Sticky Situation: Switching Stylists in the Same Shop

Talk to the handThe Scenario:  You have been patronizing a particular stylist for months, maybe even years and at first you were pleased but for one reason or another he or she just doesn’t quite do it for you anymore.  Maybe it’s the prices, maybe they are always running behind, maybe their specialties are not what you are looking for anymore.

However, there is another stylist in the same shop who you have been eyeing for a while.  You love her styles, she’s very professional, her clients’ hair seems healthier than your own – whatever the reason, you want to give her a try!  But you are at a loss as to how to switch stylists and if possible, how to do it with tact and class.

First, do not feel guilty.  Although I am a very loyal customer if I feel there is something better, then I owe it to myself and my HAIR to spend my hard-earned money on the best services I can afford.  That being said, your soon-to-be former stylist deserves a respectful break up.

1. Call the salon and ask to speak to the stylist you want to patronize.  Let her know that you think your time with your current hairdresser is up and that you are impressed with her skills.  Ask if there is any type of salon policy against a client changing stylists and if he or she feels comfortable doing your hair.

2. Schedule your first appointment during a time or day that your former stylist will be out of the shop.  This is to make sure you actually like the new person as much as you think you will.  Have a consultation before your service so he or she knows exactly why you are changing and be clear on your expectations.

3. Inform your ex-stylist.  As uncomfortable as it may be, this is the most important step.  Unless your former hairdresser committed a major faux pas (missing appointments or blatantly going against your wishes) he or she does not deserve to be blind-sighted and find you sitting in someone else’s chair without any prior notice.  Whether you call or speak with him/her in person, let them know you have decided to patronize the other stylist.  Be polite but direct.

Here is an example of what you might say:  “Thank you for doing my hair for x amount of years (or months), I appreciate it.  However, I have decided to use [name of new stylist]’s in the future.  His/her availability/products/prices work better for me.”   Substitute whatever you decide in what works better for you.  If the problem is their actual skill set, simply leave that part out.  No need to insult their performance because you won’t be using them again anyway.  Finish the conversation with “I just wanted to extend you the professional courtesy of informing you of my decision to change. Good luck, I wish you nothing but the best.”  Unless the person is extremely petty and unprofessional, they will respect your decision and wish you luck as well.  And if they are not, you can move forward knowing that you did your best to part ways amicably.

If you follow these steps you can successfully switch stylists within the same salon.  Your old stylist may not be as war, but as long as he/she remains professional that is okay.  The important thing is you are now receiving the hair care you want, and you did your best not to hurt anyone’s feelings in the process.

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