Salon Confidential: The Client is Always Right…(where you left her)

Posted: April 20, 2014 in color, hair, Salon Stories, Uncategorized

Today’s story is about the salon experience of accommodating clients and their special needs.

Let me introduce you to “Carole Ann” and her needs.
Carole Ann MUST HAVE:
– A steady 5:00 appointment on Saturdays.
( but shows up at 5:15 religiously)
– Her hair shampooed for EXACTLY 8 minutes.
– Conditioner left in for EXACTLY 7 minutes.
– Lisa as the only person that can do her hair.
– 1 can of “Shaper” hair spray.
– 1 pack of cigarettes.
– EXACTLY 1 hour in the bathroom after her hair is done to layer her hairspray and smoke her cigarettes. (You can’t make this shit up)

For years every Saturday morning started with Lisa approaching me and proclaiming “I’m NOT waiting for Carole Ann again today!”
Understand that 5:00pm on Saturday is the last appointment that wraps up a long week and every hairdresser is busting to get out and enjoy their weekend.

So the mood of EVERY Saturday is set in dread of “Carole Ann” coming in late and Lisa being pissed off. As the salon owner, it’s my job to accommodate each and every client equally and professionally. So my entire day is stressed with the anxiety of Carole Ann being late and Lisa wanting to leave. Not to mention, I don’t particularly want to hang out late either.

So 5:00 comes, and Carole Ann is not there…..Lisa tells me she is leaving…she is not waiting anymore…and she LEAVES!!!

5:15 arrives…and so does Carole Ann…

The pressure is on…. Lisa has left and Carole Ann will not settle for ANYONE ELSE to do her hair. I explain to her that any one of my other 15 hairdressers could do her hair, but “you’re late and Lisa had to go”. For Carole Ann this is as if the world is coming to an end. She is hyperventilating and crying (drama) and I have no choice but to get Lisa on the phone.

Lisa, being the good friend that she is to me, turns around and actually comes back to the salon to accommodate Carole Ann once again. Lisa, however, makes it clear that we need to begin the whole “Carole Ann Ritual“. On the other hand, Carole Ann is now content, and as if nothing has happened, proceeds to have her cigarette break before she starts.

And here is where the shit begins….

Lisa comes back with a smile on her face, and insist that she is not staying for Carole Ann’s hour long bathroom/hairspray/cigarette show. So once again, myself and my salon manager, Jennifer, are left with the babysitting duties…

It takes Lisa literally 4 minutes to do Carole Ann’s hair…at which point she bids us all farewell and leaves Jen and I to enjoy the show. At this point Carole Ann proceeds to the bathroom to commence the final act of the ritual which goes something like this:

1 coat of “Shaper” hairspray….1 cigarette for drying time.
1 coat of “Shaper” hairspray….1 cigarette for drying time.
Repeat for 1 FULL HOUR

Jen and I decide to enjoy our own ritual in celebration of solving today’s special needs and wrap up the week. A cocktail and a doobie together and we lock up and say goodnight. Jen and I both drive off in separate directions and on my way home the thought occurs to me… “Oh shit..where did we leave Carole Ann? ” I turn around and return and as I pass the salon I see Carole Ann (right where we left her) banging on the glass doors….frantic and in desperation.


I am once again hysterically laughing and, at the same time, shocked that I forgot Carole Ann in the salon. Allow me to say it again…you seriously can’t make this shit up!!!

Setting Carole Ann free only to await her return the next Saturday, I found myself amazed at the insane events that consistently occur in the beauty business.

Tip of the day:
Yes, the client IS always right….just make sure THEY leave before you do.
Know that any career you choose, enjoy the journey. If you just give it your heart and soul, it will take you to places you could never dream. and you may want to keep one twisted up just in case..


  1. Art says:

    loved this one and funny as hell… I can relate to the stress level certain clients add to a day!!

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