Archive for April, 2014

Stylist Nightmares: When Customers Don’t Tip

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Maybe it’s an awkward topic, but it’s one that needs mentioning anyway: tipping. There’s no specific “horror story” to share here, but it’s a principle with which most stylists should be very familiar.

Maybe you’ve been working long and hard to get a full head of fusion extensions in. There’s been laughter, great conversation and ultimately, you’ve finished with a beautiful ‘do and a visibly satisfied customer. So you make some more chit-chat, hand them a business card and take the pay,ent for the service…and wait. Instead of producing a few crisp bills from their wallet, the satisfied customer thanks you for your service, and simply leaves. “No tip?” You think to yourself, and an array of frightening thoughts come into play.

“Was she dissatisfied with the service she received?” or “Did I really do that bad of a job?”

This is likely the result of a strange cultural phenomenon present in many salons. Some customers simply don’t understand that it’s customary to tip their stylists, and that (though opinions vary) 20% of the total service will usually make a good tip. The problem is, there’s no established rule for tipping, and so many customers simply guess, or don’t do it at all.

So what do you do? It can be frustrating, but haranguing a client for a tip may do more harm than good, no matter how good a job you’ve done.

Above all, remember that tipping isn’t a hard/fast RULE as much as it is a custom, and so clients aren’t necessarily obligated to do it. Yes, we’d all prefer that they did, but there’s not always much you can do if the appointment ends and they’re not going to give one.

Remember also that clients tend to give tips based on their level of satisfaction, and so rather than asking why you didn’t get a tip, it may be beneficial to simply ask “are you satisfied with the work we’ve done here?”

I wish there was a better answer here, but it’s generally best to let bygones be bygones here. Making a customer feel uncomfortable because they haven’t tipped will often push them further away and cause them to get defensive. It’s hard to enforce a societal expectation…and that’s why we say don’t.

Clients who tip well tend to know they’ll get premiere service on their next appointment, and if a client asks “what’s good for a tip?” be honest.

Focus on what you can control, and not what you can’t. Do the best job you can, be clear and personable with your client and everything will work out…and if they don’t tip? That’s on them honey. Don’t let it bring ya down.

Submit Your Stylist Stories

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Woman washing hair with shampoo

You may have noticed our recurring blog series entitled “Stylist Nightmares.” Perhaps you’ve even enjoyed reading them. We’ve certainly enjoyed writing them. We get these stories from our stylist friends and colleagues in the blogosphere, but we’re opening it up to you now too,  providing a friendly reminder that you can be involved in this process throughout!

Email or message us on Facebook ( to submit. What kinds of things are we looking for? First off, if you’ve got any extension specific questions, feel free to ask them. We just may use your question for a full-on blog post (we won’t use any names) to help others who may be in a similar situation. Additionally, we’re looking for actual “in the trenches” stories of stylist disasters, so if you’re a stylist who had a tricky hair extension experience, found a new way to work around an existing problem or simply want to reach out and say “howdy!” we welcome them all!

Thanks for helping us make Donna Bella a great company that serves its customers. We look forward to hearing from you!

Stylist Nightmares: Touch-Up Trauma

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Woman washing hair with shampooYou may hear us harping on it all the time, but it never gets any less important: hair extensions need to be regularly maintained! This includes regular touch-ups (moving the extensions closer to the scalp to account for growth), brushing to eliminate tangling and matting and taking special care to avoid damaging activities to your extensions (like bleaching, or exposing them to chlorinated water). What happens though, when clients forgo these regular maintenance tips and just let their extensions grow willy-nilly? Here’s our next stylist nightmare for this week. Read on.

One client came in with fusion extensions. She’d had them in for over a year, and there was maybe a good 6 inches of growth. The hair had matted to the point of ‘dreading,’ in some cases as hard as little balls of concrete. I gently reminded her of the ‘12 weeks rule’ to prevent this kind of thing in the future. I dumped every chemical I had to try and soften the dreads, and I washed it multiple times–all to no avail.

After attempting, for a good three hours, to remove the bonds, even resorting to acetone (!) to break the bonds, I had to give up. The hair was completely trashed and broken. I had to leave most of the dread clumps in her hair, and the only way to get them out would be with a good pair of shears.

Don’t get me wrong, some people have greater tangling or matting issues than others. These depend on factors like the natural build-up of  the scalp, the kind of products the client uses in their hair, or if they’ve mistreated their hair with bleach.

Basically what I’m saying is that, even if you don’t see any major tangling at the roots, you may have a bigger issue brewing that you can’t see. Word from the wise who’ve removed many stubborn dread clumps from client’s hair? Regular touch ups could’ve prevented this. Don’t let them grow out too much, and if you can’t keep up with the maintenance, it’s best to have them removed. Don’t just let them grow unchecked!

Yikes. DREADful (yuk!) indeed right? Acetone? Yes folks, that’s paint thinner. Is that what you want going in your hair? Me neither. Don’t let it get to that point. Regular touch ups aren’t just an aesthetic adjustment, they’re absolutely essential for you, your scalp and your sanity!

Avoid the heartache and the acetone. Get your extensions touched up regularly!

Stylist Nightmares: Dampness Downers

Friday, April 4th, 2014

db_blog_dampnessOur next installation of stylist nightmares covers the topic of hair extensions and moisture. Where’s the nightmare in that? Well, let me tell you chilling story that a stylist shared with us.

This particular stylist had a client with very thick and coarse hair. She’d had Kera-Link hair extensions installed in her hair, and had been diligently having them maintained every 3 ½ months over the course of a year. However, the last time this stylist serviced the client, she hadn’t been seen in over 4 months. She was ready for a new head of extensions, but kept mentioning “spots” in her hair and on her scalp. Apparently, she’d stopped fully drying her hair, and let it stay damp for extended periods of time. Well, you can guess what those “spots” might have been: mold! That’s right. The client had patches of mold scattered throughout her hair and her scalp.  The mortified stylist quickly removed the extensions, and encouraged the client to give her hair a rest.

Quite unpleasant, no? The take home message here is not to let hair stay wet, especially at bedtime. Damp hair, coupled with the friction of your head on the pillow, can actually exacerbate shedding. Just as a damp bathroom floor becomes a veritable breeding ground for mold and mildew, so too can scalp that’s left wet for too long. Now, don’t worry. We’re talking about extended periods of time here, multiple hours at a time. The general rule of thumb still stands though. Don’t go to bed with wet hair, allow it to dry thoroughly and put it in a loose braid or ponytail. Don’t overdo it with the heat either. If you’re going to use a heat tool, try to apply a heat-protectant to your hair and use low hair dryer settings.

Remember, these are extreme cases meant to serve as cautionary reminders…but the point still stands. Let your hair dry thoroughly to prevent any fuzzy green invaders from setting up shop on your scalp!

Thanks for reading! Are you a stylist with a “stylist nightmare” you’d like to submit? Send it to me at