awkward and difficult to fix.
If you go to another salon to have it fixed, you are paying for an entirely new service. But if you talk it over with your stylist, she will fix her mistakes for free, and sometimes even give a refund if things went really wrong.
They Did What You Asked, But You Hate It
There are times when you want to try something new and drastic, and when you do it, you decide it’s not for you. Though this can happen to anyone, I usually see it when someone is going through something emotionally, and they decide that changing their hair will make them feel better. They’re unhappy with their situation, and changing their hair sometimes actually makes them feel worse. Or it may simply be that you wanted to try a new thing, and after doing it, you felt like it wasn’t the right look for you.
Either way, you don’t need to panic because there is a solution! If you’ve cut your hair short and you hate it, you might need to let it grow out until you can shape it into a style you like. Or, you can try extensions if your budget allows. But if it’s the color that bothers you, just ask your stylist if you can adjust it. I will note that if your hair was done as discussed in the consultation, then you might need to pay an additional fee to change it in this situation, because it’s not a mistake that was made and the stylist will need to cover her time and product to make a change. But it might be worth it to you if you really dislike how it looks on you.
The In-Between Phase
This situation gets a little trickier, but just know that the person doing your hair wants you to like it, so you can be open with them. Sometimes when the hair color you want is drastically different from your current hair, it takes multiple sessions to achieve the look you want. Since chemicals are involved, you want to make sure you aren’t rushing the process so that you protect the integrity of your hair. This might mean that you go through a caramel phase before getting to blonde. Or your hair might be a honey blonde before you can lighten it enough to do fantasy colors.
No matter the situation, it’s so important that before you start the coloring, you’ve communicated with each other about what the process will look like to reach your desired goal. Hopefully, your stylist fully explains what phases your hair will go through before you get your end result. If you had these conversations and you just decide it’s not worth the in-between phase and you want to go another route, just be open with your stylist and make a plan from there.
When It’s Time To Find Another Stylist
There are certain situations when it might be time to look for another stylist. If you have been with the same stylist for a while, and you’re regularly disappointed with your hair, then it might be a good idea to break up. It doesn’t always mean they aren’t a good stylist (or that you’re not a good client), it could just be that you have different preferences. Every hairstylist has their own unique style. Find the stylist who specializes in the service you’re looking for. Social media is a great place to go if you want to see their work.
I’ve been doing hair for several years now, and I feel like each year I gain a few more lifelong clients. We just click and have a good stylist-client relationship. But even with some of these amazing clients, there have been times that I’ve had an off day and made a mistake. It means so much to me when the client lets me know there’s an issue and they allow me to fix it. It shows me that they respect my work enough to give me the chance to make it right. But if I have a client who is regularly disappointed, there might be a stylist who is a better fit for them, and that’s okay.
Hopefully, these tips help give you options if you leave the salon feeling disappointed. Just remember that your stylist is there to accommodate you, so give them a chance to. Keep an open mind when getting your hair done, and let your hairstylist guide you in what style is practical for your hair. Honesty is the best policy in these situations, and the more you communicate, the more your salon trips will only be something to look forward to.
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