How to tell your hairstylist you don’t like your color without upsetting him/her?

  • To tell your stylist that you don’t like the color, you should be respectful, polite and speak to her in a calm tone.
  • This way, you’ll make sure that your stylist won’t get angry or offended. Then, together you can find a solution to fix your hair color.


gray hair

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Here are four possible phrases you can say to your stylist if you don’t like the result of your hair color.

I recommend that you choose one that best suits your personality and always choose the words very carefully.


I’ll also give you some  tips on what NOT to do or say. 

This way, you’ll get to have the color you want in your hair and avoid upsetting your stylist.


While I don’t know your stylist, I can tell you that some are very sensitive about their work. No wonder, because they dedicate their lives to it.


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4 phrases you can say to your stylist if you weren’t happy with the color results

to replace the color

Option 1

“Maria, there’s something about the color that doesn’t quite convince me. It looks too dark. What can we do?”

Note that you’re telling her what you don’t like. At the same time, you’re involving her in the search for an alternative answer.

On top of that, you use a kind tone. In other words,  you’re subtly asking for a change, but you sound super amicable. It’s almost impossible to react angrily to kindness. 



  • In this sentence, you would replace “Maria” with the name of your hairdresser.
  • Also, change the “very dark” to whatever you don’t like about your hair color.  The more accurate you are in describing what you don’t like about the color, the better. 
  • Keep in mind that your stylist isn’t a fortune teller. If you simply tell her, “I don’t like the color,” how can you expect her to guess what that means? You must be descriptive and very precise in explaining what you don’t like.

These clarifications also apply to the following sentences.


Option 2

“Maria, I’m worried because I see my color somewhat dark. What do you think?”

In this case, you’re describing your feelings or emotions. At the same time, you’re asking for their opinion as an expert on the subject.


No one is offended by someone else expressing their feelings.

 In other words, you’re separating the stylist’s work from his or her person as a stylist.  This way, you don’t convey a criticism, instead, your feelings towards the result. Believe me, she or he will want the best for your hair.


Option 3

“I like the idea of a risky color change, but I think this way is too much.”

In this case, you’re highlighting the positive aspects, i.e. what you did like about the stylist’s work. Then, you point out a detail that didn’t convince you entirely.

Adding all the positive aspects first helps to create a climate of confidence. It’s much better than being defensive.


Option 4

“You know, there’s something I don’t quite like, but I still can’t figure out what it might be”

In this case, you’re showing that something doesn’t convince you. At the same time, you’re involving your stylist.

Then, he/she might give you his/her opinion or explain his/her work better.  You can agree together on the steps to follow. So, you’ll achieve a closer result to what you had in mind. 


So far, I’ve told you about four possible phrases you can say to your stylist to show that you’re not entirely happy with the color.

Notice that none of them have an accusatory or angry tone, and that’s key.


What I’m telling you applies not only to hairdressing but also to almost every aspect of life. The worst thing you can do is to get angry because it won’t solve anything.

There’s a saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” It means that you’ll achieve much more being kind than getting angry or complaining. 


That’s why I also want to tell you what NOT to do in these cases under any circumstances.

I recommend them for hairdressing salons because that’s where I know both sides of the coin. On the one hand, clients who aren’t completely satisfied. On the other hand, the stylists often have to deal with complaints from clients that aren’t always right. As I said, they can work for you in other aspects of life as well.


What to avoid when telling your stylist that you don’t like the color

comb in hand

Getting angry

As I told you, you should never get angry. Anger can bring more problems than solutions. So, always start from cordiality or kindness!



Forget about starting the conversation with: “WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY HAIR?.” No yelling and no tantrums.

Remember that you only have to tell your stylist what you didn’t like so she can fix it in the best way. Confronting or generating guilt isn’t the way.


Getting shy

While I told you that confronting isn’t the solution, neither is the opposite: staying quiet.

If you’re shy, try not to hold back what you don’t like. Instead, say it as directly as possible so that your stylist can achieve the result you expect.

Just like you shouldn’t let your anger win over, the same applies to shyness!


Making too much drama

Don’t be a “drama queen” nor take everything too personally. Your stylist put in the effort and professionalism. Don’t forget that.

You may not have liked the result, but trust me, it’s not personal. You can talk about what you don’t like, but always do it without drama – keep the drama in the soap opera!



You probably know someone who is complaining all the time.

She complains about the weather, schedules, other people… basically everything. Don’t you find her too whimsical?

Please don’t be one of those people at the salon!

They don’t get much further than wearing out the listener’s patience. As I said before, that’s not what we want for your stylist or your hair.



Remember that if you are not happy with your hair color, you can talk to your stylist about changing it.

Always use a friendly tone and some of the four phrases I mentioned at the beginning.

Don’t speak out of anger or take it personally. They say that you become someone else when you get a haircut, but don’t let that transfer to your personality in the salon!

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