Stylist Separation: How to switch your hairdresser

by epi on December 12, 2011

Q: What is the appropriate way to break up with your hairdresser? I have been using the same hairdresser for 6 years, but I’m not happy with my hair. I keep giving feedback, asking for advice or suggesting new things – and I’m just not willing to do it any more. The big problem is that I feel almost emotionally committed to my hairdresser. We talk about our personal lives, etc. when I go for my appointments, so I can’t just stop showing up. What’s the appropriate way to end this relationship?

A: This is always difficult, but if you feel you must explain your departure you can stop by or call and say that you are going to be going somewhere else, for a change; that you appreciate the time you’ve been with her and wish her well. If she questions you, then tell her what you’ve just told me – that you feel you need to try someone else who can give you a new look and respond to your suggestions.  It is not unusual for people to make a change and that is simply the way of business. Your option is to just stop going. It is doubtful that she will call and demand to know where you are, and if you eventually elect to return it is also likely that she would simply welcome you back. Although you have a long-time “relationship,” it is also the way of business that people make changes and move on, so a direct explanation is not really essential unless it is for your conscience or personal feelings.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi Blackwood December 12, 2011 at 2:04 am

Having been in a similar position, I found it best to write a note to the stylist, letting her know that I was making a change but appreciated all she had done for me. It was easier to let her know in this manner, rather than face to face, and simply walking away with no further comment or contact didn’t feel right, especially after such a long amount of time. I did receive a phone call from her and she was most gracious, telling me she understood, wished me well, and told me I would be welcome to return at any time. It was a nice ending.

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Heather December 12, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Also keep in mind that while she is your only hairdresser, you are not her only client! So, while you feel that you have this emotionally committed relationship (and she might feel that way too), it is unlikely to feel exclusive for her, the way it does for you. You see her every six weeks, but she cuts hair all day every day. So, although she might feel a little hurt or slighted when you switch away, she is not going to be devastated.

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Amie December 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I know this sounds kind of ridiculous, but I’m considering whether I can make a “partial” separation from my stylist! After 6+ months she’s finally gotten my color exactly right, but I’m not crazy with her cutting methods (rather haphazard). I’ve also had a problem lately with scorched ends. She was mortified when I suggested the irons had been too hot. She said, “The hairspray must have dried out the ends.” Just the ends? Really? Hairspray instantly caused dry, kinked ends? Twice? She’s become a dear friend, and I can’t imagine starting from scratch with someone new. I just don’t see her changing her cutting or styling methods to suit me. But I don’t want to give up the coloring (or the friendship!). Help!

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