Yes, there's a right way (and a wrong way) to break up with your hairdresser.

Ask anyone who has switched hairstylists before and they'll agree that breaking up with your hairdresser is legitimately the HARDEST thing to do, ever. It is! It really is. 

It's awkward. Uncomfy. Feels like you're cheating. 

Because the fact is, when you've built a solid relationship and loyalty to someone over a long period of time, it can be super difficult to know how to tell them when things aren't really... working.

So, what are the ground rules, here? What should you do when you want to break up with your hairstylist? And what should you absolutely not do?

Watch: Hairdresser talk, translated. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

To find out, we hit up celebrity hairstylist and founder of ROBE Haircare Lauren Mackellar, and asked her to tell us everything.

Here's what she said.

What's the key to a good relationship with your hairdresser?

Before we get into it, it's worth looking into what a good client/hairstylist relationship actually... looks like. Because according to Mackellar, there's one key element that makes the relationship work.


"Good communication," she said. "Especially on what is achievable on the client’s hair, which builds trust that goes both ways."  


"A really good consultation should leave the client feeling comfortable that they know what to expect and what will be achieved at their appointment."

Does this sound familiar? If it... doesn't... maybe keep reading.

What causes a 'breakup' with a hairdresser? 

According to Mackellar, this can happen for multiple different reasons. Most commonly, however, a client might feel like they're not being heard by their hairstylist (see: the whole communication thing).

"I think if the stylist and client have had a communication breakdown, or if the client’s expectations are consistently not met. Also, if there’s been any severe damage caused to the client’s hair," said Mackellar.

That... that's a big one.

Further to this, it's common for some people to just feel like their style has evolved and their hairdresser just isn't really fitting into what they want to achieve. And that's okay! 

"When a client begins to feel they can’t or don’t trust their hairstylist’s ability to deliver their desired or expected results, they are very likely to begin thinking about switching to a new stylist and/or salon."


In a nutshell, there's no right or wrong reason as to why someone might want to break up with their hairstylist — some people might even want to just play the field and see what else is out there!

What's the best way to switch hairdressers? 

"I think if you’ve had a long-term loyalty with a hairdresser and want to try somewhere new, I would appreciate it if my clients were open and told me they were going elsewhere."

"Sending a simple text or DM to let the stylist know, actually helps everyone."

This means that for the hairstylist, they're not left wondering what happened, and it might help them refine their approach with the rest of their clients, said Mackellar.

She also said it gives the hairstylist the opportunity to pass on any important or helpful details regarding colours or formulas that they’ve used in the past, which will make the transition process better.

"This allows the hairstylist to show they care more about the client's hair health than their own ego, and it's a nice way to give their blessing to go and try another salon," Mackellar added.

"If in the end, a client decided they want to come back it’s much less awkward for everyone! Just like in relationships, sometimes you need to go and see other people just to realise how good things were in the past!"

Should you 'ghost' your hairdresser? 

If you don't have a strong relationship with your hairstylist or just really don't want to let them know, is it okay to just... disappear?


"I think it's fine to ‘ghost’ if you’re comfortable with the idea of accidentally bumping into them somewhere and having to face the possibly awkward face-to-face conversation about having not seen each other (and trust me, the hairstylist will notice your hair looking different!)."



"I don’t think it's expected that you should tell the hairstylist you’re going somewhere else — even though it is a polite thing to do, and clients should never feel guilty about wanting to go somewhere else."

"Often when clients go somewhere else, it allows for the salon/stylist to take on a new client or two — which is refreshing for the stylist as well! If the client/hairstylist relationship was getting a bit stale, I personally think it shouldn’t be a taboo subject that needs to be a secret."

Can you switch to another hairdresser in the same salon? 

If you want to switch to a different hairdresser in the same salon and feel hella awkward about it, Mackellar said not to worry — it's not as bad as you might think.

"I think that’s completely fine! It’s great for the salon if the client stays, and it gives the client more options if they feel comfortable seeing different stylists at the same salon."

"The client then basically has both stylist’s knowledge and experience for their hair. I think it should be encouraged!"

Just be careful what you say when they ask you about what you didn't like about your last haircut, yeah?!

Godspeed, friend.

Have you ever broken up with your hairstylist before? How did you do it? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty.

Calling All Skincare Enthusiasts! Complete this short survey now and go in the running to win one of four $50 gift vouchers!