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How to Spot a Bad Hairdresser? 9 Signs That Scream Switch!

It can be frustrating to entrust your hair to a hairdresser only to be disappointed with the final result. While not all signs of a bad hairdresser are obvious, there are quick ones you can pick early enough.

From rushed cuts to poor product knowledge, there’s always something that will alert you that something is off. Knowing the warning signs can help you avoid wasting your time and money on a bad hairdresser.

How to Spot a Bad Hairdresser

It doesn’t take long to spot a bad hairstylist. If you pay close attention to your previous interactions with your barber, you can pick some crucial telltale signs, good or bad.

Knowing what to spot can help you avoid a potential disaster and instead find a hairdresser who truly understands your hair needs and can make you look your best.

#1: They Don’t Respect Your Preferences

signs of a bad hairdresser

A good hairdresser should listen to your concerns, requests, and desired outcomes. They should make suggestions without sounding pushy and allow you to decide on a look that makes you happy.

However, a bad barber or hairdresser may ignore your requests or push their ideas onto you without considering your thoughts.

They may make assumptions about what you want without taking the time to ask questions or understand your needs. This lack of respect for your preferences can result in a haircut or color you’re unhappy with.

#2: They’re Always Trying to Upsell You

how to spot a bad hairdresser

Upselling can be a turnoff, especially when your hairdresser is selling you products you don’t need. It could signify that they are not paying attention to your hair needs but are only interested in a sale.

Sometimes hairstylists suggest specific products or services that may benefit your hair. Always ask questions and consider the options before making a decision.

A good hairdresser will always have your best interests in mind and provide recommendations based on your hair type and concerns.

#3: Always Runs Late

A hairdresser who values and respects you will strive to keep time for every appointment or communicate in advance when running late. Some even go the extra mile to make new arrangements to meet your needs.

Lateness speaks volumes about the professionalism of your stylist. They don’t deserve your money if they don’t respect your time.

#4: The One-Size-Fits-All Approach

The one-size-fits-all approach is among the clear signs of a bad barber. Here, the hairdresser gives every client the same cut or style, regardless of their unique hair needs and preferences. This approach is problematic because everyone’s hair is different – different textures, thicknesses, and lengths.

A hairdresser who doesn’t take the time to understand each client’s specific needs and tailor their cuts and styles accordingly is not providing personalized service.

Additionally, a one-size-fits-all approach can make clients unhappy with their haircuts, as the style may not suit their face shape or lifestyle.

#5: Difficulty in Achieving Desired Styling

bad hairdresser won't give your desired cut

One of the telltale signs of a bad hairdresser is difficulty in achieving the desired styling.

It can be frustrating when a hairdresser cannot create the look you’re going for—whether it’s a specific hairstyle, a certain type of curls or waves, or even a polished, put-together look. This can indicate a lack of knowledge or skill on the hairdresser’s part or a lack of attention to detail.

A good hairdresser should be able to listen to your requests, ask questions to clarify your desired look, and then use their knowledge and expertise to create the style you want.

They should also be able to adjust the style as needed based on your feedback. If your hairdresser struggles to achieve the desired styling, it may be time to consider switching to a new stylist.

#6: All Talk, No Action

common sign of a bad hairdresser

It’s common to hear hairdressers talk a lot about their abilities to create unique styles with expertise, which is okay. However, do not be quick to believe them without proof of their work. Some of them lack the skills and knowledge to deliver on these promises.

In such cases, doing your research before booking an appointment is essential. Read reviews, ask for references, and even see their portfolio if they have one.

#7: Consistently Cutting More Hair than Requested

When you want to trim your hair, you already know the length you want to retain and an image of the final result. Although sometimes your barber may have a different opinion, they should only suggest it without imposing it on you.

If they trim more than you requested, it shows they ignore your needs. It can also signify that the hairdresser is not experienced or skilled enough to accurately judge how much hair needs to be cut. This can lead to uneven layers and choppy ends, making the hair look unkempt and poorly maintained.

#8: Negative Feedback and Reviews from Previous Clients

Bad reviews are among the signs of a bad hairdresser. It’s always important to pay attention to what other customers say. These reviews can provide insight into the hairdresser’s skill level, professionalism, and customer service.

They can also highlight any issues clients have had with the hairdresser, such as poor communication, rushed service, or poor attention to detail.

Pay close attention to what previous customers have experienced and see if it matches your expectations. Ask for references or if anyone has had a good experience with the hairdresser. Use their responses to make an informed decision on when to switch hairdressers.

#9: Poor Communication

ways to find out bad hairdresser

Poor communication is a major red flag when identifying a bad hairdresser. It can manifest in several ways, such as not clearly explaining the styling process or not listening to your preferences and requests.

A good hairdresser should be able to communicate effectively with their clients, understand their needs and preferences, and provide accurate recommendations based on their hair type and desired style.

Another aspect of poor communication is not being able to give clear instructions or guidance on how to style and maintain the hair after the salon visit.

A good hairdresser should be able to provide detailed instructions on how to style and maintain the hair, including what products to use and how often to wash it. They should answer questions about the hair styling process or the products used.

So, When to Switch Your Hairdresser?

Ditch your hairdresser if he/she displays the following signs of a bad hairdresser.

  • They don’t respect your preferences
  • They always try to upsell
  • They don’t respect your time
  • They have difficulty achieving the desired cut
  • They offer the same style to every client
  • They trim more hair than is necessary
  • They have negative reviews
  • They talk without providing proof
  • They don’t communicate effectively

Trust your gut regarding hairdressers. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to move on and find someone who will care better for your hair.


Here we’ll provide quick answers to some common questions that may arise.

Do hairdressers get mad if I go to someone else?

Yes, hairdressers get mad if you go to someone else. However, it ultimately depends on the specific hairdresser and the reasons for the client’s decision to switch.

Do hairdressers mess up my hair on purpose?

It is highly unlikely that a hairdresser would intentionally mess up a client’s hair. Most hairdressers take pride in their work and strive to provide their clients with the best possible service.

Can I report a bad hairdresser?

Yes, you can report a bad hairdresser. Use the following steps:
– Talk to the hairstylist to see if they can repair the mess.
– If not, contact the salon or spa where the hairdresser works and speak to the manager about your experience.
– If the issue is severe, you can file a complaint with the state’s cosmetology board or the consumer protection agency.