Feathers Logo - Dedicated to hair 2017 (White) copy
Feathers Logo - Dedicated to hair 2017 (White) copy


What *NOT* to say to your hairdresser!


Getting a new cut or colour can be a transformative time and although you just want it to look good and feel confident in yourself, not every hairdresser wants to be on the spot when asking YOU what you want. There are some things you should never say to a professional hairdresser because he or she is there to fulfil your wish, they’re just holding the scissors. A professional won’t ever give you a bad cut or style, but there are some things you just should not say.

Avoid the statements below lead to better relationships between you and your hairstylist, you’ll ensure clear communication. We have also included some red flags that your hairdresser may be showing.

“We can skip the consultation – I trust you!”

Although pleasant to hear, this statement is not exactly helpful. Any professional stylist is not going to skip the consultation, whether it’s a first time client or repeating client. Consultations are more important than they seem. It is there to not only find out exactly what it is you expect, but to assess the condition of the hair, collect your hair history, while building a relationship. 

🚩 – If your hairdresser agrees that you can skip the consultation.

“I love it!” – Even when you don’t.

It can be hard to openly admit that you’re not 100% settled o the look – whether it’s in consultation or after the service. However, a professional can take it. You are not criticising their thought or work; you’re stating a difference of opinion. Yes, they’re the expert but nobody knows you better than you do. Therefore, a salon appointment is a collaborative experience. A stylists job is to please you so when they ask, “Shall we take this much length off?”, take a good look in the mirror, move around with it and think about if it’s something you want. If it isn’t, communicate that. “It’s a little too short” isn’t a reflection on their work and they can (and will) adjust to your preferences. 

🚩 – If your stylist acts offended when you disagree.

“Why can’t it look like this at home?”

I’ll give you the answer now – it’s about listening to your stylist recommendation. If you’re not using the right kind of product on your hair, you won’t get the same results. Of course, sometimes there may be an issue with cost, and that’s fine (we are in a cost of living crisis after all) but your stylist may be able to recommend similar products that are cost effective. A helpful tip would also be to consider where you find the most value – in looking and feeling good with a new haircut that lasts 6 weeks, or one meal out a night that only lasts the one night. 

🚩 – Your stylist offers no recommendation.

“I want to be blonde, but not too blonde – I don’t have a photo with me”

Honestly, this is just frustrating to hear. There are six levels of blonde that are globally recognised, each having their own tones under each level, with mixable shades, adding vibrant colours, adding different undertones. It is all blonde. Everything is up to interpretation, what caramel means to me might mean different to you. Send reference photos before consultation and your stylist can address any needs you may have then. 

🚩 – If your stylist easily agrees or do not have their own reference images.

“It’s fine” – Even though it’s not.

A stylist will often check in with you – “is the water too hot?”, “Let me know if you’re uncomfortable”, “how do you like your cut today?” and “it’s fine” is never the answer if things are, in fact, not fine. There is no point in being tugged and scalded, leaving unhappy if you are given the option to speak out. A cut is only part of the service, making sure you leave happy with your experience is an even bigger part. 

🚩 – Your stylist does not check your comfort with you.

“I think you should angle the scissors a little more.”

Once you have agreed a specific cut or colour, trust the expert! You do not understand a stylists individual motive and technique used to create your cut or colour. If you are concerned, ask questions politely. I used to hate having layers cut because the angles look high, and it involves large sections. However, after asking why it was being done that way, I felt comfortable in their knowledge and never seen an issue since. 

🚩 – Your stylist is not open to answering your questions.

“My old stylist used to…”

Breaking up with a hairstylist is never easy, but like any relationship, you’re going to get over it and find someone that better works for you. Do not bring up your old stylist and how they used to do it before because everyone learns in different ways so techniques usually differ. It can make the stylist feel uncomfortable and under pressure to achieve the exact look as before – which isn’t always easy. You wouldn’t talk about your ex on a date, so don’t talk about your ex-stylist in an appointment.

🚩 – Your stylist talks about “nightmare” clients.

“I’d like to speak with the manager”

At the very least, you are taking time away from another client. Often, the manger is bust running her own column and cannot step away to deal with conflict resolution that can be easily avoided. Of course, if you communicate your problems to the stylist and they do not act, then you are well within your rights. However, speak to your stylist first. Explain your problems and give the stylist the opportunity to fix any mistake or explain why it isn’t a mistake.

🚩 – The stylists first reaction is to get the manager.

*Crickets* Silence…

If there is a reason you wish to swap stylists or stop visiting the salon, let them know why. It will not offend the stylist if there is good reason. Whether that’s because you prefer somebody else’s work, the stylist is getting too busy for you to book as frequently as you like, or the other stylist charges less (bear in mind these prices are set by a salon pricing tier system). Stylists try not to gate keep clients, they’re a team and it is more important that you stay a client of the salon, then a client of a stylist.

🚩 – If the stylist confronts you for leaving or is gatekeeping you.

At the crux of it, honesty and communication are essential to a pleasant service experience. If you are honest from the beginning, then there will never be any issues and eventually, your stylist will get to know you and your personal style to be able to recommend another cut, style, or preferences. Everyone is human – even stylists that may seem ‘SUPERHUMAN’ – but everyone has bad days or slip ups. Approach any issues with a level head, honest and kind approach, you, and the stylist both will have a better experience. 

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