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The 4 Most Important Rules of Hair Salon Etiquette

Photo: The Fashion Spot

I have an irrational fear of going to the hair salon. The prospects of leaving with a surprise mullet that I didn’t want (or ask for) makes me delay getting my haircut for months on end. To make matters worse, I’ve yet to find a trustworthy hair stylist despite the fact that I live in NYC, a city where there are more salons than taxi cabs. As a chronic salon hopper, I find myself submitting to each new stranger’s scissors with a racing heart and sweating palms. The experience is far from relaxing, and my tendency to blabber tends to kick in sometime between the shampoo and the first snip. Over the years, I’ve shared way too much with nodding stylists: the names of my first pets, the woes of being single, my Social Security number (just kidding about the last one). Luckily, I found this helpful article about the rules that every woman should follow to avoid awkwardness at the salon. Read on for our recap! 

  • A 15-20% tip for the stylist is customary, but you should also leave a dollar or two for the shampoo assistant.
  • To fend off a nosy stylist, turn the tables and ask him/her about why he/she chose the profession. You might pick up some great styling tips!
  • Switch your cell phone to silent and leave it in your purse. It’s just plain rude to press a phone to your ear when someone’s trying to cut your hair.
  • Speak up if you’re unhappy with your haircut. Before you leave, ask to talk to the manager or call the salon from home to schedule a re-do. But if your hair is a total Flock of Seagulls wreck, it’s better to cut your losses and vow never to return. Always do your research before you pick a salon.


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