Dear _______: Thank you for all your wonderful haircuts throughout the years. I've decided to take my hair in a new direction. Sincerely, _____________
If all else fails, she suggests telling your hairdresser that you've picked up a bad case of head lice and had to shave your hair off. The good news is that you actually like it and are trying to decide whether to keep it that short or grow it out; either way, you won't be seeing her for a while.
Regardless of which route you choose, remember: When you move on, it is very impolite to talk negatively about your former hairdresser. Similarly, it is very unprofessional for hairdressers to speak ill of other hairdressers and/or clients.
In addition to tips on the breakup, here are other etiquette tips graciously provided by the same area beauticians and salon owners:
Basic salon etiquette
- Please don't fail to show up for an appointment.
- Avoid canceling at the last minute. If you must cancel, please try to do so at least 24 hours in advance.
- Arrive on time. In fact, arriving 15 minutes before the appointment is ideal so that you can get ready (putting on the salon cape, brushing your hair to remove tangles, etc).
- Please call if you are going to be more than five minutes late.
- Avoid talking on your cell phone while in the beautician's chair. Hairdressers should also avoid cell phone conversations while working on a client's hair.
- Don't text. Bending your head down to text makes it difficult to style your hair.
- Try to avoid bringing small children to the salon. Not only can they be a distraction, the salon can be a dangerous place for them because of the chemicals, hot curling irons, etc.
- Avoid slouching, squirming or jumping in and out of the chair. It makes the stylist's job much more difficult.
- Please avoid the prima donna attitude; otherwise, your beautician may want to fire you!
- Watch the volume of your voice. Many clients like to talk, gossip and kvetch, but keep in mind that others may hear your conversation.
- Try to be as specific as possible when describing what your want done with your hair. Telling your hairdresser that you want a "cafe au lait with cream" or a "red sunset" hair color could mean a thousand different things.
- Bringing examples of magazine photos of what you want done with your hair can be very helpful, but don't bring a picture of yourself from 1970 and expect the same results. Times have changed, and so has your hair!
- Try to set concrete expectations so that you can avoid changing your mind midway through your haircut.
- Make sure that you know the price of the service beforehand so that you aren't surprised (and complain afterward).
- If a hairdresser must leave a client in their chair to do something else, then please tell the client. Many do not like to be left alone with no explanation as to why their hairdresser walked away.
- Say thank you!
- While tipping can be confusing, good service should be recognized. About 10 percent to 15 percent is what is recommended by most.
- Be sure to tip any person who assisted, such as the person who shampooed your hair. Five percent is considered average.
- Many ask about tipping the salon owner. Answers vary. However, most agree that if the owner is also an actual technician, then a tip would be considered appropriate.
Ending the client-hairdresser relationship can be very difficult for some, especially when you consider the hours that many sit in their beautician's chair getting their hair coiffed every six to eight weeks or more.
During that time, many discuss everything from personal problems, family issues, dating, marriage, divorce, mothers-in-law, co-workers, religion, politics, etc. You can imagine the bond that can develop.
However, having one's hair done is a service, and in the end it's your money. If you must end things, try to do so respectfully. You never know when you may be back.
Pam Harvit M.S. is a certified corporate etiquette and protocol consultant. She is employed by Merck and Co. and lives in Charleston. E-mail her at phar...@suddenlink.net.