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Breaking Up with Your Stylist: Do You Really Have To?

by Michelle Lemire {{"2015-02-02T12:18:40-08:00" | blogDate:'MMMM d, y'}}

Haircut image via Bigstock

Relationships with stylists are wonderful things. They listen to you, support you, and send you out into the world with great hair. But what happens when you need to make a change?

Whether you’re completely cutting out salon visits, increasing time between coloring sessions, or only keeping your stylist for haircuts, Madison Reed has helpful tips to break the news gently and maintain a friendly relationship.

Expert stylists can do amazing things. They understand what your hair needs and what you want, and translate that info into a style that suits you. But your needs change and life gets busy. You may not have time for a lengthy salon visit, or your stylist is not always available on your schedule. So, how do you tell your stylist that you have to make a change? It’s easier than you think!

Don’t Call It a Breakup
If you’re not going to break it off with your stylist completely, honest communication is vital to keeping your appointments fun and comfortable. Think of it as redefining your relationship, not a breakup. You’re still going to see each other when you get your hair cut and styled. So here’s how to say it:

  • Be Honest: If you want to tell your stylist about your decision to color at home, be honest and direct about why you did it. Stylists are people too: they’ll understand decisions based on budget, health, or time constraints. Remember to point out that you’ll still see each other for regular trims and haircuts!
  • Be Thankful: If you’re planning to continue seeing your stylist in some capacity, it means she has done a great job with your hair. Let her know how awesome she’s been. A thank you card or flowers might not be a bad idea, depending on how close you are with your stylist. The point is to show that you still care, while freeing you up to make the best decision for yourself.
  • Be Kind: Even if you are elated not to have to spend the money or time at the salon anymore, don’t rub your stylist’s face in it. It’s a small world and who knows when you might need her—or one of her friends/colleagues—again. Save the bragging for your other friends (you can give them $15 off Madison Reed!).

Setting Expectations with Colorists
If you have a stylist and a separate colorist, taking a break from your colorist can be more daunting. Especially if you feel like you still want to get your hair cut at the same salon.

If you have a long history with your colorist, take the time to explain that you’re trying a healthier hair color that actually repairs damage and nourishes your hair. Mention that you’re just doing color maintenance on your own and might be back for full coloring sessions in the future. This leaves the door open for both of you.

In fact, your colorist and salon might be really interested in learning more about Madison Reed’s healthier formulas. Famed salon owner and stylist Alex Chases features Madison Reed in his salons. He also encourages clients to use Madison Reed on their own at home when they can’t make it to the salon. It creates a healthier hair cycle, which makes color last longer and look even better over time.

Give Constructive Feedback
If you’re ready to break it off with your stylist or colorist completely because you’re not happy with results, you don’t have to say anything. After all, it’s your choice how you spend your time and money. That said, it’s always nicer to get some input instead of radio silence. Your stylist may want to learn what to improve for the future.

It’s even trickier if you’re planning to try a different stylist in the same salon or if you live in a small town where you’re likely to run into your colorist or stylist outside of the salon. If you think there’s a chance of that, it’s better to avoid the awkwardness and be upfront with your stylist right away.

Take a deep breath and follow the same 3 points as above: Be Honest, Be Thankful, and Be Kind. Instead of pointing out any mistakes made in the past, simply say that you want to explore more options for your hair. If (and only if) your stylist asks for specifics, think about giving some feedback without playing the blame game. For example, “Because of my hair texture, I’d like to try out someone who works with curly hair and see what the difference is.” That gives some insight without pointing the finger, and you’ll walk away feeling better about how you handled the situation.

After “The Talk”
Once you’ve had the conversation and you’ve either evolved the relationship or severed ties, don’t avoid your stylist. If you see her on the street or at the store, don’t avoid eye contact or duck into another aisle. By staying positive and saying hello, you’ll reinforce that it wasn’t a decision about personality. It’s about your decision to make a change to improve your life. There’s no reason you two can’t be pleasant to one another, and maybe even still be friends!

What about the “me-time” and the friendly banter?
You’ve come clean with your stylist and are ready to move on to doing your color yourself. Who are you going to chat with about hair color and styling? Who’s going to give you advice when you decide you want to change things up and go for a new color? Who’s going to tell you that you look fabulous when you’re done coloring your hair?

The Madison Reed Color Crew, of course! Our professional stylists are real people who would love to talk to you about your hair. They have a ton of professional knowledge and friendly advice, so you’ll never feel alone in your transition to coloring at home. Think of it as your hair hotline! You can connect with them on email or chat, or give them a call at 1.888.550.9586.

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