Articles > Business > What Would You Do: A Question From an Unhappy Client
Last updated: February 08, 2018

What Would You Do: A Question From an Unhappy Client

Here’s a classic scenario of a communication breakdown between stylist and client, and some advice for how to handle it!

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Every stylist wants their clients to be honest, right? Right, because if your guest doesn’t like something about their color, cut or style, you’d want the chance to fix the issue. This keeps your guests happy and ensures they’ll be coming back! But just because honesty is the best policy, doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. Here’s a classic scenario of a communication breakdown between stylist and client, and some advice for how to handle it!


“I was hoping your large following of stylists could help me with something…I’ve been going to the same stylist for almost two years. I love the way she cuts my hair but I really can’t stand how she styles it—it’s a bit old fashioned. Can I tell her? I love to leave “finished,” but I always end up going home and doing it over before I really like it. Is this normal? Should I look for a stylist that does a cut and finish I love? I’m a little afraid to say something as I’m afraid I will offend her…and as I said before, not sure she can do other styles? HELP!”



Communication is ALWAYS Key
In almost every comment, stylists stress the importance of communication between you and your client. Here’s what some of you said:


@mrsdunsford said, “Tell her! Your stylist is there to give you the style you want. Give her time to find her flow in giving you the finish you are looking for. Sometimes, taking a stylist out of their comfort zone is just what they need. I’m a cosmetologist and don’t feel uncomfortable bringing it up. Personally, I prefer my clients to be upfront with me.” And according to @nicolef.indeed, “Definitely say something to your stylist! I’m sure she would not want to lose you as a client over such an easy fix. A good stylist should stay current on trends—especially styling!”


@sarah.jeanmarie might have said it best: “We are not mind readers! The more a client continues to not say anything, the more the stylist will just assume everything is OK. Trust us, you will not offend her/him because we ALL wear our hair a certain way. Speak up, girl!”


A Photo Will Solve Every Problem
Sure, honesty, is the way a lot of you would want to solve this issue…but for others, it’s all about that photo! A lot of you said that if a client were to bring in a picture of the style they want, this could alleviate most issues. Here are the details:


@jasmineradiate said, “Bring in a picture of you how you style your own hair and ask for that style or even just a picture of a celebrity and ask if she can style it that way too! I’ve had people ask me to style their hair different and I never get offended…just ask!” And @thewsalon1 says, “Bring a photograph and ask her to style it like the picture, just tell her you want to try something new with your style.”


And according to @sydneyannlopezhair, “My best advice is to bring in a photo of how you’re wanting your hair styled, and say something like, ‘I’ve always wanted to be able to style my hair like this…do you think you’d be able to show me how?’ That way, you’re still making her the expert, and giving her the opportunity to show her styling abilities without having to worry about insulting her. I absolutely love when a client comes in with an inspiration photo for anything (including styling) because one person’s ‘beachy waves’ are not equal to another’s.”



Don’t Let Your Client Walk Away
Overall, it seems honesty, open communication and a photograph are all your best bets when it comes to dealing with a client in this situation. No one wants to lose a client for something that could have been an easy fix! Here’s a few other TRUTHS some stylists dropped for dealing with a situation like this.

@ulianneskorupa said, “I think your stylist would be more offended if you just switched stylists out of the blue without saying anything to her or giving her a chance to try something you’d like better.” And @hairapist_byday says, “I personally get more offended when I lose a client who has never told me they weren’t happy. I understand it happens but I would have liked the chance to fix it first if there was a problem.”


Plus, bringing in a photo doesn’t have to be the ONLY solution, according to @kimboney3, “I have one client I blowout, and then she curls and styles her own hair at a empty station. And that makes us both happy!” @thejoyofhairstyling said, “Don’t give up on your stylist, the cut is everything. Styling can always be changed.”


And finally, @renaepaese said, “I’m so glad you asked this question! I’m going to ‘re-think’ how I ask my clients about their style. Thank you! This is how we learn and grow!”