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  • Writer's pictureThe Shampoo Lounge

What to do at the hairdresser if you don’t like your cut – instead of smiling, saying “thanks” and going home to cry




This one goes out to anyone who’s ever felt like it was rude to complain at the hairdresser or was just too anxious to make a fuss


There’s something special about the anticipation, anxiety and crashing self-confidence that can come with a trip to the salon.


Between trying to accurately articulate what you want, the excitement and stress of a big hair change and the fact that you’re staring at yourself in a mirror under harsh lighting with wet hair for such a long time, there’s a lot to take in.


And after all that, if you don’t like what your stylist has done to you, what should have been a rewarding pamper session can feel like a wallet-draining nightmare.



But even though you may not be at your most self-assured, please try to avoid the oh-so-British thing of nodding, saying “thank you so much”, handing over your money and going home to have a private little cry. If you leave unsatisfied, you’re not doing anybody any favours – including your stylist.



If they’re worth their salt, they’ll want you to leave feeling your best. They’ll be keen to learn and they really won’t want you to write a bad review later on when they could have done something to fix it there and then.



Lee Radley, artistic director at Gielly Green Salon, agrees, telling Stylist that it’s so much better to be upfront about how you feel. There are also plenty of things that might be done to fix the cut, such as adding more layers, softening the edges or making it blunter. “It all depends on the haircut,” Radley adds.



Michele Antiga, a colleague of Radley’s and a signature stylist and colourist, says: “Of course, good manners do get better responses. So if at any point you feel uncomfortable with the way your stylist is cutting or you feel like they’re taking off too much, you can kindly ask them why they’re cutting so much. Remind them of the result you want and how your hair behaves.



“However, a great stylist should have the sensitivity to feel any tension building up and should start to explain what they’re doing and why. They have a duty to make you feel comfortable and enjoy your experience.”



To avoid finding yourself in a situation where you don’t like your cut in the first place, you can watch not just what you say during your consultation, but how you say it.



Antiga explains: “If you only describe the things you don’t like, then you leave what you might like open to the interpretation of your stylist. This may surprise you with the most beautiful results at times, but it can be extremely risky too.”




Again, a good hairdresser will take the initiative and help this conversation get where it needs to go.



“If you feel your stylist is not paying as much attention as they used to, then tell them!” Antiga says. “They need to make you feel comfortable and relaxed to express what you want in your own way. If they don’t, move on and find a different hairdresser.”



“It’s really all about communication,” adds Radley. “About having a great relationship with your hairdresser and knowing that they care about their craft. If they love what they do, then they’ll love doing your hair.”




Article written by Aidan Milan for stylist.co.uk

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