4 things your hairdresser really, really wants you to stop doing

Image: Seriously? Put the phone down (Thinkstock)

At one point or another, we’ve probably all been guilty of rolling our eyes at a service provider, or telling them a little white lie (or 12).  Given they’re dealing with our precious, precious head fur, hairdressers cop this particularly badly.

Sure, we may complain, or share horror stories. But guess what? Customers are no picnic either. In fact, we can be the absolute, unapologetic, 20-minutes late, reeking-of-booze, talking-on-our-mobiles-the-whole-time worst. 

We polled some of our favourite hairdressers on the nastiest things their customers do – and after hearing their stories, we’re thinking we should award them all bravery medals.

1. Dyeing then lying

No one’s saying you have to treat your hairdresser like a priest who’s confessing you, but some of those fibs we tell can be dangerous.

"No, I swear those highlights are natural..."

Sure you can fudge six months of split ends with an ‘I’ve been travelling!’ or make up an excuse for being a dirty rotten cheater. But when it comes to at home hair dye, honesty is a matter of safety. "When trying to lighten hair that has been packet dyed repeatedly the powder lightener reacts with the ingredients of the previous colour. All hairdressers know this. Clients often know this as well but choose to "avoid the truth" believing that it won't happen to them,” one hairdresser tells us.   "Half way through a head of foils, they start getting hot. Then they get hotter. They begin smoking like a BBQ. They are a minimum of a hundreds degrees to touch inside the foil. So I have to grab the client and wash their hair immediately - just to quietly avoid melting both their hair and THEIR ENTIRE BODY.” (Post continues after gallery.)


That’s why your hairdresser is asking you if you’ve used an at home packet dye. Not because they want to shame you, but because they’d rather not have you burst into flames on the salon floor.

2. Bringing 6-legged friends

It sucks when your kid has lice. It really does. But your friendly neighbourhood hairdresser does not do a sideline in animal control - and taking a kid you know has nits in for a trim isn’t just bad for your stylist, it’s bad for the community. While transmission isn’t guaranteed, it is possible - so why risk it?

Always check whether your child has brought along some... "friends"

It’s also potentially embarrassing for all involved when your hairdresser has to politely request you go home, because they saw something crawling in your chitlin’s hair. Treat the lice twice, then wait for a couple of weeks to make sure they don’t come back before your next appointment. We promise your child will be able to deal with having his fringe in his eyes until then.

Not all hairdresser experiences leave a sour taste in the mouth - check out these beautiful before-and-after shots from our series The Chop, which documents real-life hair transformations.

3. Ignoring common courtesy - and sense

If you’re running late or can’t make it, it’s basic manners to let your hairdresser know, so they can rearrange their day accordingly. A cancelled appointment costs them money, while a late client can spoil things for everyone who runs on time.  But most of all - your hairdresser would like you to stop talking on your phone during the appointment. Think about what getting a nice, even hair cut involves. You’re not even meant to cross your legs because it could make your cut uneven. Then think about what putting your phone to your ear involves. These two things don’t really go together, do they?


“You would be amazed at how many people tell me to ‘just cut around it’ while they talk on their phone,” one hairdresser admitted.

4. Acting like an animal

Let’s face it, there’s really no acceptable place to vomit in public and not clean it up. But doing it in a salon is just low. Every hairdresser we spoke to had a sad vomit story.

You hot mess, you.

It doesn’t matter how hung over you are - slipping quietly the bathroom for a cheeky spew, then spending the next half hour making in-mirror eye contact with the poor soul who is going to have to mop up your pre-digested street pizza is way uncool.

Sure - sometimes you’ve just got to go. But take the shame and ask for some Spray and Wipe if you can’t get it all in the bowl.

That goes for other bodily fluids too. One hairdresser told us about a high profile customer who somehow managed to squirt breast milk all over the bathroom. Yes, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing to do - but no one likes cleaning milk off the ceiling.

Hairdressers! Please share more pet hates in the comments section.

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