Whoops! Now, What?

By: Allison Blair Gregg

Category: Professionals, Schools, Students

It happens to the best of us.

Even the most skilled beauty professional will run into awkward situations that could turn into career defining moments that – depending on how you handle them – can have either a negative or positive impact on your reputation.  

Whenever a conflict arises where your client could leave your chair without feeling 1000% satisfied with your services, you will want to make sure you do everything in your power to demonstrate respect for your client’s hard earned money and time.

Of course, one of the best ways to avoid conflicts with clients is to communicate your client’s vision for services, beforehand. Prior to all services, speak with your client and determine his or her expectations.

If you are styling in preparation for a special event like a wedding, sweet sixteen, quinceañera or, prom, recommend a consultation. This gives you and your client the opportunity for a trial run prior to the big day when tensions are high and everyone is pressed for time.

I Want to Look JUST Like Her!

Inspiration comes in many forms. The proliferation of style apps and beauty-oriented magazines has made it super easy for clients to find photos of coveted makeup trends and hairstyles.  But not all styles and trends are suited for everyone.

When a client with a long face shape asks you to replicate the short, wispy baby bangs sported by her favorite celebrity, you might want to suggest longer bangs to add width in order to prevent further elongating the face.

There are tactful, polite ways to recommend styles that will best suit your client, decreasing the risk of her leaving your chair less than satisfied. If you feel uncomfortable telling your client that the style she chose from a magazine may not be the best fit for her, ask a coworker or family member to role play a variety of scenarios that will help you find the right words.

The Customer is Always Right…Right?

Of course, if your client absolutely insists upon a style that you are not in agreement with, make sure you express your reservations in a professional and non-condescending manner. Provide him or her with tips to help look their absolute best. As a beauty industry professional with hundreds of educational hours under your belt, you have been trained to help clients determine the style that suits them best.

The same thought process should take place for makeup artists. If a client with dark hair and features insists upon palettes appropriate for lighter tones, help them find a middle ground that will use the colors and tones that accentuate their skin tone while keeping the essence of what they liked about their inspiration in place.

Chemical Warfare

Imagine this:  a regular client of yours leaves town and has his or strands cut, styled or colored by a friend’s favorite stylist.

The good news is that your client’s friends’ hair looks awesome.

The bad news? Your client’s hair is a disaster.

She calls you in tears, begging you to perform a miracle. She sends pictures of a blond dye job gone wrong. Or, she comes to your chair with chunky, uneven layers of hair that appear to have been cut in the dark.


Before attempting to bring your client’s hair back to life, prevent another beauty mishap by finding out as much information as you can about the chemicals and products used during her disastrous visit to another stylist. Be sure to clearly communicate the methods you will use to restore her tresses.

Be optimistic but realistic about corrections. Sometimes, it will take more than one visit to fix damaged hair but reassure your client that you are committed to helping her look her best, again.

What If I Made the Mistake?

Mistakes with pigment, lipstick hues, excessive contouring is easily fixed with remover or wipes.

Hair mistakes are trickier to repair. In order to preserve your reputation and make your client happy, apologize and offer discounted or, complimentary services. Follow-up with a courtesy phone call and do whatever you need to do in order save the client/stylist relationship.  

Errors occur in every facet of life. The most important thing to remember is to learn from mistakes and grow from them. Truly successful beauty industry professionals work diligently to evolve within a constantly changing industry while dealing with a variety of personality types. As long as you remember to maintain a positive attitude receptive to constructive criticism and be willing to grow with each experience thrown at you, your career will flourish. Clients will have faith in your ability to keep them looking and feeling fabulous and your faith in your ability will grow, as well.

Related Posts

No Comments

Add a Comment