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Posted By:asaafr on: 5/27/2007 2:09:40 PM

Author: Thread: Advice please?
Posts: 2

Advice please?
Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:09:40 PM
I had a new client that came in to the salon for a haircut. During the consultation we talked about what kind of haircut she would like. She said she wanted something different, her hairstylist before never did what she liked. So she said she would like her hair to be short in the back and long in the front, I took this description to be an A-line. She said that sounded about what she was looking for but had shoulder length hair and would like to keep as much length as possible. Well i proceeded with the haircut and when i got through she said she hated it. Called the salon and is threatening for us to fix it! How should I handle this? I have never had this happen before?

Posts: 402
Silver Member

Posted: Monday, May 28, 2007 7:09:10 AM

First, don't take it personally. I know thats easier said then done. Red flags were there when she mentioned her stylist never gives her a cut she likes. Second you consulted and she agreed. Sounds to me like she hates herself, that is something that cannot be fixed for her.

You should try to save face to show you care about your clients happiness. I am not sure what she wants you to fix. Stand behind yourself, and your work. Hopefully your boss? will stand behind you too. You can't please all the people all the time. There will always be that one! I am not sure if she wants YOU to fix it, or someone else to fix it. Either way, brush it off. You cannot undo it. Move on to better things.

I have seen people change their hair because 1 out of 10 people who saw it didn't like it. They forget that 9 people loved it. They only remember that one negative comment. I hope you remember all of those who love your work and forget the one person who didn't. Look for the lesson in this, and move on. Thats the price we pay being in the service industry.

I had a client in my book one day and the receptionist said Good luck with that one to me. I asked her what she meant, and she explained the client is never happy. This was a wash and blow out. Being prepared I do everything right, the right brush, I asked her what products she prefers, knowing she has been there before. Halfway through the blow out she wanted the larger round boars hair brush. She waited untill I was halfway through to say this. Knowing she has been difficult in the past I didn't take it personally and excused myself to go talk to the owner. He came out, dried her hair with the vent brush, told her to leave, no charge, and not to return to his salon. This one woman did this to his entire staff. Some people are like this. It's sad really.

Good luck, and chin up! I hope everything sorts itself out.


Posts: 2

Advice please?
Posted: Monday, May 28, 2007 10:12:57 AM
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I had to get this one. She is saying that I hacked her hair off and the only way to fix it would be extensions. When she left I did not charge her for the haircut. And now she is wanting it fixed with extensions. She is implying that she has a very big mouth in our town and we don't want the advertisement she would give us. Anyways this whole weekend I have been thinking of all the things I could of done differently. This is definately a huge learning experience for me!  I am trying to put myself in her shoes and I understand how she feels, but on the other hand I keep thinking it's just hair and it will grow back. I have so many emotions going on right now!

Posts: 2566
Platinum Member

Posted: Monday, May 28, 2007 10:38:37 AM


Welcome to the BTC Talk Back Boards!  Please take a few moments to read over the board rules in the green box above.  We all have had those moments when a client was unhappy and we question our skills - just try and learn one thing from this and it will make you even better tomorrow than you are today.

Cindy Farr Hester  Asst Moderator

Posts: 402
Silver Member

Posted: Monday, May 28, 2007 12:11:49 PM

Do not let anyone threaten you or your job. You can turn this around on her. You can take her to court for threatening your business and slander. You can lie, and twist her words around to make her look like a manic person. You didn't do that, and most likely won't. Karma willl come back and bite her in the buttocks. You are not in this industry to deal with abuse. Put this one in your bosses hands and let them decide what to do. One person cannot hurt you unless they have a crowd of people who agree with them. If her mouth is that big I am sure she doesn't have that many real friends. There are people who thrive on drama. She sounds quite dramatic. I'm sure your not the first hairdresser she has done this too. I find many people abuse people who work in the service industry due to the customer is always right policy. These people get a power kick from it. She is winning by bringing you down, and hurting your confidence. Don't let her.

Extensions are pricey. I would not give them to her. She recieved a free haircut, maybe it is'nt exactly what she wanted but hopefully it is a quality cut either way. She is as much to blame as you are for the communication breakdown during the consultation. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. Why would she want you to touch her if you HACKED her hair off? Why would she want to give the establishment any more business if she is that unhappy. She is trying to get a free ride. Extensions don't just get put in, they require maintenance. She will be blaming you for the damage done from them next. Be rid of her. Let her do what she will do, and let her do it to someone else.

I use pictures to get my point across. It helps the client I feel explain what they want. Maybe that will help you out for future consultations. Enjoy your day off, you spent enough time on this issue.


Your boss may want to appease her and offer her some service, or product, or a wig. If I were you I would not touch her, talk to her, or let her taunt me at all.

I wish you peace with this..... there are lessons learned. On to the next one.

Posts: 2

Posted: Monday, June 04, 2007 4:45:11 PM
Gosh I have seen so much of this sort of thing lately. It seems that people are becoming experts on scamming and being cheap. Unless you cut a baseball sized gap with trimmers on top of her head, try to remember its just hair. So she says she doesnt like it- that makes her picky, the picky ones are usually the ones who are vague in communicating what they want, until its too late. These are the ones who will tell you where to cut, as if they no how to cut hair - like this guy i had today. He tells me "summer cut" and im trying to communicate & be certain- lifting his crown and asking how much he wants to cut he keeps just saying summercut- I cut it and its not short enough, then it is too short (1/8 an inch later) before i can even continue on to blend the sides he is telling me to blend them. I told him i have certain steps, and he says well as long as it is a summercut not a short cut. What!!!???
It sounds like your lady also loves to complain- its a habit and more and more people feel entitled to say, a free steak dinner if their soup was cold. Give me a break. You likely did not "hack off" her hair you just gave her a haircut & she is a naggin perfectionist with no respect for us.
The fact that she would suggest extensions as the ONLY solution probably means she wanted her hair long in the first place but couldnt afford them. I'll bet if you gave her extensions she would want a totally different length and cut. Besides, what yuo described- shor tin back long in front- and being that she has only shoulder length hair, an a line or bob or shag cannot truly be THAT different from what she may have imagined.
I just say this b/c you cannot get discouraged or take it too personally- trust me I have felt those tears coming on, and not ebcaus ei wasnt prud of my work but because people can be so rude & offensive and miserable that they make you feel inferior.
I wouldnt worry and I would keep my head up and firmly tell her (or your salon) that you will not provide free extensions for this incident. She is pretty nuts to expect that.

Posts: 1174
Platinum Member

Posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:00:50 AM
This isn't a reasonable request.

You need to talk to your boss, tell a hysterical client NOTHING, let your manager make offers. As far as her "big mouth", it's just a risk you have to take, her friends and colleagues have probably figured her out by now.

I have had people like this before, it is a learning curve. First, know when to step aside and let the manager make any offerings, when a client says it's too short DON'T KEEP CUTTING, STOP- Put the comb and scissors down and explain that it's not your place to offer anything like extensions. Hopefully you still have length sectioned up to cover a section that was too short if you do it like this.

My ears perked up when you said A Line because though hairdressers know the meaning, many clients don't. It is generally speaking, an above collarbone length because if it was any longer it's not A line shaped. Again, generally speaking, collarbone length hair is tough because it ACTS SO DIFFERENT when it is ABOVE the collarbone than BELOW, especially thick or textured hair. KEEP LENGTH if you are going to go back and texture out the ends!

When you have a brand-new client such as this one, keep an eye on the schedule so that you have plenty of time for the consultation. Really LISTEN to what they are saying, it sounds more like she has styling challenges rather than wanting to dramatically change the length.

A flag is to ask WHEN they last had their hair cut. 3 weeks or 3 years is a big difference in length, this will gauge you on what is acceptable.

SHOW what you are going to cut off in inches on a comb, even your inch may be different from hers!

Be prepared to offer more than just a cut. By showing her several styling options instead, this takes the attention away from just cutting, and is a required distraction for a client like this one. Use rollers, a brush, or show them how to style so it looks like their hair is longer. (You need to section as though they are drying it themselves, showing them how to hold the brush and dryer.

I am a senior stylist, but when I first started out in my salon, I was exposed to a lot of women like this one because our salon has a strong presence in all of the fashion magazines. Now I only work off of referrals and regular clients, and it makes it much easier.

Keep in mind when you first start somewhere, you are going to have slightly more exposure to this type of client than the other stylists, probably because of price, from people that only get their haircut once a year or so, these are tough clients to deal with because they want it to last a year, but anything over the shoulder isn't really going to hold that style unmaintained for a whole year.

One thing I found is to be sincere, apologize, then ask them what you should do from here on out. The extremely irate client should really be handled by a manager though.

Finally, if a haircolor or cut seems just too wacky or way off key even after an in-depth consultation, PULL IN A WITNESS, by asking the client if you mind that you get a second opinion before proceeding. This will PROTECT YOU later because it essentially boils down to "what he said what she said" your word against hers. In front of the 2nd person, state clearly what you are about to do and make sure all three of you have agreed.

This will generally eliminate any sort of client that is looking to mess with you.

I even have a client that is so neurotic (she knows this) I will leave length, allow her to wear it for a week, and have her come back in for sort of a bang trim to cut any heavy pieces off. She's gone to every other stylist but comes back to me because I do this for her. Another thing I find is to carefully break everything down in steps, then announce the steps as you are cutting so that the client is aware of what you are doing. Some people just feel more relaxed if you narrate as you go along, yes it is annoying, but relaxes them!

Posts: 221
Bronze Member

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2007 12:49:04 AM
Hi ... others have covered most of what I would say.  One thing though, that always causes me to become very cautious with a consultation ... when the client says, "I want to keep as much length as possible".   That is seldom compatible with any degree of change.

One more thing ... if you never have clients who think you have gone too far, then you aren't going far enough, in general.  I would rather, occassionally, be criticized for being too daring, or adventurous, with a client ... then get the reputation for always being too cautious!  That is not good for business ... especially, if you want to be known for being creative.  At the same time, you must always show, clearly, that you really care for your clients.  This way you will gain a reputation for creativity ... and good customer service.

Don't be affraid of ruffling the waters at bit ... but with love!  There is a mysterious phychology involved ... don't ask me why, but it works.  I always try to maintain the image of appropriate daring, with my clients.  It is a difficult balancing act ... but when properly done, you increase the demand for your skill.  As I said, occassionally, you'll go over-board ... but it will be well worth it.  Such it up, and go forward