Sometimes the cut or color just isn’t right. It’s not the stylist; it’s you, right? Wrong. While many people find it difficult to leave a hairdresser they have been seeing for years, it should be simple. If the service you are getting from your hairdresser is not satisfactory, make a change. Miss Manners columnist Judith Martin wrote to a reader that people put too much emotion into changing hairdressers and should do so without fanfare. There are a few steps you can take to make the transition a little less painful.


Visit a New Stylist

Go out and try a new stylist. Is there someone closer to your home with more convenient hours you want to try? Does a friend sport a great ‘do? Check out new hairdressers and take recommendations from friends and family members. Most professionals will not take it personally if you try another stylist, beauty salon owner Melissa Conley told the Chicago Tribune. In all honesty, a customer almost seems to take it harder than the hairdresser when the tie is broken.

Inform Stylist

If you are feeling guilty about making a switch or your hairdresser is someone you might see in another setting, let the stylist know you are making a change. It can avoid an awkward conversation later. Sue Fox, who wrote “Etiquette for Dummies,” told Real Simple magazine that you should call or write a long-term stylist a note to inform him that you will not be back. You do not owe to it a stylist to explain your reason for leaving, but if you feel like it is necessary try to avoid saying that you are making the change because you prefer another stylist’s work, Miss Manners recommends.

Be Honest

Overall be honest about the change. Hairdressers know their work and will notice if you have your hair done elsewhere. If asked, don’t get caught in a lie. Simply explain your reasons for seeing someone else. Tell the stylist you are looking for a salon closer to home, explain that making appointments has been a hassle, you need something less expensive or that service is not meeting your expectations. Sometimes the answer may be as simple as you just want a change. Hairdresser Todd Bush told Real Simple that you may be surprised at the response; sometimes stylists are just as happy to “take a break from a long-term client.”

Tips for Working with Any Stylist

With any stylist old or new, communication is key. Talk to the hairdresser to make sure he knows what you are looking for. If you are unhappy with how your hair looks, politely let him know. Bring in a photograph of a style you are interested in; any hairdresser can best meet your needs if he knows exactly what you want. Don’t make it too personal — some people tend to share too much with a hairdresser, making a break difficult. Remember, you are a paying customer and a hairdresser is not your best friend for the day.