Need To Fire Your Stylist?

For all your beauty advice…

A hairstylist, much like a doctor or a therapist, is someone with whom you form a relationship. Like any relationship that has run its course, breaking up is hard to do. If you’ve said it once, you’ve probably said it a thousand times. “I just want a trim”, and wouldn’t you know it? You leave with 3 inches, or more, of your hair hacked off. The hair you tried so hard to grow out so you could start wearing it up…the hair that is now being swept into the lovely trash can designated for cast off locks…mingling with other hair that was also on the floor not so long ago. At one time, you may have appreciated your stylist for his/her artistic talent. But, when that talent is no longer what you are looking for, or your stylist hears you but doesn’t listen…it’s time to move on.

How do you go about firing your stylist? Do you sneak around and “cheat” on them with other stylists until you find the one you’re looking for, or do you just flat-out tell them it’s time to move on? What if you have been admiring another stylist’s work and they happen to be in the same salon? Well, that’s like running into your ex with the younger version of you on their arm…awkward!

The first thing to do is to talk it out. Try to communicate better with your stylist and maybe you can work on patching things up and have a better relationship. It’s always easier to put the blame on yourself, at first, and tell your stylist that maybe you didn’t get the words right as to what you were looking for with your cut. You never know, you could have a very mature individual cutting your hair and by speaking up, they will listen and realize not to pick up their tools until they have asked you what you need, and have repeated back to you what you have said. A good, thorough, consultation should always be the first step of a hair cut, no matter how long you’ve been going to the same person.

Communication not working? Ok, this is the tough part, but it’s your hair so it must be done. Unless you are willing to walk around frustrated with your hairstyle, it’s time to move on. It won’t be easy. Really, when is a break up easy? Most people in this industry, myself included, are either temperamental or sensitive. If you’re lucky, your stylist is temperamental AND sensitive. Not a good combination when it comes time to cut the ties…no pun intended.

If you’re looking to see a stylist that works at the same salon, call and talk to a manager or the receptionist and explain what’s going on. Ask to be scheduled with the person of your choice when your current stylist isn’t working. You won’t have to do this forever, just until the hurt wears off, then you’ll be able to schedule when you please and it won’t be so uncomfortable when you do run into them. Remember, time heals all wounds…even hair wounds.

#1 rule here if you’re still at the same salon? Do NOT gossip about your former stylist to your current one. Hair salons are a breeding ground for gossip and it WILL get back to your former stylist. Nothing but nasty can come from that, so just say you needed a fresh start with someone new and steer the conversation in another direction. Trust me…just. trust. me.

What if the new stylist doesn’t work, either? Move on to another salon altogether. Many salons these days are adopting a uniform way of cutting. This works in the salon’s favor so any stylist will give a quality cut and the customer won’t have to be patient waiting to get in with one stylist. That’s not a bad idea on the salon’s part, but if you’re unsatisfied, it’s time to start searching. Ask around, word of mouth is going to be the best way to find a new salon. Who knows? You may find, in all your searching, that what you are looking for is what your original stylist had to offer all along. Sometimes a break is a good thing for both you and your stylist.

So, what kind of stylist am I? temperamental, sensitive, or the worst, temperamental AND sensitive? Hmmm.. Wouldn’t you like to know?  

Have you ever had to fire your stylist? I want to hear your story and how you handled it.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at

You’ve Been Beautified!

4 thoughts on “Need To Fire Your Stylist?

  1. Julie

    Dear Brooke,
    Many years ago I had to fire my stylist, something I did not want to do, but felt it was necessary.
    After many appointments that were cancelled the day they were scheduled, not calling my sister(who had an appt.) to let her know he was sick and not coming in. She sat in the reception area for 30 minutes before anyone let her know that he would not be in. Not fixing a botched color…I looked like bozo the clown and had to wait until it faded to a more “normal” color.
    I sent many people to this person. He was awesome with scissors!
    This was an 8 year relationship that ended not so great. After trying to reach this person to get in for a haircut for weeks I finally reached him and told him my decision to end our “relationship”. The reaction I got from him was very defensive and I in turn told him he was not the only stylist in town and I hung up the phone. Come to find out, this person had some personal issues that were affecting his career. There were several clients I had spoken to that “fired” him as well. It is hard to let someone go after being with them for so long, but I knew I had to do something.

    1. Thanks, Julie.
      It can be a tender subject, but sometimes it must be done. When I first started cutting hair and I worked as an assistant, the people I worked for were famous for not showing up and not even calling me to tell me. While it’s a creative industry, it’s also a business and without clients, you won’t make any money. Personal issues or not, if it’s your job, do it right and keep personal away from business.

  2. I sure did! I fired MYSELF. I cut my bangs for far, far too long and SUCKED at it. I have pictures to prove my hatchet job, but what can I say? I was a cheap stylist.

    So I retired my ax and now I have “real” lady that I hope never, ever leaves the industry because she is amazing. 😀

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