Breaking up with Your Stylist

Hypothetical scenario:  You’ve been seeing the same hairstylist for years, and for almost as long as you’ve seen her, you been unhappy with your hair.  As time has passed, the relationship gets worse.  Maybe she doesn’t listen to you or deliver on what she promises, or maybe she’s not fun to be around and you just dread your next appointment with her.  But yet, you continue to see her.


There are lots of reasons clients keep to going to stylists they aren’t happy with, it’s important to investigate the two most common reasons and reveal why the are invalid.  Sometimes breaking up with your stylist is the only option.  The question is: Why haven’t you?



You keep going to your crummy stylist because you feel like your absence would affect her financially.  But guess what?  It won’t.  If anything, by continuing to be her client you are actually costing her money.

photo: shutterstock112255265

photo: shutterstock112255265


Your stylist’s primary income is impacted in two ways: Client Retention and Client Referrals.  When both of those aspects are being fulfilled, she feels financial security because her schedule reflects successful client relationships.  Word-of-mouth to her is invaluable.  Here’s the difference of a successful relationship, and an unsuccessful one:


  • Stylist’s Financial Success: When you have an appointment with a stylist you like, you leave happy and spend the rest of the day telling people how much you love your hair, or how fabulous your favorite stylist is, and that will often result in the referral of a new client for your stylist.
  • Stylist’s Financial Failure: When you have an appointment with a stylist you’re not happy with, you leave dissatisfied, and spend the rest of the day telling people how much you hate your hair, or how you really wish you could stop seeing your horrible stylist.  And that results in no new clients for your stylist.


If you break up with her, someone else will fill that spot in her schedule and that new client just might love her and shout if from the rooftops so she finally gets the referrals she needs to help her grow her clientele.


Stylists tend to be very intuitive, empathetic, and nurturing since our entire career revolves around art, beauty, and caring for others.  This may lead you to believe that breaking up with your stylist will hurt her feelings.

photo: source unknown

photo: source unknown

News Flash: It won’t.


Odds are if you’re having unsuccessful hair appointments with your stylist, she certainly feels it too.  Chock that up to her empathy.   She can see it all over your face when you’re not happy, and she’ll try her personal best to make it right, but maybe what you want is out of her wheelhouse.  Or maybe your personalities aren’t compatible.  If you keep going back, and she keeps missing the mark, those appointments are tough for both of you, especially if it’s years we’re talking about.  She might even be relieved when she stops seeing your name on her books.


You have to remember you’re paying for a service, and you need your money’s worth.  Stop feeling like you have to do your stylist a favor by continuing to see her.  Just like any other breakup, it might feel awkward or painful at first, but the sting will soon disappear and you will both move onto greener pastures.

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