Dos and Don'ts When Hair Stylists Make Mistakes

Everyone has a horror story about the worst haircut they've ever received. They'll tell you about how it was uneven, choppy, or nowhere close to what they wanted. However, they never tell you how they handle the situation at the salon. There's a fine line between polite confrontation and full-out rage when your stylist makes a mistake, and both have very different outcomes.  

Here's a few dos and don'ts when it comes to responding to your stylist's work on your hair.

When it's too short


  • Politely bring their attention to the issue
  • Mention that next time, you'd like it a few inches longer
  • Remember, it will always grow back.


  • Make a scene. This is no reason to embarrass yourself and the salon.
  • Demand that they fix it. Honestly, they can't add length without very expensive hair extensions, and they're not doing that for free. (However, if you believe it'd look better shorter, go ahead and ask)
  • Refuse to pay. Those stylists work hard and make minimum wage on average. A mistake like this is too minor to deem them unworthy of payment.

When it's uneven or choppy


  • Bring the issue to the stylist's attention, and ask them to fix it
  • Ask to see the back after fixing to avoid embarrassment later at home.
  • If it's so bad that it seems unfixable, ask if another stylist is willing to take a look and offer advice or services. This may hurt the original stylist's feelings, but you have to remember that you're paying them, and it is your hair after all.


  • Make a scene. This cannot be stressed enough. Making a scene only accomplishes hurt feelings, inflated egos, and store-wide embarrassment.
  • Refuse to pay. Choppy hair is usually fixable; it's not worth depriving someone of their pay.

When is it okay to refuse to pay?

Everyone works hard for their money, but there are times when people just scrape by. When it comes to haircuts, you can tell someone isn't working hard. Usually the following are good signs:

  • No effort to fix mistakes
  • Bad attitude when asked to fix mistakes
  • Not smiling or interacting (It is a customer service industry, after all.)
  • Not looking at what they're doing or consistently looking at their colleagues and/or their work.

This isn't to say that you should be wary of all stylists. It's simply etiquette guidelines for the rare occasion when things go wrong. Even the best stylists have off-days, just like the rest of the world.  The best advice to leave you with is this: find a stylist you trust, and keep them until they retire. If you are a man, consider visiting a barbershop in your area like Tweed Barbers.