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I have a guest who tells me how to cut her hair. She leaves happy and loving her hair. But always comes back for a recut! She asks me to "cut it long" or "can you cut my hair to be straighter"! I've explained that I physically cannot cut hair longer, or change her hair texture or growth pattern by how it is cut. She has seen 3 other stylists at my salon and has trashed talked them. I'm convinced that no one can make her happy? Help? I want to fire her but afraid she will trash talk the entire salon! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Ditto what Patty said.I have found out you have to be firm with certain personality types or they'll run you whole week.

You should learn to speak with authority. In as much as you'd want to avoid confrontation, you won't be able to run away from it forever. Talk to her as you would with any customer or guest, and politely (but with authority) tell her that her demands cannot be met because its impossible to do. 

Salong Bromma

Sara, this is definitely a difficult situation. As hairdressers, our job as a professional is to manage expectations based on reality - not fantasy.  

Does your client want her hair to look good or feel good? Unfortunately, it’s one or the other. If you are explaining every thing that you are doing when cutting, why you’re doing it, and asking for her feedback during the whole process - the experience becomes one that she is engaged in and is also responsible for.  

If the expectations your client is asking for are unreal - kindly tell her that what she is asking for is not possible. BUT always offer her solutions, tell her "As a hairdresser I can't do that, but I can do this..." or "I know this is possible..."

Tell your client you are there to serve them and make them happy, but you can't change anything about what they were born with - you can only show them how to manage it. Whether it be through showing them how to blow dry their hair to manage a growth pattern, adding extensions to give length or explaining to them which product is best to get different texture, it is your job to give solutions and to empower your guest with the skill set to manage their hair when they are not in the salon.

Hopefully this provides some insight on how to handle this guest. If you are looking for more ways to manage clients, has a whole course on business strategy and how to have that clear conversation with your clients to avoid false expectations. Be sure to check it out! 

- Jon Reyman

From what you've said about her talking about the other stylists, I bet you she's already trash talking the entire salon, minus you, so that can't be good for business anyway. :( Tell her a story about some new guest that came to you and immediately started trash talking about everyone that ever cut her hair at other your salon/other salons and how that put you off right away because you think its tacky when people throw names out there(its not proper etiquette) and you would assume they'd talk about you too which makes you not want to cut their hair.

Be really convincing and make it seem like its not about her at all, usually that will give people a clue as to what they are doing is not really nice.

I had someone like that last week that said she'd had everyone in the salon cut her hair and didn't like it and that "This is the last chance, I'm trying you and I'll either I'll like you or I'm never coming here again."

Afterwords she asked for my card which means: A. She's coming back to me and I'm stuck with someone who's really rude and fussy or B. She might talk about me.

Either way, there's no winning because she's really not very nice and I hate the way she wants me to cut her hair anyway, its not like its anything special and its kind of that old lady cut where they want short, square layers and  they like to "feather it back". :/ Heaven forbid you pull it forward to cut it, she'll think you're giving her the wrong haircut. :/

Micro-managers can be good guests if they can take professional direction and advice and if you explain to them the what, why, and how but every now and then you get someone that is incompatable and unreasonable; It all boils down to self-esteem and its psychological.

If you can't fix her psychologically or help her be confident with her haircut and she's sucking the life energy out of you it's not your fault Sara! I'm sure you give good hair if she's been stalking you. Maybe she just likes the attention. Munchausen by proxy for her hair or whatever.

You can be nice to her and maybe the next time she asks for a redo look at it and if you can't find anything weird about it tell her that. :/ Maybe you won't have to fire her and she just won't come back. Or maybe she'll be cool and still come back and you'll have a loyal guest for life. :)


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