Client Ettiquette & The Bulldozer

Photo By Ray Reinders Photography

So, the whole reason I started this blog was to help the general non-stylist population understand what happens to stylist on a day to day basis.

There are three different categories of hairstylists. The ones who get paid hourly, think Fantastic Sams or most mall salons. The ones who make a commission, some mall salons and most boutique salons. Then there is what I do and that is rent my station or chair. These are generally boutique type salons also.

I know I am going to piss a lot of people off here but bear with me OKAY???

If you are at a Fantastic Sams type place you are generally going to be a with someone who just got out of school or is just trying to get by while they go back to school for something else, or they just generally suck at doing hair and need a lot of practice until they can get into a boutique salon. Most of you who go to these places to get your haircut probably don’t give a rats ass what your looks like or it’s at least not that important. AND, of course there are those who just cannot afford a $70 or more haircut. I say good on ya, stay there, because if you sit in my chair at the salon I work at and you ask me how much its going to cost you probably shouldn’t be in my chair at all.

The commission and rental type places have people who are a little more seasoned. Ready to do some serious hair and make some serious money. Now this doesn’t mean that they are all that great. I have seen some really BAD hair come out of these places. Just because a stylist charges $300 for a color and cut doesn’t make them a good stylist. As a matter of fact, I like to say that about 75% of this business is personality and not talent for most hairstylists. If I can’t get along with someone or understand what they are trying to do with their hair, or if I don’t feel comfortable attempting what it is my client wants, I am going to politely hand you off to another stylist. It’s not that I don’t like you personally, I just know my limits and want you to be happy. Believe me when I say that many hairstylists don’t give a damn, they just want your money.

I’m a booth rent girl. This means that I pay a flat rate every week to the salon. I take care of my own money, color, supplies, insurances, taxes and I am my own receptionist. Some salons provide a receptionist but I have learned the hard way that a lot of receptionists suck ass, don’t want to do the work and feel that their piddly little job answering phones is more important than the happiness of my clients… and me. (But that is whole other blog.) So I give my clients my cell phone number and they can call me when they want to set up an appointment. This is where the point of the blog comes in… Please DO NOT call your stylist on Sunday and Monday and ask them to do your hair unless you know for absolute certainty that they work those days.

Sunday and Monday are a stylists Saturday and Sunday. We love our clients. We love what we do. We love that you love us. Yes, some of you are even our friends and family. But what we love more than anything in the world is our Sunday and Monday. Sunday is my, “I am going to do what I want all day, day.” I don’t clean. I don’t usually go anywhere unless it’s to brunch with my boyfriend to drink cheap mimosas and eat mountains of bacon. I don’t even answer the phone. But when I get a text from a client that says, “please cut my bangs today…” It really pisses me off and then I feel guilty for the rest of the day. Monday, eh… not such a big deal. I’m usually out and about running errands and tying up loose ends from the week before, so if I know I am going to be close to you I will call back and say, “Sure, lets get that fringe out of your eyeballs so you don’t give yourself the Cindy Brady again!”¬† You can wait one or two days or call up my friend that does work on Sunday for that. I won’t get offended and I know you’ll get a nice bang trim too. Now, if you want $1600 dollars worth of hair extensions, by all means call me at 3 AM Saturday night! That’s worth losing a Sunday over…

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This is Daisy The Bulldozer…

This right here is the reason I no longer sleep at night, broke my leg and have become a janitor in my own home. Cute yes, shy no and follows directions sparingly. She snorts. She snores (loudly) and she pees inside instead of outside. Other than those things I really do actually like her. She follows me everywhere, hence the broken leg. I tripped over her.

She listens to my words, I know this because when I’m sitting on the toilet and she’s sitting in front of me and I talk to her she stares right at me, cocks her head to the side and then runs to the kitchen and pees! If we can get past this I think she will be a brilliant friend… Any suggestions are helpful.

Its going to be a slow week at the salon so I will probably talk more about my dogs and not so much about hair.

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3 thoughts on “Client Ettiquette & The Bulldozer

  1. I got a great haircut last September from a stylist who treated me like crap. I tried to figure out why, and wrote a blog post about my supposition — my post titled “Up-What?” about retail up-selling. It was at a really big salon with a lot of chairs, and I was using a coupon because I was seriously low on cash (but I gave her a 15% tip on the regular price of the cut.) Lately I’ve been wondering if it would have been a kindness to her, to have gently asked what was up. I think I was afraid of getting yelled at. Do you ever have a bad day at work that effects your demeanor? And if so, is there any way the customer could bring it up that wouldn’t make you mad? Have you ever worked at a salon that had an up-selling quota?

    I’ve got your blog bookmarked. Hope you find the blogging world rewarding! Take care!

    • Man… thats awful. I worked at a salon like this when I first started out. It was in a mall and I lasted maybe 2 weeks. Up-selling is the owners way of making money. Most of the revenue in a place like this comes from selling retail. Think Outback Steakhouse, they always ask if you want an appetizer even though you just ordered a full steak and lobster dinner with a potato and a salad…

      Most of the people that work at these places are basically told at work meetings that they have a quota to sell and if they don’t they are penalized in some stupid way. That would make anyone a grumpy jerk off.

      You didn’t do anything wrong. You were low on cash, needed a good haircut, found a coupon to a supposedly decent place with a good rep and used it. I would too. You were really nice… I’m happy if I get 5 bucks as a tip. (There is a reason it’s called a gratuity.) If you were that uncomfortable with her, politely asking her if she needed a moment is OK. Even asking for a different stylist is OK. Some people just need a polite kick in the pants to realize that they aren’t up to par. It’s hard to know what to do when you don’t know your stylist. It takes a few appointments to really figure out if the two of you are going to mesh or if its just a bust. Did you like the way he/she did your hair? If so give him/her another try. Who knows, maybe she was just having an off day, really bad PMS, she got a speeding ticket or her baby-daddy forgot to pay child support??

      I have clearly had some pretty bad days. If I know I’ve upset one of my clients I try really hard to make it up to them with a free cut or a deep conditioner. Something to ease the pain for both of us. Christ, I have had clients come back and bring me a bottle of wine, give me a hug and tell to keep my chin up… It’s life. Shit happens. As long as their hair looks good, that’s all that matters… most of the time.

      But at the end of the day, YOU are the customer. YOU are paying her your hard earned dollars to not just look good but to feel good too. A simple, direct, “Are you having a bad day? Cuz I can go to someone else…” will always get their attention. No stylist wants their client sitting in someone else’s chair, that’s money out of their pocket, not just for today but the future too…

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