The secret wars in the hair salon
There’s a line of tension going on at all times in many hair salons, usually invisible to clients, and ignored by salon owners and managers and hair stylists and artists until it explodes suddenly and it can, sadly, blow up with damage of some sort to everyone.
It’s the dreaded problem of whether any given client “belongs” to the hair salon or to the hair stylist and whose business should stay with the hair salon or follow the departing hair stylist.
This subject has been discussed over and over, with very different suggestions with solutions to the dilemma, and it will keep getting debated for much longer in the future.
It’s hardly a problem in some salons, for how they are set up and organized, as in a hair salon that rents out booths and hair stylists handle their clientele on their own, and in others where hair stylists are mainly on a salary.
However, in a booth rental salon, advertising may be funded by the salon itself, or in a salary based hair salon some clients could be specifically looking for services from one stylist only.
So there’s a lot of grey areas as to how to correctly and easily determine where a client should be, on the salons’ books or on the stylists’.
It’s all fine when things work smoothly, but the problems arise when stylists decide to move elsewhere or even start their own businesses. A walk out of multiple members of staff, can actually cripple the hair salon’s business and it would be hard to let go of clients the salon has probably spent so much on and assure some steady flow of business through the doors; at the same time, if a stylist leaves for whatever reason, those same clients are needed to help restart building a portfolio of clients that inevitably takes a hit when moving away and having to get up and going in a completely different location.
However, in the end, it’s about the client, a human being who should not be in the middle of this tug-of-war, but should eventually make the decision independently and without any dirty tricks from either side. Both the salon and the stylist should be honest about communicating the separation, with the salon not deceiving about where the stylist has moved to and the stylists honest about why they left.
The client may follow the stylist for technical or personal reasons, but also may decide to stay with the salon for what the salon offers in terms of convenience, like proximity, parking, perks.
In any case it would be honest and commendable if salons and stylists would put the client in the best and most comfortable position to make that call, which could always be reversed in the future, just let the client decide!