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How to Handle the Stylist Who Ruined Your Hair

Maybe you were on your phone the whole time or asleep with a stylist you trusted. When you finally look in the mirror, things are not at all how you expected them to turn out.

How should you handle the stylist who ruined your hair?

Take a deep breath or two. Drink some water first. We’ll discuss how to handle the situation, how to fix your hair when it’s been damaged at a salon and when to take legal action. You should also beware of the common signs of a bad hairdresser.

How to React When A Stylist Ruins Your Hair

Here is a step-by-step list of how to handle an erring stylist:

1. Take Some Responsibility First

Were you talking too much to pay attention yourself and also allow the stylist to do their job? Maybe you forgot to look into the mirror occasionally and the stylist went in the direction she liked.

True, you’re not a professional, but it is up to you to stop your stylist respectfully whenever you think there might be an issue. So if the result is partially your fault, acknowledging it will help you approach your stylist in a friendly manner so that a resolution can be reached.

Author’s Tip: “If the issue is partially your fault, and you acknowledge it, it will help you be calm when explaining the problem.”

2. Have Realistic Expectations

Have Realistic Expectations about Hair Salon Outcome

Maybe you asked your hairstylist for a particular color, and she advised you it might not work with your hair or skin color. Yet that lemon-colored mane is what you wanted and what you’ve got. Before you blame your stylist, remember she can’t change your mind.

You’re her client, so she can only respectfully advise you if lemon yellow won’t suit you. The same goes for haircuts and highlights.

3. Explain Your Issue Fully and Calmly

Put on the smile you wear for sticky situations and explain, before you leave the chair, exactly what the problem is. Perhaps it is an immediate fix, and the salon won’t charge you for it. If you brought a photo in, refer back to it and remind your stylist that this is what you asked for.

Try not to be argumentative, but ask for a solution instead. You might not have all the professional lingo needed, but your stylist will understand. If you’re looking for a polite way to speak up, try complimenting the style first, then make a suggestion on how it can be done better.

Or ask how you can style the cut to make it look closer to the picture you brought in. If your stylist isn’t understanding or is needlessly getting defensive, ask politely if you can explain it to a supervisor or manager.

Note: Ask this: “How can I style my hair to make it closer to the picture I brought in?”


4. Wait If Asked

There are some chemical processes that turn out differently in a few days. You might be asked to wait if you think the coloring is too strong, as it typically fades with a few washes.

If you think your hair is too straight, or otherwise overly processed or even damaged, there’s usually something your stylist can give you to use at home. See if it works.

5. Allow the Salon to Work on a Fix

Things to Do When A Stylist Ruins Hair - Let Them Fix

If a manager comes over to reassure you and work with your stylist to get things right, let them talk their technical talk and figure out what should be done without your input. When they’re done consulting, ask what their game plan is and whether it will take more salon visits to complete.

Also, ask about extra charges. But really, if the style doesn’t reflect the picture you brought in, you shouldn’t have to pay for the changes they’ll have to make to get it right.

“If the style doesn’t reflect the picture you brought, you shouldn’t have to pay for adjustments.”

– Ghanima Abdullah

6. Be Careful with Refunds

Sure, you can demand a refund of whatever you paid, but it’s best to let the salon try to fix the issue instead. If you automatically demand a refund without giving the stylist a chance to fix your hair, you probably won’t be able to receive services in the same salon again.

You might have extra free appointments to fix the problem because the salon has acknowledged its error.

(Although, of course, you should receive an apology, too.) Allowing them to make things right could serve you better down the road when you need another appointment.

7. Go to Another Salon

If you meet with stubbornness on the part of the salon, it might be best just to find another hairdresser. You really don’t want to suffer through a bad attitude when you’re the one paying.

And it’s your hair we’re talking about, anyway. If the salon refuses a fix and insists everything possible has been done, ask respectfully for a refund and go elsewhere.

If the salon is stubborn about fixing your issue, go elsewhere.

legal actions against stylist who ruins hair

There are a few unfortunate scenarios that might require legal action:

  • Injuries: Allergic reactions can occur if a stylist fails to do a patch test. Some chemicals can burn the skin or scalp when left on for too long. Sometimes eye injuries occur if chemicals get into them.
  • Damaged Clothing: If your clothing is expensive and gets ruined by chemicals from stylist negligence, it can be a cause for legal action.
  • Hair Loss or Damage: If your hair was too damaged before starting a chemical process, your stylist should refuse to avoid causing your hair to break off. If your hair is damaged to the point that it’s mushy or your hair starts falling out after an appointment, consult the salon first to see if anything can be done. If not, legal action might help you with emotional suffering if you weren’t previously advised.

At-Home Fixes

If your hair has been damaged at the salon but is not coming out by the handful, there are some products that your stylist might suggest to get your hair in better shape:

  • Olaplex is the most common treatment these days for repairing hair that’s been damaged by bleach or other chemical processes. It reconnects the protein bonds in the hair and is even recommended for use when you’ve had a hair coloring treatment, but your hair isn’t visibly damaged.
  • Deep conditioners and repair kits, like In Common Crystal Cashmere At-Home Repair Kit can also help to bring your hair back around gradually.
  • Protein treatments might also be recommended to help replace the protein that’s been lost in your hair due to excessive straightening and chemical processing. A protein reconstructor mask is a treatment that some salons use.


Can I go back to the salon if not satisfied?

Yes, you should go back and politely speak to the receptionist or stylist. They will likely offer you free service to fix the issue. If the fault is your own, however, you might be charged.

Can I sue a hairdresser for hair loss?

Yes, if this is caused by mistake by the hairdresser, you can sue.

What do I do if I’m not happy with my hairdresser?

Try to keep the lines of communication open. Explain the issue fully, clearly, and politely. Then clarify that you’d like to work on a resolution.

How do I tell my hairstylist I hate my hair?

It didn’t quite come out like the reference picture I showed you. Is there any way we can fix it?

What to do if I don’t like my dyed hair?

Mention it. You will probably be told to wait for a few washes before returning to the salon for a fix.

Can I sue my hairdresser for burning my scalp or face?

Yes, you can sue a salon for such incidents.

Can I sue a barber for folliculitis?

Yes, you can.

Can I get my money back from the hairdressers?

Yes, if they are unwilling to fix your issue, you should politely ask for a refund. However, don’t expect services from the same hairdresser or salon.

Can I sue a hairdresser for an allergic reaction?

Yes, you can.

Can I complain about a hairdresser?

Yes, you can complain to salon management.

Do hairdressers get mad when a client goes to someone else?

Only if you didn’t mention to them the reason why first and allow them to work on a fix.

How do salons resolve client complaints?

They usually offer to fix the issue. These are professionals that value customer service.

What to do when a stylist messes up my hair?

Explain directly to your stylist what the problem is and that you’re open to finding a solution.

Is it rude to switch stylists at a salon?

Yes, you better go to another salon.