Top 10 Rules of Salon Etiquette

Salon Image (modern) By Ambients (Wikimedia Commons)
Photo Credit: Ambients (Wikimedia Commons)

When it comes to salon etiquette, there are rules that apply to stylists as well as the clients they service. Following these simple yet critical guidelines can help both the stylist and client have a wonderful experience and achieve the best results possible.

Rule #1 – BE ON TIME!!

This applies to both the stylist and the client. In fact, be there 15-20 minutes early if possible. As a stylist, you should be at the salon and prepared before your client even walks through the door. Have the tools and products that are needed for their particular service at hand so that you don’t have to waste time searching for them later during the appointment. Being early will also give you both some time to talk and  get to know one another if this is your first time meeting.


Rules for Stylists                   

  1. Look the part.  No one wants to walk into a salon and be greeted by an unkempt stylist! Remember, you are your own walking billboard! You  may not think it matters to the client how you dress, or how your hair  looks, but it does. Many times, you attract clients that look like you, or  want a “look” similar to yours. You want the your clients to see you as an expert when it comes to their hair care needs, so take pride in being and looking professional.
  2. Put that phone away. We’ve all heard it before, but it still doesn’t seem to register with some people that is it totally rude to be on your phone having a conversation while you are performing services on your client. Yes, emergencies or important calls may come while you are servicing a client. However, if you must answer, politely inform the client that you need to step away briefly to take an important call. And ALWAYS  apologize for taking time away from their appointment to do so.
  3. Watch your mouth. Stay away from profane language, gossip, slander and any negative conversations. Try to keep all conversations light, and as positive as you can. People come to the salon to look great, but also to relax and have some down time; being positive helps keep the environment peaceful.
  4. Don’t make promises you can’t deliver. Be honest and realistic with the client about what you can achieve with their hair. If you are not sure  or are not an expert in an area, don’t be afraid to state that, and maybe even refer them to another professional stylist that can meet their needs.
  5. Be prepared. Be sure you have ALL the tools and products that will be required for each client’s services. If you have someone getting hair color or relaxer service, you shouldn’t have to run out to your local beauty supply store to purchase it while they wait in your chair! If needed, have backup tools such as an extra blow dryer or flatiron in case one stops working during the service.
  6. Continue to educate yourself. The beauty industry has so much to offer, and no matter how long you’ve been a stylist, I’m sure you’re not an expert on  everything! Take advantage of the many classes that can aid you in honing your skills as well as growing your clientele. Visit hair shows in your area, and even take a tour of your local cosmetology schools to see what’s trending with the latest tools and techniques. Stay fresh and ahead of the game, and you will reap the benefits!

African American Hairstylist with her client

Rules for Clients     

  1. Be Realistic. No matter what you’ve seen on your stylist’s Instagram page, he/she is not a magician. You can’t come in with thin, damaged hair and then  show her a picture of someone with thick, healthy locks and expect them to achieve that look on you.  Show her pictures of styles you find attractive, and  ask her professional opinion of what she can accomplish with your hair.
  2. Respect the Salon. Don’t bring meals to eat in the salon or your stylist’s chair. Don’t have LOUD conversations or use profanity or crude language while in the  salon, it’s very inappropriate and rude to the stylist and other patrons. Don’t talk on your cell phone while your stylist is cutting, shampooing or styling your  hair; you could be putting them or yourself in danger, and be making it difficult for them to properly do their job.  If you need to charge an electronic device, ask your stylist or the salon owner if they mind, don’t just assume you can use an empty plug!
  3. Pay when the service is rendered.  Your stylist is providing you with a service, so it is only fair that you pay them once that service is completed.  Don’t say “I need to go to the bank and I’ll be back.” If you know you have an appointment, be prepared to pay at the end of your appointment.  If you are a new client, ask your stylist in advance, what the price of the service will be and bring extra in case you decide to add additional services while you are there.

Although there are other aspects of salon etiquette, these are a few of the more essential rules that if properly applied by both the stylist and the client, are sure to make every visit to the salon a pleasant one.  Be beautiful from the inside out, and continue lift your VoiceofHair!

~Khristie Jackson

Master Stylist at Like The River Salon in Atlanta, GA



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Brandelyn Green is the Founder of VoiceOfHair, a platform to help women of color find the best hair care products, regimens and hairstyles! Since starting VoiceOfHair in 2014 she has grown the social media platform to over 1MM+ on Instagram and Facebook. As a natural who is also a salon goer, she wanted to create a platform where people could find the best products, hairstylists, advice and trends.
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