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February 24, 2023

How To Properly Deal With A Bad Salon Experience

How To Properly Deal With A Bad Salon Experience, Barbies Beauty Bits

How To Properly Deal With A Bad Salon Experience, By Barbie's Beauty Bits

It's happened to many of us: you book a salon appointment for an updated style, color correction, highlights, or even keratin hair straightening, and the results are less than desirable or worse, severely damaged hair or even painful. So what do you do? 

Do you speak up immediately or wait to deal with the situation from home?

I was inspired to write this article as I've seen many social media posts on people leaving a salon with an obviously bad salon experience. But, they did not say anything at the salon, left as if they were happy, and then what appeared to come from left field bashing the stylist. And getting undesirable support from the salon, and wondering why?

I get it, and no one wants to come across as rude. But you need to speak your ground politely. More importantly, you must be prepared for your hair appointment to minimize these mishaps, as this is usually what it is-a misunderstanding between you and the stylist.

You and the stylist need to be on the same page before starting. End of story!

This includes effectively communicating your expectations, letting the stylist know what you like and do not, and being comfortable asking many questions.

Professional Tips For Dealing With a Bad Salon Experience, Barbies Beauty Bits

Professional Tips For Dealing With a Bad Salon Experience

Do Your Due Diligence Before Going To The Salon
I can't stress this enough. This is not a one-way street here; it takes two to tango the hair appointment or, in some cases, tangle (a bit of hair humor).

So below, I have put a to-do list together before going to the salon

Sniff Out The Hair Dresser Before Booking An Appointment

Finding the best salon, along with a stylist, can be a daunting task. When I moved, I first went to the stylist my sister did. And in about 5 minutes, I could tell this girl, and I did not mesh.

She had no sense of humor, was very monotone, was passive, had a mom jeans look, and said, "I can tell you are particular about your hair and adamant about your gray roots, but I have to let you know I have an unreliable babysitter and sometimes have to reschedule appointments at the last minute."

While I appreciated her honesty, I knew she was not my cup of tea right then and there. I do not have any patience for those whose personal life affects their work!

Every once in a while is understandable, but I knew it was too much for me because this woman felt the need to tell me this. And that I would not book a hair appointment with her ever~

Be Prepared To Ask Questions At Your Salon Appointment
No question is stupid. This is your hair, which can help determine whether the stylist meshes with you. It is usually a red flag if they come off defensive or rude, so move on!


Communicate Your Likes And Dislikes With The Stylist
If you have a hairstyle or color you want. THIS IS IMPORTANT...make sure you explain why you like it. (as the reason you like the color could be the reason it will not work for you).

On the same token, make sure you tell them what you do not like. For example, any brassiness can happen if you have darker hair. If you are adamant that you do not want brassy hair, a good stylist should respond with the expectation based on your current hair.

Or you like layers but do not want your hair to appear thin. This was my downfall, as I learned that most images of layered hair are layered with hair extensions, or the hair is naturally curly, thick, and blown out, so the layers are falsely full.

Examples from my experience:

  • Me: I like those layers so full
    • Stylist: Your hair will never look like that, its thin and the girl in the photo has hair extensions.
  • Me: I love the burgundy color to cover my grays, something different
    • Stylist: Because of your gray your hair will turn pink, as the pigment will not hold its colors.

You see if did not decide to speak up with specifics I could have ended up with thin, pink hair.

Avoid Professional Photos As They Are Misleading
While photos are excellent reference points, they can be very deceiving, which goes to the stylist's communication. A good salon will have stylists that will point out different styles of coloring and the texture of hair in the photo compared to yours. More importantly, in most photos, hair extensions are being used.

Don't Be Impulsive
For extreme color changes, ask for a strand test to determine if the hair is healthy enough to withstand the process. You'll want to know how many sessions it will take to achieve your desired result... No quickies in black hair to platinum cases, as this will result in disaster.

Also, consider try on hairstyle apps. where you can test colors and hairstyles.

Beware Of Cookie-Cutter Salons
Trying to stick a square beg in a round hole is a formula for a disastrous hairdo. As when it comes to hairstyles, one size does not fit all.

Several factors can affect how a particular hairstyle appears on you, such as your hair type, condition, thickness, texture, length, and style.

Stylists must understand and be open to this to tailor accordingly. Your hairstyle should complement your features, and the stylist must be able and willing to communicate this to you professionally and verbally.

Moreover, you have to be open to the truth and not take offense, as what may look good on your friend may not look good on you.

Natural Light Vs. Indoor Lighting

Hair Color Looks Different In Different Lighting
Oh no, what color is my hair? If you feel you took all the steps above and want to cry as your blond hair looks brassy, stay calm. First, are you looking at your hair in the correct lighting? While this may sound petty, this can make a big difference.

One thing my stylist told me...Nature never lies. Hence, the best way to see what your highlighted or colored hair actually looks like is to go outside with a mirror in the natural sunlight.

Some other lighting effects on the hair you may need to be made aware of.

  • Your hair will reflect a warmer, honey-to-brass color with warmer, orange-based lights.
  • Under cold white or blueish lights, your hair will appear more ash-blonde.
  • Outside... The true color.  (see photo above, natural light vs. indoor)

An experienced stylist will take you outside to see the color of your hair. If not, do it yourself before leaving the salon.

So How To Handle Damaged Hair Without Being Rude?
So you go home, and a few days later, you notice your hair is brittle and gummy, or worse, your scalp is burnt.

What would you do in such an event? Let’s take a look at your options in the steps mentioned below!

Kindness Goes A Long Way

I get it. A bad hairdo can seem like the end of the world. But kindness goes a long way. Be polite and articulate your thoughts—accidents happen.

You must sort out a solution and not belabor a complaint session like a crazy Karen.

Speak Up Right Away

If you encounter a terrible salon treatment or an accident when the staff renders their services, mention it to the stylist immediately. The last thing you want to do is catch them by surprise later with some bashing on social media. But didn't have the courtesy to express dissatisfaction with your cut and color at the salon.

I believe in karma, and there is a place and time for bad reviews after you have taken all the steps to remedy. Not being a passive keyboard troll before even attempting to resolve the issue with customer service.

how-to-handle-a-bad- salon-experience-barbies-beauty-bits

Help, What If I Didn't Notice The Issue Until I Got Home

Sometimes, you may not notice a problem with your hair until you are at home, maybe even a few days later. Reactions to products or, worse, damaged hair do not always show up right away.

In these cases, you want to contact the salon right away. Refrain from speaking with the person who answers the phone or even an assistant manager, as the message can get lost in translation.

Wait to speak with the salon manager to explain the situation calmly and in detail so that they can work to provide you with an opportunity to fix it.

Ask For A Refund

When requesting a correction, attempting to fix it can cause more damage. YOU NEED TO understand this. You do not want your hair to fall out. If your skin and hair are compromised due to poor services rendered by the salon staff, you are entitled to a refund instead of a corrective service.

Document The Entire Hair Problem

If the management and staff refuse to either fix the damage or refund the amount, this next step will ensure you have proof. Document the entire issue by taking an extensive video, emailing, or writing down your testimonial with time-accurate statements.

If you are thinking about legal actions, take pictures of the hair and, if there is skin damage and the products used to add them to the legal evidence.

Take a friend with you for another follow-up for a witness of the business regarding their refusal to cooperate. Any documentation can help in claiming damages in a court of law.


Physical Harm Due To Negligence From A Hair Appointment
Sadly, there are some circumstances where physical harm has happened due to negligence, such as your hair falling out, your scalp burning, etc.

Hairdressers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their clients. You may be entitled to compensation if they are negligent, misuse equipment or chemicals, or fail to prepare adequately.

In severe cases like this, you may want to seek legal advice. This will also help you understand the scope of your actions if you wish to pursue small claims or extensive damages.

In severe cases like those where you have such instances in which your scalp was burned from a reaction from a chemical hair straightening. Contacting a lawyer with expertise in hair relaxer compensation and damage claims is the best option.

So there you have it, plenty of tips on how to prevent a bad salon experience, Until next time!



  1. Yikes, this would be tough. I'm glad I found a wonderful stylist who listens to me.

  2. I went to a well know at the time salon in my area. It was a total disaster. I spoke up but they still we unable to fix it.

  3. I hate when a salon visit goes bad. I am saving this info for the future.

  4. I hope to never have to experience this. I can only imagine having something go wrong. I would certainly speak up right away too.

  5. Thanks have NEVER had a bad salon experience. That said, this is too good of advice to not have on hand. Thank you so much for sharing! You can even have too much wisdom!

    -Whitney Stewart

  6. I've had an awful experience where I was getting highlights and the person doing my hair got distracted and left it on for too long. It wasn't awful but I had her wash out my hair and then I walked out.

  7. Finding a stylist you trust can be stressful. I would definitely say something, politely, if I wasn't happy with how things turned out.I mean it's my hair. It's too big of deal to just brush off like it doesn't matter.

  8. I really hope to not experience this! This is also informative I’m gonna take note of this thanks for sharing this with us

  9. I definitely don't think that it's rude to set boundaries and expectations especially when you're spending money and tipping. There are definitely ways to do it without being awful to the stylists.

  10. From the awful stories I've heard, this is such a helpful post. Thanks for the share!

  11. I think that problems with salons are very often. I am always looking for a hairdresser that understands me. I should remember these steps in case of...

  12. I'm hoping and praying I will never experience a bad salon day. :) But thanks for the tips! -LYNNDEE

  13. I always ask way too many questions to my hair stylist, lol 😜. I don't care whether she likes or dislikes, it's my hair! Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂

    Everything Enchanting ❤️

  14. I dont go to salon when they hide their services pricing. And i take time to read reviews to before I go.

  15. I would have to keep these tips in mind. I had many experiences with a bad salon. thanks for sharing these helpful tips

  16. I've stopped going to the salon, I always leave upset. I have very curly/wavy hair, when it is wet it straightens out quite a bit than when it is dry. I always let them know not to cut too much off because when it dries it will be too short, they always insist it needs to be wet then my hair ends up way too short. So I cut my hair myself now.

  17. I'm super thankful that I haven't ever had a bad hair salon experience. But then again, I usually go in every once in a while for a major haircut.

  18. I haven't thought about this before because there are many salon around my house. Almost them are quite good. I keep changing the salon till I find a good suitable one.

  19. My friend is a salong manager and he always says If you are unhappy with a service, speaking with the stylist directly and explaining exactly what they don't like is good.

  20. This is the most comprehensive and kind (yet firm!) post I've ever seen on this issue, and it happens to the best of us! Our hair is so connected to our identity, a bad salon experience can be so detrimental to our confidence. I really agree with your tips and agree that speaking up immediately is the best choice.

  21. You provide helpful tips about how to deal with a bad salon. I remember getting a short chin length haircut and the left side ended up being longer than the other. I didn't notice it until I washed it a few days later. I just ended up going to a different salon next time.

  22. make a very good point of "sniffing out" the hair salon before heading out to your appointment with them. I literally drew a picture of a little dog sniffing the salon door before you got in!

  23. Honestly, sometimes I don't like visiting the hair salon, I have had serval bad experiences that made me cry when i get home. I just don't know why people like to take advantage of you even when your paying them for their services.

  24. I'm lucky in that I don't have enough hair to matter too much. But even I have had bad experiences with barbers and when it happens, there is no turning back. Only time can repair the damage.

  25. I'm so lucky to have not had a bad salon experience! I do a great amount of research before getting my hair done, and can tell how professional the hairstylist is by how they communicate before getting my hair did. I don't like changing hair stylist frequently, and have had success I think due to me building a genuine relationship with my stylist to avoid these issues.

  26. I'm honestly not even sure how I would deal with this. My aunt owns a salon so that's the only place I've gone my entire life... haircuts, prom, my wedding, my sister's wedding. I only get my hair cut when I visit Florida just to be able to go to their salon.

  27. I am fortunate that this has never happened to me. But the tips are most helpful in making sure it doesn't!!

  28. I've had bad experience with a haircut but I didn't know what to do but we tried to fix in a way and got me something that I didn't want.

  29. Oh gosh bad salons are so hard! Im so sorry you had to deal with it!

  30. These are some wonderful tips on dealing with bad experiences at the hair salon. I think speaking up as soon as makes difference

  31. I have had some bad experiences. Now I need to decide whether I want to stay with my current gal


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