Breaking up with your beauty professional


We’ve all done it. We’ve cheated on our hairdresser, facialist, makeup artist, waxer, etc. We were just curious to see what it would be like to have a different creative take on our hair, or if our friend’s facialist really was the reason she looks four years younger or if the waxing hurt less with someone else. Whatever the reason, we’ve done it.  
But there is a chance that you’ll run into your “ex” somewhere — perhaps even return to them at some point — and “cheating” can create a really awkward relationship dynamic moving forward. So, based on several conversations with local beauty pros, here’s some counsel on how to approach those issues that might cause you to stray. 
Problem: They Just Do What They Want And Don’t Listen To You. 
Hiring a beauty professional is like hiring an artist in many ways. You can give them an idea of what you want, you can bring photos, you can have deep discussions and think you’re on the same page about what you’re trying to achieve but still, when all is said and done, you can end up with a hair color you never expected, a haircut that makes you miserable, brows that are too thin or a makeup palette that makes you feel overdone. So then what?  
Well, if you’re that dissatisfied, you must tell them at the time of the service. For some reason, people shy away from that conversation and then go home and cry about it on Facebook or Twitter to their 900 friends, thus damaging the professional’s reputation. Be prepared to tell them why you’re upset and how their service does not meet your expectations. You’d be surprised — some will alter the results to satisfy you. 
On the other hand, be prepared that if the artist thinks that your request will make you look less than what their best efforts are, they may refuse. If you think you look hot with a mullet, bleached brows and orange eye shadow, and in their opinion you’ll bring down their brand name by associating them with that look, they may not be willing to budge. Your best bet is to check around and find a hairdresser or beauty pro who creates looks on people whose aesthetic you admire. 
Problem: They Give You The Family Discount And Therefore Don’t Respect Your Time. 
So you have a great girlfriend, cousin or sister-in-law who does hair and is very gifted at her craft. You call and make an appointment (just like everyone else), but because you’re family and she’s not charging the full rate, it’s cool if she’s running late, right? I’ve had a two-hour cut and color turn into a four-hour extravaganza because my “family friend” was so busy servicing her “full-paying” clientele that she spent time gossiping with them, letting me sit too long with color. I didn’t get the same level of service, and for a $25 discount, I spent two extra hours of my life in a chair. Sorry, my time is worth more than that. I also found myself getting resentful of her taking me for granted and it had an effect on our friendship. I did end up telling her that I could not spend four hours on a cut and color, but I didn’t totally come clean about how it made me feel. In hindsight, I should have. I would advise you to definitely do so. She needs to be made aware so she doesn’t damage future relationships.
Problem: They Talk About Everyone. 
There is no getting around this one. If your stylist (regardless of discipline) is telling you what other people said about you/others or is talking about how certain clients don’t pay their bills, cheat on their boyfriends, etc., you can expect that they’re saying the same things about you. Regardless of whether or not it’s based in truth, this is drama you do NOT need to be caught up in. So while they may walk on water, make your skin glow or bless your hair with the hottest style in the city, walk away and don’t look back. Friendships, business relationships and more have been affected by these kinds of toxic relationships. And don’t waste your time calling the stylist out on it. It’s not worth it.  
Problem: You're Cheating On Your Stylist With Their Co-Worker. 
Ouch. Sorry. There is no avoiding this one. You must tell your stylist why you’re seeing their co-worker and what was not working. Be gentle. Be cognizant that they have to work together, and make it clear that it wasn’t a matter of poaching. But if stylist A does great long-hair styles and you’ve moved on to short hair and that’s not their forte (but it is stylist B’s), be honest about it. Even if it’s just a matter of chemistry, tell them. 
Problem: Reunited And It Feels So Good? 
So you cheated and now you have to go back because, well, the grass wasn’t greener. Tell the truth. Your stylist will be happy to have you back and then have a chat about why you strayed in the first place. He or she will want to know so they can adjust whatever was causing you to question your look in the first place.
Ladies, these are relationships. We trust people who help us beautify with a lot of information about ourselves and sometimes become good friends. But do not confuse business with personal. If there is ever a question of delivering what you need, then you have to talk about it. Otherwise it’s like continuing a romantic relationship when the romance is gone. Be honest, factual and genuine. Be prepared that some folks are more or less emotionally mature than others, and there are times that you may lose your relationship with them over it. But in the end, a good professional knows how to take professional criticism and learns from it. It’s what allows them to improve at their craft. 



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opaler's picture

I recently broke up, or rather was broken up with, and in an effort to pretty up I went to a local hair removal andover. There I met the cutest hairstylist and what can I say? I am smitten. The moment I locked eyes with him, I felt it. And in the course of conversation, I found him so dang easy to talk to. Oh, the back and forth. This is despite the fact I typically struggle because of my shy personality and the fact that I'm a non-native speaker of Japanese.

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