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Salon Swingers: How To Make A Stylist Switch Without Making It Awkward

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The Quandary: My hairstylist recently raised her prices and I can’t really afford the rate hike. How can I switch to someone else in the salon without it being awkward?

The Expert in Residence: Shaun Cottle, hairstylist and founder of Seagull Hair Salon in New York City

The Advice: “You should never feel awkward switching stylists. It’s not at all uncommon for clients to jump from stylist to stylist for a myriad of reasons ranging from price to availability to just wanting a change…And stylists totally understand that. As for how to bring up the subject, just keep it positive by saying something like, ‘I’ve always really loved the way you cut my hair, but unfortunately the price increase is too big for me to swing. I’d like to try someone else you’ve worked with. Who do you think would be a good match for me?’ This way your stylist will fully understand the situation and be happy to make a recommendation. If she doesn’t have anyone to send you to, choose someone whose work has caught your eye in the salon or check out the stylist bios on the Web site. Whatever you do, don’t avoid your stylist because that will make the situation awkward. And there’s a good chance that your stylist might even offer you a discount to keep you on. We’ve definitely discounted from time to time for clients who have a long history with the salon.” —As told to Kari Molvar

Photo: Buena Vista Images /Getty Images

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