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Last updated: April 11, 2024

What Would You Do: Salon Staff Getting Sneaky About Client Contact Info

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What Would You Do: Stylists Are Being Sneaky And Gathering Their Client Information

As a salon owner, the rumblings of an unhappy staff can be hard to ignore. But a staff walk out in the middle of the work day is even MORE hard to ignore. One salon owner is having this very problem—she is suspecting her staff of collecting client info and needed some advice. So, we posted this #btcWhatWouldYouDo on our Instagram and Facebook and WOW, the tea was piping hot ☕. Scroll down to get the BTC community’s opinion on this client info debate.


Here is our anonymous salon owner’s situation:


Please keep anonymous, I am a salon owner and need some advice from other salon owners and stylists please. I have discovered that some of my staff are secretly obtaining client contact info and I really don’t know what to do. After several verbal warnings with no change, these stylists might be planning a walk-out. I’m upset and a little mad. Is there anything I can do? Or should do? Advice from other salon owners who’ve been through this or stylists with advice from their side would be very much appreciated, thank-you.


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Before sharing responses, we want to make sure that you know the privacy laws in your state. Sharing personal information can be a liability and, in some cases, illegal. The most important thing to remember is that the environment you build within your salon as an owner will keep everyone happy, stylists and clients included.


Take The High Road, With A Smile



“We don’t hand out our client info to the stylists. But, if the client gives it to them then, you can’t do much about that. Keep it professional and when the stylists leave just send a letter stating you would love to continue taking care of them, if it doesn’t work out for them to follow their stylist. You would be surprised at how many people don’t want to switch salons.” – Ashley Smith


“Whatever the reason may be for the stylist leaving, politely inform the client of the stylist’s departure. Give them a reason to stay in the salon!!!!! If they choose to stay in your salon great, if they choose to by loyal to their stylist, more power to him or her. As long as your salon provides great customer service, is clean and uses quality products, you have a 50/50 chance of the client staying.” – Deedee Paulson


“I’ve been an owner for 31 years, if they’re going to go, they’re going to go. I always refer their clients and take the high road.” – Anthony Gutilla


“Sad to say, they are probably leaving. Don’t worry, you’ll get through it😕.” – Michele Irons


“You cannot control what they do or how they do it, but you can control how you react! Get ready for it, smile and keep your head held high. Look, they wouldn’t be there in the first place without you creating a job for them but they cannot see that. Typical employee syndrome! There are always a few witches that stir the pot, let them go. Have a marketing email/text ready for all your clients offering them a discount service to keep them coming back. We don’t own clients, if they want to stay or not, they will do as they choose! Good luck!” – @riahhairdressing


“This is an unfortunate situation, with that said, I would also go at the problem head on and make sure there is communication with your stylists and also your clients. If the stylists leave with their clientele, I would still extend an invitation to the client in case the transition doesn’t work out. Just let them know their business is always welcomed and appreciated 😊😊. If this applies to the stylists and it’s appropriate for your business, then maybe extend the invite to the stylists as well. I wish you and everyone involved, the best of luck.” – @candee.79


“I think even the best salon owners can have this happen to them. I do think however, a great business owner should give her employee the client info so there is no need to sneak around. There is enough to go around and I think both parties have done a lot for the business and relationships in the salon. It is good karma. Some clients will stay for the love of the salon and some will leave for the love of the stylist. Either way should be okay, lots of hard work on both ends. 💜” – @lizzy_prive_salon



Stylists Build Relationships With Clients, So Don’t Be Surprised If Clients Follow Them



“I wouldn’t be too worried over the information as most guests follow their stylists on social media, and if they love that stylist, they will follow regardless. 🙌🏻” – @rjm.hair


“I remember being fresh and busting my tail to gain clients. I do not hide client info; I allow stylists to have access. I believe that clients are free to choose and I don’t want extra work for myself trying to keep secrets that are impossible to keep. (They don’t need their info…. Facebook is a thing) Seriously, you will spend more time, energy and money trying to keep information, that isn’t exclusive knowledge anyway.  If I was a client, I will look for my stylist even if I was loyal to the shop, it wouldn’t matter. Lots of work for something that’s not effective. Just my way, but it works for us.” – Kim Evans


“I came into this career 15 years ago knowing damn well that a client is free to go and do whatever with whoever. We do not own them and there are plenty for everyone. At the end of the day, it is the client’s choice who they go to.” – @veroxx_


“In my opinion, there is nothing you can do. In this day and age, a stylist can find any contact info they want on the internet, so it doesn’t really matter where they get their info from. Also, any color records or formulations are that stylists work and, in my opinion, not property of the salon. My recommendation is to make your salon the very best environment possible with other talented stylists so that the clients will want to stay even if their stylist leaves.” – @carolynrae25


“I’ve been an owner for 31 years, if they’re going to go, they’re going to go. I always refer their clients and take the high road.” Anthony Gutilla


“The salon owner is not the one putting in the hours to build a relationship with the client, the stylist is. No one owns the client, let them decide where they want to go and with whom. Clearly, there is something toxic going on in this salon. Stylists don’t just leave the place of business they’re known for working at. Either management or the owner are creating a hostile work environment, which makes sense, as you think you own the clients and your stylists have no rights to the bond they’ve created.” @kaladarling



Clients Are Not Property



“Clients aren’t property.” – @kelsiewens


“I don’t believe a salon owns their clients. The stylists are working for you and are the ones making the clients happy. If the stylists choose to leave, it’s up to the client where they want to go.” – @jacquie.hair


“This type of mentality is so infuriating, nobody owns clients, and there are plenty to go around! As an owner, focus on your poor relationship with abundance and the short leash you’re attempting to keep your stylists on, because eventually it will break and they will leave.” – @hairbyaustinsenior


“Clients are loyal to the stylist not the salon. I’ve NEVER understood why owners think client info is their property, it’s such bullsh*t! Commission, booth rent, whatever it doesn’t matter!!” – @hairlovebysarahscott


“Salon owners don’t own the clients and stylists don’t own the clients. Let your work do the talking and your client do the walking.” – @gigigirl_19


“Been here before, you don’t own the client. They will either follow their stylist or stay at your salon because they like the salon. Even if the stylist leaves and doesn’t reach out to a client, the client can still find them if they like them enough. I was on a contract saying I wasn’t allowed to solicit clients from the salon I was leaving. I didn’t and almost all my clients were able to find me through word of mouth and social media.” – @jaguonie


“You don’t own clients. PERIOD.” @philiptamneyhair



It’s Not Me…IT’S YOU, So Try And Do Something About It.



“If your stylists are planning a walk out, you’re probably not that great of a boss. Ask them what you can do to improve their work experience, then do what they ask of you.” ­­– @thematthayew


“If your staff is planning a walk out, you might want to evaluate yourself as a salon owner because clearly something isn’t working. 🤷🏻‍♀️” @lpstyx


“Happy stylists don’t walk out, have an honest conversation with them.” @jenmagee_


“It sounds like your staff is unhappy with management. We all know that clients are pretty fickle and go wherever and to whomever they please. That is out of our control. What you can control is the morale of the team! Have an honest conversation with them as a group so that everyone feels safe speaking their truth & be willing to accept that your style of managing could be the problem. Come up with a plan together that will benefit both you and your staff and execute your part. If anyone has a problem with following the new protocol, let them move on.” – @ebonydoesbeauty


“Stylists walk-outs only happen when management is horrible. I’ve seen it happen multiple times and all those times were from over-bearing bosses who refused to change and listen to their staff. Hairstylists can work anywhere. So, if they are leaving then they are going to leave, unless you change your methods.” – @just_kaylaw


“Salon owners: you may bring in the traffic but the stylist is who keeps the clients!!! Start treating your stylists for their worth and they won’t want to go anywhere else! Most stylists aren’t ‘sneaky,’ we are pretty straight shooters. We just get tired of being treated like we aren’t worth a damn and ‘disposable,’ of course you can live without us! But don’t we help make your salon better? Because NEWS FLASH no stylist = no salon, you don’t thrive without the providers! If you treat your stylists bad you will always continue to have the same problem! There are two side to every story, there are bad stylists and bad owners, it’s a two-way street!” @kokored_3


“Look at yourself as a boss, there is a reason they are getting the clients’ info—because they’re not happy and want to leave. Perhaps you should work on making a smoother, happier work environment and they’ll want to stay. You may have brought in the clients, but they kept them there!” @pinneysstuff


Same Girl, Same



“Man, I wanna know what happens next with this one. 👀🍿🍿🍿” – @krystalbethstudios