When you pour your heart into learning a skill, perfecting your craft, making every attempt to have your client leave happy and they turn around and say they hate it....well, it's instant heartbreak. I haven't met a stylist yet whose aim in life is to have his/her client leave looking like the worst versions of themselves. What I have met are stylists who say, "Go home and wash it, it will be better in a week," when they know damn well it won't. Or, "Good thing hair grows!" How about, "Well this is what you said you wanted."
It's easy to be defensive when you've tried so hard to please, isn't it? Imagine putting every ounce of energy into your work just for your boss to come in and say it's terrible and you need to start over. You'd feel instantly defeated, wouldn't you? Maybe you'd hang your head and cry about it later. Maybe you'd make a smart comment to a co-worker. If you're really brazen, you might even say something right to your boss' face.
Yes, these things have happened to me. And as a young stylist who didn't know any better the "go home and wash it" shtick worked pretty well. But my book was telling me otherwise. I was busy enough to get by, but I wasn't seeing the same faces over and over again. I wasn't getting referrals. I was just getting other busy stylist's overflow. So I knew I had to change.
Probably one of the most important lessons I've learned as a stylist is how to swallow my pride and admit I made a mistake. The one thing I say to my clients over and over again is that YOU are my walking advertisements. Yes, I have social media, and a website, and a blog, and I actively try to get new guests in my chair. But at the end of the day, if the ones who are already trusting me with their hair leave unhappy, then I've failed.
I've gotten really good at reading my client's expressions, reading between the lines, and owning up to my own mistakes. It isn't an easy thing to do, and sometimes I have to ask a lot of questions to make sure I get it right. Other times I have to walk away and think about it for a minute. And others I have to ask for help.
Moral of the story? If you find yourself facing someone who doesn't like the work you've done, whether it's hair or otherwise, take a deep breath and own it. This is your learning experience. It's when we feel the most uncomfortable that we grow the most. It's hard, not gonna lie, but it is worth it. You'll become better at your craft, and maybe even better at dealing with adversity in other areas of your life. #ownit