Q: Why do women keep going to the same hairdresser, even when she doesn't know how to cut hair? Are they afraid to go somewhere else or what is it?
A: Hairdressing is an industry that is unlike many others. In most businesses a product is provided and if the product’s quality isn’t up to your standards, you think nothing of going someplace else and getting a different brand of the product.
But hairdressing is a more customer service-oriented business. The way you feel about the person performing the service is as important as the quality of the work they do. You
sit in a stylist’s chair and talk to them about what you want, and they make you feel like they genuinely want to help you look your very best. Many women quickly develop pseudo-friendships with their hairdresser.
While they may never see the stylist outside the salon, they feel like the person is a genuine friend and therefore give them far more leeway in situations where they are dissatisfied than they would another service professional.
Often, the choice of which stylist to see is the result of a lot of searching, or the stylist may be a referral from a close friend or family member, all of which add a great deal
of pressure on the situation: pressure for the relationship to work. And when the stylist is an actual friend who has gotten his or her cosmetology training, then the impetus to keep the relationship stable gets even more strident.
Then you add into this situation the fact that esthetic appeal is subjective. What one person likes, another may not. In some cases (especially those where there is a connection
apart from hairdresser/client) the taste of the stylist and client may mesh more readily. In other cases, the hairdresser may feel that a strong sharp-edged style flatters the face and makes a statement, but the
client may favor softer looks and a more subtle appearance.
Yet, the bottom line SHOULD be that the client’s wishes are the goal of the hairdresser, and in an ideal world, that would be the case. However, many clients’ view the hairdresser
as the “authority” in a hair salon setting, and defer to the hairdresser’s esthetic rather than his/her expertise. The result is that the client listens when the hairdresser says that a style looks good on them, even
though they don’t really like it. The style then “grows on” the client because we can all adapt to something we are forced to live with. I just want people to remember that they don’t have to live with it.