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.

#1

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut This is important, do not moan while we wash your hair. Just don’t.

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Blinding_Darkness
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Who actually does that?! It's gross

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#2

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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TTCA Gravity
Community Member
4 months ago

I work in a restaurant where I literally just lead people to the table. I find it amazing how much political garbage they can spew in the 60 seconds leading up to the table, assuming I agree or that I want to hear their take on it.

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#3

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Please, for the love of god don’t wear a turtleneck to your color appointment.

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Tiredpossum
Community Member
4 months ago

who does that?

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#4

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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?"

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AlmightyOne
Community Member
4 months ago

Agreed!

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#5

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut DON'T ASK FOR ANIME HAIR.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago

I love that this was posted by FullCrackAlchemist.

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#6

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Show up on time.

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Tiredpossum
Community Member
4 months ago

that's just an etiquette.

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#7

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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JessG
Community Member
4 months ago

But wouldn't the stylist ask you if you've ever colored before? If they don't, and customer doesn't say, I think that's on the stylist.

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#8

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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InvincibleRodent
Community Member
4 months ago

This is really good advice. In my experience with home haircuts, it's a good rule of thumb that hair should be cut the way it's going to be worn most. If you have naturally straight hair or straighten it, cut it wet/straight. If your hair is curly, cut it curly or damp at most. I have been doing my own (mid-back length, wavy) hair and my partner's (short, with multiple cowlicks) since my last, horrendously expensive, but equally awful professional cut (roughly two years ago), and it took some finessing, but this way works very well for both of us.

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#9

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
4 months ago

What do you mean, my hair is not Sally's? How dare you imply that Sally has got better hair than me? I'll get you fired over this. I want to speak to the manager!!!

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#10

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Haunting Spirit
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait, is this even a thing? Or is this only in the US?

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#11

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Never EVER make your life a stranger's responsibility unless it is that stranger's job to ensure your wellbeing, like a medical or mental health professional. Or it's an actual emergency (ie you were hit by a car).

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#12

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Ruth Mayfly
Community Member
4 months ago

How the heck are we supposed to know that's bad unless someone tells us? I've never been told to keep my legs uncrossed when having a haircut, and women are taught to cross their legs when sitting, in general. Politely reminding every customer, every time, seems like a much better option than just complaining online.

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#13

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Lifting your head in the shampoo bowl! Don't do that.. That's how we end up soaking the back of your shirt!

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Zoe
Community Member
4 months ago

Most sinks are incredibly uncomfortable to have your hair washed at. It's difficult to sit completely still when the hard basin is digging in your neck. Also, difficult to sit still when the person washing my hair is also trying to wash my face, concentrate on what you are doing not stand chatting to the person next to you. Also, cut your nails

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#14

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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FroggyGirl
Community Member
4 months ago

I won't. I dyed my hair pink once and purple once. Even FUSCHIA! But when i went swimming i didnt go for long

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#15

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Tanja J
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh, this one goes both ways.

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#16

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut (responding for my mother, who is one)
Helpful:
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

Unhelpful:
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

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Sarah Miller
Community Member
4 months ago

I agree with babies, but what's supposed to happen with toddler hair? Just grow out of control? Isn't it also traumatizing when toys get caught up in long hair and have to be cut out?

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#17

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Sage Gusano
Community Member
4 months ago

I keep seeing that about crossing the legs/arms. I've never heard it while in a chair however. That should be something told to customers when butt hits seat.

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#18

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut You'd be shocked at how just washing your hair can make a huge difference between a good haircut and a great one.

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*sneezes in pansexual*
Community Member
4 months ago

is this for barber shops that don't wash your hair first? Cuz mine washes my hair before

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#19

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.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago

Damn, he's not wrong. Young Stalin had gorgeous hair. stalin-14.jpg stalin-14.jpg

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#20

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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!

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
4 months ago

I don't understand why that is the case. Can anyone enlighten us?

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#21

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Burnt_Spaghetti
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Story time: when I was eleven, I had to go get a haircut to fix an undercut I gave myself (I cut my hair with scissors because I didn't want to brush out a knot) and my appointment was while I was in school, COINCIDENTALLY after I had gym. Now if you know how 6th grade gym is, they make you work out enough to make you sweat. After gym class I was called to the office to be picked up for my appointment. While we walking towards the car, my mom looks at me and says, "girl, what fight did you get into?" I told her that I JUST had gym so I was a little rough looking. She then called the stylist and then asked them if we could delay the appointment for another 45 minutes. Why? Because she didn't want me to go to my appointment looking like an animal. ->-

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#22

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago

I once had a colorist tell me she recommends replacing shampoo with decent-quality conditioner after coloring hair because it still gets the job done with the scrubbing action & sudsiness but you end up not spending as much on super expensive specialty shampoo. I've tried it & it seems to work perfectly fine. Also, for research purposes I fed my home-dyed hair (Adore brand) a steady stream of Pantene shampoo & the color still lasted a very long time, 6-8 months if I remember correctly. But again that's just my personal experience so talk to your colorist about what will work best for your dye brand & hair type.

foo i am
Community Member
4 months ago

That is very informative, thank you!

ZooMom
Community Member
4 months ago

Mmm...I call shenanigans. Most stylists have to meet a product quota. They may recommend something but you are likely to find it in the store cheaper

Si
Community Member
4 months ago

I come for a cut not a sales pitch. Stop flogging your product line to captive customers who feel emotionally blackmailed into buying things they don’t want

Tiari
Community Member
4 months ago

Well, sorry I don’t buy your shampoo if you charge double the price I would pay online...

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
4 months ago

That’s just being obtuse. They’re talking about the product, not where you buy it.

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Luka Hamer
Community Member
2 months ago

400 dollar??

Lea S.
Community Member
4 months ago

Again - I've gotten an 'exotic color' twice. I used CHEAPO shampoo with one and it did NOT wash out the first night. It lasted maybe two months longer with the expensive stuff.

Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 months ago

Every product at every salon I've ever been to is so full of nasty chemical perfume that I can't even let it touch my skin.

Samantha Hurrell
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Learnt that the hard way, Tresemme made my hair drop its colour so fast (let's just say all my towels ended up red from dye), I switched to my hair dressers recommendation after that.

Paul Z.
Community Member
4 months ago

Hair is dead. Hair cannot be moisturized. Its a myth.

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Many drugstore shampoos are fuçking HORRIBLE for your hair, no matter what your color situation is. Sulfates and the ‘cones are such an enemy of good hair.

ZooMom
Community Member
4 months ago

Please don’t abbreviate words unnaturally. You actually look LESS knowledgeable writing “‘cones” than just silicone

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#23

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.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago

But also remember that we have no idea what's going on in your life so while we non-Karen customers will do our best to be sympathetic we also expect a level of professionalism. I've had stylists who were downright nasty, & maybe they had things going on in their lives that were stressing them out, but they still had a job to do & I didn't appreciate having rudeness directed towards me simply for wanting a haircut.

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#24

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Stylist here.

Helpful:

-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.

Unhelpful:

-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.

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Lily Swag
Community Member
4 months ago

I appreciate this, but it still baffles me that y'all haven't come up with a more comfortable set up for hair washing. Sometimes I move bc it's SO painful I don't have a choice. Even something as small as putting a towel under my neck helps. I understand that it adds to the laundry, but holy hell, those sinks are *awful.*

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#25

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
4 months ago

Some people have 0 experience with bleach or dye, don't get angry at people for simply not knowing. Remember, you were trained to do this because it's your job. Most people's only experience is seeing someone else with dyed hair.

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#26

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.

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Jade Lynn - Panda's Brat
Community Member
4 months ago

This seems logical

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#27

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.

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Paul Z.
Community Member
4 months ago

I can't wait for my favorite barbershop to reopen (and not only because my style is gone completely...)

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#28

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Please don't keep your eyes open when washing, it's kinda akward if you know someone is staring right up your nostrils.

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The 5-star rated 5-star rating system
Community Member
4 months ago

I do keep my eyes open when my hair is being washed at the hairdressers', but I don't stare into the nostrils of whoever is washing my hair, because a) I don't think I could because they stand too far behind me and b) I look straight up at the ceiling .

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#29

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut 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.

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Rob Seymour
Community Member
4 months ago

*Just come in with normal CLEAN dry hair.

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#30

Hairdressers-Share-Things-Customers-Shouldnt-Do-During-Haircut Former hairstylist, don’t ask to have an inch off all over and then “we can go from there if I want more.”

That’s asking me to do two haircuts, come on.

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Tiredpossum
Community Member
4 months ago

maybe they just aren't sure and want to make sure that they look good?

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