How to Break Up With Your Hairstylist — the Right Way

Paul Simon sang that there are “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and there are about a million more ways not to break up with someone. For example: try to avoid dumping someone over the phone or via text, and for the love of God please don’t communicate the news via Post-It notes. Yes, dumping an SO is hard enough — and it’s not the only kind of relationship that ends. There may come a time when you have to call it off with a hairstylist, too. How the heck should that go down?

Know When It’s Time to Move On

“There are some really obvious telltale signs that it’s time to break up with your hairdresser, Devin Toth, stylist at Salon SCK, told POPSUGAR. “If you never like the hair they give you, then you should move on, even if you really do like them as a person.” Toth also recommended giving them the boot if you’re bored with your hair and they never give suggestions for ways to spruce it up. Another red flag? Toth said you should be getting “regular compliments” on your look — and if you’re not, that’s on your stylist. “No compliments generally means that your hair isn’t flattering or current, so you need to see a stylist who cares more,” the pro said. “When all of your friends and family are recommending you to see their hair person, then just take the hint.” Noted.

While we all hope for that movie script ending where our stylists become our best friends and we bend and snap while the credits roll à la Legally Blonde, don’t feel deterred if you have a strictly professional relationship with yours. “We don’t have to be best friends, and we don’t even have to talk while you’re in my chair,” said Stephanie Brown, a colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. However, “Getting your hair done should always be a pleasurable, not uncomfortable, experience. Break up with your hairstylist if you just don’t like them personally.”

Tyson Kennedy, founder of Fatboy hair products and stylist at Cutler, said it’s “not so black and white.” For instance, if you’re dying to get a cut while your normal stylist is unavailable or out of town, don’t feel like you have to wait for them. “I love it when I see clients of mine getting cut by other members of my team,” he said. “Those stylists can add another dimension to my clients’ cuts, and I may move it forward when cutting their hair again. This keeps the romance alive.”

How to Do It

Real talk: we’re all flighty millennials with pathological fears of confrontation . . . so your best breakup bet might actually be pulling a disappearing act. “Ghost them!” said Brown. “It’s never nice to hear that you are losing business.” So: put the boom boxes away wannabe John Cusacks, and save the dramatic breakup speech for an actually dramatic breakup.

If you decide to flake, you can do so in a polite and respectful way. “You can still follow them on social media, and the relationship can endure,” Toth said. Throw their posts a like every once and a while, maybe do a #TBT of your own featuring a past cut of theirs as an olive branch, and keep in touch. “Anything you want to do to keep the relationship going is very sweet and will be appreciated,” the pro said.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your goodbye might end up being more of a see you later. “Never put a line in the sand and say you’re leaving,” Kennedy said. “It’s a long life with lots of hairdressers, and it’s cool to try new stylists. We understand that some things are not forever.” Plus, it’s unlikely that your stylist will lose sleep over your departure. According to Kennedy, “Any hairdresser who is overly concerned about you leaving is probably not confident enough in their own abilities.”

Cheers to the easiest breakup of your life.

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