How-To: Set Boundaries and Establish a Salon Schedule

Cosmo Prof Artistic Team members share their advice for setting boundaries with clients and family as well as how to establish a salon schedule.
Cosmo Prof Artistic Team members share their advice for setting boundaries with clients and family as well as how to establish a salon schedule.

If you're a workaholic, just starting out in the industry, a people pleaser or struggle with time management among other reasons, it can be difficult to set boundaries and develop an established salon schedule. 

However, in order to be a successful and happy stylists, you need to know when to say know and also give yourself time away from work. 

If you are struggling to set boundaries or figure out how to create a salon schedule that works for you, look no further. Below, Cosmo Prof Artistic Team members Jon Carlos De La Cruz (@joncarlosdelacruz) and Presley Poe (@presleypoe) share their advice for addressing burnout. 

How do you set boundaries with clients? When should you say no to clients?

Jon Carlos De La Cruz, Color, Cutting and Style Transformations Expert (JCDLC): I learned to say no to clients when it began to emotionally and mentally affect me to say yes to everything. For instance, if I feel like I can’t meet my client's expectations or if I feel the request isn’t healthy for the client's hair, I’ve learned to have no problem saying no. Clients are your walking billboard, so cross your t’s and dot your i’s baby. 

Presley Poe, Professional Hair Stylist and Color Expert for Cosmo Prof (PP): I think we should say no to clients at any time if: What they want is a liability to your reputation, out of your wheelhouse of expertise and/or does not interest you. You should also say no if you feel pressured to do it and feel uncomfortable.

If a client has unrealistic expectations of what they want their hair to look like. How do you say no or help them set more realistic expectations?

PP: Educating the client on the features and attributes of their hair is so important. Show them what their hair will naturally do and how it would work best for their body and face structure. Remember that it is never no, it is “why not?” and “what are my options?” Give clients options that will mimic the look they are going for but are meant for them specifically. 

How do you set boundaries with family and friends?

JCDLC: I am available in the salon 11 am - 7 pm, Tuesday to Saturday. I am $125 an hour and my friends and family get a 15% discount. Of course, there are those I’m happy to bend for, but we also sometimes have to put our foot down. Like I said before, if it affects you mentally and emotionally to say yes, then that should be enough for you to say no. 

PP: Working with family and friends can be difficult, but remember that you are not a machine. This is your career. Ask them to respect that and not ask for things for free. 

Can hairstylists/barbers have a Monday-Friday schedule?

JCDLC: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. In this business, we were trained to work weekends because most clients have weekends off, but I learned that if you are good and your clients are loyal, eventually they will work around your schedule. That being said, if you want to get yourself to the beach on a Saturday, do your thang boo! 

PP: I absolutely think that stylists can have a Monday-Friday work week. However, I think this is more for the seasoned stylist that has worked until they are no longer seeking clients, but clients are seeking them. It is at this point that I believe we are actually doing a disservice to the younger generation of people. Saturdays are often a major day of revenue due to general public availability. This is a great way for younger stylists to be available on other people's schedules while growing. Once their books are solid and built, then I think we can rethink Saturdays and have people work around our lives.

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