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Last updated: February 22, 2024

10 Red Flags Your Client May be a Problem Child

Here are 10 red flags to look out for when dealing with toxic salon clients.

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Life is too short to work with extremely difficult clients. Here are 10 red flags to look out for when working with new or existing clients to help flag a potential “Karen.” 


1. They are resistant to listening to professional advice:

A client who refuses to listen to your professional advice or insist on their own way may not value your expertise, which can be frustrating to deal with, especially if they don’t like what haircut or color they received when they were the ones who insisted on it! 


2. They are never satisfied:

If a client seems as though she is never satisfied with your services, no matter how many times you try to appease her, it may be time to refer her to another salon. 


3. They show up for their appointments late:

And always, with coffee in hand. Of course they apologize, but it happens every time. Constantly being late for appointments can disrupt your schedule and cause other clients to be unhappy.


4. They don’t respect your boundaries:

A client who ignores your salon policies, contacts you at night and expects you to text them right back is pushing your boundaries and can become a problem child. 


5. They demand excessive discounts or free services:

A client who always expects discounts or free services is a red flag. They may suggest it’s their birthday so ask if their service will be free today, or ask if you’ll give them the cut for free since they spent so much on their color service. If you give in to them, they may take advantage of your kindness and really challenge your self-respect.


6. They constantly complain:

The coffee is cold, the chair is uncomfortable and the air conditioning is too cold. A client who is always finding something to complain will rarely be happy with her hair!


7. They gossip or badmouth others:

A client who gossips or speaks negatively about other clients in your salon can create a very negative atmosphere and hurt your business. Sometimes people will shoot the messenger if they find out this gossip is happening in your salon.


8. They are unreasonably demanding:

If a client has unreasonable requests and demands, it can be challenging to satisfy them and may cause tension.


9. They refuse to pay “the whole bill” or always have payment issues:

A client who refuses to pay their bill or nickels and dimes you to death, cannot be relied upon as a long term client.  


10. They drain your energy:

Trust yourself. If you have a bad feeling right off the bat, you’re probably right.


Remember: It is not your responsibility to take care of every client who walks through the door. Your mental health is more important than an unappreciative client. Don’t hesitate to fire these clients early on if need be. 


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