When Hair Goes Wrong: How to Complain to your Hairdresser

Everyone has had at least one bad haircut…

And since our hair is linked to our self esteem when you’re not happy with how it looks it can bring you down. On top of this, you’ve probably scheduled the visit for a special occasion so not only do you feel bad, but now your rude head will be immortalised in your friend’s wedding photos.

There have been many instances when I’ve cried over a bad hair experience. Let’s skip over the times as a small child I would scream blue murder anytime a stylist came at me with scissors. (Do you blame me though? That box cut was unsightly.) For my year 12 high school formal I vividly remember the horror as a Marie Antoinette inspired piled of curls formed above my head. Tears streamed down my face as the hairdresser finished pinning it up. I think it scarred both of us.

More recently, I requested my hair be cut “exactly the same as last time” and got “exactly the opposite of last time” with weird layers, longer on one side and uneven colour. Luckily I had matured enough to wait until I got home to ball my eyes out that time – it was an emotional day. And last month, after spending over 3 ½ hours in the chair at a new salon, my colour looked exactly the same and I was left with painful grazing over my neck from clippers that were used incorrectly – all for the bargain price of $331 (!).pug

These disasters left me with a choice: live with it, go to another hairdresser and pay more money, or go back to the salon and get them to fix it. Despite the unappealing nature of making a complaint, the other two options seemed worse. So I sucked it up and made the call. I’m glad I did, but it wasn’t easy. So here are some tips if you ever find yourself in that situation:

  1. Wait until the tears have dried: by all means call your bestie, have a cry and vent your frustration. But try to keep your emotion out of it when talking to the salon. This may mean waiting until the next day to call.fry
  2. Email if you want to avoid that call. But be aware of your tone, people respond better if you’re polite so if you wouldn’t say it on the phone, don’t put it in an email.
  3. Say yes to their offer of a drink. I’m not saying you’ll get your $331 worth, but it may ease that awkward moment when you…
  4. Explain as objectively as possible what they did wrong: “it’s uneven”; “it was cut three inches higher than we discussed”; “I came in for a blow-dry and he gave me this frullet”… frulletBe specific regarding where they went wrong last time and what you want changed.
  5. Assert yourself: much like the fortified, protein rich hair your over-priced shampoo promises you, be strong.
  6. You got the power: salons know the power an unhappy customer has so generally they’ll work hard to make you happy. Don’t be surprised if your usually nonchalant stylist turns on the charm (real or fake) and is overattentive.
  7. If all else fails, take comfort in the fact that if they don’t fix it (or at least do what they can) you can exact your revenge on them in every online review site possible… or channel all your disappointment and frustration into your personal blog – whatever works for you!

How have you handled a disappointing trip to the hairdresser? 


7 thoughts on “When Hair Goes Wrong: How to Complain to your Hairdresser

  1. Oh no M…I kind of wonder why you posted pics of these poor peeps who may be unaware you’re judging their ‘do & none of yours!!

    So…there was the time I went through the ranga colour range to get to my now fabulous blonde and they burnt all my hair and fringe and I got to pay nearly $400 for the pleasure….

  2. I agree with a previous comment! We want examples… ESPECIALLY the ‘box cut’ (I don’t even know what that is)!

    Also – haircuts cost a lot in oz hey?!!

  3. Another great read! Well done and the k you! 🙂

    I agree with a previous comment though… We want examples… ESPECIALLY the ‘box cut’ (I don’t even know what that is)!

    Also – hair cuts are really expensive in Oz hey?!!!

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