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Most Common Client Problems and How to Handle


After being a hairstylist for a certain amount of time, you come to realize that each client is entirely unique–in terms of both their hair and their personality. That being said, there can be a lot of overlap in types of client problems.

As hairstylists, you’re pretty great at thinking on your feet, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a few tips to help you when those problematic client archetypes walk through the door. Here are four of the most common client problems and how to handle them.

The Indecisive Client

A client coming in not knowing exactly what they want is one thing. A client who flips back and forth between five different styles or color ideas is another. The worst thing you could do in this situation is rush them into a decision. Yes, hair grows back, but a hairstyle is often the first thing others notice and can do so much for our confidence. If clients are not entirely sure what they want and are not fully comfortable voicing their concerns, rushing into a big hair decision could end badly.

Talk through options with your client and explain what may be best for their specific hair type, schedule, season, and other factors. Above all else, allow them to take their time and build up trust so that next time they come in not knowing what they want, you’ll have a better idea of what may be best for them.

The Ghost Client

Have you ever had a client that feels more like a ghost than an actual person? Whether they no-show multiple appointments in a row or find themselves chronically late, these kinds of clients can cost you time, energy, and money.

The best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to craft a cancellation or lateness policy. Yes, sometimes things come up that both you and your client cannot control, but action needs to be taken when it becomes an ongoing issue.

The Know It All Client

You’re the expert. And yes, sometimes your client may be a fellow hairdresser, but have you ever had a non-stylist client act as though they are a world-renowned hair superstar?

For those clients who think they know more about hair care than you do without the credentials to show it, our best advice is to be patient, keep calm, and above all else, don’t take it personally. At the end of the day, you are the one who knows what you’re doing. More often than not, clients such as this simply want to make it seem like they know what they’re talking about. However, if you keep your cool and have a mature conversation with them, the client will get the look they want, and you will end up showing off your skills as usual.

The Big Change Client

Burgundy one appointment, dark brown the next. Then, they come in wanting a full head of platinum. Stop right there! Hair changes are fun–we all love the big chop or getting adventurous with color from time to time. But when a client comes in wanting bold changes at different ends of the color spectrum each appointment, this can be incredibly damaging for their hair.

When a client wants to go platinum in one sitting, especially after dyeing their hair a darker color not long before then, it’s essential to sit down and have a conversation with them about the impact this could have on their hair health. Talk through options, suggest ways to get a look similar to the one they want without risking their hair’s integrity, and lastly, make a game plan. Of course, we want the client to have their dream hair care look, but with someone as indecisive as this, is it worth getting into a full bleaching adventure when they might want to go dark purple in just four weeks’ time?

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