It took me a long time to write this – I wanted to do the issue justice. As I have mentioned before, I have a deep respect for those working in the beauty industry – I grew up around it. My mother is a Hair Stylist and – I have aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are Stylists. They are collectively some of the most interesting people I know.

We live in an age of instant gratification and people tend to react to things without thinking – both of which can be harmful.

What do I mean when I say that?

Logic, what is realistic, knowledge of facts, being objective – at times – takes a back seat. So I ask that you please read this entire post before forming an opinion.


All it takes is a few clicks.

There are so many ways we can connect with each other these days: texts, phone calls, emails, social media platforms. It’s comforting in a way. But – like the saying goes – there are two sides to every coin.  Social media and technology can also have an adverse effect.


Let’s say you make dinner plans with a friend. A few nights before you touch base to confirm – everything is good. The night comes – you get ready, drive to the restaurant, get seated and wait for your friend to arrive. They’re a little late so you order a drink. 15 minutes go by – no call – no text. You finally call them and they tell you they forgot. If you’re being honest – your first reaction would be annoyance.

No one likes to be stood up.
No one likes to be kept waiting.
It’s disrespectful.

Now let’s say you are a hair stylist. It’s a Saturday. You have a busy day – everyone has confirmed their appointments. You are all ready for your first client of the morning – 9:00 a.m. – cut, highlights and style.

9:05 a.m.
9:10 a.m.
No client.

There is no time to fill the appointment. Unless by some stroke of luck, you get a walk-in. A No-show means lost income, lost time and a feeling of frustration.

ˈnō ˌSHō
1. a person who has made a reservation, booking, or appointment but neither keeps nor cancels it.

No-shows and late cancellations cost the hair salon industry millions of dollars in revenue annually.


Cause and effect.

The effects of no-shows have a significant financial impact on a company. When a salon or spa has just $300 in weekly no-shows – the totals add up to over $15,000 a year in lost revenue. With industry net profit margins in the +/-5% range, the cost of no-shows can drag profits down to zero.

Stan Bialecki, How to Eliminate No-shows in Your Salon or Spa

Most salon owners are small business people who have taken the risk and used their own money to pursue the dream of owning their own salon, unlike big corporations that can afford to lose money.

No-shows have a massive impact on stylists as well.

If a stylist averages only one no-show a month on average, it can amount to $2,400.00 in lost annual revenue. Stop and think about it. We’re talking about someone’s livelihood.

Just like their clients, they have mortgage payments to make, groceries to buy, kid’s activities to pay for, phone bills – the list goes on.

There is no reason for no-shows to happen.

Most salons go above and beyond to communicate the cancellation policy – when booking appointments, on the website, printed out at the front desk. They also send appointment reminders by text, email or with a phone call – sometimes it is even all three!

Even though cancellation policies are reasonable and allow for extenuating circumstances and cases of emergency, some salons are wary about enforcing them because they are afraid that they will lose clientele.

Airlines, dentists, doctors, hotels have cancellation policies and those seem to be accepted – albeit grudgingly – by consumers for the most part. But when it comes to salons, the sentiment is quite different. I have seen the comments in threads online:

Why should I pay a fee for a service I didn’t get?
Salons charge too much for services anyways.
If the Stylist was good at what they do – the client would show up.

Smoke and mirror comments like this, not only deflect the real issue, I feel that they are also disrespectful.

“Hairdressing in general hasn’t been given the kudos it deserves. It’s not recognised by enough people as a worthy craft.” Vidal Sassoon

I think some people don’t take hair dressing seriously as a profession. But hair stylists are actually very skilled professionals who have to go through rigorous training.

They artist and what they do is an art form.

Then you have the other side – the emotional connection. When you have a special occasion in your life – for most – getting your hair done is a part of the experience. Plus having a good hair day is as good as gold!

In writing this piece, I reached out to hair stylist Ziad El-Zoor. He pointed out that most no-shows are for full-service appointments. Although it doesn’t make up for the financial loss, he said one quick call for last minute cancellations can make a bad situation a little bit better.

Know what you’re walking into.

Having a consultation with a new client will give you a good idea of their budget – just by the questions they ask. It also gives them a clear picture of what they can expect a service to cost, in order to get the look they want.

For clients – he suggests doing your homework too. You need to take the location of the salon into consideration. With overhead costs, downtown salons will charge more for services than a salon in the suburbs or in-home. Then you also need to look at whether your Stylist is just starting out, a Senior Stylist or Master stylist – all of which will make a difference in the cost.

Here is the underlying point.

When you book an appointment you are making a commitment to show up. If you can’t make it or change your mind – cancel ahead of time.

In the time it takes you to comment on a Facebook post, or to post a photo on Instagram, you could make a quick call to cancel or rebook your appointment. It doesn’t take a lot of time to be considerate and respect the profession.

There is no excuse.

It really is that simple.

Click here to read my post The Hair Stylist | Bernardi Beauty Blog.