A Sanctuary for Hair and Personal Care

Salon Etiquette and Hair Expectations: It Takes 2

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This year marks Karline’s Salon’s 20th year of service in Palm Beach County, FL. Over the next 12 months, we’ll look back, but will primarily focus on the future of great hair. In this post, I’d like to get to the root of the salon experience, the intersection of where standards and expectations meet the realities of the hairstylist-client relationship. In other words, “Salon Etiquette – It Takes 2 to Make Your Hair Outta Sight!”

I’m old school, in a sense, so when I started thinking about tips for an excellent hairstylist-client relationship, the Rob Base-DJ EZ Rock song, It Takes Two, came to mind (see the video at the end of this post). My standards and your expectations are more often in sync, but there are times when we could all use a reality check. I am going out on a “strand” to address them here.

I’ve heard and firmly believe the following description of the hairstylist-client relationship, courtesy of Paula’s Choice Skincare of Seattle WA, to be true:

A woman’s relationship with her hairstylist can be like her relationship with a significant other: When things are going well, the woman is wildly happy, blissfully in love, and feels beautiful; but when things go wrong, life is a disaster, and she doesn’t know what to do.

The bond between us should be like any successful relationship, wrapped in trust, honesty, communication and understanding. It’s not easy being in or behind the chair. Sometimes the relationship is complicated (you say “don’t cut,” we say “trim for healthy growth”), and a transformation takes time, patience, and a leap of faith.

In honor of our milestone anniversary, here are my top 20 standards and expectations for a successful hairstylist-client relationship:

Standards to Expect from the Karline’s Salon Team:

1.  To always be courteous and considerate on the phone and in person.

2.  Acknowledgement and greeting the moment you walk into Karline’s Salon.

3.  Respect for your time; to explain any delays in service and to offer to reschedule if you are unable to wait.

4.  Discussion of your hair desires and an explanation of how to achieve them.

5.  Healthy hair education; to explain the service and products for your hair type and condition.

6.  An explanation of service pricing.

7.  A relaxing environment, where the focus is on you. Our team members are instructed to excuse themselves and leave the floor for personal calls and breaks.

8.  To practice what we preach and to present a professional appearance from head to toe.

9.  To provide a clean and safe environment: equipment, tools and workstations.

10. To respect your opinion and to “make it right” if there’s the slightest bit of dissatisfaction.

In return, Karline’s Salon has expectations too, and asks you to:

11. Give the salon a courtesy call if you are unable to make your appointment.

12. Call the salon to reschedule your appointment If you will be more than 15 minutes late.

13. Be honest about hair services performed at home or by others; as well as over -the-counter products you’ve used on your hair.

14. Bring pictures of the haircuts and styles you admire and ask your stylist to explain what’s possible, realistic or steps to achieve the look.

15. Commit to a care regimen for healthy hair. Discuss with your stylist a maintenance schedule and what to do in between appointments.

16. Give the stylist and salon the opportunity to “make it right” if you are unhappy with your service.

17. Show your appreciation with a gratuity if you are pleased with your service. The traditional gift for a hairstylist is 10-20 percent of your bill. Use your discretion for others who may have assisted your stylist with prep, shampoo or blow drying. Remember you are not obligated to tip if service is below your expectation, but at the very least, discuss your concerns with the salon manager or owner.

18. Refrain from using electronics while a stylist or assistant works on your hair and scalp.

19. Only bring children who have an appointment for service. Because of the chemicals and tools we use, the salon is not an environment for children.

20. If you have any health conditions, allergies, or are taking medications, let your stylist know so that he/she only uses products and delivers services that will not interfere with your medical care.  

I’d like to know how we’re doing in meeting your expectations. Please take a moment to participate in the Karline’s Salon 2016 Annual Survey.

[polldaddy type=”iframe” survey=”AED9100606FE589D” height=”auto” domain=”karlinessalon” id=”karline-s-salon-2016-annual-survey”]

In the meantime, here’s “It Takes Two, ” the song I just can’t get out of my head. “Hit it!”


Have a great hair day!

Karline Ricketts

Expectations vs Reality Photo credit: bjornmeansbear via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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