Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid To Say 'No' In the Salon

Blonde Solutions cofounder and educator Aymen Eldabli shares how to tactfully say “no” to clients with unrealistic hair goals.

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By Aymen Eldabli (@mohesco)

Have you ever had a client say, “I don’t care if my hair gets damaged, just do it”? What about, “I promise I’ll take care of my hair this time”? If so, here’s my advice on how to handle these types of clients while maintaining your professionalism and getting paid.

1. Remember: You are the boss, not your clients. 

“The customer is always right” is a dated adage. Many clients want immediate results without taking the health of their own hair into consideration. As professionals, it is our obligation to let clients know when—and when not—to get certain services done to maintain the integrity of their hair as well as maintain your integrity as an artist. The money is not worth your reputation because as soon as you do these clients’ hair and damage is present, they will one-hundred percent find you at fault. Guide clients in the right direction.

2. Give options. 

Say you have a client who is giving you a hard time about a service that she is demanding, and you know that it isn’t in her best interest to perform that service—suggest an alternative option. For example, if you have a client who is asking for a full head of color, but you know that she will not maintain it properly or doesn’t have the funds to have the color done the way she would like, suggest highlights or another color option to fit her needs.

3. Be realistic. 

Many clients see beautiful hair on Instagram (like on @beautylaunchpad!) and automatically assume they can attain that exact color, and in one appointment. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and going dark to platinum in one day oftentimes isn’t possible (though using Blonde Solutions certainly helps, #shamelessplug). Be clear with clients on the time as well as the cost of achieving their goals. Letting them know the price upfront will eliminate some clients who truly can’t make the commitment, and in the end, that’s better for both parties.

4. No means no! 

Say you have a client who doesn’t mind paying top dollar for you to do her hair, even though you could compromise it...remember: Don’t do it. The money isn’t worth your integrity and reputation—if you have a client who demands you to do her hair although it’s not in her best interest, kindly refuse and recommend she acquire services elsewhere. I’ve actually turned down more clients than I’ve said yes to simply because their hair would be compromised. Trust your judgment.

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