Clients entering a hair salon generally fall into two distinct categories: those who adopt a “please, do something” attitude, and those who enter with a clear and detailed vision of the haircut they desire. Deciphering these unspoken cues requires extensive experience in the art of hairdressing. Even the most skilled hairstylists and colorists occasionally find themselves challenged by clients. This sentiment was evident when a query surfaced on the r/AskReddit forum: “Hairdressers of Reddit, what are some helpful and unhelpful things that clients do when they come in for a haircut?” The post quickly gained traction, amassing an impressive 21.5k upvotes.

The insights provided in the responses are genuinely enlightening, as they unveil aspects ranging from common-sense considerations to subtle nuances that often go unnoticed. For instance, the simple act of lifting one’s head in the shampoo bowl can be the unsuspecting culprit behind a wet shirt, a situation that shouldn’t be hastily attributed to the hairdresser’s lack of skill.

Angry female client in beauty salon. Blonde young woman screaming at hairdresser. Badly hairstyle in hairdresser salon


It’s crucial—refrain from expressing satisfaction audibly while we wash your hair. Just avoid it altogether.


We as stylists, frequently laments about clients—mostly men, but some women too—who feel compelled to voice their political beliefs openly. It’s as if they believe that once they’re in the salon chair, all rules of conversational etiquette go out the window, with no consideration for the potential consequences.


For the love of God, please avoid wearing a turtleneck to your color appointment.


We have gathered valuable insights and here’s some advice: When seeking a hairstyle, find images of hair similar to yours. If you have thick curls, a picture of someone with fine, straight hair won’t serve you well. Additionally, arrive at the salon with your hair close to its natural texture, especially when working with a new stylist. When selecting a cut, consider covering the model’s face with your finger to ensure you’re drawn to the hairstyle rather than the facial features. Don’t hesitate to communicate your preferences, whether it’s a dislike for blow-drying, the need for versatility in styling, or concerns about specific features. The most effective stylists are candid; for instance, the best one we’ve worked with is forthright about what works, saying, “I can create something similar, but this exact length may not be flattering for your face shape.” Lastly, don’t shy away from asking questions about styling techniques, recommended products, and the maintenance required for your chosen look.


Avoid requesting anime-inspired hairstyles.


Punctuality matters—show up on time.


Emphasize complete honesty with your colorist or cosmetologist. The repercussions of chemical reactions can be severe, leading to hair damage if not properly communicated. Differentiate between virgin hair and chemically treated hair, as they react differently.


There are clients who are professional hairdresser, but they cut their own hair and that of friends and family due to dissatisfaction with professional hair salon services. For those with curly hair, the initial appearance post-cut, especially when blow-dried or straightened, might seem satisfactory, but issues arise when the hair returns to its natural, curly state. Natural shrinkage happens when your curls decrease in length while your hair is drying, a skilled curly hair hairdresser should accurately assess the shape and real length when .


Maintain realistic expectations when it comes to hair transformations. Just because someone achieved a dramatic change in one session doesn’t guarantee the same outcome for everyone. Your hair is unique, and what worked for someone else may not be applicable to your situation.


Avoid making impulsive decisions driven by emotional turmoil, such as drastically cutting your hair after a negative experience. Stylists caution against extreme changes in response to emotional distress, as the initial excitement may give way to regret. Professionals often attempt to guide clients away from impulsive decisions, proposing gradual changes or, in some cases, refusing extreme alterations. This approach isn’t about disdain; rather, it’s a genuine desire for clients to be delighted with their hair, ensuring a positive ongoing relationship with the stylist.


Recognize that while we are here for a friendly chat, hairstylists are not necessarily equipped to handle serious personal issues, especially mental health concerns. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s crucial to speak to someone with the expertise to provide appropriate support. We can share our own experiences and listen, but seeking professional help is essential in such situations.


A significant point to avoid: refrain from crossing your legs while the hairdresser is cutting your hair. This seemingly innocuous action can result in an uneven haircut, as it’s challenging to catch subtle details with the cape on.


Be mindful not to lift your head in the shampoo bowl—doing so can lead to the back of your shirt getting soaked. It’s a simple action that helps ensure a more comfortable and mess-free experience for both you and your stylist.


Hairdressers often grapple with clients’ unrealistic expectations. Demanding transformations from dark brown to platinum in a single session or expecting vibrant, fade-resistant colors can lead to disappointment. Managing expectations is crucial; for instance, achieving blue hair may involve bleach damage and split ends. Clients should be prepared to invest in color-safe products, regular maintenance, and lifestyle adjustments, such as changing pillowcases. It’s essential to understand the responsibilities that come with maintaining vibrant hair and not blame the stylist for external factors like hair turning green after swimming for extended periods.


Communication during blow-drying is a common challenge, exacerbated by the wearing of masks. In most cases, hairstylists can’t hear clients well during this process, making it virtually impossible to engage in a conversation. Understanding this limitation can enhance the overall salon experience and help clients adjust their expectations accordingly.



  1. Come prepared with a picture of a hairstyle you desire; descriptions may not accurately convey your vision.
  2. Be completely honest about any previous treatments or changes you’ve made to your own hair.


  1. Avoid bringing filtered pictures or images of hairstyles that are from wigs, as this can create unrealistic expectations.
  2. Refrain from moving your head independently in the chair; follow your stylist’s guidance for the best results.
  3. Stop insisting on haircuts for babies and toddlers, as it can be a traumatic experience for them.


When a fresh hairdresser completed cosmetology school, here are a couple of tips:

  1. Understand what 6 inches looks like on a ruler before deciding on a cut. Sometimes, clients think they want a certain length, but the reality may differ.


  1. If you’re aiming for blonde hair and have recently colored or have dark hair, expect to start with highlights. The process may take time, gradually transitioning to an all-blond look. Patience is key, and trusting the process is crucial.


  1. While we enjoy chatting and learning about your life, ensure you can stay still during the conversation to avoid any mishaps.

And most importantly,

Don’t cross your legs or arms during a haircut; doing so can result in an uneven, lopsided haircut.


Surprisingly, the simple act of washing your hair can significantly elevate the difference between a good haircut and a truly exceptional one.


Sharing a client’s perspective here who brought a particular image to a stylist, and upon seeing it, he humorously identified it as Stalin. Despite the unexpected choice, he skillfully crafted a haircut reminiscent of young Stalin, proving that even unconventional inspirations can lead to unique and satisfying results.


A piece of advice: maintain a consistent sitting position throughout the haircut. Even subtle changes, such as crossing or uncrossing your legs, can impact the outcome of the cut.


For an optimal experience, arrive with clean hair, sans hat and product. This simple consideration can streamline the process by eliminating the need to address hat-induced lines. While pictures are welcomed, save them in advance to facilitate the consultation without the distraction of phone browsing. Additionally, refrain from scheduling appointments immediately after the gym to ensure a more hygienic experience.


It’s baffling when clients invest both time and a substantial amount of $400 and beyond, in achieving fantasy colors like pink, blue, or purple, only to neglect the use of professional salon products. We specifically recommend what our guests truly need. The salon’s shampoo and conditioner are carefully formulated for distinct hair types with specialized ingredients. Using common grocery store brands which constitute around 90% of available shampoos, can be detrimental to vivid colors. These products tend to have a higher pH, causing the color to wash out after the first shampoo. Moreover, they contain waxes and silicones that may provide a temporary soft feel but, in reality, create a barrier preventing moisture from penetrating the hair strand.


It’s essential to acknowledge that hairstylists are human too, with lives and families, and there are moments when we may be a bit less cheerful. It’s not a reflection of any dislike towards you; perhaps we are dealing with personal challenges, like the loss of a loved one or going through a breakup. Working under the weight of the anticipation of receiving distressing news can understandably make it challenging to maintain an exceptionally cheerful demeanor. While we don’t necessarily have to share these personal struggles, understanding the human aspect behind our moods can foster a more compassionate and empathetic client-stylist relationship.


Stylist here.


  1. **Pictures:** When bringing inspiration pictures, keep in mind that not every style can be replicated exactly with your unique hair. Bridal or special occasion styles often involve hairpieces or naturally thick, luscious hair, which may differ from your own. While achieving something similar is possible, exact replication might not be feasible.
  2. **Honesty:** Be truthful about any box color, including henna, or products you’ve used on your hair. Stylists will eventually uncover the truth, and dishonesty can complicate and escalate correction processes later on. Whether it’s box dye or any other treatment, sharing this information is crucial for devising the right course of action.
  3. **Referrals:** If you’re pleased with your stylist, spread the word! Share business cards, tag them on social media, and refer your friends. This not only might earn you a discount through referrals but also significantly supports your stylist, particularly if they are relatively new and building their client base.


  1. Restlessness at the shampoo bowl:

Moving around excessively, especially lifting your head, can lead to issues like water down your back, an uneven haircut, or even burns. Staying as still as possible during this process is crucial to ensure a smooth and safe experience.

  1. Disputing time and price estimates:

Arguing about what you believe can be accomplished within a certain timeframe or budget is counterproductive. Stylists are professionals who undergo extensive training in various aspects of hair care, including understanding different hair types and the chemistry of hair color. Trusting their expertise is essential. Debating with your stylist about time and cost can lead to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction. Remember, quality services come at a price, and attempting to cut corners may result in subpar results that are more expensive to rectify than getting it right the first time. Additionally, thicker or longer hair requires more products and time, justifying a higher cost. The adage “you get what you pay for” holds particularly true in the realm of hair services.


1. Maintain Clean Hair: Avoid coming in with unwashed or unpleasantly dirty hair. While it will be washed during the session, nobody enjoys working with hair that’s been unwashed for multiple days.

2. Understand Bleach and Color Realities: Have realistic expectations about the effects of bleach and color on your hair. Understanding the processes involved can prevent disappointment and help you make informed decisions about your desired look.

3. Considerations During Tough Times:

If you’re going through a challenging period, think twice before making drastic changes to your hair. Emotional upheavals may influence decisions, and opting for a more moderate change could be beneficial in the long run.


Children’s Haircuts:

If your child dislikes getting their hair cut or tends to be fidgety, manage your expectations accordingly. Understand that achieving a flawless haircut may be challenging in such situations. If you still want the haircut done by a professional, communicate your child’s feelings about the process. Discuss low-maintenance options with the stylist or barber, and be open to their advice on quick and easy hairstyles suitable for your child’s preferences. Listening to their expertise can lead to a smoother and more efficient haircutting experience for both the child and the stylist.


It’s essential to recognize that most stylists don’t have high incomes; in fact, it’s often a low-paying job. We spend our days on our feet, handling chemicals, and working in positions that can strain our backs, hands, wrists, and shoulders. It’s not uncommon for us to forego bathroom breaks or meals due to the demands of the job. There are instances where we’re occupied from the moment the salon door opens until it closes, leaving little time for self-care. The work is undeniably challenging, and after a day of giving our all, every member of the team often needs some winding down time. We are passionate perfectionists who choose this profession out of love for our craft and the people we serve. Many of us are facing challenges, particularly in the current climate, so kindness goes a long way. Understand that we do what we do because of our love for the job and the people we serve, but it’s crucial to be mindful of the difficulties we may be experiencing.


Kindly close your eyes during the hair wash; it can be awkward if someone is staring directly up your nostrils.


A friendly tip: Avoid wearing a hoodie or turtleneck during a haircut; if removable, that’s fine, as they can obstruct the process. Your hair doesn’t need to be dirty for styling; in fact, clean hair is preferred. The same applies to hair coloring; normal, dry hair is perfect—no need for special treatments like coconut oil.


Former hairstylist perspective: Please refrain from requesting an inch off all over and then deciding whether you want more. This essentially asks for two haircuts in one session, which can be challenging to manage efficiently. Let’s keep it practical!