Human beings will go to extreme lengths to avoid conflict and confrontation in our everyday lives. Complaining about a haircut is awkward AF, there is no easy way around it, but it can end up being a rewarding experience for both you and your hairstylist if you can get it right or least not fuck it up too badly, because we are human after all.
You Had One Job
A hairstylist has one goal in life - to provide you with the hair of your dreams. Every haircut is a cool collaboration between you and your stylist aimed at achieving this one goal. Now and then but hopefully never, a haircut may go awry, and the journey begins to get back to nailing it and back to having your best time in the chair.
Straight to the Point
Be polite and be direct when giving feedback to your stylist. Whether it is face to face or in an email, articulating or pinpointing exactly what is wrong about a haircut takes a lot of the sting out of the sitch and gives your stylist something tangible to resolve. Feedback is especially effective if you can talk about what you DO like about a haircut alongside of the things you DON’T like. A simple I hate it just won’t do.
In the Heat of the Moment
If your emotions are heightened and you are fighting back tears it may not be the best moment for you to get into a detailed discussion about where things went wrong. Take a deep breath, pay the bill and cry in your car on the way home. When you are feeling better, compose an email to your stylist, pause, re-read, edit and hit send.
We are all familiar with defensive responses. Like all people anywhere ever, a stylist might struggle to receive a complaint with grace. It can take a bit of back and forth to move through this defensive phase and into the fixing phase so hang in there. Remember your stylist’s ultimate goal is for you to have the hair of your dreams.
If your stylist has been in the game for a long time, there is a good chance that they have already had lots of experience dealing with complaints and can handle whatever you have to throw at them. The flipside is that with a less experienced stylist it helps to show a little more sensitivity and may require some patience in coming to a resolution.
When the inevitable question comes ‘what do you think, do you like it?’ this is your cue to speak up if you’re unhappy. If you are swanning out that salon with a huge smile on your face gushing about how much you love your haircut, then composing a complaint within 24 hours, that’s gonna raise some red flags for a stylist.
Stylists aren’t afraid to own their mistakes because they have the skills to fix almost anything either in the moment or in a follow-up appointment. Unless that mistake is a micro fringe in which case the only solution is to wait it out a few weeks - time heals all wounds. Either way, stick with your stylist, a few bumps on the road can strengthen your relationship with them and they will definitely know you and your hair better as a result.
Having said that, if after 3 or more haircuts you’re just not vibing with your stylist then it’s time to move on. Haircuts should be a sweet collaboration with everyone having a good time and putting out good vibes in the salon. If you love the salon try out a different stylist, most hairdressers are not possessive and just want to see you happy.