Is it Time to Fire a Client? Real Hair Professional Problems

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Is it Time to Fire Your Hair Client?No one is immune to problem clients. Hair professionals are in a people business and when it involves people there are always those clients who cause unnecessary problems and headaches we all want to avoid. So what do we do about these clients? And how do we handle it the right way?

As a hair professional there are issues that arise due to client behavior. Whether it be showing up late, not showing up at all, being demanding or ultra-particular about their service, excessive complaining or unnecessary rudeness, confrontational or disruptive, at the end of the day you need to assess what can be remedied and what cannot.

There are definitely rules that should be set to mitigate some of these issues, but if the behavior continues despite their understanding of the policies you put in place, maybe it’s time to fire your client. Let’s first take a look at situations that can be fixed with some basic rules.

Problem: One of the biggest issues hair professionals face is when clients show up late or become a no show. Not showing up in a timely manner or not showing up at all is inconsiderate on their part and a detriment to your business. When someone shows up late, it sets back the time you have for that client. It also leads to you work faster than you normally would which could lead to mistakes. No shows are even worse. This is lost income and a lost opportunity for business.

Solution: The answer is simple. Establish policies that the client is completely aware of so they understand the ramifications of being late or not showing up. There are a number of ways you can design these policies. Of course, if something unexpected should happen to the client like a flat tire, car accident or some emergency, there should be some leniency in this.

Hair Professionals, is it Time to Fire a Client?But for clients who consistently show up late or for those who don’t show up at all or cancel at the last minute, you can charge them for the intended service. Just be clear this is your policy so they are not taken by surprised when they are charged. The drawback to this is that you would have to get credit card information ahead of time and many clients don’t like doing this. You might lose some clients, but you would keep the ones who respect your time and you won’t have disruptions in the flow of business.

Alternatively, you can give clients a fixed number of times to be late or a no show. If this happens more than the given number of times, they will no longer be serviced by you. But this would mean keeping track of the number of times this happens. Documenting will be key to this policy.

Here’s some advice from Ivan Zoot about no show clients.

You can also automate reminders so that clients are re-informed of their appointment and if they cannot make it, they should reschedule. Automated reminders save you time and improve the chances of your clients showing up and showing up on time. If you can make the process of booking appointments and cancelling appointments completely automated, this will save you the time and energy necessary to manage these situations as well.

Problem: Excessive rudeness should not be tolerated in the salon or barbershop. Sometimes the client is unaware of their behavior while others just don’t care. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it seems rudeness is becoming more common so it’s important to know what to do and say when you encounter a client like this. Perhaps they are having a bad day or something else in their life is putting them in a bad mood. In any case, excessive rudeness is not fair to you or the workplace.

Solution: Keep your cool. Rudeness followed by rudeness never helped any situation. It’s important to maintain a professional stance. Politely ask what the problem is and see if it’s anything you can help. If it’s not, inform them that what they are asking for is beyond your capabilities. If it is something you can do, see if you can do it, but inform them this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in your salon or shop. If they cannot manage their composure, it may be time to suggest they find another salon or shop that can meet their needs.

Hairstylists and barbers, is it Time to Fire a Client?Problem: Excessive complaining about their haircut is not a one time deal. When someone complains every time they come in for a haircut, there is an obvious disconnect. What the client wants vs. what they are getting is not matching up and it’s up to you to figure out why.

Solution: For clients who constantly complain about their haircut, it’s important that you do a thorough consultation before the hair service so you are both on the same page. Showing you a picture of what they want and repeating back to them what they want helps to bridge any gaps. If they are concerned about how much they want to have cut, show them exactly how much you are planning to cut off and let them say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the length you want to cut off. The consultation and sticking to what the client wants will help ensure a happy client in the end. If you fulfilled your end of the bargain and the client is still complaining, you will need to have a talk with the client about the continued discrepancy and what steps need to be taken to achieve the desired results. If you are unable to give them what they want, perhaps they should find another stylists to fulfill their needs.

Just remember, stand your ground, know what you will and will not accept and be calm and professional. You don’t deserve clients who bring bad behavior. Doing hair should be fun!

Here’s some additional advice from Ivan Zoot about how to deal with toxic clients.

These are just some common problem clients. There are many more. Try to work out the problem in a professional manner, but if it’s truly something you cannot help them with it’s time to fire your client. Letting a client go is not always easy but it may be necessary to maintain your mental health and reduce unnecessary stress.

Let us know if you have another type of problem client and what you do to rectify the issue. Or if you have a different solution to any of the problems above, leave us a comment.


JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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