5 Hairdressers On The Exact Moment They Broke Up With A Client

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Hairdressers are sacred. When you find a good one, you tend to stick to them like glue. For the longest time after I moved to London, I would travel back to Nottingham just to get my hair done, lest I regret going to someone new. I did eventually try someone local, and when I left feeling pleased with the result, I felt guilty — like I’d just cheated on my beloved Amy. Eventually, I had to “break up” with her — (“I just can’t afford to travel all the way here — it’s not you, it’s me…”) — and it felt awful. 
But we’re not the only ones who might have to cut ties. Sometimes, hairdressers choose to break up with us. It’s unsurprising, as salon etiquette leaves a lot unsaid. How do you tell your stylist that you’re unhappy with your hair? Can you ask for what you want without being rude? Can you request a glass of water if you’re thirsty or do you just sit there, slowly dehydrating? Should you tip? It’s a Wild West out there and it’s not always easy to get it right. 
Ahead, five hairdressers, who preferred not to share their surnames, share the exact moment they broke up with a client.

I didn’t find her behavior acceptable and I no longer wanted her as a client.


“This client had been coming to me for a little while but she was very flaky. She would be a no-show last minute and she was also quite aggressive in the way she’d talk. Sometimes she’d put me down. She wasn’t very nice or very friendly and it got to the point where I was getting anxious before our appointments. She was just so rude and I was confused. I was like, “You keep booking me! Why, if you hate me so much?” I would dread each appointment and wouldn’t know if she was even going to show up. Then she started kicking off when I asked her to pre-pay for her appointments. She’s the reason I introduced deposits, because she would be a no-show from partying the night before. She was the first client I sacked. I just dropped her a message and told her that I didn’t find her behavior acceptable and I no longer wanted her as a client. I blocked her but she did manage to track me down six months later on social media. She apologized and asked if I’d ever reconsider. I just ignored her.”

She was barred from the salon.


“This client must’ve been about 70. We sat down and I was like, ‘Hey! How are you? What can I do for you today?’ and she instantly went, ‘Ugh! I don’t like those eyebrows,’ referring to my eyebrows. I didn’t really know what to say. She was really hard work throughout the whole appointment and thought I was a child. I put in her notes that I’m not doing her hair again — don’t book her in with me — and then that was it. I didn’t see her again.
“I also had another client and it said that she needed a scalp bleach in her notes. Turns out, the girl who normally did her hair was on holiday and hadn’t written in her notes that she now wanted high-lift tints instead, not bleach. So I put bleach on her hair. I must’ve done three little dabs and when she realized, she stood up and shouted, ‘You bitch! You bitch!’, while pointing in my face in front of everyone. I was like, ‘It’s fine! We can rinse it off right now and rectify it really quickly!’, but she was spitting — she was so worked up. None of the other girls wanted to do her hair after that, so she was barred from the salon.”

I only want to work with people who are aligned with my ethics.


“I had a client and she was always lovely to me but really rude to my assistant. She would never do it in front of me; only when I wasn’t looking. I only want to work with people who are aligned with my ethics, so I gently confronted her about it and told her that we might not be the right salon for her. She was absolutely fuming, threatened to get solicitors on me and left swearing. I don’t regret it for a second. My nan is also a hairdresser as I come from a family of nine hairdressers. She told me a story about when a client sat down and said, ‘Just so that you know, I have never ever liked my hair no matter who’s done it.’ Nan replied, ‘Well I don’t think I’m going to do any better so it might be best if you try someone else.’”

I don’t feel comfortable doing this anymore because it makes me nervous.


“One of my long-term clients and I always had scheduling issues anyway, because I’m always pretty booked out and I don’t have a lot of room for flexibility in my diary. I think she needs a bit more flexibility than I have to offer, so when I was away for a few weeks and she really needed her roots done, I recommended a friend to do them. My friend pushed the hair a little bit too much — more blonde than I would’ve made her. She absolutely loved it, but I was like, ‘I know you! I know you don’t always take care of your hair, but okay, if you’re going to be this blonde, these are the things you have to do.’
“Essentially, she kept flip-flopping between us and I started to feel like her hair was losing its integrity, it was feeling really damaged. I noticed a little bit of breakage. I’d been doing her hair for five years at this point; she’d never had breakage like that, so I basically wrote her an email being like, ‘Hey, I think you’re happier with the color my friend is doing. I don’t feel comfortable doing this anymore because it makes me nervous.’ I told her what options I could give, but I also said, ‘If you’re happier, go with my friend. I’m not going to be offended. I’d still love to do your hair but obviously I’m not making you happy.’ We had an emotional email exchange. It was very sweet. I was like, ‘I’m sad about this but it’s okay.’”

Leave the salon. I’m not going to do your hair ever again. Not me, not anyone in this salon.


“This client used to come to me for a couple of years. She was never happy with the color. It was either too warm or too cool; too ashy or too brassy. Then one day, I did the color, toner and treatment, and when I was blowdrying she said she didn’t like the shade. I said, ‘Okay, let’s tone again,’ so we toned again. We did this three times. At the end of the appointment, she said she didn’t like her hair and she was very aggressive. Not polite at all. I said to her, ‘Can you please stand up?’ She asked, ‘Why?’ I told her again to stand up, and then, ‘Leave the salon. I’m not going to do your hair ever again. Not me, not anyone in this salon.’
“She asked me why I was being this way and I said, ‘You were being rude the whole time; you didn’t like your hair after any of your last appointments; you don’t like to pay afterwards; you always complain; you always want a [refund]. I don’t think we are a match. I think you should go and leave, and find another hairdresser — someone better, someone wiser, someone with more experience who can really please you. So, please, take your bag and leave.’
“Funnily enough, she messaged me after two years: ‘Hey Bernardo, how are you? I’m so sorry for what happened. I really want to come and get my hair done with you,’ blah blah blah. I thought, You know what? Okay, book her in. She came to me and she was so nice, so sweet, and her hair was terrible. Horrible. I said I wouldn’t be able to get a perfect color in one sitting because of the state of her hair, but that I’d do my best. She was so nice. The hair wasn’t perfect, for sure, but she understood, and now she keeps coming to me with a whole different level of education and behavior.”
*Some names have been changed

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