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8 Secrets Your HairDresser May Never Tell You


Today was a Monday, a day when a lot of hair salons are officially closed for business. Yet there I was at the salon, early in the morning, to have my highlights refreshed.

Was anyone else at the salon besides me and my hair colorist Rose Zuniga? Yes, one other hairdresser who "caters to her best clients" by making appointments with them on the days the "salon is officially closed".

In all fairness I have to confess to the fact that I work very hard to have a great relationships with Rose. I always call in advance for appointments and never, ever, try to pressure her to "fit me in". I also arrive early, turn off my cell phone, avoid dumping any drama on her and tip her very well.

As a result she considers me a valued customer who she knows is extremely busy. She offers to have me come in early on her official day off, because she knows it is a really good day for me to sneak away from work.

My previous hairdresser, Shelley Pryor, did the same thing. She would often fit me in at seven in the morning. The salon did not open until ten. Which was very nice besides being peaceful and quiet.

There are a lot of secrets your hairdresser keeps that you may never know about unless you pay close attention, ask or of course read this article.

Listed below are some of the common secrets that the majority of hairdressers keep from their clients:

1. A hairdresser will go above and beyond to keep a "good" client.

The definition of good usually includes a loyal client who is respectful by making appointments in advance, arriving early or on time, never cancelling at the last minute, paying promptly and adding a generous tip. A good client also refers their friends, says thank you and works hard to maintain a good relationship.

I have known hairdressers who have not only worked me in on Mondays, at seven in the morning but have come to my office, my home and even once, the airport before I had to leave town. In all cases, I didn't ask for a "special" appointment, the hairdresser offered because they knew I would reciprocate with my ongoing loyal business and referrals.

2. Most hairdressers hate it when their clients fall asleep in their chairs.

While it may not seem like a big deal, try cutting, coloring, styling or curling hair on a bobbing head. For the most part hairdressers want their clients to relax and enjoy their services but they also want to make sure there is no danger of cutting, burning or harming their clients. Trying to provide any services when the client is either sleeping, fidgeting or jumping up and down from the chair, for any reason, actually is a major concern for a lot of stylists.

3. Depending on the salon, hairdressers may be required to push hair care lines they don't really like.

Yes, it's true. Many salons will require their hairdressers and hair colorists to "promote" a specific line of hair care products. This means that your hairdresser is required to sell you those products, even if they do not like them or prefer to use other brands.

Sound crazy? Maybe, but that's the hair biz. Salons make a lot of profit off the retail product lines they carry and hairdressers are often required to sell a certain amount of retail as part of their employment contract.

Even if they're not required to push hair care products, hairdressers usually make a commission on any products that they do sell. Some salons are more aggressive than others about promoting their retail lines.

If your stylist suggests you buy certain retail products from the salon, ask them if they use the products themselves at home. Listen carefully to what they say. If they hesitate, you may have hit upon a sore spot or discovered the secret. They may not even like the products they are required to use or sell as part of their services.

4. Your hairdresser doesn't want you to bring your kids with you on your appointments

Most hairdressers try hard to stay on schedule, do a great job for their clients and get through their days without a lot of drama. Unruly kids who run through the salon, disturb other clients or disrupt their hair services are a major problem.

Hair dressers don't want to offend their clients by asking them to leave their kids at home, but secretly they dread the minute you show up at the salon with your kids in-tow.

5. Hairdressers find it stressful when clients tell them how to do their jobs

Hairdressers as a professional group are often visual and like having photos of styles their clients are interested in recreating. However, most hairdressers find it stressful, insulting, annoying or all of the above, when their clients attempt to tell them how to do their job. And yes, some clients will actually try and give the hairdresser detailed instructions on how to apply color, cut hair or style an updo.

Depending on the hairdresser, they may or may not let you know that they would prefer for you to let them do their work without micromanagement.

Trust me, I know from firsthand experience, cosmetologists work hard to get their licenses. Not only is it a physically demanding profession, it requires special creativity, vision and patience to be a good hairdresser.

6. Most hairdressers go through a predictable period of boredom with their professions

No, it doesn't happen to all hairdressers, but many fall into a rut where they no longer feel challenged by doing hair anymore.

While your hairdresser may hang in there and try to work through their boredom, they may also try to encourage their clients to push the envelope with new hairstyling or color techniques. This may or may not be an option for some of their clients.

Other hairdressers overcome this phase by taking special classes or attending hair shows or will work at home on their mannequins to create new techniques.

Hairdressers that can't work through the normal boredom phase with any of these options may leave the profession completely. Which explains the sudden disappearance of your fav hairstylist.

7. When hairdressers leave a salon, they often are not allowed to take their clients with them.

Have you ever had a great hairdresser you loved who disappeared one day from the salon, never to be seen or heard from again? Have you tried to find out from the salon where your stylist went but the salon claims total ignorance?

When a hairdresser leaves a salon, they are often required to leave all their clients behind. This is not true when your hairdresser is a booth renter. In that case, they own their clients. Not so in a salon setting.

If you love your hairdresser and don't want to lose them if and when they leave their current location, be sure to tell them you hope they will find a way to stay in contact. Give them your business card, home address and cell phone.

Depending on the ramifications for calling you, they may or may not be able to try and let you know the next location where they set up shop.

8. Many hairdressers have chronic physical pain from their profession

Try standing on your feet everyday for hours at a time while lifting your arms repeatedly to brush, comb, roll, cut, paint on color or blow dry. Being a hairdresser definitely takes a physical toll on their bodies over time. Many develop carpal tunnel syndrome, strained backs, bad feet and/or strained knees. Others develop physical problems, such as lung problems, from the chemicals they are required to use on a constant basis.

What does this mean for their clients? A good hairdresser will never tell about their physical challenges since they consider it just part of the profession. However, now that you know some of the physical challenges your hair pro struggles with, cut them a little slack.


Hairdressers are hard working professionals. Their work is physically demanding yet requires them to be constantly creative, compassionate, inventive and infinitely patient with their clients.

Now that you know some of their deepest darkest secrets treat them with respect and appreciation. If you do, they most likely will return the favor. Afterall, there's nothing better than to have your hairdresser on your side.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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