Ask a Hairstylist: How Do I Swap Hairdressers With out It Being Awkward?


It’s time for an additional installment of our Ask a Hairstylist sequence, that includes movie star hairstylist and Dove ambassador Mark Townsend! Townsend shapes and snips the hair of Hollywood’s A-list (suppose Mary-Kate, Ashley, and Elizabeth Olsen; Dakota Johnson; and extra) and can be answering all of your urgent hair questions.

This month, we determined to take his experience in one other path. One in every of our personal was fighting the one factor nearly each girl goes by means of no less than as soon as in her life: ending issues together with her hairstylist. She needed to know the way to “break up” together with her stylist within the least awkward approach doable—and who higher to talk on the right etiquette on this state of affairs than a seasoned, skilled hairstylist? Take notes.

break up with hairdresser

Hello, Byrdie readers!

In my business, these kinds of “breakups” occur ALL the time. Typically I’ll be on an extended press tour with my new shopper and my previous shopper on the similar time. It may be awkward, however I’ve realized to develop a thick pores and skin over time. In my world, I not often hear from the purchasers themselves; it’s usually by means of their publicists. However for the remainder of you girls, it’s not fairly as simple. Individuals depart stylists for a mess of causes, and all are justified.

What I will say is that the longest shopper/hairstylist relationships I’ve seen all have one factor in frequent: communication and evolution. I’ve been with Ashley and Mary-Kate for greater than a decade as a result of I hearken to them and evolve with them. I attempt to channel their imaginative and prescient for his or her hair into actuality and gently steer them solely when wanted. The second a hairstylist makes it about themselves and stops listening to what their shopper needs, all of it goes downhill.

What Causes a “Breakup” With a Hairstylist?

I’ve usually witnessed the top of an extended relationship between shopper and hairstylist, and I’ve discovered myself puzzled. He did wonderful work on her hair, their chemistry was wonderful, and so they had been “collectively” for years. However in these circumstances, I’ve to remind myself that is nonetheless a customer-service business. No matter motive the shopper determined to go away finally have to be revered. And it may very well be for a mess of causes.

Possibly she simply needed to strive another person and play the sector. Possibly her aesthetic advanced and didn’t match together with his anymore. It may be onerous for the hairstylist, little doubt. However on the finish of the day, it’s as much as the shopper, and there actually is not any incorrect motive. Most hairstylists obtained into this business as a result of they love making folks completely happy. If the shopper is happier with another person, it’s a part of the stylist’s job to be selfless and settle for it. The way you go concerning the “breakup” is one other story…

Learn how to Politely Swap Hairdressers

Honesty, whereas not all the time simple, is unquestionably one of the best coverage. Right here’s the factor: I really like when my purchasers have opinions. No one is aware of your hair higher than you! When a shopper tells me that is how I would like to chop their bangs from their private years of expertise, you’d higher imagine I hear. However usually, purchasers really feel muted within the chair and don’t need to rock the boat.

Communication is vital. Should you’ve been getting your hair lower for years by somebody, strive another person out by probability. Should you LOVE the brand new stylist, I’d gently let your unique one know. One thing like “Thanks a lot for all of the wonderful hair you’ve given me over the previous couple of years. You actually are superior. However I feel I discovered somebody who understands my fringe a bit higher” is a pleasant approach to go.

As a younger stylist within the recreation, if I had heard this (and belief me, I did), I’d instantly begin brushing up on my slicing expertise and attempt to make myself higher. That’s what separates the nice hairdressers from the wonderful ones. Wonderful ones are open to studying new issues and always making an attempt to raised themselves.


Is to Ever OK to “Ghost” Your Hairdresser?

Should you’ve solely seen a stylist a few instances and don’t have an actual relationship with them, I see no drawback with simply altering stylists and never letting them know. Though, the time period “ghosting” does appear a bit harsh!

That being stated, if the stylist reaches out to you to and asks if you wish to e book once more, I feel it’s respectful to thank him for his work and let him know you’re going to another person now.

Switching Hairstylists within the Similar Salon

Switching to a stylist in the identical salon generally is a tough state of affairs, and egos could be simply bruised. Within the case of a “salon switchover” (which feels like a actuality present I might watch), I’d take fast motion.

Name or textual content your previous stylist and let him gently know that you simply’ll be seeing his co-worker any longer. Reaching out first helps quell rumors and awkwardness round their work setting. Honesty, once more, is one of the best coverage. However one other good bit of recommendation is “Say what you imply, however don’t say it imply.”


Should you’re seeing a brand new stylist in the identical salon as your final, do NOT trash-talk your earlier stylist. Phrase travels quick across the shampoo bowls, and the very last thing you need is harm emotions or common unpleasantness.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re in a brand new salon, be happy to inform your new stylist what you appreciated and didn’t like about your final stylist’s work. (Then once more, hairdressers run in circles, and lots of know one another. Should you go in too harsh in your previous stylist, it simply might get again to them. So watch out along with your phrases.)

Getting Referred by Your Stylist

For higher or for worse, I’m an especially busy man. And a few weeks, there aren’t sufficient hours within the day for me to see everybody I need to. As quickly as I do know I’m gonna need to reschedule or cancel, I’m going into fast motion. I let my shopper know the dates I WILL be out there, and I all the time advocate the fitting stylist to fill in for me. I do know tons of hairdressers, so I’ve a good suggestion who would be the finest match.

What purchasers resolve to do on this state of affairs is finally as much as them. For some folks, reliability is a very powerful issue. It is sensible then for them to hunt out a brand new stylist. More often than not purchasers will perceive. But when it occurs greater than as soon as, I completely perceive why a shopper would transfer on. If a hairstylist recommends another person to you, you shouldn’t really feel unhealthy about seeing the brand new stylist full-time in the event you like that work extra. This particular person got here beneficial, in any case!

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