Has your hairstylist told you “I’m a beautician, not a magician?” Or, “How am I supposed to remember exactly how I did your hair the last time?” If so, perhaps you need to understand just what etiquette and mindfulness is required to get on your hairdresser’s good side.
1. Be realistic. Your hairdresser is a beautician, not a magician. Your hairdresser can give you Gisele Bündchen’s haircut, but can’t give you her face.
2. Come at least five minutes early. If you’re running late, please call ahead. Show the hairdresser some basic respect. This is a business, not fun and games.
3. Don’t ask a hairdresser to “squeeze” you in when he or she is already booked solid. To expect otherwise is to take time and effort away from other clients. You wouldn’t like being treated that way and neither do they.
4. Avoid seeing your hairdresser as your therapist. Hairdresser school does not teach about counter transference, projection, negative reinforcement, or personality disorders. If you’re looking for a therapist, all your hairdresser has is a tail comb and an opinion.
5. Grow old gracefully, not by being stuck in time. Some women think that if they keep their hair all one length the way it was in high school, everyone will think they’re still in high school. Guess what? You’re not. As you get older, you need to soften the lines around your face. Layers are the magic remedy.
6. Get medical attention where needed. Bodies and hair change as hormones change. If your hair is dry, listless, or brittle, or if it’s not holding your color or style the way it used to, see a doctor. If your hair isn’t over-processed, you could be pregnant (surprise!) or menopausal (yes, your hairdresser can tell).
7. Be respectful. Remember that a trim is not “just” a trim. It requires a hairdresser’s expertise, skill, knowledge, and time. Would you say to your dentist, “It’s just a tooth,” or to your doctor, “It’s just a leg”?
8. Tip generously if you live where tipping it required. That single bill you stuff into the shampoo person’s hands isn’t doing her any favors. A dollar bill doesn’t buy anything anymore. Tip her at least £3—more if your hair is long.
9. Don’t skimp when it comes to coloring. If you want to buy a bottle of color and do your own hair to save a buck, you can live with the consequences.
10. Realize that your hairdresser sees many clients and won’t have a photographic memory of your last cut. Some clients will say, “Cut my hair just like you did last time.” That always baffles. The average time between appointments is six to eight weeks. The average hairdresser has hundreds of clients. How is your hairdresser supposed to remember exactly how he or she did your hair the last time? If you want a carbon copy of a cut and style you loved, take a picture and show your hairdresser.
11. Don’t skimp when it’s your kids. Why do you think a child’s haircut should cost less than yours? Kids don’t sit still. Kids kick. It’s an intense experience!
12. Try to make a two-way conversation. Hairdressers see women at their worst. Their hair is wet, they have foils on their hair, they have no makeup on. There’s nothing for them to hide behind. So they tell hairdressers everything. The truth is, they really don’t care what you do; they’re only interested in your hair.