18 Things You Say to Your Hairdresser that are Disrespectful

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We all know there are certain expectations when you have made a booking at a hair salon. Showing up at the agreed time, tipping your stylist, and getting a patch test if required, to name a few. Have you considered that there might be things you say in conversation with your hairstylist that are actually offensive or disrespectful? We have compiled 18 common phrases people use when getting their haircut that can actually come across as rude.

“I can't believe haircuts are so expensive”

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Complaining about the cost of getting your hair done devalues and diminishes the work of your stylist. Prices are set with consideration of time, expertise, and complexity of your chosen hairstyle, and by booking with that stylist, you have already agreed to a price point. To question that is rude and implies that it is a job that doesn't deserve good compensation.

“How long is this going to take”

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Clock-watching during your hair appointment is disrespectful as it suggests that the haircut should be easy enough to do quickly. In reality, styling hair to a high quality takes time, and if you value a good service, you should make sure you book your appointment in a slot where you aren't in a rush. If you have mistimed your day, it isn't the fault of your stylist, and attempting to rush them will only force them to compromise on their process and, therefore, diminish the results, through no fault of the hairdresser.

“I saw this tutorial on social media, I can show you how to do it”

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Watching a tutorial online does not compare to the extensive training, commitment, and hard work hair stylists have gone through to progress in their careers. They are the experts and should be treated as such. Of course, you are more than entitled to request what style you would like, but to suggest you can show them how it's done is disrespectful. If you think you can do it better then stay at home. For an expert hand, go to your stylist.

“I really wish my old hairdresser was still available”

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Suggesting, or clearly implying, that you have only ended up at this hair salon with this stylist because your preferred one isn't available devalues the unique skillset and specialism of the stylist. It shows them that they are the second choice in your opinion, which obviously starts your relationship on an uncomfortable footing. Embrace each stylist's unique way of working.

“You certainly have a unique style”

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This is simply a passive-aggressive attempt to critique your stylist. Hiding your distaste for a stylist's technique behind a fake compliment is no way to communicate or build a good relationship. Not every hairdresser has been trained in the same way of cutting or dying hair, which makes for a much more dynamic sector of options. It's likely that the stylist's technique isn't the problem but that you didn't do your research to go to the one that suited your needs the best.

“That looks like a simple technique, maybe I could do it myself”

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Defining anyone's profession as easy enough to do yourself, with no training, is insulting. Hair stylists are the experts at what they do, giving clients confidence and elevating their natural features to new levels. A good haircut and a positive experience in the salon can really improve a person's self-esteem. To diminish this by suggesting you could do it yourself disrespects the craft and the stylist.

“I want to look like (celebrity or influencer)”

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Of course, we all jump on trends from time to time, looking to the latest big star or social media influencer to guide our next makeover. Stylists will likely be receptive to any inspirational posts you share with them, as long as it is ahead of time and not sprung upon them. Give them a chance to lead a proper consultation to make sure your desired look actually complements your features, as they are trained to do. In any case, the latest hair fad might not be in their practice and might not be healthy for your hair, so be flexible in adapting to their expertise rather than assuming superiority.

“I don't like talking to my hair stylist”

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Everyone has preferences on how much they talk to their stylist, just like with other beauty treatments like waxing or massage. Quite often, the practitioner will ask. But if they don't, you can politely demonstrate your preference in a way that doesn't disrespect them. Take a book or a magazine, and your hairdresser will certainly understand the messaging through their experience. Remember, you are just one of many clients they see throughout the week, even if they are your only stylist.

“The result looks nothing like the photo I showed you”

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Hair stylists have trained to adapt styles to suit your specific face structure, skin tone, aesthetic, and more. If you have shown them a reference picture, that's great, but it's likely that simply copying and pasting someone else's hair onto your own head will not have the flattering effects you're looking for. The stylist's expert eye is an art form in itself. To diminish that to simply copying someone else work disregards this huge element of their profession.

“I guess I'll just wash it and style it myself at home”

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Don't tell your stylist you are going to re-wash and re-style your hair at home. That is a blatant and rude critique of their work at a time when it is too late for the stylist to expertly make adjustments based on your requests. Focus instead on telling them politely and clearly what you are looking for in the beginning to ensure they have all the briefing they need to pull off your desired look.

“I'm sure you did what you could with my type of hair”

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This kind of comment is very passive-aggressive and indicates that you are unhappy with the result of your hair but have chosen not to share that politely. Patronizing your stylist in this way is rude. They are likely highly skilled and experienced professionals, and sharing feedback politely and openly won't be new to them. They will be able to respond to your requests if you make them in the right way.

“The last hairdresser I went to ruined my hair”

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Being overly critical of other hair stylists will not bring your current one any closer to you. In fact, it's likely to turn them off or offend them. Like many industries, peers prefer to boost each other and lift one another up, providing support within the hair styling sphere. By disrespecting your previous stylist in this way, you actually disrespect the whole profession and indicate that you would speak the same way about your current hairdresser in the future.

“Sorry I'm late, something came up and I was too busy to let you know”

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Hair stylists' time is very precious, with many salons booking up way ahead of time. By being late, particularly if you don't let them know as soon as you can, you impact not only your own appointment but also all the ones to follow. It also demonstrates a disrespect for your stylist's time, prioritizing your own needs over theirs and threatening their livelihood for the day.

“You won't believe the terrible day I had…”

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Hairstylists have a specific and specialized role. They are not therapists, nor are they a family member or friend who is appropriate to offload to. Of course, getting to know your stylist with polite conversation can be a great thing. But as soon as you start trauma dumping or oversharing, consider the uncomfortable position you are putting them in and the difficulties they might be going through in their own life.

“I wish I didn't have such a serious job and could be a hair stylist like you”

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Suggesting that your profession or occupation is more difficult than your stylist's, really devalues their expertise and is definitely offensive. Placing yourself on a pedestal on the basis of your work, only serves to highlight your own snobbery. Hairdressers are extremely skilled and hardworking and should be spoken to as such.

“Any chance of having some money off”

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Angling for a discount is rude, as it suggests that you are overpaying for the service and diminishes the amount of work that has gone into your new look. This is particularly pertinent as, in many cases, hairstylists don't receive a great salary. As a matter of fact, their clients are often financially better off, making these kinds of comments even more insensitive.

“I don't want anything like your previous clients”

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It's common and understandable to look at photos of your hairdresser's previous work before you book an appointment with them. It's a great way to ascertain if their usual styles are in keeping with what you have in mind for your own hair. With this in mind, to make a point of not wanting the kinds of hairstyles previous clients have had, suggests you don't like their styling work at all and that they must abandon their techniques in favor of yours. They are the professionals. If their hair styling isn't to your taste, simply book with someone else.

“What on earth is the person next to me getting done to their hair?”

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Commenting on someone else's hair is nearly always rude, particularly if they are a stranger. Not only is it disrespectful to the person getting their hair done and their stylist, but it's, in fact, also disrespectful to your own stylist. After all, if you speak that way about their colleague's work, the logic follows that you would speak that way about theirs too. Equally, likely they are friends or have a rapport with their peers, so consider keeping your opinions to yourself.

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