How Far Should You Trust Your Hairdresser?

Hairdresser cutting a client's hair

For many women, the relationship with their hairdresser is almost sacred. It’s a relationship that may have been developed over decades and in some cases (and places) may be a relationship that was inherited from a parent or grandparent. But some women have an almost unhealthy trust in their hairdressers, even when that trust is undeserved.

I have a neighbor who came to me recently because her hair had an unfortunate cast of grayish-green to its normally golden blonde. It turns out that her hairdresser had forgotten which color formula she had been using on her hair and decided to add some highlights (for which she charged $70) using a conflicting color which resulted in the poor color results. The lighting in the salon didn’t reveal the poor results which became very apparent once she stepped into the sunlight.

Her hairdresser was not available to correct the color before my neighbor needed to go to an event, and so she asked me for assistance. Fortunately, the color was an easy fix. However, when I suggested that she bring the situation up with her regular stylist, she balked, saying that she was afraid her stylist would stop seeing her as a client.

This is not an isolated incident, and I encourage anyone to be critical of your hairdresser, particularly keeping in mind that a hairdresser is in the business to make money. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. Unless she is donating her time and services, her goal is to earn a living. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a hairdresser is going to be dishonest, but it does help you keep motivations in mind.

Use common sense. If you’re more concerned about losing your hairdresser than her losing you as a client, then you’re not getting your money’s worth, because the hairdresser is obviously thinking of you in terms of your value as a potential customer versus the likelihood that she’ll not be able to book the appointment times you might vacate.

Avoid hairdressers who promise you the moon or gloss over your concerns without thoroughly explaining things to you. Because I said so, or I know what I’m doing isn’t a good enough reason when you have a concern. If they know, they should be able to tell it to you in simple terms.

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