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11 BAD Salon Manners You Want To Avoid
Do you ever think that any of the conversations that go on in those hair magic-making backrooms are about you?
I’m pretty sure that by the end of this list you will find out whether or not you have been the hot topic in a hair salon’s backroom bashing’s.
Let me tell you that a hair salon’s backroom is one of the funniest and raunchiest spots I have ever had the privilege of being apart of.
The hair salon’s backroom is nothing like any other backroom in any profession, field, or whatever the job is, a hair salon’s break room is in a class of its own.
The backroom to a hairstylist is sacred, exclusive, and very personal to a professional Cosmetologist, salon’s backrooms are incredible and such a great bonus to the profession of Cosmetology.
Everyone wants to know what goes on it there and I thought it would be fun to compile a list of topics that have always been a dominant conversation in the backrooms of salons.
Without giving up too much of the sanctity of the hairdressers backroom, I have compiled what I like to call the…
This is a list of shit that stylists gripe and gossip about in the backroom of the things that clients do to piss us off so much that we add the “Bitch fee”.
What’s a Bitch Fee??
A Bitch Fee is an annoyance charge that may be applied to your end bill if you piss off your hairdresser too much, and yes it’s real.
How much is a Bitch Fee??
It depends on how much of a bitch you are being, lol.
I have only ever had to use the Bitch Fee 3 times in my 22 years as a professional Cosmetologist but trust me I have wanted to add it many more times.
So, let’s get into the Top 10 things your hairdresser hates that you do that will get you the wonderful added Bitch Fee from your hairstylist.
the bitch fee list
1. Totally hate it when you are late
Totally hate it when you are late.
Hairdressers can be running late, but you can’t because it fu**s up our whole workday.
Obviously, things happen like a meeting ran late, traffic is bad, there was a train, or you’re fighting in the parking lot with your boyfriend longer than you thought.
We can’t control the things that are out of our own hands, totally Ok, and not the problems.
The problems are:
First, nowadays there are so many different portholes to be able to communicate with one another so there’s really no excuse for someone not to be able to communicate to another person that they will be late.
Second, are the reasons behind someone being late, some reasons are just plain dumb and ignorant.
A longtime client I had, had told me he was stuck in traffic and would be a few minutes late for his haircut.
He was my last client of the day, it was 6:30 p.m. at night, and he showed up walking in 25 minutes late for his 30-minute appointment, and smugly said sorry.
His reasoning was he had to finish the last few golf holes with his boss at the golf course, I was livid.
I could have been at home eating dinner with my family but this jag-bag decided to go ahead and finish up the last couple of rounds of golf rather than be honest with me about where he was so I could choose if I wanted to reschedule him.
Most hairdressers work on 30 minutes time increments to complete haircuts, touch-up colors, and even partial highlights.
That means if someone is running 10 to 15 minutes late for their appointment they’ve already missed half of their appointment which now leaves that hairdresser to choose to either take the appointment or re-schedule it.
If the hairstylist chooses to take the late appointment, she now has to catch up those 15 minutes somewhere, somehow in her day so that she can smooth out her schedule.
It’s not fun, it’s hard, it’s stressful, and it can be incredibly overwhelming especially if your a new stylist in the salon working.
It took me years as a hairdresser to be able to find certain tricks, steps, or ways to adjust my schedule so that I can have the ability to catch up time that was lost from a client is late.
If you want to ensure that you get the best service from your hairdresser then I would suggest that you show up at least 5-10 minutes before your appointment.
I know for myself I can oftentimes run ahead of schedule since I know my clients so well my hands can move swiftly through their hair so if I have a client sitting there who shows up 10 minutes early I just might be able to take her 10 minutes earlier.
The point is that it’s in better form to show up at least 10 minutes before your appointment as opposed to obviously 10 minutes late.
2. The anti-product & anti-blowdry clients
The anti-product & blow-dry girls.
Honestly, it’s not even fun having arguments with them.
The topic of no products and no heat on hair is often misguided by personal and emotional feelings rather than facts.
Countless times in my chair I will have clients tell me how they never blow-dry their hair or use any products on their hair with a beaming smile on their face, waiting for me to give them a high five and a shit ton of praise.
Ahh, lol, No-No, I’m not gonna do that because it’s not good for your hair.
There is nothing wrong with using products and heat on the hair.
Professionally speaking you are doing damage to your hair by not protecting it with hair products and by having your hair sitting for long periods of time in a wet and weakened condition.
Letting your hair air dry can be more damaging to the hair than actually blow-drying the hair.
Air drying your hair causes damage within the hair strand and when hair is exposed to water it is in its weakest state so the longer it stays wet it swells up and puts excessive pressure on the already weakened proteins which cause damage, actually more damage than heat drying.
That is all science so no matter what the ‘Haters’ think about how bad drying hair with heat is, it’s just Not True!! So, knock your shit off.
It’s okay to let your hair air-dry from time to time but to never use a drier on your hair, you are doing it a disservice.
Hair products, our hair is sensitive and it needs to be protected from everything that we do from being in the hot sun, outside on a windy day, a heavy workout, wearing a ponytail, or tucking hair behind the ears can all affect the condition of the hair which is why you need to protect your hair with the right products to have and maintain healthy hair.
Our bodies are pretty incredible in their ways to adapt to aging, environments, and stress but it’s important to provide extra support and coverage for hair, skin, and nails.
Do your hair a favor and always protect it when it’s wet and dry, make sure you dry your hair when it’s needed, and minimize the times you let it air dry.
To find out more information about using heat on your hair and or interesting facts about hair then check out either of these articles.
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3. Do whatever you want
No, I don’t want to do whatever I want to your hair.
I realize that being a hairdresser is an art form and most hairdressers are on the Artsy side but it still doesn’t go without saying that it is not easy to just come up with something ‘Spectacular’ for someone’s hair, especially on the spot.
It is hilariously annoying way when people tell me to “just do whatever to their hair” like they’re doing me some sort of artistic favor when to be completely honest it’s the total opposite.
It’s exhausting and difficult to come up with some grand and glorious style for someone’s hairstyle or color without any kind of directions.
Seriously, this happens a shit ton so if you are an offender of this Stop it, Stop it, Stop it.
It’s irritating in every shape of the word, hairdressers are not minded readers so don’t expect someone to know what you want for your hair.
“Just do whatever you want to my hair, you are the artist, I trust you.”
Why would you trust me entirely just because I’m an artist?
Another reason why this is hard for hairdressers is because it makes us have to choose between the Artsy side of our brain or the Business side and for myself Professionally I always choose the Business side.
Business always comes 1st, Art 2nd, and here’s why.
The Business side is looking at the client and choosing to do the Basics to her hair, which just means that I’m going to err on the side of caution with a client that offers no guidance.
If I want this client to return and add more to my business than I need to be smart minded if I am given no direction, it’s better to do simple changes to hair as opposed to a full head of rainbow highlights.
That’s the biggest problem.
It happens a lot, a client says do whatever you want and when the service is complete she hates her new hair.
It’s best for everyone if you have some ideas about your hair.
If you want a change whether it’s drastic or not, let your stylist know beforehand by text, phone, bring lots of photos to your appointment, or the best thing you should do is to schedule a consult with your stylist to talk about the changes you are wanting.
Any 10 clients that say, “Do whatever you want to my hair”, Only 2 of those clients are truly happy with whatever the hairstylist decides for their hair.
4. my days off are mine
Does anyone really want to go to work on their days off?
No, Of course not, it sucks days off are personal and needed.
Some people are respectful and mindful of hairdresser’s days off but then there are the ones that are just completely dumb and entitled.
I run Old School Salon hours which means I don’t work on Sundays or Mondays.
I have not worked a Sunday or a Monday in over 22 years because I work Saturdays my weekends are Sundays and Mondays but some clients can not get their heads wrapped around this.
People are busy, schedules change, and shit happens to all of us but to ask someone to go in on their day off to do hair is shitty.
It’s uncomfortable for everyone, for the stylist that’s being asked this rude question and to the client because they are being rude.
Hairdressers need to have days off in this field for both their physical and mental health.
This is a physical and emotional job, hairdressers deal with their hands hurting, feet hurting, toes hurting, shoulders, and their necks.
It’s hard to work a physical job when you can’t lift your shoulders because your muscles are all inflamed or your feet are so swollen that you can barely move.
Hairdressers in the salon are constantly busy and always moving around, our days are booked back-to-back every 30-45 min time increments per client, 8 hours a day, on our feet, our shoulders constantly up, and our arms out.
Also, our minds get just as tired too, there is an emotional side of this job that can be exhausting.
Stylists see multiple different clients every day and every 4-6 weeks so it can get tiring after a while of listening to so many people’s lives throughout the day.
People have good and bad days and they bring that energy to the hairdresser and we absolutely feel it, we are literally touching you so we feel your happiness or sadness.
This job builds connections with clients and some are very personal to us and we really care about them and their lives and that can be very draining at times to take on so many different emotions in 1 day.
Hairdressers need to be able to relax their minds and their bodies, it only ensures you that you will get the very best services from your stylist when she rested and high spirited.
So, do your stylist a solid and don’t bother them on their days off.
5. The talker & the looker
OOOOh, This is a good one.
Yes, everyone knows that when you go and see your hairdresser it’s time to spill your guts.
I fully support that and as a hairdresser, I love the title of being everyone’s therapist but every hairstylist has a set amount of time that they have to spend with you.
When clients can’t take a hint that their hairdresser needs them to go they are unintentionally making the stylist run behind in their schedule.
Which sucks so bad and can be really hard to catch up.
If you have a long story you want to chat your hairdresser’s ear off than tell your stylist that right when you see her.
When you let them know 1st that you need to talk, they can immediately get through the questions and preparations needed to perform your service.
Most important, ask your stylist how much time you have to talk so you can watch the time so you don’t put your stylist behind.
This one is kinda funny to me, absolutely annoying, but still funny because some people can not help themselves.
The looker is anyone who HAS to look directly into your eyes to talk and or to make their points.
This is weird for hairstylists for so many reasons the biggest one is that it’s DANGEROUS.
Holy shit, it is so scary at times to be cutting a client’s hair and to have them turn their heads and bodies to face you with no notice.
Hairstylists use crazy sharp shears and razors, hot irons, bleach, and chemicals are all used on your head and right by your Face.
Not only can we cut or burn you but most likely we are going to cut or burn ourselves first protecting you.
It’s so weird too, especially at the shampoo bowl, “Stop looking at me while I wash your hair, Damit”.
Clients that are Lookers will even move the stylist chair with their feet, at times stylists will leave their chair unlocked during color services to move the client rather than the color.
There is no advice I can give for the Lookers aside from Stop it!
Look in the mirror, we can see you and hairdressers are trained in front of a mirror, we use the mirror to communicate, check levels, and finish style
6. Freebies Or price swaying
Please don’t ask for freebies or price reductions in any entitled and or generic way.
This may not hit as deep for all hairdressers but because I’m an independent hairdresser this one hits hard for me.
Asking for help is difficult and for some, it could almost be impossible and most hairdressers, if asked for help, will be more than willing to help if they have the ability to make price changes in their salon.
I’ve absolutely reduced my prices for clients who’ve lost their jobs, cut kid’s hair for free, given haircuts for free to clients that are struggling and I am always happy to help in any way.
Here’s the flip side of the coin.
It’s impolite to ask someone to reduce fees for a service that they are getting for no other reason aside from the fact that they just want a discount.
Understand that hairdressers can read through lies and bullshit better than anyone so it really sucks to be put in a position when someone asks you for a discount and you know the reason they give is a fat lie.
It’s basically them stealing.
This job is no different than any other job, career, or profession. If you ask for a service and service was provided then you pay the provider.
Being a Professional Cosmetologist is a business and all hairstylists have to pay for all the products in 1 way or another.
Color products, shampoo, and conditioners sanitizing products, hair tools, cutting tools, styling products, towels, capes, bowls, brushes, foils, hair clips, etc. (seriously this list is long)
There are a lot of expenses that go along with being a professional hairdresser and the prices that are set for services are not something stylists take lightly.
A salon’s prices “can” represent the years of experience and knowledge that a hairdresser has from working behind the chair and to ask a stylist of 20+ years for an undeserving discount is a huge insult.
in a nutshell…
Hairdressers have bills and families just like everyone else and this is our artwork so don’t ask for a discount unless you really need the help, then we always have your back.
7. DON’T TOUCH MY SHIT
Seriously, Don’t Touch My Stuff!
The only way I can explain this offense is it’s like your best friend taking your brand new shirt with tags on it without asking.
Professional tools are Expensive and very personal.
Just because its “Hair Tools” doesn’t make it any less of a Professional Tool.
Hairdressers have to buy the tools they use which aren’t cheap and we have to replace them often because of how much the tools are used daily.
It’s just not nice to do, especially if you don’t ask, that’s grounds for a hairstylist to pull her hair back and take her earrings off and it would be justified.
Don’t do this, it’s also a liability for independent hairdressers and salons.
If you burn or cut yourself using a professional tool it makes things very difficult to navigate through the emotional roller coaster of who takes responsibility.
There is no reason for clients to need to use a stylist professional tools anyways, we are going to do it better for you because we are the professional and it’s our tools that we use all the time.
So, for your safety and the sanity of your hairdresser, just don’t touch our shit, at all.
8. lET ME JUDGE YOUR HAIR
Are you sure your hair won’t do what you want it to do??
I always think it’s silly (all hairdressers do) when clients come in and love to preach about what their hair can and cannot do.
Let me be the judge of that, I’m the professional here.
Just because you can’t get your hair to do something doesn’t mean that your hair can’t do it.
Most of the time clients just need to be shown a bit more on how to work with their hair to achieve specific styles.
When clients have a hard time achieving certain styles or looks for their hair the problem lies dominantly with their technique and the miss-beliefs that their hair is something it’s not.
The technique is most clients downfalls because either people are too busy or lazy to do the work on their hair or they are intimidated.
I’m not saying that people don’t know their hair but hairdressers are able to do more to your hair and we are armed with tricks and tips to help when people are struggling.
Some people struggle with using both of their hands or they don’t know how to use the products they have, and hot tools can be very overwhelming for clients.
If you are unsure about your hair and how to style it then ask your stylist a shit ton of “How Do I…” questions to help address the problems you are having.
Now there is hair that does struggle to do things (let’s go with us holding curl) but there are so many different products and styling tools that can make this process so much easier for hair that struggles.
That’s why a lot of the times it’s more about poor technique and the wrong products than the actual hair that is struggling.
9. salon hoppers
Salon hoppers are clients that will bounce around from salon to salon and ultimately piss off everyone in the shop along the way.
Salon hoppers are the “Karen’s” of any shop and can set off a pack of hairdressers quickly because it hits more on the personal side with hoppers.
Hoppers bounce around for 2 reasons.
#1 They are bouncing around because they are never satisfied with their final product no matter the artist that’s working on their hair.
Hairdressers get emotional if they dis-please a client with their final hair look so to be dragged through the mud of an emotional shit show with someone that has no intention of ever liking what you do makes for a bad day in the shop.
Any client that likes to bounce around from salon to salon or stylist to stylist is a hard client to please.
Not only are these clients impossible to please but when they bounce around all over the place it makes it more difficult for each different hairdresser to work on their hair because there are so many different guides being left in the hair.
Hairstylists see lines or guides in the hair when we color or cut so imagine a ton of different artist’s lines all over the place on 1 client’s head.
It’s also just really annoying after a while because a hopper will ultimately make her rounds back through all of the stylists that have already done her hair before.
Hairstylists like to have a solid clientele for obvious business and money reasons, our time is our money, and we never forget a head of hair we worked on that was a good client.
The loyal and dedicated clients are the ones that deserve our precious money-making time slots, not to a client that has no intention of being happy with anything you do.
#2 Salon hoppers will also hop around from shop to shop so that they can get their hair done for either a heavy discount or for free.
They are stealing!
Here’s what happens:
The “Karen” goes into a salon and gets her hair done by a stylist, once the service is complete she will start to complain like a fu**ing crazy person, saying she hates it, it’s not what she asked for, and if she doesn’t get her money back she is going to bad mouth the shit out of the salon and stylist.
Just so they can either get the service for a discount or for free.
Every hairdresser works on word of mouth and to be threatened with Slander by someone can be really scary and absolutely infuriating.
It’s irritating and don’t be surprised if a stylist bites back and here’s the thing about a salon, the client is Not Always right-hardly ever.
Hairstylists don’t play by the same type of rules that other professions do because we will absolutely fight back and retaliate to defend the name of our shop in any way we see fit.
Hairdressers will 100% spread the word around to the other local stylists and the salon’s about the hopper client that’s in the area.
If you are a salon hopper then don’t be surprised if you see your picture or your name up at salons in your area of clients they refuse to service.
Some salons will also call the police and report the salon hopping Karen to the police, press charges, and will follow thru with the charges.
This is just shitty in every way imaginable and it’s stealing from the salon and the stylist so be respectful and just don’t do this because you will not have a positive outcome in the end for you, your reputation, or your hair.
10. the know it all
Listen I know it seems easy to think that because you watched videos on YouTube, Instagram, or have done your color a bunch of times that it labels you as qualified.
No, you don’t know more than your hairdresser in regard to anything that has to do with hair in any way shape, or form.
Any hairdresser for that matter!
This profession deserves and demands respect for the people that went to Cosmetology school and got their licenses to work as a professional Cosmetologist.
It’s offensive to sit in a hairstylist’s chair and “attempt” to school them on something you saw on Instagram that you want.
This particular topic makes salon backrooms loud and explosive because it’s just so disrespectful.
Hate to break it to you but your vision to have silver and pearly highlights in your hair is a process, commitment, and crazy expensive.
Here is where social media and the internet do a huge disservice to the Cosmetology profession.
All of the videos and how-to articles that are being put out by non-professionals showing and promoting bad ideas are confusing, misleading, and often 1 sided with personal emotions rather than facts.
The videos that are by professionals showing huge hair transformations like a very dark-haired brunette going to a platinum ice blonde with NO yellows or oranges all right before your eyes are amazing to watch but so much is cut out.
Here’s what they don’t show you:
* The hours that client sat in the salon chair (6-10 hours) and or that the client has to come back a day or 2 later to complete the lightning process.
* All of the awful and traumatizing levels of ugly colors the client had to endure to get to that platinum color.
* The final cost of the total service, it’s so expensive.
* You don’t get to feel the hair after the service.
Hair after being stripped and traumatized will feel completely different for a while after the chemical services. Don’t let those videos fool you into thinking that all hair feels so amazing afterward because the stylist has it blown out with shine, bounce, and movement.
A hairdresser can blow dry and style hair that has been over-bleached, over-processed, and killed by all hair chemicals known and still has your hair look amazing and like nothing is wrong with it.
You do see that the client also ends up losing a lot of length to their hair in the end as a result of all the damage done by the different chemical services performed.
And again, It’s a lot of money you are spending to perform the services and to keep it up.
Any all hairdressers that are licensed professionals will always hold the most knowledge and truly know all the best ways for you and your hair to look amazing.
So, before you sit in a stylist chair and start to tell her what you want by what you saw online and then start to spit out your ridiculous requests on how your hairstylist should perform this magic trick on your head, remember this…
You don’t have the final say.
Hairstylist are only going to do what they feel comfortable with doing on your hair, you are a walking advertisement for your hairstylist and we take beautiful hair very seriously, it’s our art.
If the hairstylist doesn’t feel good about the color or cut that is being asked from them then most likely you will be re-directed into something your stylist feels is more achievable.
We want everyone that leaves the salon to look and feel beautiful always, so be cautious with what you see online when you are considering changing your look, it’s always a great idea to bring in more than 1 photo of what you do like for your hair.
If you want more information on how you can have healthy and beautiful than I encourage you to click on this post here for a fun list of,
10. it’s just rude
If you happen to be connected to a hairdresser in some way by family or friends then this is for you.
You know why I hate this, it’s because, for a lack of better words, It’s Just Rude!
It’s for sure a big pet peeve of mine I think it’s because I’m constantly asked to do it so let me make this very clear once and for all.
Hairdressers do not like to take their shears or other tools outside of their salon to perform services at social gatherings or on their days off.
Stylists will be asked to cut and or color hair at BBQs, pool parties, kid’s birthday parties, holidays, card nights, date nights, camping, girls nights, girls get together’s, shopping dates, I can keep going but I think the point is made.
It’s so uncomfortable because it’s always being pitched to the hairstylist as a dire request and it would such a good deed is done and the stylist would be doing such a huge favor for this person and they would totally appreciate it and it means so much to them, and you’re so awesome, and they will totally make it worth your while.
Whatever, no it’s never like that at all.
It ends up being more work than originally expected because more people now want in on the convenience, so much time is spent working rather than enjoying being out with family or friends, and the payment just doesn’t add up to the time spent working, products used, and the money that should be charged for working on your day off.
It is not easy, in fact, it’s hard for hairdressers to cut or color hair outside of their own salon chair.
I’m 5’1″ so it is difficult for me to work in anything but my own salon chair because
I can’t adjust the chair to a height that works for me to effectively do hair, and it just sucks.
Let me forewarn any of the new hairdressers out in the field now.
Do Not make it a habit to cut or color anyone’s hair outside of your salon’s chair.
You will find that people will continue to ask it you more and more, the appreciation for it will become less and less, and it will become a total nuisance to you.
It’s just not worth it.
If your friend or family member really wants their hair done by you then encourage them to have it done in your salon on your time frame.
There are different added perks or benefits to being close to a hairdresser but just make sure you keep it in the salon so you don’t mix business with pleasures.
Your close friends and family will be willing to schedule an appointment in the salon just like you expect everyone else to do.
That’s it, my rant is complete.
That being said, I loved making this list it was fun and hilarious, I asked the girls in my shop about their industry gripes and the stories that came along with their irritations were awesome and so entertaining.
Most hairdressers are very forgiving and we don’t like to lose clients so there is a patience that we possess to deal with tough or just rude clients.
Still, without a doubt, this is an industry where the client isn’t always right and doesn’t always get what she wants, or how she wants it, and or when she wants it.
If you have been guilty of being a pain in the ass to your hairdresser than make sure that when everything is said and done that you tip her Big and let her know that you would be lost without her, trust me it works.
I hope you had fun here and if you are interested in learning more about your hair than check out these great articles,
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