Hair Salon Etiquette
Getting Along in Hair Salons
Hair salon snafus usually happen when you’re uncomfortable in your hair salon or unsure of proper protocol. Let’s start with the easy stuff.
Hair salon tipping is straightforward: The standard is 20%. Shampoo persons should get $2-$5, depending on what else they did. If you got a great scalp massage and they assisted your colorist, be generous. If the assistant also does the blow-out, tip 20%. Ten percent is cheap, but if you just can’t add another $10 to a $100 haircut, ask the desk about other hair salons’ prices. Most hair salons have “tier pricing,” in which juniors or those with less experience in the same hair salon charge less.
Tipping the owner is still a no-no, but if you got a fabulous new look, consider a special gift, like flowers. A modern way to gift is to post a rave review for your fave hair salon on Yelp, CitySearch, Twitter or Facebook . Go ahead and let the salon owner know you’re doing it. And of course, referring clients is the best sign of appreciation.
Love it/Hate It
If your hairdresser didn’t give you want you want, or worse, did damage let your stylist know immediately what’s wrong (without screaming or crying). No satisfaction? Tell the manager or salon owner. If you get a redo, then you can tip on the basis of the fix.
Of course, if you demanded a short cut and then decided you hate yourself in short hair, don’t blame your hair stylist or refuse to tip over your own unresolved issues.
Extras Can Add Up
If, during the consultation, your hair stylist or hair colorist suggests additional services, always ask the price. There’s no embarrassment in asking first, and any first-rate salon will have a staff that’s trained to tell you the price of add-ons up-front.
If you failed to ask the cost of suggested high lights when you booked an appointment for a root retouch, it’s on you. But if it was implied that a few high lights or a makeup touch-up was free and it wasn’t, let the receptionist or the salon manager know. He or she will usually take it off the bill.
Switching Hair Stylists
The trickiest situation is when you want to change hairdressers within the salon. If you think of your stylist as your friend and want to avoid hurt feelings, being clear about what you want in advance—and noting what you don’t like immediately—can save the day. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide if you want to swap hairdressers or switch hair salons.
If you really want to change hair stylists, try this: Tell your existing stylist that next time, you’d like to try Mary, and that you hope he or she won’t be offended. Explain why, and give your hairdresser a chance to right any wrong. You can also speak to the salon owner, asking him or her to smooth it over for you.
Don’t simply make an appointment with someone else—you’ll risk having your regular hairdresser greet you at the door (where you’ll both feel embarrassed) or see you in another stylists chair later, which creates bad feelings.
Fortunately, many hair salons encourage hairdresser swaps, and ones with different pricing levels give you an easy out. Of course, if you start out by trying different hair stylist with each visit, it’ll be a lot easier, and you’ll simply be appreciated as a loyal salon client.
Article courtesy of Harris Publications
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