10 Important Salon Etiquette Tips for Your Next Visit

salon etiquette

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Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Steal the Style

Some women spend up to 14 hours a year at the hair salon. That amounts to more than a month in the salon over a lifetime.

That has the potential to be a very relaxing, enjoyable time. Or a lot of very uncomfortable experiences. Which way your time in the salon goes depends largely on your salon etiquette.

Obviously, we all know we should be kind and considerate no matter where we are.

We’re here to help and have compiled 10 crucial salon etiquette tips to make your next visit a great one.

1. Arrive On Time

One of the very rudest things you can do to a hairstylist is to be late for your appointment.

Most salons work in either 15 or 30-minute increments for appointment slots. So if you are 10 minutes late, you push back the rest of the slots 10 minutes as well. That change adds up and really messes with the stylist’s schedule.

They have designated that time for you when they could be seeing other clients, so be considerate of that.

2. Know When to Reschedule

Obviously things happen and circumstances come up where you can’t make it on time. As long as it’s not every time.

If at all possible, call ahead of time to let the salon know. Not at the beginning of your time but well before so they can make needed adjustments.

Sometimes things change so much that you just won’t be able to make it. Try to give at least 24-hour notice for a reschedule or cancellation.

Remember that the stylist needs to fill slots for their paycheck, so don’t take those away.

3. Bring Inspiration

It is many stylists’ worst nightmare for a client to come in, sit down in the chair, and say “surprise me!”.

They want to give you exactly what you want for your hair. So you need to give them clear expectations. Pictures of what you’re looking for are so helpful to be able to recreate the look.

4. Come Clean

Please, from everyone in the salon with you that day, come to the salon clean. Don’t come sweaty from the gym. Don’t come with weeks-old dirty hair.

A stylist needs to see a true representation of your hair so they can make the best choices for it. So if you normally go a few days in between washings, that’s okay. Just don’t put it off longer than normal because you know it will get washed there.

5. Don’t Overshare

A hairstylist can really become a close friend and confidant if you spend enough time together. Your appointment can be a mini-therapy session.

But that’s not the case on your first appointment. Don’t skip right to the overly-personal stories before you’ve established that years-long relationship. They’re not your therapist and they don’t want to know all those details.

Keep the conversation to pleasant chit chat, don’t make your stylist uncomfortable.

6. Skip the phone call

Is there anything worse than someone taking a phone call in a confined, public space? No, there is not.

The hair salon is no different. Unless it’s a true, real emergency just wait until you are done to take the call.

For the most part, texting is okay during a hair appointment though. Just wait for the right time. Don’t disengage from a conversation with your stylist to check your phone. Also don’t move your head around to check your phone while they’re cutting.

It might be better to just take the time to unplug.

7. Make Sure to Tip

Maybe the most important etiquette tip we could give you is to leave a generous tip.

A typical tip in a hair salon is 20-25% for the stylist. It is also important to tip any assistants who worked for you as well. Working in this industry is difficult and a tip can make a big difference.

Learn more about tipping and what’s appropriate, then do so every time.

8. Speak Up About Problems

If you see a problem with the way your haircut is turning out, speak up!

If you’re unhappy when the chair gets turned around, speak up!

If you want just a little shorter in the front, speak up!

Your stylist wants you to be happy with the result. They would much rather fix the problem than lose you as a client. The quicker you can address problems the better.

9. Be Reasonable

While everyone wants you to leave the salon happy and confident, you have to be reasonable with your expectations.

Maybe you wanted to go really short for a big change and then once it’s done you hate it. Unfortunately, that’s not on your stylist and you’ll just have to wait it out.

If they’ve done a good job giving you what you asked for, you can’t ask for a complete change from that without a new paying appointment.

10. Don’t Trash Talk

In the world of social media and online reviews, it is important to remember how much influence your words are.

If you aren’t happy with the way your appointment turned out, talk to your stylist or the salon. Give them a chance to right any wrongs before trash talking them to your circle.

Sometimes you just need to move on to a new place, that’s okay. But be respectful and don’t damage their reputation. It’s just not necessary.

Following Salon Etiquette

Going to the hair salon and getting your hair done can be an important part of maintaining good mental health. Those few hours in the chair can be great self-care.

A key to making sure that time is relaxing and enjoyable is to follow proper salon etiquette. Being considerate of the salon, your stylist, and the other clients are the biggest part of those guidelines.

If you want to get more self care ideas, check out our other articles today!