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16 Problems Only Hairstylists Can Relate to

Roma Dar
If you are a hairdresser, you know that clients are difficult to please, besides having zero knowledge about what they want from you. The challenges that hairdressers face are unique to their profession, and a disadvantage to healthy interaction with a client.
The problems faced by barbers (okay alright, hairdressers/stylists/people with exceptional power who don't use it) are varied and amusing. Hairdressers have occupational hazards that make things so much more fun at work.
There's nothing better than swapping old stories in the salon; the heads you accidentally shaved in part and the eyes you poked with scissors across your dangerous career. Or the time you escaped that lawsuit from the fat lady you almost made bald. Ah, the days of interning.
There's nothing better than swapping old stories in the salon; the heads you accidentally shaved in part and the eyes you poked with scissors across your dangerous career. Or the time you escaped that lawsuit from the fat lady you almost made bald. Ah, the days of interning.

It's definitely way tougher than it looks and is a challenging thing to do, with several disadvantages and scope for going grossly wrong, with horrible, career-damaging implications. There are some universal problems that only hairstylists know that they will relate to.

Bleached Clothes

You ever wondered how come your hairdresser looks like a homeless person, with weird clothes, with the older ones mostly non-glamorous? Yeah, that's because the job they do doesn't really allow them to look their glamorous best. The bleach that they have to deal with on an almost daily basis tends to spray on to their clothes, causing weird splotches that look like a dog just took a big "liberty" at their shoes. They tend to repeat soiled ones after the first encounter. Stop judging, you.

Stained Hands

Very often, rubber/plastic gloves used by hairdressers are not enough for them to do hair coloring work very well. This means that they have to sometimes remove their gloves in order to get it done good. Result? Stained, multicolored hands that look like the hands of the evil queen from Snow White. Or rivers of red water bleeding from hair. Yikes!

Uneducated Clients

Clients come without having any prior knowledge of how hairdressing works. They're not at fault, but their level of common sense makes stylists want to run away screaming. Researching a bit about the cut is better than expecting the stylist to make something grand and then blasting them for a bizarre cut you hate. Expecting the stylist to cut your hair, but not your split ends, is like telling them to kill you, but keep you alive. They still manage to kill. In their heads, of course.

Extravagant Demands and Expectations

Clients walk in expected to be treated like the Queen of England. They make an appointment for a trim and just "change their minds" on the way over to a lavish 'do for a party they just got invited to. Yeah, and the clock stops for other people delayed on their appointments. They bring in each of their family members and expect the stylist to play mommy and make space for everyone. Then try to sneak in requests for a highlight and a slight trim for the li'l one. All charged though.

Physical Proximity

While no one is exactly dancing the cha-cha of joy with the stylist uninvitingly pushing their intimate areas close to them, think of what happens when the stylist himself is freaked by the rep he will get if he does this. All part of the profession, my friends. That means the stylist needs to get the fragrance of his lunch off his fingers. Imagine the amount of product that goes on those precious hands, just to keep your nose hair from burning.

Doing Their Own Hair

You'd expect your hairdresser to just breeze into the salon with his/her tresses flowing and glowing, looking as perfect as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Princess Kate, people!) with not one strand out of place and a dazzling smile that blinds you, leaving you in awe about this person's powers with the comb.
Not happening. They have NO TIME to do their hair so well because, well, their arms are fatigued. And you really can't do that good a job with your head on, can you?

Fidgety Clients

The most annoying thing all hairstylists would agree with is that it is nigh impossible to make the client keep their head still, especially while cutting hair. They keep trying to angle your head, and you keep fidgeting, and you even have the gall to wipe the hair out of your eyes! God forbid if you fidget, because then your hair will not be cut symmetrically. No one wants a lopsided cut. Don't blame the stylist then, irresponsible advice-ignorers. Hmpf!

Dyeing Problems

The funniest thing is clients walking in with ridiculous coloring disasters and want stylists to fix them. A bigger laugh every employee at the salon has is when a client ignores his or her hair color advice and ends up choosing some wacky, ridiculous color that makes him look like Bozo the Clown,
and has to end up shelling twice the money he paid to fix this. Oh, and the numskulls who have no basic idea about hair color, expect a magical transformation from black to blonde in one hour.

Minimum Personal Stuff

Unless they're great friends with everyone, there's no need for clients to burden the hairdresser by forcing him/her to be the shrink, right?
No one's interested in a two-hour long boring narrative about your daughter's hostel antics, or your crazy mom-in-law, honey, unless you are paying extra. Smile and nod, ladies, just... Smile. And. Nod.

Friends Either Expect Free Service or You Don't Like it When They Go Elsewhere

A hairdresser is going to be super possessive about where their family and friends cut their hair and will almost always want people to come to them. Paradoxically, they will never really want to actually cut your hair when you go to them on their only day off. That's just rude. And counts as overtime. That too unpaid. They'll just glare daggers at you until you get the point. Family and friends' cuts during work hours only.

Confused Clients

Certain clients have no idea what they're asking for. How is it possible for a person to want a drastic change in a hair style without changing the length, without color or without resorting to the stylist personally pulling out all their hair?
There's a special place reserved in hell for people who ask for a specific amount of length reduction but end up screaming at the hairdresser for making it "way shorter than what I expected". Hey, who told us to 'snip off' about 5 inches?

Health Problems Related to the Profession

Bad Knees, Foot Pain, and No Rest

The disadvantages of being a hairdresser are lost on many. To the customer, it looks like they're having fun being all social and helping people get their pretty on. Behind the scenes, there are sore, swollen feet from standing all day, excruciating knee pain that causes sleepless nights and countless trips to doctors and podiatrists. The profession means standing the entire day, and that means constant wear and tear of tendons and ligaments.

Tired Back, Arms, Cramps, and Bad Posture

The entire body suffers by standing all day, week after week. Ask them how they do it and you'll know it means constant massages and trips to the bathroom so no one sees them stretching. Varicose veins and backaches are common. The arms are held out in front of the body all day, causing bad posture, cramps, and pressure on the heart from working super hard by pumping blood to outstretched arms. This, with cranky customers, is a nightmare they manage to smile through.

Inhalation of Harmful Chemicals

The constant handling of chemicals in hair dye, bleach, hairspray, and the like, causes a lot of lung problems. Hairdressers are constantly inhaling these substances, sometimes in poorly ventilated work spaces, and this makes them susceptible to asthma, bronchitis, and even cancer.


Burns are common as occupational hazards due to blow dryers and irons. Several hairdressers get scalded in the process of handling electronic devices, sometimes due to fidgety clients. This results in delayed work and slowing down. Though not very frequent, scalding and burning of client hair and skin occurs too. As revenge. Haha, okay, no it doesn't.


Allergies are seen on people who are intolerant towards chemicals in hairspray, styling creams, gels, dyes, powders, and bleaching agents. This is a serious problem that afflicts many people who are clients as well, but there is no escape for hairstylists in this case. Immediate hospitalization is necessary in such instances.
So, despite all the yammering and the hammering and the airs of clients, their hairdressers put up with so much at such expense. Giving them a personal thank you note would be more appropriate. Be polite and considerate the next time you enter the salon, and appreciate the job that a hairstylist does for you, because for them, it's not a walk in the park. It's a profession. Take it seriously, for your own sake.