Things Hairdressers Hate the Most and What to do Instead

You love your stylist, right? They make you feel beautiful, like the star of the show. A great stylist can take a really shoddy day and turn it right around. You don’t dislike the person who makes you feel like a rockstar, do you? Then why on Earth are you making your hairdresser want to pull out their hair (and yours)?

Things hairdressers hate the most are: Being late to your appointment, not being honest about the condition of your hair, being rude, making vague hair requests, making unreasonable requests, being unhygienic, booking for the wrong services, moving around, falling asleep, answering the phone, not being honest about being unhappy and finally arguing with them.

I know you would never intentionally harm the person who does so much good for you. With that said, if you’re guilty of any of these crimes against stylists (no, I’m not talking about those overt chunky highlights you had back in the day. Although, that’s a totally different crime.), have no fear! This article has been designed to give you a bit of insight into those unsightly behaviors driving your hairdresser mad and what you can do to remedy the situation (I’m sorry we can’t delete all those embarrassing high school photos of you. I would if I could.).

Without further ado, grab your pen, paper, a giant cup of humility (or coffee), and let’s get this party started.

Things Your Hairdresser Hates and How to ‘Fix’ the Issue

We all live for good hair days. Donning a new ‘do, or a set of impeccable highlights can leave you feeling like a million bucks.

Your day at the salon may be a relaxing experience for you, but if you fail to follow a few crucial tenements of salon etiquette, your hairdresser may want to kill you (not literally, of course. No one is trying to win “prison stylist of the year” just yet.).

1. Tardiness

Things Hairdressers Hate the Most and What to do Instead

This one is self-explanatory. Just don’t be late. Let your stylist know if you see that you may be arriving a bit later than your scheduled appointment.

Failing to recognize the importance of time to your hairdresser (time is money, you know) is one of the most significant signs of disrespect. If you know that you will be arriving late, let your stylist know that you are willing to reschedule any non-emergency services or are willing to pay a higher premium for them.

2. Liar, liar. Your hair is on fire.

Don’t lie to your hairdresser about your hair history. They aren’t behind the chair to judge-and-jury you on that box-dye root-touchup you performed in your bestie’s bathroom.

However, your stylist needs to know the actual condition of your hair. Lying to your hairdresser will only harm you in the end.

Color processes, permanents, and even specific styles can require intense chemistry. Failing to disclose something as silly as using box-dye or the frequency of using heated styling tools can result in some Brad Mondo-esque hair-tastrophes.

3. Leave the ‘tude

I get it; we all have bad days where nothing seems to go right. Your boss could’ve been a jerk, or maybe you had a flat tire. Regardless of the situation, do not, I repeat, DO NOT be rude to your hairdresser.

Simply let them know that your day has run poorly and that you aren’t up for chit-chat. Being upfront but not rude to your stylist can help them turn your frown upside down.

4. Erase “IDK” from your vocabulary

Nothing (beyond tardiness and lying) will make your hairstylist want to walk away from your chair faster than saying “I don’t know” when asked about style, cut, or color. Nonchalantly waving towards your head or the head of someone else in the salon isn’t going to help either.

Be specific about what you would like your end result to be. Bring photos, talk about your cut in inches, not vague terms (trim can be many things!), and be as detailed and honest as possible when speaking about the state of your hair.

5. They’re beauticians, not magicians

Have reasonable expectations for your final look (of the day). Yes, your hairdresser can perform miracles within limits.

Attempting to take dark brown hair to platinum blonde will take time (and money) to do correctly. Remember, your stylist is looking out for the best interest of your hair.

Just know that a “no” from your hairdresser is one from a place of care and concern, not malice. Setting realistic standards for your style will benefit you and your stylist.


6. Don’t be the “Smelly Client”

Things Hairdressers Hate the Most and What to do Instead

We know that you have a life outside of the salon chair, but the smells of your weeklong running binge shouldn’t be the telltale sign of your newest hobby. Practice good basic hygiene (this SHOULD be a given) by washing your hair and body recently, brushing your teeth, and using deodorant.

There’s a flip side to this coin. Some clients come in smelling overbearingly good (not really). We get that you looooooove your new perfume, but we don’t. Wearing heavy perfumes or sprays can aggravate your hairstylist’s allergies or just be offensive. Try to err on the side of caution regarding body sprays and perfumes.  To summarize, don’t be the smelly kid.

Want to know what qualities to look for in a hairdresser?


7. You didn’t book for that?

Remember how time is money for you stylist? Appointments are booked based on the services requested. A simple trim will require much less time on the books than a complete cut, color, and style.

Don’t set an appointment for a simple cut and root touch-up if you’re really wanting to do a complete color change. Not only will it frustrate your hairstylist because they cannot perform the services in the time allotted, but you as well when you cannot leave the salon with the look you would like.

8. Be still

Quit. Moving. Around.

We get it; sitting still can be a tedious chore. You must sit well when your hairdresser is cutting your hair. Not only is it distracting for your stylist to attempt to cut your moving head, but it makes the task at hand ten times harder.


9. Keep your eyes open

It’s tempting to fall asleep in the shampoo chair, especially after a strenuous day, but try to keep your eyes open. It can make for an awkward encounter for you and your hairdresser if they have to wake you from a deep slumber (plus, public snoring is sooooo ninth grade).

So, try as you might to maintain your consciousness throughout your appointment.

10. Don’t. Answer. Your. Phone.

Things Hairdressers Hate the Most and What to do Instead

We understand that you’re a popular commodity. But, unless it is an emergency situation (please tell your stylist if it is), please refrain from answering your phone.

Not only is it nearly impossible for your hairstylist to properly cut and color your hair with a phone glued to your ear, but it is also kind of rude. Taking a phone call can distract your hairdresser, other clients, and even other stylists.


11. Mum’s the word

We know that it’s incredibly awkward to tell someone that you aren’t happy with the job they’ve done, but this isn’t the local burger joint ignoring your extra pickles request. This is your hair that we’re talking about.

If you are unhappy with the final result, you must be honest with your stylist (especially if during the middle of the session you notice that the direction your stylist is taking your hair isn’t where you want to go). We promise that your hairdresser will not be hurt by your honesty, but they will be upset if they find out later (via social media or word-of-mouth).

It is far better to express your honest feelings before leaving the chair. By doing so, you’re allowing your hairstylist a chance to remedy the situation.


12. Oh, YOU’RE the EXPERT, ey?

If your hairdresser gives their expert opinion regarding the wants you have for your hair, listen to it. There is a plausible explanation for why they are telling you no. They likely know that the end result will not be what anyone desires.

Before throwing an embarrassing fit, ask your hairstylist what they think will work to achieve a look similar to what you want. Don’t just plug your ears and refuse to listen. And, PLEASE, DO NOT ARGUE.

Your stylist really does have your (and your hair’s) best interest at heart.


The Final Cut

There you have it, the twelve most aggravating things that a hairdresser has to deal with. Are you guilty of any of them? If so, take the necessary steps to make sure to remove those actions from your salon experience and give your hairdresser (and yourself) a tiny bit of relief!

Related Question

Top 5 POS Systems for Hair Salons

1. Do hairstylists pick up any bad habits that they should break?

Of course, hairstylists can pick up bad habits. Anyone in any career can. Bad habits tend to progress as a person becomes comfortable in their career. A few bad habits that can plague stylists are:

  • Not cutting hair short enough
  • Always suggesting up-sale services
  • Overbooking
  • Ignoring the client


Looking to start your own Salon? Get the documents you need to get organized and funded here.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.