You’ve seen her every six to eight weeks for years and her stylish cuts have boosted your confidence every time she sends you out the salon door back into reality. But she just ain’t doin’ it for you anymore and you know it’s time to break it off. But how can you have a healthy break up with your hairdresser?
Give her a heads up
Your hairdresser is human too, so she deserves some respect — especially if you’ve been seeing her for a while. Let her know something’s up by leaving her a message before you come in or even asking the receptionist to relay a note to her. Keep it simple by mentioning the classic line, “We need to talk.” It’s a little cliche, but she’ll get the point and be prepared to discuss things without getting defensive when you come in.
Keep it short and sweet — and be honest!
Jodyne Speyer, author of Dump ‘Em: How to Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser, encourages you that having a conversation with your hairdresser is the right thing to do. But there’s also a right way to do it. “Don’t over explain,” she advises, “Say that it’s not going to work out, I’m so sorry, best of luck to you.” You may also want to have this talk in private, as it might be embarrassing for clients and other hairdressers to overhear, especially if you want another stylist in that salon to do your ‘do someday.
Don’t over-think it
Break-ups are inevitable when there are so many salons and stylists to choose from. “It happens to all of us,” admits Philip Carreon, celebrity hairstylist and consulting hairstylist for Garnier on Project Runway and owner of Estilo Salon in Los Angeles. As long as you’re straight-forward and friendly, your hairdresser will understand and not hold anything against you.
Give her one more chance
If you’re not quite ready to make the jump into the sea of salons that exist, but you’re also not happy with the way your hair looks when you leave our current place, politely let your stylist know. “In any relationship, do what you can to try to make it work before you exit stage left,” says Carreon. Speyer adds, “Allow them to self-correct.” Give her a second chance to make you happy and earn your business back, but leave if she doesn’t respond to your requests.
End things on a positive note
Ever run into the ex from that nasty break-up? Yeah, you get the idea. It could be really awkward to leave things negatively, only to come running back to your former BFF when the new stylist doesn’t work out. Remember that hairdressers can improve over time or you may want to return to the salon after trying a couple new stylists.
Seize the moment
If you’re really in a pickle (you asked to be a blonde bombshell, but ended up with rusty bicycle-colored locks), use your judgement. The ultimate goal of a hairdresser should be to make you feel great every time you walk out of an appointment. If something goes horribly awry, Speyer explains, “Be crystal clear. ‘This is absolutely not what we talked about, I can’t come back here in good faith.'” You shouldn’t have to live with hating a ‘do you’ve paid good money for!