Have you ever wondered what your hairdresser thinks as they’re cutting or styling your hair? Fortunately, many hairdressers have opened up about which behaviors they appreciate in their clients — and which ones they can’t stand. Most professionals won’t tell you during your appointment if you’re doing something icky, so keep this list in mind the next time you need a haircut. Your hairdresser will love you.
4 Things Clients Do That Gives their Hairdressers the Ick
Hairdresser Emily Rose (@emilyyyroses on TikTok) received a lot of attention, good and bad, after sharing her biggest “icks” when it comes to her job. Her first complaint is “super dirty hair,” which is understandable. “When a client comes to me with super dirty hair, just no,” she said. “We don’t want to touch your dirty hair but it’s also not good for your color, it doesn’t take as well.”
Her second ick is when customers “look her in the eyes” when they tilt their heads back to get their hair shampooed. “Don’t do that,” she said. “It is awkward for everybody. Just close your eyes.” And her third involves late-comers who clearly chose Starbucks over being on time. As she said, “When you show up late but you have a coffee in your hand and don’t have one for us. We love coffee too and we need the caffeine to do your hair.”
The fourth one is something many people do without realizing. “When you are in our chair and we turn our chair and the head looks back at the mirror, please don’t do that because there is a reason we are turning your chair.” Instead, keep your head straight. 
Her comments section was mixed, with some people in agreement, some in anger, and some in confusion. One person asked, “Waitttttt I was always told to get your hair colored with dirty hair??” But another hairdresser clarified, saying, “People take it to the extreme though, if your hair stinks and your scalp is itching from being dirty, please don’t come to the salon that way.”
Some people were furious about Emily’s joke about clients bringing coffee. “We’re paying more than enough for a service without the expectation of bringing a coffee for a hairdresser,” said one commenter. Emily clarified that she doesn’t mean that everyone should bring her a drink, “it’s only if a client is late with a coffee!” She also defended her now-deleted video on Daily Blast Live.
Vague Plans, Unrealistic Expectations, and Uncertainty
Other hairstyles have their own list of icks. Many of them complain about clients with unrealistic standards. “Clients [come in] with extremely dark hair [and] expect it platinum blonde or a fashionable pastel color because they’ve seen some video on YouTube or some backstreet salon did it to their friend,” said Hannah Jafferji, a hairdresser at Blade Hairclubbing in Soho, London. “It’s not possible in one day, and if your stylist has integrity they would explain why it’s not possible.” 
Similarly, some people enter the salon without any plan. “I acknowledge I’m the professional, [and] you may be in a place that’s just like ‘I just need something new,’ [but] I would say that’s the moment that can go right or wrong,” said Yureesh Hooker, Design Director and Master Hair Stylist at Broome Street Society in Soho, New York. He explains that this can lead to a long consultation, which can leave less time for the stylist to actually work. Because of this rushing, the stylist may not be able to perform up to their usual standard.
Gavin Hoare, the Salon Manager at Richard Ward Salon in Chelsea, London, agreed with Hooker, adding, “Do your homework, do your research, look at your reviews, have a clear idea of what you want, what your budget is, and let the salon work to your budget. What are your priorities?” It’s important to be realistic and practical when booking an appointment.
Similarly, people can enter with a plan, but a very vague one. “‘I want my color to look like Jennifer Aniston.’ What is that?” Hoare said. “In every picture of Jennifer Aniston her hair is different. What is that color?” He recommends bringing in a visual guide so there will be no misunderstandings.
There are also a phrases clients say that immediately make the hairdresser wince. One of these includes “we can always change it back.” Luke Gregory, a Senior Colorist at SALON64 in London recommends people feel confident in their desire before the appointment. “You should never go in with this as your starting idea or as a caveat. If you’re unsure, maybe it’s the right color but certainly the wrong time.” 
Be Your Hairdresser’s Favorite Client
So come to your appointment prepared and knowing what you want. Your hair can be dirty but not crusty or smelly. Don’t stare at the stylist when they wash your hair. Of course, don’t be late. And when in doubt, ask questions. For instance, ask how long the appointment will take when you book it. And of course, ask for hair care tips to maintain your new look.
Keep Reading: Single Dad Follows Through With Threat of Cutting 7-Year-Old Girl’s Hair After Warning Her To Care for It
- “A hairdresser dished her biggest ‘icks’ about customers. The internet wasn’t impressed.” 7 News. Sarah Fittock. January 19, 2023
- “Hairdressers told us the most annoying things clients do.” Insider. Allison Millington. June 19, 2019
- “Hairdresser calls out customers for ‘wince-inducing’ comments during appointments.” Edinburgh Live. Courtney Pochin and Katie Williams. February 3, 2023