15 Hairdressers Share How They Feel When They Know Their Client Hates Their Haircut

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If you’re a human being who has gotten more than half a dozen haircuts in your life, there’s a good chance you haven’t been crazy about each and every one. Sometimes, it’s the hairdresser’s fault, and other times, well, perhaps we didn’t communicate our desires quite well enough. Either way it can be a super awkward moment.

You’re not sure whether to say something, and they’re experienced enough to know you’re not happy…but have you ever thought about how they feel in that moment? Well, the 15 hairdressers below are here to fill you in!

#15. More disappointed than me.

“I once went to a new hairdresser, this guy was really nice but he was firmly convinced that he could give my hair some nice curls and insisted that we tried it. The thing is, I know my hair. It’s thick, mid length, and tends to straighten itself due to the weight and thickness of it. And I don’t mind, I like my hair, it’s easy to take care of, soft, doesn’t need a lot of work in the morning to look good. But I never could curl it, it just won’t cooperate.

So this hairdresser who never took care of my hair before propose that we style them in a rather pretty way, with soft, natural curls. I tell him it won’t work, many other hairdresser tried before. So he says: “yeah, but I never did, and I’m sure I can, so let’s try it” I agreed, thinking what the hell, if he succeeds good for me, if he fails it won’t matter.

So for nearly an hour I watched the poor guy try to dry my hair in a hundred different ways to get those damned curls, only to end up with what looked like a stork’s nest on my head (only much cleaner and softer).

He ended up more disappointed than me, he bore such a crushed look in his eyes upon realizing his defeat, while I was laughing my ass off at what I looked like . In the end I told him it didn’t matter, really i didn’t mind, in just half an hour my hair would return to its usual shape. So I paid him and left, he was so sorry he made me pay the short hair price. I went back a couple times since then, and I was happy with the result each time.”

#14. Closer to their goal.

“Yes. Absolutely. In a situation like this, color or cut, I notice immediately even if they say ‘i like it’ in a sheepish manner.

If this happens, I tell the client for next time what I think would look good. They then feel more comfortable, and 99% of the time they open up and we discuss what we can do next time to get closer to their goal.”

#13. Please don’t be afraid.

“I absolutely notice and it just makes me really sad and disappointed in myself.

It’s my job to make you look and feel good and I failed you.

But please don’t be afraid to ask me to change something for you!

It’s our job to make you look like the best version of yourself, if there’s anything I can do to remedy the situation I have no problem doing it.

Just tell me what you want me to do.”

#12. On the rocks.

“Off topic but has anyone been dumped by their hairdresser? I felt like we were on the rocks but she wasn’t communicating with me so I ghosted her.. I’ll never know what I did but at one point she said “you just got your haircut” after not seeing her for a month and wanting another one?

Edit: So she had been cutting my hair for 5 years, I was never late until a few months before I decided to ghost, I completely slept through my alarm and missed our appointment with no text or anything, I called her and profusely apologized and we both laughed it off. Believe or not the next time I was actually late.. AGAIN! But she still managed to cut my hair IIRC. You can imagine how embarrassed I was. She was just like “oooooh cozy fireman…” with an eye roll but obviously I didn’t want to give up on her because we were together for so long. So I endured the awkwardness and then I started sensing some resentment until I decided I should move on before things get too ugly.

I now go to my friend, who cuts my hair way better I may add. He can do fades and such which older hairdressers/barbers don’t seem to understand. That reminds me, time to get a haircut!?”

#11. Every month for the past year.

“I told my hairdresser’s apprentice that I wanted it exactly how I’d had it cut every month for the last year (pixie). She was always kind of condescending and I didn’t really like her, but I got put with her during her apprenticeship because I’m pretty relaxed about my hair and I can handle 25 minutes of her so she can practice.

She kept asking me about my hair plans for prom and maybe trying something new, but I wasn’t going to change my hair for one night, and told her such.

She kicked me out of the chair still dripping wet when I’m pretty sure it’s written on my client card itself that I always get it dried, mentioned that she “fixed it” so I could style it the way I mentioned styling it for prom (literally just like slicked back. not something I need a new cut for) and I was out the door before I could say, “wait, what?”

she had fucked up my hair’s natural side part to make both sides even, so when I wore it in my normal style I had a half circle of sticky uppy, unfixable bullshit.

I shaved my head a week later.”

#10. On their behalf.

“I cut men’s hair.

The only way to know is if they tell you.

However, it’s not uncommon for mothers ( of 20-somethings) and wives to call and complain on their behalf.”

#9. Disappointed in myself.

“I definitely notice. My stomach immediately drops, and I feel a little upset that the guest doesn’t like it, especially if it was a long service, but more disappointed in myself for not being the best stylist I could be.

It’s pretty easy to tell if they actually like it or not, because if they don’t like it, they’ll touch and pull on their hair more than usual, get up really close to the mirror to really inspect, and they take a minute to say anything to you instead of just looking in the mirror and being like, “omg I love it, it looks great!”. Usually if I see that their not enthusiastic, I will inspect, ask questions, and try to fix it as best I can before they even leave. “Are you sure that it’s thinned out enough for you?”, “Are you sure it’s a good length?”, “Those highlights are definitely gold instead of ash, let’s mix up a different toner real quick.” Usually asking those questions helps you fix the problem and the guest leaves happy. You definitely can’t please everyone though, so if they’re still not happy after I tried to fix it, I’ll do a more thorough consultation the next time and talk to another stylist about my plan for their hair to make sure what I’m doing is correct, and if they still don’t like it, I refer them to another stylist.

EDIT: All introverts, don’t stress so much! Believe me, we know the difference between someone quiet, but appreciative of their cut, and someone who straight up hates their hair! Another thing about the touching: people who are unhappy with their hair, tend to fixate on one or two certain spots of their hair, instead of just getting a feel for it or seeing different angles. Don’t worry, we know the difference, but if you’re still self-conscious just say something like, “omg it feels so much better/healthier/whatever!” while you run your hands through it! If you’re one of those people who needs a few days to get used to your new style, send your stylist a selfie to show you really love it! Also, I am really trying go through and answer everyone’s questions, but I need a break for now!”

#8. I’m not touching it.

“10 years in I finally got to a point where when someone says “you’re the professional” I’m able to respond with “and you’re the one who has to look at it every day, and I’m not touching it until you tell me what you are or aren’t looking for.”

That usually gets them to open up.”

#7. The best way to communicate.

“You should keep a file on your computer/phone of photos of haircuts you like and think would look good on you; just save a pic every time you see something you like, and over time you’ll have a pretty good database of your preferences.

Make sure to include pics your yourself in different cuts, so you can point out what you like and don’t like. Bring it in and spend some time with your hairdresser discussing what would work best with your face/hair texture.

Pictures are the best way to communicate if you don’t speak the same language.”

#6. Firing our client.

“This happens often enough, we call it “firing our client” at our salon. We don’t ghost though, we just have a conversation with the client, letting them know why (number 1 cause i see is chronically late people, not 5mins late, but like 20 mins, every single time, and it messes up our flow of day and schedule, and other clients who come on time after them) and either refer them to a more suitable stylist probably someone else at the salon, or just no more service anymore.

In rare cases the clients will stay but have a Pain in the Ass charge, and they’ll know it, an extra $50+ tacked onto the service to make it worth it for us to keep the client. Its not like we are being sneaky or anything about it, we inform them of the extra charge. There’s one client i know (not mine) who’s a pill popper with super rich parents, and she’s always an hour late, she gets charged an extra 500$ as a deposit, just to schedule an appointment because if she cancels last mins, which happens often enough, the stylist’s day isn’t completely fucked.”

#5. Yes I do have problem.

“I’m a customer and a dude. I like simple, quick, and quiet cuts. I go to this old USSR type lady who doesn’t speak during the cut. She just asks how short and gets it done. Anytime she makes a mistake (which is rare) she will say loudly “YOU HAVE PROBLEM?” and it scares me so much I just say no and she finishes the job.

Love going to her. But I know she has seen some shit so her messing up my hair is not worth whatever she would do to me if I said yes I DO HAVE PROBLEM.”

#4. No need to be scared.

“Honestly, I’ve experienced this a couple times.

I’m an open book (which my boss does not always enjoy), and if I sense something, I just ask.

More often than not a client will brush it off.

Sometimes, they point out what they think is a flaw and I just fix it for them.

No need to be scared.

We’re people too :)”

#3. I usually like to take my time.

“Yeah, this exactly.

However, i usually like to take my time in the initial consultation to try to avoid that mistake as much as possible. But when you have that client that just says “you’re the professional” “i trust you” and thats the end of convo is when more mistakes are likely to happen.”

#2. You really can see it in their eyes.

“Hairstylist for 15 years here… It does indeed suck when someone won’t fully tell you the truth about how they like the end result. You really can see it in their eyes or read their body language.

However; I’ve realized a few things over the years: Some people really struggle to explain what they want. If a consultation takes 15 minutes or more, they are difficult af and you do not want them as a client. I will repeatedly ask questions just to make certain that we’re both on the same page. Please don’t get annoyed. I don’t want you to leave unhappy. You can’t please everyone. There are miserable people in this world who want everyone else to be just as miserable as them. Finding a great hairstylist/barber can be like finding a great doctor or mechanic. You’re not going to like everyone, but you’ll eventually find one that’s perfect enough for you.

(There are many more things, but it’s really late and I’m exhausted. These were the first things that came to mind.)”

#1. A 25-year-old man.

“Last week an irate mom called about her sons bad haircut. It was only after a full conversation and her texting me a picture of the haircut that I realized he was a 25-year-old man.

Once that became clear she backed up, said she wasn’t doing this for him, put him on the phone and let him handle his business. His cut was fixed to his liking after that. All he had to do was speak.”

Here’s hoping you don’t have a day like this anytime soon – on either side of the barber’s chair.

Have any thoughts to share? Do that in the comments!