The rules of most customer-service situations aren’t too confusing: The hotel bellboy gets a dollar per bag, a 20% tip on a restaurant bill is standard, and it’s always good karma to leave the change from your latte in the barista's tip jar. Of course, there’s room for more if you’re especially thrilled — and not much left to worry about if things were less than stellar.
But, an unsatisfactory beauty experience can be more complicated. Not only do you have to live with bad hair or skin for an extended period of time, but you may also start to worry that voicing your opinion could make your go-to stylist hate you. And, then what? You’ve got to find a new pro — or be freaked out that your old one will “accidentally” sabotage your strands when your next appointment comes. (Not that they would, but we're sure the temptation is there.)
From unclear tipping situations to accidentally smudged nails, this beauty etiquette thing is one big gray area. Like, what the hell are you supposed to do if you’re just flat-out unhappy when you leave the salon? How can you ask for a fix without coming off like a diva? And, you want to give props to the people who got it right — but that shouldn't mean living on ramen noodles so you can budget for a haircut.
We’re happy to report that you can officially relax, because there’s a slim-to-none chance that any beauty professional will go out of their way to make you unhappy. They’re here to help, people. They want you to look great — partly so you'll recommend them to your friends. It’s fairly straightforward: Be clear about your preferences, and speak up when you’re uncertain, in a respectful and polite way. Read on for tips from industry insiders about how to get what you want — without becoming the client no one wants to deal with.
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