Salon Etiquette Check YOUR Crazy at the door!

I really could write a book about Salon Etiquette and ways you should and should NOT treat any salon professional, and some day I may just do that! It amazes me at the absolute lack of respect we as hairdressers (especially female hairdressers) receive from the public. I am famous for saying would you treat or talk to your Doctor or Dentist this way?  I realize that there are a TON of unprofessional salons and hairdressers out there, trust me. In fact I already covered how to find the PERFECT hairstylist in an earlier blog. So I guess you can consider this an extension of that topic and once you are in the right salon and working with your perfect hairstylist the following are tips and suggestions of what NOT to do!

1. Give Salon at least 24 hours notice of cancellation

Most professional salons do have an cancellation policy in place. But, even if they don’t, be respectful and cancel your appointment if you know you can’t make it. Yes, emergencies do happen and all of us understand, this is not about that at all. This is for those of you who decided to change plans, go shopping, to the beach or just decided you didn’t feel like going to your appointment that day. CALL and cancel and give the salon time to be able to fill that spot. Most salons also have a cancellation list and with ample time could easily fill that spot! Stylists only get paid on what they bring in, you are their paycheck! Be respectful and call!

2. Respect the fact that your Stylist is a Licensed Professional

You do NOT know more about hair, how to cut/style hair or how to color hair than your hair stylist. We go through 1500 hours of school just to get a license, not to mention the years  of experience we have and the extended education most professsionals get to stay updated. Respect the fact that we know what we are talking about and how to execute the look you are going for. I am pretty sure you don’t tell your Doctor how to diagnose you and what medicine or tests you need any more that you tell your dentist how to put your filling in. I am serious people, this is a huge problem that we encounter and it really isn’t right. Also, just so you know, Men and Women both go through the same training to become cosmetologists so one doesn’t know more than the other!


3. All things Tipping

This is the service industry and it most definitely should be all about you! However, if you are happy with your service you most definitely SHOULD tip your stylists! If your hair stylist is also an owner they deserve a tip as well (gosh, us salon owners need a bigger tip if anything)! The ONLY time you would not tip the owner of a salon is if they are simply running the salon and not actually doing hair. I am not sure where that whole theory went wrong, but now I have clairfied it for you.  How much? Usually the rule follows the same as a restuarant, 10-15% is standard and 20% if you really love what they did for you. My salon does have assistants who shampoo etc. and most people DO tip them. I don’t want my clients to feel they have to do so, because I also share tips with them. But, if they did an excellent job of course your should tip them and 5% is usally standard.  I don’t think you should feel pressure about tipping at all and I know I want that to be the last thing on my clients mind, but this is a big question I get a lot and wanted to address for you.

4. Check your Crazy at the door

Your hairstylist shouldn’t be making her problems yours anymore than you should be making yours hers! I want my clients who have had a bad day to come in, sit down and relax! I love hearing how much I made someones day just my doing their hair. God gave me broad shoulders for a reason! So often I have to tell myself that this clients attitude has nothing to do with me or their hair! I would just tell all of you that we really are NOT thereapists and we are here to make you feel better and give you an amazing hairstyle! Don’t take your day out on us! I could go on and on about this and could I tell you some STORIES, but I am not going to and I think you get the point (we’ll save those stories for my book).

5. Treat People how you want to be treated

Isn’t this just the easiet concept? One would think so wouldn’t they? I take the time to treat my client the way I would want to be treated if I were to go into a salon. So, the same goes for you as the client. Treat your stylist the way you would want to be treated! Do you want me to talk on the phone while I cut your hair? Do you want my kids running around you and jumping on your furniture? Do you really want me doing your hair if I am sick as a dog? Get where I am going with this? It amazes me at what people think is acceptable in public or a place of business. I can’t beleive this problem needs to be addressed, but it does. Our salon has a cell phone policy because we want our clients to relax. We don’t have a no kid policy because we love them and have lots of little clients. I should not have to tell you to watch your kids if you have to bring them. I suggest you don’t bring them unless they have an appoitment. I don’t go to work if I am sick so, if you are sick, then please cancel becasue I don’t want it (really clients come in hacking all over the place, I am not kidding). While we are are this topic, your stylist does NOT deserve crap from you if she is out sick! We are NOT superheros, we are human and we get sick (usually because one of you came in sick and gave it to us).  Be respectful and sympathetic…PLEASE! So remember TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!

So there you have it, tips on what not to do and how you should and should definitely NOT treat a professional hair stylist.  Maybe I got to vent a little bit today, but I do feel that this had to be addressed! In fact, before I wrote this blog,  I did a google search on this topic to see what was being said about it. I really found NOTHING except how to tip, so that proved to me that you all need this information. Please pass it along to everyone and I most definitely welcome questions.  I know there is even more I didn’t address and that is why I think I need to write a book!

Gina Leonard

Licensed cosmetologist and owner of The L Factor Salon Twin City Plaza Brewer, Maine

Mary Kay Senior Consultant

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5 Responses to Salon Etiquette Check YOUR Crazy at the door!

  1. A girl with hair says:

    FYI: I understand where you are coming from and I am not a client of your salon. But I have a friend, or two, that are clients of your salon and after reading your aticle they said that they will NOT be returning. You may want to be more selective with your blogs in the future before you put yourself out of business.

    • Gina Leonard says:

      My blog is is no way intended to offend anyone and I am sorry if it did. Got to love that amendment which gives me the right to free speech. I will consider your critisim as I enjoy the people rushing into the salon since they have read my blog and or to commend this blog specifically..

  2. TJ says:

    You have got to be kidding me. You have managed to compare yourself to a doctor or a dentist??. You are a hair dresser!! It really isn’t that hard!! You also say you aren’t a therapist, but I’ve heard that YOU and other stylists at your salon drill your regulars for juicy gossip – if you don’t want to hear it, don’t ask!! I’m sure you have some talent, but your attitude is a complete turnoff and I will NEVER step foot into your salon. You also have NO writing skills. In fact, you writing a book is one of the funniest things I have ever heard, I can hear the dumb hairdresser jokes now. Here’s a tip – if you want to write a book, first go take a college English class (not one taught at hair school), and then hire someone to write it for you, because I’m pretty sure that even with a college education you would sound pretty damn stupid. Get over yourself!!

    And one more thing – all of your positive comments are SPAM!!! First ammendment is certainly valid, but your use of reedom of speech offends me.

    • Gina Leonard says:

      I am sorry if this blog offended you, NOT the intention. I am speaking for the industry as a whole, not for my salon or my clients. Your lack of respect for Hair Stylists is obvious and unfortunate. Good luck to you.

      • Gina Leonard says:

        Dear Gina,

        I just happened to come across your blog and read the article you wrote about having respect for your hair stylist. I loved the article and after I read the nasty comments that some people had left I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write and publish your blog. Thank you for caring enough about consideration and mutual respect to take the risk that you might offend someone and say what needed to be said. It really is shame that some people think we are “just hairdressers”. As though it justifies wasting our time, costing us money and hurting our feelings. It’s true that I didn’t go to school for eight years like a doctor… But I have continuously sought out education for more than twenty years to be able to give my clients the best service and products and the most current techniques, looks and trends… If only they knew the amount of time, money and effort real professional stylists and colorists put into their craft…

        You are a gem! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise and keep up the good work!


        Scott Strong

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