Hairdressers, barbers, and stylists are revealing all the things you should absolutely NOT do when getting a haircut — and there's a good chance you're guilty of a few of these.
It all started when a viral Reddit thread from user u/Pan_Beesly asked haircutters on the internet: "What are some helpful and unhelpful things that clients do when they come in for a haircut?"
Here are some of the most eye-opening responses from the pros:
1. "Don’t ask me take an inch off all over, and then say, 'We can go from there if I want more.' That’s asking me to do two haircuts. Come on."
2. "Keep your arms and phone/wallet/keys under the cape (since you insist on holding them). If not, you’ll be covered in hair. And stop flicking the hair off your cape. It can stay there until the end of your cut."
3. "Lifting your head in the shampoo bowl! Don't do that... That's how we end up soaking the back of your shirt!"
4. "If you have somewhere to be at X time, please let us know beforehand rather than five minutes before you have to be out the door. This has been a HUGE one for me. You will not be done with a full foil, toner and cut in an hour."
5. "[Don't come in wearing a hat.] If you wear a hat and take it off, your hair has been pushed into an unnatural position. And a clipper and our combs won't be able to make it look normal."
6. "Don’t cancel same day unless it’s an actual emergency. We cannot fill that slot and that is money literally off our paychecks. It’s disrespectful to boot. You got sloshed the night before and can’t make your spot? Not our fault, and we will be charging you."
7. "Don’t be late. We are usually scheduled according to the time it takes us to perform a service completely. If you are late, especially by more than 10 minutes, do not expect to have the same service and DO expect us to rush through your service. Just because you were late doesn’t mean we can be late for the next client who is on time."
8. "If your child either hates having their hair cut or moves a lot, don't expect a fantastic haircut. Have something in mind that isn't a lot of work. Tell the hairdresser/barber that they dislike having it done and ask for advice on what haircut can be done quick and easy."
9. "Don't move your head with us. We move for a reason. Don't move your head unless we tell you to. Angles are very important. If you move while we are doing something, that angle is now wrong."
10. "Don't cross your legs or arms while getting a haircut. You will end up with a lopsided haircut."
11. "Please don't keep your eyes open when washing. It's kinda awkward if you know someone is staring right up your nostrils."
12. "[When pulling up reference images for your stylist,] try to find images of hair similar to yours. If you have superthick curls, a pic of someone with fine straight hair won't do you any good... Also, if you like a cut on a model, cover his/her face with your finger and make sure you like the hair, not just the face."
13. "If you don’t like your haircut, just be nice and to the point. Most of us will want to help and fix it for you."
14. "DON’T WEAR A HOODIE. Or a turtleneck. If you can take it off, fine. But they both get in the way a lot if I’m trying to cut/color your hair."
15. "Don't have unrealistic expectations. People want to go from dark brown to platinum in one session, have bright pink hair that never fades, or have amazing rainbow hair from a heavily filtered photo on Instagram."
16. "Know what clipper number you get on the sides: #2, #4, etc. It's a lot easier for you to remember your number than it is for us to remember everyone’s. Please don’t say 'like last time' unless you know us well and come in very often. We do not remember."
17. "Washing your hair first is important. If you can't, it's not the end of the world. Especially if it's a part of the service you are about to get. But a washed head puts the hair in its natural state and makes it so much easier to cut, and you'll get a better end result."
18. "99% of the time, I can’t hear you when blow-drying, and it’s bloody impossible to have a conversation when blow-drying now that we all have to wear masks."
19. "My wife is a stylist. Her main complaint is when clients, mostly men but some women, start spouting their political beliefs for all to hear. It's as if they think when they sit down in that chair, all conversational etiquette gets thrown out the window and there are no consequences to what is said."
20. "If we are done with a cut, please don't 'help' with removing the hair. You're not removing it; you are actually making it worse by patting it into your clothes, sticking it to your skin, and letting it fall into your shoes."
21. "Don’t lie about the box color you’ve put in your hair (including henna) or products you use. The stylist WILL find out one way or another (like when your 'virgin' hair turns orange instead of yellow in foils) and it just makes it harder and more expensive to correct later on... We don’t care if you put box dye on your hair. We just need to know because the course of action will be different depending on your history."
22. "Be clear about what you want, and preferably already know what you want before you sit down in our chairs. Having the 'Do I want pink or do I want blonde? Oh I just don't know!' conversation is really annoying because it takes time we could use in a better way. And honestly, I'm down for both; and it's not my head so I'm not going to make that decision for you."
23. "You don't have to talk. You don't have to be silent. Just know that we are stylists first and not necessarily therapists. If you tell me you are suicidal, I'm not equipped to help you with that. We can have a good chat. I can tell you about my struggles and you can tell me yours, but really talk to someone who actually knows how to help and deal with that. It can be a very hard thing for us to hear, too."
24. "Please remember we are human. We have lives and families too, so sometimes we are a little less happy. It's not that we hate you; maybe we lost someone close to us or are going through a breakup. Working when you know that any moment now you'll get a call saying someone died is making it hard to be super cheery. We don't have to share those things."
25. "Don’t blast off at the stylist who tried to 'up-sell' products. They hate it just as much as you do. Just be polite and say no if you don’t want it. They aren’t trying to spike up your bill. They have to follow selling guidelines; otherwise, they’ll get marks on their reports for not selling enough."
26. "If they notice anything off about your hair (mostly lice or something very hazard-like), they have to deny service due to protocols. DO NOT scream at them and demand them to do it. They have to be careful with certain things that could possibly be transmitted home to their loved ones or other customers."
27. "I was a barber for seven years. Every haircut must be faded. Please do not sit down and just ask for a 'fade.' And for the love of Christ, don’t ask us, 'Do you know how to fade?' The answer is yes and we will judge you."
28. "Do NOT come to the stylist in a raging fit because your boyfriend hurt your feelings so now you’re going to cut your long hair into a pixie to show that you have control over your life. No matter how awesome it looks, you WILL hate it, you WILL cry, and you will HATE us for allowing you to do it. This is why stylists will always try to talk you down off that ledge, and many will offer a slower transition ('Let’s try a shoulder-length bob!') or refuse you completely. It’s not that we hate you. We want you to love us and come back; but if you hate your hair, you’ll hate us by extension."
29. "An inch is almost always less than what you think it is. We have a ruler on our comb. Ask to see it if you aren’t sure."
30. "Always clean your ears before a haircut. You don’t want someone up that close to you with waxy, manky ears 👍🏻."
And last, but certainly not least...
31. "Finally, and this is important, do not moan while we wash your hair. Just don’t."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.