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Salon etiquette

If you can’t find her anywhere she must be at the salon — that’s the joke at home when I don’t answer calls and have disappeared for a while without telling anyone. The best friend too owns a salon close to home, so what better way to catch up on some gossip over a pedicure or a relaxing head massage. By now you must think I sport a new hairstyle every other fortnight and always have painted nails and smell like I just walked out of a salon (you know that familiar smell when you’ve been to one); quite the contrary, actually. I invariably walk out of the salon without having my nails painted because by the time they are, it’s towards the end of the appointment; that’s when I have to reach for my purse to pay the bill and I always end up smudging parts of it. Over the years, I’ve been a keen observer of the way people behave at salons. So here’s some salon etiquette you could do with:

Rule #1: Always make an appointment. It makes life a whole lot simpler for you and the staff to know in advance that you are expected and the service you’re coming in for. Even if you are a regular, don’t expect to be taken in immediately or demand to be accommodated without an appointment.

Rule #2: Never tell a stylist "do whatever you like". I’m terrified to get a haircut or try out any new hairstyle because of some disastrous experiences I’ve had. The most bizarre one being right before my birthday when I mustered up the courage and decided to let the hairdresser give me a new look. I wanted to look like Jennifer Lopez or some such diva; but when I finally got home, I was in tears. Inconsolable for at least three hours because I looked like a feathered chicken. When you give the stylist a freehand, you run the risk of looking “creative”. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all; that’s their job, but you must be totally alright with what you will end up looking like. You cannot act surprised, get angry, complain or blame the stylist. What you should do is understand beforehand how you’re actually going to look.

Rule #3: Always go for a haircut in a good mood. It may sound absurd, but going for a haircut when you’re in a bad mood is almost always a disaster and you are bound to regret your decision after two days.

Rule #3: If you're unhappy with the service, you need to let the staff know immediately . Returning to the salon two days after your service and complaining is not helping anyone, unless you’ve had some allergic reaction.

Rule#4: Be reasonable with complaints : The friend who owns a salon has one particular client who is a regular when it comes to complaining and refusing to pay for the service. This went on for a few months when the client would keep visiting her salon and would always have some complaint or the other and refuse to pay. The friend, being the polite one that she is and considering the fact that in the service industry it’s always about customer delight, would let it be, until finally, one day, she decided to have no more of it. She made sure she was around right through her service and found that she was actually enjoying herself and wanting a freebie by complaining. The complaints have now stopped and the client has started paying her bills.

Rule#5: Don’t forget to tip. Tipping your stylist/beautician is your way of saying thank you and ensuring that you are looked after at your next appointment.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 4:51:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/mag-columns/beauty-parlour-dos-and-donts/article7565792.ece

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