There's no denying that a visit to the hair salon-however liberating or life-changing it may be-can also lead to some potential awkwardness. For example, what do you do when you're less than crazy about your new cut and style? Or, what if you come in knowing exactly what you want, but your hairstylist has other ideas? We've all been there, which is why we decided it was about time we put together a definitive guide on salon etiquette. And to make sure we weren't being one-sided, we spoke with В Neil Weisberg, celeb hairstylist and co-ownerВ of MГЁche Salon, and asked him to school usВ from a stylist's perspective. Welcome to Salon Etiquette 101: class is now in session.
Click through the slideshow above for everything you need to know about salon protocol!
If You're: Satisfied
Your hairdresser spins you around, you look at the bombshell staring back at you in the mirror, andВ cry tears of happiness-in other words, you're obsessed with your new cut. What next? вЂњThe average tip satisfied clients leave their stylist is 20 to 25% of the service amount,вЂќ Weisberg says. One thing he says to remember: assistant gratuities aren't usually included with the tip you leave your stylist, so leave something for them separately, usually $2 to $8, if they did an outstanding job.
If You're: Unsatisfied
вЂњIf a client leaves the salon, gets home, and decides they are unhappy, the first thing they should do is call and let the salon know,вЂќ Weisberg. In other words, now is not the time to be coy. He says that in most cases, the stylist will arrange to have their client come back in as soon as possible. вЂњWe want to fulfill the client's needs and take care of any problems they may be seeing with their hair!вЂќ he says.
So you come in with a picture of Emma Watson's pixie, but your stylist warns that it won't flatter your face shape. Awkwardness ensues. вЂњA lot of time, clients will bring in pictures of celebrities with completely different hair, or a different skintone,вЂќ Weisberg says. вЂњAs stylists, we can recommend and alternative color or style that may better suit the client's face shape or hair texture.вЂќ Key word: recommend. Your stylist should be able to suggest alternatives that may be more flattering, but in the end, you are in charge of your own fate-er, hair. If you're 100% sure about a certain cut or style, don't be afraid to stick to your conviction. вЂњHopefully, you and your stylist can come to a compromise that you are both happy with,вЂќ Weisberg says.
If You're: Running Late
How late is too late? вЂњA good rule of thumb is no more than 15 minutes,вЂќ Weisberg says. вЂњDepending on how busy your stylist or colorist is, they will have different policies on how late you can show up before you have to reschedule.вЂќ If you're stuck in traffic and the clock is ticking, call your salon immediately-Weisberg says they will be able to tell you right away how much time you have until they give up your spot.
In general, if you're unsure about policies, it's always best to call the salon before your appointment and ask. Every place will have different rules regarding cancellations, first-time customers, discounts, and more-there's no shame in wanting to be clear before you commit.
Oh, and one last word of advice from Weisberg: вЂњIf you see your stylist or colorist with another client, wait until they've finished to go over and start a conversation or consulation,вЂќ he says. вЂњWhile your stylist might not mind, his or her client might feel as though you're taking attention away from their appointment.вЂќ In other words, follow the hair version of the Golden Rule.
Headed to the beauty counter next? Read our makeup counter etiquette tips here!