Most people who open the door of a hairdresser’s can be divided into two groups: those with the "please, do something" approach, and those who know precisely, inch by inch, what they’re in there for.
Reading in between those lines takes years upon years of experience of trimming people’s hair, but even the best hair stylists and colorists sometimes have enough. So when someone posted a question on r/AskReddit “Hairdressers of Reddit, what are some helpful and unhelpful things that clients do when they come in for a haircut?” it immediately blew up with 21.5k upvotes.
The responses are truly eye-opening as they shed light on things from common sense to subtle nuances that most of us do without giving it a thought. After all, lifting your head in the shampoo bowl is often the sole cause of your wet shirt, which should not be confused with your hairdresser's incompetence.
This is important, do not moan while we wash your hair. Just don’t.
My wife is a stylist. Her main complaint is when clients, mostly men but some women, start spouting their political beliefs for all to hear. It's as if they think when they sit down in that chair, all conversational etiquitte gets thrown out the window and there are no consequences to what is said.
Please, for the love of god don’t wear a turtleneck to your color appointment.
Make-up artist here, so not a stylist but I've worked with scores of them and here's what I've heard: Try to find images of hair similar to yours. If you have super thick curls, a pic of someone with fine straight hair won't do you any good. Similarly, go in with your hair close to your natural texture if you're dealing with a new stylist. Also, if you like a cut on a model, cover his/her face with your finger and make sure you like the hair and not the face. Mention if something bothers you, "I hate blow-drying" "I need to be able to put it up" "My forehead looks weird" the best stylist I've ever worked with is also super honest with me "I can do something similar, but this exact length will give you fat face". Finally, ask questions. "How do I style this?" "What products should I use?" "What does the upkeep look like?"
DON'T ASK FOR ANIME HAIR.
Show up on time.
BE 100% HONEST WITH YOUR COLORIST OR COSMETOLOGIST. I cannot stress this enough. Your hair will melt off if chemicals don't sync. Virgin hair will react differently than chemically treated hair.
Not a hairdresser but someone who cuts my own and friends/family hair because I got tired of not being listened to by professionals :
Curly hair should not be cut wet. I used to not mind the way it looked right after being cut (when they blow dried / straightened the crap out of it) but then I'd go home, shower, and discover it was too short and badly shaped when curly again.
A good hairdresser will cut curly hair dry or slightly damp so they can see the shape and real length.
Have realistic expectations. Just because Sally was able to go from black to blonde in one appointment, doesn’t mean you can. Your hair isn’t Sally’s.
Do NOT come to the stylist in a raging fit because your boyfriend hurt your feelings so now you’re going to cut your long hair into a pixie to show that you have control over your life.
No matter how awesome it looks, you WILL hate it, you WILL cry, and you will HATE us for allowing you to do it.
This is why stylists will always try to talk you down off that ledge, and many will offer a slower transition (“Let’s try a shoulder length bob!”) or refuse you completely. It’s not that we hate you. We want you to love us and come back, but if you hate your hair you’ll hate us by extension.
You don't have to talk, you don't have to be silent, just know that we are stylists first and not necessarily therapists, if you tell me you are suïcidal I'm not equipped with helping you with that. We can have a good chat, I can tell you about my struggles and you can tell me yours, but really talk to someone who actually knows how to help and deal with that. It can be a very hard thing to hear for us too.
A big no-no: don’t cross your legs while I’m cutting! That can lead to a very uneven haircut. It’s sometimes hard to catch you with the cape on.
Lifting your head in the shampoo bowl! Don't do that.. That's how we end up soaking the back of your shirt!
My friend is a hairdresser and her biggest complaint is unrealistic expectations. People want to go from dark brown to platinum in one session, bright pink hair that never fades, amazing rainbow hair from a heavily filtered photo on Instagram....
It's mostly about expectations e.g. if you want blue hair then expect bleach damage and split ends, be prepared to spend money on colour safe shampoo, conditioner, hair treatments, maintain it regularly, change your pillowcases, etc. Don't blame your hairdresser if you go swimming for hours and your hair turns green.
99% of the time, I can’t hear you when blow drying, and it’s bloody impossible to have a conversation when blow drying now we all have to wear masks.
(responding for my mother, who is one)
Have a picture of something like what you want done, descriptions don't do a justice
Be 100% honest about what you've done to your own hair
Don't bring filtered pics or ones that are wigs (just don't have unrealistic expectations) Don't move your head when you're in the chair, only move when your stylist says so Stop insisting babies and toddlers have hair cut- it's traumatic
Yay! I can finally answer one of these! Went through cosmo school, finished, assisted at a salon and decided I HATED it.
I got a couple that I tell all my friends. 1. Please know what 6 inches actually looks like on a ruler. Sometimes you think you want to cut that much but you're not aware of what it actually looks like. 2. If you want blonde hair and you've colored lately or its very dark, expect to start with just highlights, more and more until it's all blonde, or you can start slow but you will be rust/yellow for a little bit. TRUST THE PROCESS!! 3. We love to talk and hear about your life but make sure you can stay still while you talk.
And last but definitely the most important
Don't cross your legs or arms while getting a hair cut. You will end up with a lop sided haircut.
You'd be shocked at how just washing your hair can make a huge difference between a good haircut and a great one.
Not a hairdresser, a client.
I came to a guy with a particular image saved on my phone.
He furrowed his brow as if digging for an old memory.
"Wait... is that f**king STALIN?!"
"Well... yes... but young Stalin looked damn good!"
"I... can't argue with that..."
And so, he made me kinda look like young Stalin.
Don’t switch how you’re sitting halfway through the cut! Even crossing/uncrossing your legs can make a difference in how the cut turns out!
Coming in with clean hair, NO HAT, and no product. You will cut the work in half if we aren't spending time trying to blend out a line created by a hat. Pictures? Totally great! But have them saved already- I don't want to watch you with phone face during the consultation. STOP getting your hair done after the gym! It is disgusting.
People who are willing to spend 6 hours and $400+ on a fantasy color such as pink, blue, purple etc. Only to not buy professional salon products. I only recommend to my guests what they absolutely need! The shampoo and conditioner that we have at the salon is made for specific types of hair with special ingredients. If you use herbal essences, Pantene, or tresemme (basically 90% of any shampoo you can find at the grocery store) on a color like that, it will completely wash out the first time you shampoo your hair. They have a higher pH and will strip your hair. Also they have waxes and silicones that will deposit onto your hair strand to make it feel soft, but really it’s preventing any type of moisture into your hair strand.
Please remember we are human, we have lives and families too, so sometimes we are a little less happy, it's not that we hate you, maybe we lost someone close to us or are going through a break up. Working when you know that any moment now you'll get a call saying someone died is making it hard to be super cheery. We don't have to share those things.
-Pictures! Keep in mind, not every picture can be done with YOUR hair. For example, many bridal/special occasion styles have hair pieces added or the girl already has thick, luscious hair. If you have short and or soft/fine/thin hair, you probably can’t get the same effect. Same thing with certain cuts. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get something somewhat similar, but not all pictures can be done exactly.
-Honesty. Don’t lie about the box color you’ve put on your hair (including henna) or products you use. The stylist WILL find out one way or another (like when your “virgin” hair turns orange instead of yellow in foils) and it just makes it harder and more expensive to correct it later on. It doesn’t matter if you tell the truth, the truth will come out. But it will save everyone a lot of heartache if you’re just upfront about it. We don’t care if you put box dye on your hair— we just need to know because the course of action will be different depending on your history.
-Referrals. If you like your stylist, take some business cards and pass them out, tag them on social media, and refer your friends. Chances are, you might get some $ off for the referral, and it will help out your stylist more than you know— especially if they are newer and don’t have full books yet.
-Moving around a lot at the shampoo bowl (do NOT lift your head— limp neck is best) or while getting your hair cut/styled. Unless you want water down your back, an uneven haircut, or a burn, stay as still as possible and don’t talk with your hands or try to look around at the stylist.
-Arguing about what you think can be done in the allotted time and within your desired price range. The stylist is the professional, not you. We go to school for a long time to learn about all different hair types, the chemistry of hair color, and how long things will take and how expensive they will be. Maybe your mom’s friend who went to cos school 70 years ago says that a full head highlight can be done in 20 minutes on your black box dyed hair for $60, but that doesn’t mean it’s true and it doesn’t mean I will do it for that price. So save yourself the argument and go to homegirl and let me know how it turns out for you! It’s a lot more expensive to fix fucked up hair than it is to do it right the first time around. Also, if you have super thick/long hair, it will be more expensive. More hair = more product/time = more money. Remember, you get what you pay for. This is especially true for hair services.
Don’t come in with nasty hair. Sure, it gets washed, but no one wants to run their hands through your day 5 hair.
Be realistic about how bleach and color work.
If you are going through a rough patch, try not to do something too drastic to your hair.
If your child either hates having his hair cut or moves a lot. dont expect a fantastic hair cut. if you really wish your child who does hate having his haircut get it done by a stranger, have something in mind that isnt a lot of work. tell the hairdresser / barber that they dislike having it done. and ask for advice on what haircut can be done that is quick and easy. and then listen to them and take the advice.
Most stylists aren't making bank, in fact it's a very low paying job, we are on our feet all day dealing with chemicals and work in positions that aren't always good for our backs/hands/wrists/shoulders. Its not unusual if we don't have time for the bathroom or to eat. Many times I have been busy from the moment the door opens until it closes, and still won't have eating anything. It's very very hard work, and after we're done, every single person in my team is done talking for the day and need some winding down time. we are perfectionists and passionate in our jobs. We do it because we love it and the people, but a lot of us are struggling. Especially now, so be kind to us.
Please don't keep your eyes open when washing, it's kinda akward if you know someone is staring right up your nostrils.
DON’T WEAR A HOODIE or a turtleneck, if you can take it off, fine but they both Get in the way a lot if I’m trying to cut/color your hair. Also your hair doesn’t need to be dirty for me to style it. In fact I would REALLY prefer if it was clean. And it also doesn’t need to be dirty/clean/covered in coconut oil for me to color it. Just come in with normal dry hair.