Janine Jarman, Sebastian professional stylist design team member and owner of Hollywood's Hairroin Salon, says stylists like clients who let them do their job. "If you're going to a professional hairdresser and paying professional prices," she says, "take their direction on what would look best on you."
Stylists also like clients who are positive and easygoing with upbeat personalities, according to celebrity hairstylist Anh Co Tran of L.A.'s Neil George Salon. "Even if their hair is difficult, it makes the experience so much better for both of us," he says.
On the other hand, complaining and unappreciative clients are the worst, says Tran. Bargaining is also a major don't, right along with being consistently late.
Mark Garrison, owner of his own upscale salon in New York City, agrees and also says that clients who make appointments and cancel at the last minute are equally as bad. Stylists also don't like clients who "never want to change and are stuck in a time warp, and clients who don't honor their natural curly hair and always blow it out -- even in 100 percent humidity, making it a fuzzy mess," says Garrison.
And while most stylists could probably share a few horror stories about clients who were demanding, rude, or unreasonable, Tran says he has been lucky. "My clients have all been great, but this happened to an old coworker of mine: A client came in early in the morning still very drunk from the night before and got a haircut. He loved it at the time, but hated it when he sobered up the next day.
"Another coworker's client was bargaining after she received the service, saying her friend had paid a certain price, and the stylist had quoted her a different price [which was not true!]," Tran says.
"I had a client who was big on getting every hair service out there, as often as possible, so her hair was in less than desirable shape," adds Jarman. "When I refused to perm her hair [since she had just gone from red to blonde to brown to blonde in less than three months], she went to another salon for the perm, which of course fried her hair off to about an inch long. She then came back to the salon begging me to 'fix' it."
Garrison recalls a few "bad client" incidents too, including one who was loud, demanding, and cursing out assistants and the receptionist because her color was not what she expected. "She was asked never to come back," says Garrison. Another client knowingly walked out without paying. "And one client made it a practice of suing anyone she could [she used to freely talk about this] and actually ended up suing us over her hair color that she claimed went wrong."
So just how can we be good clients and build lasting relationships with our stylists (after all, this will only lead to better hair)? "Be respectful of our work and our time," advises Tran, "and let us know you love our work by referring your friends."
Garrison adds that it's important to have a thorough consultation at each visit, have an open mind, and collaborate on ideas for style and color.
Their final pleas? "Don't talk loud on a cell phone that's on speaker, chew gum while getting your hair cut, or bring a friend and keep turning your head to talk during your cut," says Garrison. Jarman adds, "Don't bring your baby or dog to the salon." And Tran says, "While we're working on your hair, please don't touch it!"
Know what else is important to your stylist? Tipping! Learn how much you should really give.