Salon Etiquette

I often feel like etiquette is a thing of the past. I for one, love manners. I love people who are kind and polite to a fault. Especially towards people who work in the service industries and get terrorized on a daily basis by rude, unreasonable consumers.

A friend recently requested a piece on Salon Etiquette in the hopes of ensuring she didn’t inadvertently commit a faux pas during her next trip to the salon.

I jumped on the idea and immediately recruited my fabulous hairdresser Natalie Keklikian to share some of the do’s and don’ts that she’s learned over the years, as well as some of her pet peeves that we can all learn from.

Salon Etiquette San Francisco Beauty Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Miss Natalie took me from my natural blonde to red a few years ago & we’ve been together ever since!} 

(1) If a salon/hairdresser’s rates include a range of prices – Is it ok to discuss where in the range your procedure will fall prior to getting started? What, if anything, about a procedure can be negotiated/discussed in advance?

Stylists give a range of prices because not all heads are equal, so depending on hair length and type the same service may be more time intensive or require more product from one client to the next. Prices are set to maintain a (somewhat) consistent hourly rate throughout the day and cover any overhead (color, bleach, keratin). Your stylist should be able to tell you up front what your service will cost, provided you can consult with them in person. This is in the stylist’s best interest, as no one likes to be surprised by the number of digits on their bill–even if they do look super fab.

The one caveat to all of this is color correction. Most stylists will bill an hourly rate for this service, and we don’t want you to leave our chair looking anything less than perfect. Girls come to me in tears over botched colors, but just because I’m doing god’s work that doesn’t make me a charity.

Also, if you absolutely must go from jet black to platinum, get ready to shell out the dough.

(2) What are some of a stylist’s biggest pet peeves that we should avoid at all costs? (Tardiness…? Last minute appointment changes…?)

My biggest pet peeve is hands down when people don’t show up to their appointment and don’t let me know ahead of time. Your boss used to call this a, “no call, no-show,” and your ass got fired for it. I am very understanding. Shit happens. But give me a heads up so homegirl can go get a latte or grab lunch with her boo.

If your appointment is in the morning BY ALL MEANS send a text, email, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, whateva. I can make up the money but I’ll never get back those precious minutes of beauty sleep.

Salon Etiquette San Francisco Beauty Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Seeing RED. Just a few of the shades I’ve tried over the years: Top Left // Top Right // Bottom Left // Bottom Right}

(3) What’s something that you love in a client? Any tips for making sure we develop a great, long-term relationship with our stylists?

Ok finally I can boast about how much I LOVE my clients. I love clients who are on time. I love clients who appreciate my work. I love clients who want change! I love clients who leave their problems at the door and enjoy their time with me, or come to me with their problems and talk it out over the blow dryer. The more you share with your stylist, the more they will understand you as a person and know what you want for your hair. Your best friend, other than the one you’ve had since childhood, should be your hair stylist. Not even joking!

Also I can’t stress enough how exciting it is seeing a regular on your schedule and looking forward to seeing them. Honestly it’s what gets me through the day!

I LOVED reading Natalie’s responses – I agree 100% on all of this and I feel like etiquette-wise, these can be applied to most situations. Have a question or concern? Ask first! Going to be late? Call! Want to develop a great relationship with someone? Talk it out!

What did YOU think of this piece? Interested in more etiquette posts?


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49 Responses to Salon Etiquette

  1. Sounds like you found an awesome hair stylist, Caity! Natalie seems like a lot of fun.

    • She’s amazing, I highly recommend checking her out if you’re in the Bay Area!

  2. This piece is lovely! She clearly understands you and makes you look your best & I dig how this piece humanizes stylists – they’re people too! I have a work related etiquette request that I’d love your take on. What’s proper etiquette for asking for a raise it promotion!?

  3. LOVE your red hair color in the top left, so beautiful! Think you can ask your gal pal etiquette on saying you didn’t love the last cut you received from your stylist? I love him and don’t want to give up, but the cut isn’t my fav. Thanks for the help babe!


  4. Love your hair very much. I guess you found a suitable hair stylist 😀 Love your post very much

  5. This post is very good.. I have personally witnessed few customers who were really rude at the salon. Like, coming after an hour and demanding that they are attended to immediately. You seem to have a very talented and cool stylist. giglove

  6. Great post! I haven’t been to a hairdresser since I was 12. Scared of the outcome now lol

  7. Paige Mckinnon

    Etiquette is something that people forget about these days sigh~ ^ ^
    It is lovely to see that you care about others feelings! ^ – ^

  8. This was a great piece, I agree that all too often people take those in the service industry for granted. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for the past 10 years and we’ve built a solid relationship over the years. I’m sure she’d agree with your stylist on the points above too.

  9. Love that the manners were more like treat your hairstylist kindly instead of tip the correct amount! Great that it was more about developing a relationship. Thanks for the post. GiG Love.

  10. Love ur bottom left hair color… Lovely ! I dont have a permanent hairdresser. I usually walk in to a salon whenever I like… after reading this post, I feel like getting a permanent one !!

  11. this is such a nice post, we need more etiquette-wise like this. may be beauty store etiquette? blogger etiquette (???)

    • I love love love the idea of blogger etiquette!! I’ll definitely work on that one. <3

  12. Wow, I absolutely agree by this. I have been through this thing of customer service job, and the most thing made me fed up was the behavior of customer who thought they can do anything (insisting, bad words, bad doing) just because they had all the money in the world. I felt the way of your stylist felt that sometimes just a smile and say “thank you, you’ve done well on making me fab” or anything like that, is priceless.

  13. Absolutely true! Showing good manners should be one of the basic thing to remember when dealing with people. 🙂

  14. I think red really suits you. It was great to get know these salon etiquettes. It must be a very frustrating experience for staff members when customers don’t have basic courtesy. Thanks for sharing 🙂 GIG

  15. Nice hair, and nice interview!!!
    Etiquette and common courtesy should be demonstrated at all times, and to ALL people. I love how excited Natalie got when she was talking about her clients. Shows how much passion she has when in comes to her work. 🙂

  16. nice hair and interview babe!!seem like u found the great hairstylist!

  17. You have a great stylist there. =) You did a great job, Nice post gig

  18. you are always looking gorgeous on every single post!
    love your style. keep it up 🙂

  19. Great post! Yes, these definitely can be applied to most situations.

  20. I’m so glad you did a post on this! I literally hate when I come across people with no salon etiquette or customer service etiquette for that matter.

  21. Red sure suits you so well. Why not put some pics as a blonde so we know the difference.


  22. I love your hair color. I wish I can nail that hair color. Thinking about getting my hair dyed red.

  23. You pull off red gorgeously! I have a faded red/ombre right now because I let it fade out and didn’t bother to dye over it (oopsies). I don’t like going to salons actually as I find a lot of the places I was going to were inconsistent or didn’t want to do what I wanted for my hair.

  24. omg I gotta say I really love your red hair! Too bad mine one fade off very quickly T_T

  25. love this! I always felt like they dreaded regulars and preferred new faces so it’s nice to know that’s not the case!

    xx Cara

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