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Last updated: December 02, 2022

3 Tips For Navigating Difficult Client Situations

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Here’s How To Handle Any Difficult Client Situation

Dealing with difficult clients can be tricky… Luckily, Sabrina Yamani Yamga, aka @sabrinathehairwitch, shared her expert advice on Instagram by breaking down hot topics like: How to say no, strategies for dealing with negative attitudes and when it’s time to stop taking new clientele. Keep scrolling for her best tips!


1. Learn To Say No & Explain Why

Telling a client no can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Sabrina recommends following a “no” with a clear explanation, so the client understands your reasoning. For example, if a client who uses box dye wants to go blonde in one session, explain to them that it’s not a realistic goal and their hair will turn orange. Follow it up by offering to do a strand test, and make a realistic plan to bring them to the blonde they desire. If you always explain why, you should never be afraid to say no.


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2. Identify The Different Types Of “Difficult Clients”

Problem clients aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some clients might just be having a bad day, week or year—and in some cases, it might be time to let them go. Whatever the reason, once you’ve identified why your client is unpleasant, then you can determine how to deal with it. Here are three examples of how Sabrina approaches different scenarios.


Problem: Client vents and complains about life all the time.

Solution: “I would just listen to them,” says Sabrina. “Maybe no one really does. They probably don’t need advice, just a shoulder to lean on.”


Problem: Client never likes their hair.

Solution: “I would first try to fix it,” says Sabrina. “If they just don’t like the way I do hair, I would tell them, ‘No hard feelings. I don’t think you’re going to love anything I do. I’m just not your style, so this isn’t going to work out.'”


Problem: Client is just mean.

Solution: “I’d probably tell them… because I’m petty,” says Sabrina. Petty or not, it’s always a good idea to speak up about how you feel. Give the client time to change or let them go.


3. Stop Taking New Clients When YOU Want To

How do you know it’s time to stop booking new clients? Sabrina says it can be a business or personal decision. There is no right or wrong time to do it, but it does come down to money in the end. Here are two things to consider if you’re thinking about closing your books.


  • Raise Your Prices: Have you given yourself a raise? If you’re booked 80 to 100 percent of the time, try raising your prices and hiring an assistant before you decide to shut out new clients. You might decide an assistant or two is all you need and never stop taking new clientele. “It’s really your choice to stop taking new clients,” says Sabrina. “It isn’t an end goal or something you ever have to do.”


  • You’re Content Where You Are: Sabrina stopped taking new clients at one point because she had her dream clientele and reached a financial situation she was comfortable with. “I’ve built deep relationships. [My clients have] moved with me to every new spot, they pay every increase so far and I simply don’t want to price them out of my chair.” The decision doesn’t have to be permanent and can reverse any time you feel like it.


Example Post: How To Tell Clients You’re Raising Prices—Read The Caption Below!

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A post shared by Chicago Multicultural Hair (@sabrinathehairwitch)


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Sabrina Yamani Yamga