Parents, Don’t Lie to Your Kids About Their Haircut

For me.  For my profession.  For everyone who will cut their hair for the rest of their life.  (And for your daughter’s sake, too… but that is getting into personal opinions vs. professional opinions…)

Ok, what am I talking about?  you ask.

When a mother brings in her seven year old daughter for a trim, tells her one inch, but then pulls me aside or gestures that she actually wants four or five inches off, obviously I need to obey the mother as she is the customer.  I love cutting off dead hair.  Everyone knows this.  Long hair is great when healthy, but nothing is more rewarding to me than cutting 5+ inches of damaged hair.  BUT, I absolutely HATE being deceiving or dishonest, especially involving something as sacred and traumatic as cutting long hair.  I would much rather compromise my desire for the hair to be as healthy as possible than to sacrifice trust.

It is not often that this situation happens (probably last time was 3+ months ago), but it is extremely frequent for me to see the consequences.  Most of my long hair clients are terrified of haircuts initially, and when I actually take off the amount discussed, they are shocked and relieved.  It is hard for me to see so many girls in their late teens and women in their twenties, thirties and beyond that have extreme trust issues.  So when a mom wants me to lie to a seven year old, I know that could last them the rest of their lives.

That said, stylists, don’t lie to your clients about length, either!  Sometimes a line is cut crooked and you have to correct it and it ends up shorter… but this should not make the difference of several inches (and if it does… you have some things to work on).  And if hair had more shrinkage than expected once it was dry, own up to it.  Say you cut off the agreed upon amount but didn’t anticipate the shrinkage, don’t disagree with a disappointed client and put them in the wrong, it is their hair.  Mistakes happen.  Learn from them, minimize the mistakes, and own up or they will think they can’t trust hair stylists!

But most of all, stylists, don’t say you will cut off X amount of hair with the intention of cutting off Y instead.  If you feel strongly, be more persuasive in your consultation, but always come to a compromise.  Our job is about trust.  Our job is about openness and communication.  Their hair is really, really, really damaged?  You should be discussing products and discuss ways they may be damaging their hair without realizing it.  Talk, talk, talk!  But do not betray them, because it makes us all look bad.

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