Don’t be afraid….

Don’t be afraid….

Don’t be afraid…!


“How scary can a salon experience be??” I asked ….

Chatting to a selection of people ….all complete strangers I ‘accosted’, whilst in a ‘truck-normous’ queue for a Halloween costume shop in Leeds this week! …..


“What, if anything, do you find particularly daunting or frightening about your salon experiences as a whole?” …. here’s what they said…..


1/ ‘Getting your ideas across…’

‘How to explain to the stylist how you’d like your hair to look’

‘Feeling confident that the stylist is not just nodding at the appropriate moment – and is actually understanding your ideas, whilst assessing if it’s actually possible to recreate what your asking for on your hair? (and being honest if it really can’t be done!)’

I say…

“Take a picture or photograph with you …. “ Chances are you’ve seen it in a magazine…. or on a friend?”

If it’s a bit of a mixture of two looks – take both pictures! This avoids the ‘guess work’ and actually allows the stylist to see what’s in your head (they really do not read minds!) – and more importantly … if it ‘is’ actually possible on your hair?

If it’s not possible to recreate entirely, they could then advise on something similar… given that your hair is much thicker, or a bit too short etc etc

The client does really have to take some responsibility in getting their wishes clear :) ….

Make eye contact with the stylist whilst you explain – that way you know he/she has your complete attention?


2/ The shampoo experience ….?

‘Getting a wet back’

‘Washing off your carefully applied foundation’

….or worse still …

‘’Panda Eyes’ from the spray head with a mind of it’s own??!’ …Bless her, that really must have been a bit frightening!?

I say…

“Tell the shampoo person!? …” They may be a junior on their first week …. and they’re (hopefully?!) unaware that the water is cascading down your back! (…until the point where their own feet are wet??!)

We all start somewhere – maybe they’ve not got you positioned correctly at the backwash and are a bit shy to ask you to adjust your neck again? …. My kind and forgiving nature coming out there! …. If you whisper afterwards that ‘you’re a bit wet’ – chances are; they’ll definitely learn for next time?! :)

… although if the water jet is landing in your eyes and they don’t realise… then perhaps you do have cause for concern….. :/ ??


3/ Let’s talk …..yes or no…?

‘A really chatty stylist who doesn’t take the hint; that you’ve come for a break and a bit of peace and quiet’

…..and the alternative ….

‘the uncomfortable silence…. when you don’t really gel with the stylist’

I say ….

“Tell the stylist?” (Bit of a pattern forming here!?) … They may actually be relieved – not feeling obliged to make ‘small talk’ for an hour on a busy Saturday?

I do think it’s totally reasonable (and not at all impolite) to request: “I’d just like to be quiet, if that’s ok please?”

You ‘could’ also request peace and quiet; if you’ve an inkling ‘there’s going to be an uncomfortable silence’!!

And … if you’re just having your hair blow dried … it’s way too noisy to talk and listen anyway’!!


4/ When the stylist has done their finest…..?

‘The anticipation as the stylist reaches for the back mirror … ‘scary moment’!!’

‘If you’d like more off, as you don’t think that’s going to last for 4 weeks before your next visit’

‘Just not liking the way they’ve dried it’

I say….

Mmm… “Tell the stylist??” This hardly constitutes as ‘constructive advise’ now?? 

If you’d like more off – I’d say that’s a perfectly ok request …. and one that shouldn’t be too troubling for the stylist?

…. Although, there’s not a great deal that can be done if you feel they’ve gone a tad ‘scissor happy’ – other than say ‘Ooo – I’ll not have to rebook for a while now’ ???!! 


5/ ‘To tip’ or ‘Not to tip’ … now that is ‘The question’?! (possibly a complete article in itself too?!)

‘The service came to more than I thought and I didn’t have enough to tip?’

‘Generally worried about how much to hand over to the stylist who’s just spent 3 hours on my hair’

‘Feeling obliged to tip 10%, as expected’

‘Not wanting to offend by tipping too little, but not wanting to tip more than a couple of pounds either’

I say….

Finally – a question that doesn’t require the same response!!

*Salon owners ….. What about a clearly marked ‘Tip Box’, positioned on the reception desk? Either for each individual stylist (could be a bit cluttered?) or a ‘team tip box’ – like the one’s in restaurants and cafe’s?

I’m a ‘tipper’ myself, but would feel the same as when I’m in a restaurant – That ‘good service’ is often a team effort… I’d like to think the shampoo person is getting a cut (and the young person who made me a cuppa too?)

Or … I read this somewhere on my blog travels…… What about small ‘salon colour scheme/theme coordinated’ envelopes at the reception area??

Clients can add however much they’d like to tip in the envelope … and either mark who it’s for, or jointly for, on the front and post in a ‘salon colour scheme/theme coordinated’ box???

Either way … tipping isn’t obligatory … tip (or don’t tip) what you feel is appropriate :)


If you have any comments or recommendations you’d like to add, please feel free to email or drop a comment on my social media feeds

….. ‘anonymously or publicly of course!’ – please clearly state which??! 😉

Thank you :)

Salon International


About me

Hi I’m Helen

Since being mesmerised at just 10 years old, whilst at a friends house - watching his mum having her hair cut I realised; ‘that is what I want to do’. So, no surprise then, that after leaving school, despite comments to dissuade, I trained and became a hairdresser myself.

Since then, in the wonderful world we live - my life has turned corners and crossed streets, but the job I love still found me dealing on a day to day basis with ….. hairdressers :)

Call us what you like - we’ve heard it all! But you’ll not find a good stylist or beauty therapist who doesn’t have a wealth of information and understanding of ‘what people want’? …. (And they’ll enquire about your night out/holiday/weekend too - happy days!)

Of those experiences, loves and understanding of the hair and beauty business - meeting all kinds of people along the way, I have found myself starting a blog that is ‘all things salon’ ….

So, in a sea of salons ….. which do you choose? What do you look for? How do you decide - there are so many!?!!

Your 'me time' is important - seek that 'little bit extra' from your salon experience….


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