4 Reasons to Break up with Your Hairstylist (and How to Do It)

The Guilt-Free Way to Ditch Your Stylist

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We've all been there. It's time to change hairstylists, and the two of you have been together long enough now that it feels like you're breaking up with a boyfriend. You'd like to just never call her back, but the guilt, the stress, and the anxiety that maybe you'll see her at the grocery store and she'll know you've cheated on her is too overwhelming! Plus, we develop a friendship with the people that do our hair, so it's better to keep the whole process amicable.

There are many reasons that it may be time to move on to a new hairstylist. Here's the right way to handle each situation, no matter how tricky.

The Problem: Her Prices Have Gone Up Too Much
This is one of the most common reasons that people need to move on to a new hairstylist. It's especially unfortunate when this is the case, because the stylist hasn't done anything to make you, her client, unhappy. It's just a hazard of the profession. As hairstylists get better and more in demand, their prices increase. If you're on a tight budget, it's important to stay within your comfort zone. So, how do you break up (especially if you'd like to stay in the same salon)?

First, ask about coupons, specials and discount programs. Do they have a referral program? (Hey, if she's that good, tell your friends about her—you may get salon credit for each referral.)

Second, be honest with her. Let her know that you are really excited that she's doing so well, but your budget doesn't allow you to keep paying that much for your hair services.

Perhaps you can go to a more inexpensive stylist for a trim every other time you need a haircut to save a few dollars.

Can you stretch your color services out? Perhaps go with something a little less costly that requires less maintenance. Ask your stylist if there's anything she can recommend that will require fewer visits to the salon.

The Problem: Your Last Haircut Was Horrible!
It's also common to move on when your last haircut was just horrible. But don't move on so fast! If you didn't already, call your stylist and chat with her about your cut. Maybe you're not styling it right, maybe it just needs tweaked a little, or maybe the cut just isn't working with your hair type. Whatever the case, give her a second chance. Most stylists will ask you to come back, and oftentimes there will be no charge for a haircut tweak. Now, if you asked her to give you a bob, and you change your mind and decide you want a pixie cut instead, that's a different story. If you just need your layers tweaked or some blending done, that may be all you need to love your haircut.

If your stylist isn't polite about fixing your haircut, overcharges you or you still hate it, maybe it is time to move on. Just let her know that you weren't exactly feeling the cut the last time or two, and you'd like to give another stylist a try to see if that helps. Most stylists are not offended by honesty. Sometimes, as a hairstylist, you just don't connect with a client, and it's not a good marriage. And for me, that's okay. I'd like my clients to be happy, no matter who cuts their hair.

The Problem: She's ALWAYS Behind Schedule
This situation has happened to me in the past. I loved my stylist, but she was always running at least 15-20 minutes behind schedule and then she seemed to rush through my services so she didn't get even more behind.

So how do you get past that? Well, if you're ready to move on, I would recommend letting her know. Again, honesty is the best policy. Tell her, "I'd love for you to continue doing my hair, but it seems like you're always running late or that you're always rushed." If nothing else, maybe she'll realize that she's slighting her clients and make a change in her scheduling.

If you'd like to keep her as a stylist, ask a few questions when you call. You might say, "what is your least busy day of the week," or "I have to be at another appointment right after my haircut, are you sure you'll have enough time to complete my service?" You can also be so bold to just tell her that you've noticed she's always rushed and behind.

Like I said, a little honesty might help her realize that her scheduling practices need to change."

The Problem: She's Just Not Seeing Your Hair Vision Any More
A client/hairstylist relationship is a lot like dating. You go through that honeymoon phase where she rocks your hair world, then sometimes it gets stale, and of course, there are times when you just don't see eye to eye. This is perfectly normal, but if the stale part of the relationship hasn't gotten better in the past three or four haircuts, it may just be time to move on. This is an especially hard breakup if the two of you have been together for a long time!

So what do you say? "It's not you, it's me." "I just need some space." That's a start. But once again, I think honesty is the way to go. Of course you can just ignore her, never call again, and hope you don't run into her somewhere public with new highlights, but I think the better route is to just let her know that you need a change. Like I said before, as a hairstylist, I know that all relationships aren't perfect and that I don't always get what my clients are looking for. I'd rather they loved the hair that they have to look at everyday, than worry about hurting my feelings. If that means moving on to a new hairstylist, I am even happy to recommend a new stylist that might understand my clients hair better than I do.