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What To Do (And Not To Do) When Going To a Hair Salon

Updated on August 12, 2016
It all begins here.
It all begins here. | Source

Entering the Salon

1. Greet the receptionist and state your name, the name of the stylist you're seeing (if you know/remember), and the time of the appointment.

2. Follow the instructions the receptionist gives you (i.e. put on a robe, fill out a form, etc.) and sit down in the waiting area quietly. 99% of the time I just want peace and quiet to work on my other duties (totaling each stylist's sales, making tickets, creating schedules for the next day).


DON'T ask a million questions about the salon, the products, the scheduling, etc. Trust me, I don't want to answer them.

Okay, so your chair probably won't look like this.
Okay, so your chair probably won't look like this. | Source

When the stylist comes to take you:

3. Collect your things and follow the stylist to your chair. You may ask for a beverage (if the salon provides that).

DON'T ask for juice, a smoothie, ice tea, or some other fancy drink. I'm a receptionist, not a barista, and this is a hair salon, not Starbucks. I can only give you water, coffee, or tea.

Time for a touch-up.
Time for a touch-up.

In the chair:

4. Clearly explain to the stylist what you would like to do with your hair. You may ask for a drink if the salon provides that.

DON'T invite your friends, your family, and the whole freaking neighbourhood to sit down around you and watch you get your haircut; it's not a spectator sport. Even if the stylists and assistants say your posse isn't in the way, they are. They can either wait at reception or leave the salon and come back later when you're done.

This should be so easy...
This should be so easy... | Source

Going up to pay:

5. Greet the receptionist again, then state your name and the name of the stylist who did your hair (if you remember).

DON'T be surprised or offended if the receptionist doesn't remember your name and has to ask you for it. So many people come in and out of the salon every day that it's hard to keep track.

The retail struggle.
The retail struggle.

6. If you need to break a bill to leave a tip, WAIT for the receptionist to process your payment on the machine / count your money and give you your change first. If I had a dollar for every time some lady kept shoving a twenty dollar bill in my face asking for fives WHILE I WAS ALREADY COUNTING MONEY, PROCESSING A PAYMENT, OR BOOKING HER NEXT SEVERAL APPOINTMENTS, I'D BE RICH.

DON'T leave without tipping. It's rude and ungrateful, and now I'll have to listen to the stylist cuss you out after you leave. LEAVE A TIP FOR YOUR STYLIST! Also, leave a tip for the girl(s) who washed and/or blowdried your hair. They make MINIMUM wage for a job that is both physically and emotionally demanding, so getting tax-free, cash tips are really the only perk to their job.

Please just gtfo, lady.
Please just gtfo, lady. | Source

7. If you are buying product, decide exactly what you want and don't want BEFORE the receptionist enters it into the till. Otherwise, I have to void whatever item(s) you no longer want, then add back in whatever item(s) you do want. It's a pain in the ass, especially for a new receptionist just learning the ropes, and especially if you do this multiple times. If you keep changing your mind back and forth about the products you're buying, it can seriously fuck up the till at the end of the day and get her in trouble.

DON'T ADD AND SUBTRACT PRODUCT(S) YOU WANT TO BUY MULTIPLE TIMES. If you're concerned about pricing and you'd like to know what the bill will be, simply tell the receptionist that you're not 100% sure what you're buying yet, and ask her politely to calculate the prices for you before you decide. That is a reasonable request, and she'll be happy to oblige.

This shit is complicated!
This shit is complicated!

8. If you are booking your next several appointments, suggest specific dates and times for the receptionist to check.

DON'T be vague, don't be indecisive, and if you can't figure out your schedule, just call in to book! DO NOT stand there changing your mind a million times and stressing the receptionist out if you don't know what your schedule is!! The telephone exists for a reason!

I am incapable of doing this. More importantly, I refuse to.
I am incapable of doing this. More importantly, I refuse to.

Speaking of telephones...

If you're calling in to make an appointment, get a price quote, or ask a question, and the receptionist puts you on hold, stay on the line! You are on hold because the desk is busy, so wait it out. If you don't want to stay on hold, try calling back in 20 minutes or so (but not immediately).

DON'T try calling in again on the other line. This makes me want to MURDER people. I PUT YOU ON HOLD BECAUSE I'M TOO BUSY TO TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW, SO WHAT ON EARTH MAKES YOU THINK THAT IF YOU CALL AGAIN ON THE OTHER LINE I WILL SUDDENLY HAVE THE TIME TO PICK UP!?!! Take your head out of your ass and stay on hold, call back later, or leave a message (if it goes to voicemail, I am busy!).

Aka: thanks, asshat.
Aka: thanks, asshat. | Source

9. If you're calling in and it goes to voice mail, be sure to leave a BRIEF message, stating EXACTLY what you want. Also be sure to state your name CLEARLY, as well as your number, SLOWLY, not once, but TWICE. This is basic telephone etiquette, but it's alarming how few people do this when leaving a message. There is almost nothing I hate more than a) having to guess the phone number they left and b) returning someone's message and not being able to address them by name because I couldn't make it out in their voicemail.

Why is this even hard???
Why is this even hard???

TLDR: Don't. Be. An. Inconsiderate. Jerk!

Are you a receptionist? Do you have any other dos and don'ts? Leave them in the comments below!


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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Ms. Independent, Yes, I have worked as a receptionist with multiple duties including four incoming phone lines, payroll calculations, cash register balancing, product sales and announcing each guest as they entered to their respective stylist on top of a multitude of other things. I am also a licensed cosmetologist and worked in that same salon after becoming licensed, so I do have a bit of experience with handling clients. And, no, they were not all sweet and kind.

      And yes, I can agree that some clients have no respect or courtesy for those who are (under)paid to service their needs. It makes the job more challenging when these folks try our patience.

      And I do have a great deal of respect for receptionists, having worked in the corporate world the last half of my career working my way up from an entry level job to that of a project manager for a global corporation. Being a receptionist is truly a demanding job.

      All the best to you.

    • ms_independent profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Canada

      @moonlake so don't act like a child? all the steps here are common sense, yet so many people don't follow them. also, it's a joke?? how dim must you be not to get that?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      :) awesome... have some respect for your receptionist its a challenging job

    • moonlake profile image


      4 years ago from America

      Now I know why I hate salons. I sure don't want to be treated like a child and I don't want to get murdered for doing the wrong thing.

    • ms_independent profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Canada

      *so you have worked as a receptionist, cool. perhaps your clientele base was different and on average more courteous.

    • ms_independent profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Canada

      Anyone who works in retail can sympathize with this experience. Just because you've owned a salon doesn't mean you've had any experience with reception on a regular basis. Until you've worked this job and you've dealt with the people I've dealt with, while being underpaid, I don't think you quite get it.

      Also I am actually polite, friendly, and helpful, which is why I got hired and continue to work this job. When clients are friendly and respectful, I take no issue with them.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      It would seem that as receptionist, your primary concern would be to provide a pleasant experience for the customer in order to ensure their return to the salon. You seem to have a different approach. "I just want peace and quiet to work on my other duties." While I can sympathize with your frustration with indecisive clients, having been a receptionist for a salon which employed thirty stylists, it seems as if customer service is not important in your salon. "I PUT YOU ON HOLD BECAUSE I'M TOO BUSY TO TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW."

      Having also owned a salon, if I heard one of my employees say "This makes me want to MURDER people" it would concern me as to their suitability in handling client relations. Just a different point of view.

      Imagine that your customer is given a survey after their salon visit.

      1. Did the receptionist greet you in a friendly manner and make you feel welcome here? y/n

      2. Did the receptionist remember your name and make you feel important? y/n

      3. Was your call promptly answered in a courteous fashion?

      4. Were your questions about products answered to your satisfaction?

      5. Will you be returning to the salon for future services? y/n


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