Should you be friends with your clients? |
Hairdressers Journal
Hairdressers Journal


Should you be friends with your clients?

“You have to draw a line between true friends and clients unless you want to cut all hair for free.”

“Firstly it is important to define what our job is and that is quite simply to serve. Having done that we need to define what a friend means to us and what we expect from any friendship. We then need to look at our clients and define what we expect from them.

A true no-holds-barred friendship is someone you would move heaven and earth for, someone you can rely on totally – that will listen to you and care about you. On the other hand a client is someone who wants you to make them look good. They don’t have an interest in your personal life and they expect to pay for your services .

For me that’s the line – if someone pays money for something, I acknowledge that I am there to serve them. This could be listening to their problems, stories or simply giving them a brilliant haircut. With a friend there is no financial exchange – I enjoy doing their hair, I am interested in our conversation and I want to gift them for their friendship. Very rarely have my clients turned the corner to become friends, but when they do, I do not charge for the time I spend with them.

Cast your mind back to when you first started hairdressing – all your friends wanted a free haircut and you in turn felt awkward about charging them. You have to draw a line between true friends and clients unless you want to cut everyone’s hair for free!

From the minute I started charging I ensured I gave a professional service using all the same attributes that I have for friends, and applying them to my clients. The only difference is that I don’t expect my clients to listen to me. I listen to them, keeping an open mind at all times without being in any way judgemental and it’s essential that I never lose that focus.”

“Once we have done the hair, we’ve not only got a client for life, but a friend for life.”

“I founded the 3Thirty salon on a level of trust. We are a specialist salon and have earned a reputation as being ‘the curl salon.’ Clients of all ages and from all walks of life travel from throughout the UK and Europe to see us.

These clients, most often because of their hair type, always cite their previous ventures into salons as horrific.

This is because the hair stylist did not understand the lay of the hair. For us each initial consultation can last up to 45 minutes – in this time we win their trust and assert both a level of professionalism twinned with friendship. At the end of a consultation, not only have we won their trust, more often or not there is a flood of tears from sheer relief. Our clients feel like they have found the hairstylist that they have been looking for. Once we have done their hair we’ve not only got a client for life but, because of their sheer gratitude, we do become a friend for life. We’ve been invited to weddings, christenings, birthdays and other special events that our clients have hosted over the years. We love them as much as they love us. We have also been the first to hear of engagements and pregnancies and we enjoy shadowing their life journeys and taking the role of confidante.

It makes the salon such a fun place to work – we’ve always offered a warm welcome – but we truly do become friends. Throughout the challenges of 2020 and with this new start in 2021 – for a London salon to be fully booked up to 14 January in November proves to me that we are doing something right. As I write this we are once again in lockdown for the foreseeable future. However I do rest in the knowledge that each and every one of our clients will remain loyal to us and it’s just a matter of time until we can get them in our chair again.”


This article appears in the February 2021 Issue of Hairdressers Journal

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This article appears in the February 2021 Issue of Hairdressers Journal