For whatever reason, you’ve decided to move on to another business. How do you make your exit? How do you bring it up with your boss? What do you do about your clientele? This article will help you plan a strategy that will get you out of there without burning bridges or starting a war.

Your goal should be to leave on good terms so that your prior boss will be willing to serve as an excellent reference. The better the conditions under which you leave, the more likely that owner is to refer your loyal clients to your new place of business. You also want to leave the door open in case you discover that your greener pastures aren’t as green as they seemed and you wish to return. (You never know, right?)

1.) Make sure you’re ready to walk.
You’re going to give 2 week’s notice in your resignation letter, but be prepared for your salon owner to decline it and send you packing as soon as she’s done reading it. If you haven’t yet found a place to go, make sure your resume and list of references are updated. (Walking into a business and asking for an application is tacky. You’re a grown up, not a high school student looking for a part-time job at the mall. Bring a damn resume.)

2.) Protect yourself and your clientele.
If you’re a booth renter, or if you didn’t sign a contract regarding how the clients are to be handled in the event of a termination or resignation, you need to follow this step. Do not breathe a word of your intention to quit in the salon before you’ve handed in that resignation letter. Read this post about whether or not it’s appropriate for you to take your client data before you do anything. If it is appropriate for your situation, the day before you give the resignation letter to your boss, bring your client book (if you have one) home with you and do not bring it back to the business. I’ve seen a lot of salon owners steal client books that they had no right to claim. (Salon owners, if you’re looking for information on how to ensure departing employees have no legal right to take client data with them, read this post.)

Protect your clientele.

3.) Do your research and have a plan.
The last thing you want to do is spend the next week researching salons and applying. Do the research first. Make a list of places you want to work, regardless of whether or not they’re hiring. Keep a list with the names of the businesses, their addresses, the names of the owners, and their contact information (phone/email). This shortens your “search” time and the time you have to wait for responses. Instead of spending several days looking, you can dress to impress and spend one day hitting the places on your list. Get copies made of your cover letter, resume, and reference lists so all you have to do is walk in, drop them off, and if the owner is available and willing to see you for an interview, you’re all set to go.

4.) Type a letter of resignation.
[TODAY’S DATE]
[MANAGER’S NAME]
[SALON/SPA NAME]
[COMPANY ADDRESS]

Dear Mr./Ms. Manager or Owner,

Please accept this letter as my two-weeks notice of resignation. My last day of work will be [LAST DAY].

While I have been very satisfied at [SALON/SPA NAME], I have decided to make this move to advance my career. I have enjoyed working with you and appreciate the opportunities I have been given here.

Please let me know if you need my help in any other way.
Sincerely,
[SIGN HERE]

[YOUR NAME]

5.) Make an appointment with the owner or manager to discuss your resignation.
Don’t just drop the letter on their desk and walk out. Make an appointment to speak with the owner or manager and hand it to them during that meeting. They may want to know more about why you’re resigning.

Don’t be afraid to be honest during this meeting. If an owner or manager wants your feedback, it’s probably to help themselves become better at their own job.

They deserve to know where they went wrong so they can have the opportunity to improve in the future.

At this point you also might want to discuss how your clientele will be handled. This can get messy. If you signed a contract that restricts you from contacting clients, then you must abide by it. Period. However, if no contract is in place and you work at an establishment that allows you to keep your own client records, both you and the salon have the right to contact those people. For more information on who gets the kids in this divorce, read my article, “Who Do the Clients Belong To?”

6.) Don’t get nasty.
Regardless of who you’re speaking to, whether it’s your current coworkers or your potential employers, do not talk shit about your ex-employer to anyone in the industry. It’s unprofessional. It’s tacky. It’s just poor form. Don’t do it. Everyone tends to knows everyone in a local market.

You don’t want them running their mouth about you and you don’t want your new employer to think that she might be the one you’re ranting about one day, do you?

No. So shut it. (However, feel free to rant to your friends and family members.) Besides that, you want to be able to use them as a reference. So, don’t be a dick.

7.) Find another job if you haven’t already.
Get a new outfit, do your hair and nails, and hit all of the locations on your list. Hand out your resume, cover letter, and reference lists. Spend an entire day interviewing and applying. Wait for the offers to come in. Think about and evaluate about the offers carefully.

Don’t immediately accept the first offer you receive.

Follow up with the employers you haven’t heard back from 48 hours after you dropped off your application/resume via phone or email. Be sure to inquire about their employment contracts during the interviews and ask for a copy to bring home and read over.

So many people email me because they signed contracts that they shouldn’t have, so I feel like I need to say this in all caps: DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT READING IT.

If you’re not happy with the terms, negotiate them. If the owner refuses to negotiate, thank them for the offer and LEAVE.

For more information on how to find the perfect fit for you, read my article, “How To Get a Job in ANY Salon or Spa.” For more information on contracts in the salon, read my post series, Contracts 101.

38 COMMENTS

  1. What if the owner of the salon is talking about you quitting to all of her clients while your trying to finish the work week? I gave mine a notice that I had to quit because I was unable to continue to meet financial obligations of booth rent even though I was there 30 hours a week. Business has gone down hill for lack of a better word. She’s taking it personal and making it very akward to be there. Clients are giving me the cold shoulder when they would normally speak.

    • Well, you’re a renter. If you want to walk away, you can do so at any time as long as your rent is paid up. If she’s really driving you nuts, don’t feel obligated to stay any longer.

      If that’s not an option, pull her into the back and set her straight. You aren’t her employee and you don’t deserve that kind of treatment. What she’s doing is defamation and if you really want to take action against it, you can.

      If she’s going to run her mouth, she should at least get her facts straight.
      1.) You did not “quit.” You terminated your lease. Big difference.
      2.) You were never her employee. You owe nothing to her, least of all your loyalty.
      3.) If there was enough business there to sustain you, you would not have had to leave. Maybe if the owner spent her time actually running the business instead of working alongside her renters, this problem wouldn’t have occurred.

      You took the high road, she’s choosing to behave like a child. That’s not your problem or your responsibility. She should be ashamed of herself for involving her clients in her business affairs like that. If I were a client, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to hear it. You may want to remind her of how incredibly unprofessional she’s being as well.

      • If she’s just renting a booth, I don’t see where it’s the salon owners responsibility to sustain her by providing clients. That’s silly. She should be finding her own clients and if she’s not then she will not be able to meet her rent obligations. It’s her responsibility, not the owners. As you stated she is not an employee.

        However I do agree that the owner should not be discussing these issues in front of clients. Very professional indeed.

        • You’re right. It’s definitely not the owner’s responsibility to provide her with clients, but I think when I wrote the comment I was under the assumption that the owner’s behavior on the salon floor is what contributed to the renter’s business going “downhill,” which is why I criticized the owner for spending her time acting as an employee of the business instead of the overseer of the salon’s daily operations.

  2. I am having the same problem also. I used to love working at the salon that I am leaving now. The owner would do a lot of free advertising for me such as word of mouth and through Facebook which I 100% appreciate, and also has invested in product to enhance my business ( product can be used by all other renters also but they had chosen not to provide those services). I never once asked the owner to do these things for me but I definitely appreciate it. However in return I am told what to charge for certain services, told to stay after my appointments, come in to preform free services (to “advertise myself” but most importantly sell their products. & if I don’t sell a lot of product I am constantly reminded of how I “dropped the ball” on selling. ) I do get a small commission on this although I know I could sell my own product and make more money… but I feel as though I had a moral obligation to do so because of what has been invested in me (which none of these products are actually mine & still belong to the salon but I’m allowed to use them). There’s a lot more on top of this but I’ll keep it short. I have been looking into your website and realizing that a lot of the things that I thought were almost required of me to do, were actually not. I was a little naive as this has been my first & may be my last experience booth renting. Once realizing this I soon got fed up with every request that was asked of me so I had decided to give notice. Which I kept stalling to turn in because I hate confrontation but then discovered that they had been already looking for a replacement to “share” my chair when I wasn’t at work. (& by share I mean slowly take my business until I am forced to resign or they decide its time to terminate my contract….I know this because It has happened to 4 other renters that have worked there) Since doing so, they have asked me to train other renters without being paid on services that only I do as repayment for their “investments” which I have surely made up for in product sales. I declined but now everyone is treating me different, practically ignoring me and acting extremely awkward around me. I know the owner has been talking a lot of shit to all the other renters and I seriously just want to turn around and drive home as soon as I get to the salon. Some clients have even stopped tipping me and act awkward around me also or have stopped coming to my chair all together. Sorry this was a lot longer than I had expected it to be but I just honestly have no idea how to deal with this. I feel like it is something that is taken too personally. I have never worked a job in my life that treated me this way when I was leaving. I honestly sometimes wish I just grabbed all my stuff and took off but that’s not really a respectful way to handle it although I feel I’m not given the same respect. Any advice on how to handle this and make it through would be appreciated, I still have a little under a month left of this hell. It almost has me doubting if I want to continue even being a hairdresser anymore 🙁

  3. Don’t let this one experience taint your opinion of this career. It’s true that there are more bad owners out there than good, but that doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless. It’s just a matter of keeping yourself informed and refusing to accept less. If you find another owner that clearly doesn’t know her ass from her elbow, share your knowledge. Sometimes owners just don’t know any better.

    To be honest, I think you’re too nice. If I were you, I’d have paid my rent up, cut my losses, and walked away. “Thanks for the opportunity, but this is just not a good fit for me. Sorry. Seeya never.” Lol. It sounds to me like the owner wants to have her cake and eat it too. If she wants employees, she needs to suck it up and pay their employment tax. She’s clearly crossing boundaries she has no right to be stepping over as a landlord. It’s inappropriate and unprofessional. Any booth renter with sense wouldn’t put up with that for a second.

  4. I have decided to leave a salon I was with for 9 yrs. to rent my own space and be my own boss. I will be the third stylist to leave within a 4yr period. When my former coworkers gave their notice they were asked to leave that same day. Having known this information I didn’t give a notice at all and refused to finish the week when asked bc of how juvenile my boss is. At that my boss completely flipped out and told me off in a drawn out inappropriate way. She based the whole thing on being a disloyal friend. After 9 yrs. she was in fact more than just a boss but it is because of her actions prior to quitting that pushed me to resign on the first place. She put all this guilt on me and now I’m facing whether I could have done the whole thing with a little more class. So I guess my question is, is there ever really a way to quit a salon type job that isn’t going to burn a bridge?? Most salon owners don’t know the difference between personal and professional.

    • And that’s where your boss made a big mistake. She’s too close with her staff. One of the things I warn against STRONGLY is becoming friends with your employees. This is why. She’s taking resignations as personal affronts. If she’s as emotional in her capacity as a business owner as she is when a staff member resigns, it’s no wonder she’s losing staff.

      Don’t feel guilty. You saw how she reacted to another resignation and knew in advance that she’d react unfavorably. I suspect that even if you were to offer to work out your last two weeks, she’d have either declined or would have spent those last two weeks making you miserable until you walked out early. Theoretically, you could have handled it better, but your ex-boss sounds too immature to have been able to handle an adult resignation. I don’t think you would have been any better off doing it the “right” way, honestly.

  5. I left a salon 4years ago with a busy clientele as the owner would constantly be asking if anyone wanted to buy her business, it started feeling unpredictable if I would have a place to work @ from month to month…. So I bought an existing salon for too much money, excitement got the best of me! After 1year I knew I was in over my head, I wanted out & just wanted to rent a chair without all the overhead! I think this career is starting to make me sick, literally! In the past year I’ve had a kidney infection & emergency gallbladder surgery, because I maybe don’t always know how to say no to a client or because I need the cash…. I don’t take enough bathroom or lunch breaks( not sure if I’m the only one) but it has begun to make me sick! I do so much for my clients & they take a little piece of me with them when they leave….. Worst part is some of my most loyal(so I thought) clients went elsewhere when I had surgery to never be heard from again! Why do I give so much of myself if it’s so easy for them to leave & not look back! Now I just want to say screw it & leave the industry! Anyone else feel this way or ever felt this way….. Please, I would love to hear from u……never been so confused, stressed & anxious in my entire life….. Ready to give up or not???

    • Do NOT give up. We have all felt this way at least once in our careers. You need to start valuing yourself more and taking better care of yourself. If you aren’t operating at 100%, you can’t be expected to care for your clients as well as you (or they) would like. Understand that they’re clients. We all make the same mistake that you did because most of us get into this business because we love taking care of others. To us, they become family. To them, we’re often just another person that performs a service for them. We’re replaceable. They don’t understand that it’s hurtful when they leave us when we need them most. I’ve written several posts in the motivation section of the site that you could probably benefit from. I’m writing another one right now that will be far better than this weak comment I’m throwing together.

      Are you a member of any small online networking groups for professionals? You’ll find a tremendous amount of support in Facebook groups. I highly recommend that you find one so you can vent in a forum with other professionals who are going through the same things you are. I’m a member of–well, a LOT of them, lol. It’s great for helping maintain your sanity.

  6. I’m the Salon Manager at a very large and busy salon with about 70 employees. I’ve been working with the owner for multiple years and have been his employee for the last 5 of those years. He and I have worked very closely running this business and I feel that I’m probably the closest friends he has. He has been through alot recently and in turn has taken things out on me. He has always been supportive of me and my family and if we ever needed anything he was there for us, but it has come at a price. I feel picked on, bullied, pushed around, and taken advantage of. I know most recently his behavior is coming from some horrible situations that he has endured, but I feel I’ve hit my limit. I have another job offer, not in the industry, that has actually excited me about working again. I’ve made the decision to quit my current job to take the new one, but I’m not sure the best way to go about it. Also, this new employer is a friend of mine and my current employer. I want to offer to continue to do some work that is just to much to teach in a short period of time, but officially give him a 2 or 3 week notice. He can get very angry at people and make them suffer and I’m really afraid that’s what will happen. This, of course is the last thing I want. I love him, and all of the people there. I really want the best for him and the business, I just can’t do it any longer. Any advise would be welcomed. Thank you.

    • You sound a lot like me. I’ve learned a lot of lessons about loyalty the hard way, and I think you’re likely to experience the same. The good thing about this is that no matter how much it hurts, you still come out of the experience a better person–and blameless.

      Like you, I also gave more of myself than others gave to me (professionally and personally). The truth of this situation is that if the owner truly valued you and your contributions to his business, no personal situation would change his attitude towards you or his treatment of you. Your feelings are not reciprocated. Even though you feel bullied and taken advantage of, you remain loyal. Your loyalty runs so deep that you’re concerned about how your resignation will affect him, even after his poor treatment of you.

      I have been you. Over and over and over again.

      All I can do is tell you this: you cannot control the actions of others, you can only control yourself. If this man is willing to reward your hard work and loyalty by taking out his personal problems on you, he is not worthy of you or your contributions. During times of struggle, owners like that should show a considerable deal more appreciation–because although his personal life isn’t ideal, you are there every day making his professional life easier.

      If you deliver your resignation with the same sincerity in this comment and he responds with hostility, do NOT take it personally. YOU DID NOT FAIL HERE. (< Sometimes I think that if I say things in all caps, the point will get across.) Two weeks' notice is standard; three weeks is incredibly generous. You do not owe him any more than that.

      YOU ARE NOT BEING SELFISH BY DOING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU. (< Again, it's super important that you understand this. Really understand it. It took me ten years to figure this out. Don't be like me.)

      Write up the resignation. Schedule a meeting with him. Express your feelings so he understands fully why you’re walking away after so many years of loyal service to him. Hope like hell that he learns and grows from the experience. Do not allow yourself to feel any guilt or remorse. You are doing the right thing. How he chooses to respond is a statement about his character–not yours.

  7. I put in my 2 weeks notice at my job. I have been so over my boss and working conditions for a while now. I love my co-workers tho and that is why I gave my proper notice so I don’t screw them over. The salon is already short staffed and the owner has made no effort to hire my replacement. All my co workers are ready to jump ship too. My owner won’t even talk to me since I put in my notice, it has been an extremely stressful time and I can’t wait for it to be over.

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you. Some owners take resignations personally, when they should be seeing them as opportunities to evaluate their management practices and make improvements. I have seen owners that I managed for completely shut down during stressful periods, and I believe this is likely what has happened to this owner. Sometimes, they feel helpless and give up for a time. (If this owner had a qualified manager to help her, she’d likely be able to step in and take over the hiring duties, as well as work to correct the owner’s attitude.) :/

  8. My boss decided to try to sell her beauty business but after months has had no luck, one by one staff left as none of us knew when our last day would be, so I handed in my notice as I wasn’t sure what would happen either. I’m leaving to set up my own business and clients have asked me if they can follow. When I signed my contract it had a clause to say I can’t see clients for two years after I leave the salon. Does this still count if it closes or she manages to sell which is highly unlikely as there is one day left till close down day? I can’t remember the exact wording in my contract either.

    • Without reading the clause, I can tell you that unless the clause is a “non-solicitation” clause, it won’t be upheld. Your prior owner cannot restrict your ability to conduct business upon separation of employment. You cannot be contractually obligated to turn down clients that may have been clients of her business at some point. It’s ridiculous and unreasonable. However, you can be restricted from soliciting clients of her business–and that clause is entirely reasonable.

  9. Hi! Your info is so helpful! Do you have any suggestions on contacting your clients to let them know you will be leaving your current salon and moving to a new one, without breaking any rules? I know I cant tell them where I am going but don’t want to leave them high and dry. I feel like they would be mad if I didn’t tell them where I was going.

    • I actually have a sample letter here for contacting clients, but you have to be careful not to violate any employment contracts you may have signed restricting you from solicitation. If you signed, do NOT contact those clients. If you didn’t, there’s nothing a salon owner can do to prevent it. They can attempt to sue you, but they’d have to prove that you either violated a signed covenant, or maliciously caused measurable financial harm to the business. The former is easy with a copy of a contract, the latter is considerably harder.

  10. Hi,
    First of all, great article!

    I am in a similar situation that others have mention in the comments, but a bit different as well.

    I’ve been working at a salon and boutique for nearly 5 years. I am the only employee that has stayed with the salon since it’s opening. I am the lead stylist, and have been a manager in the past (I stepped down to solely work behind the chair again, about 1 1/2 years ago).
    When the owner opened the salon, I literally helped paint the walls and put furniture together… I didn’t know the owners personally before working for them, but was exited to help and wanted to speed up the opening process. I had two years of experience as a stylist prior to working here, so I was fairly new when we started, but I did have good experiences at a chain salon and a high end private salon previously.

    Anyways, my boss is… let’s say different. She is a sweet person who has good intentions, but is virtually clueless on how to run any business, let alone a salon. That was maybe acceptable the first year or so, but after 5 years, she still doesn’t have a consistent way of doing things, and spends money on useless things, while skimping on employees. This has caused a LOT of frustration with employees throughout the years. We have had quite a few nut jobs as part of the team (as a result of my boss hiring the first person she interviews for EVERY open position)… but the good ones have moved away, or left out of frustration or feeling unappreciated.

    We work for a low base commission (even when having a fully booked schedule, I make less that 50% of my services), the salon does NO advertising, we have do to all cleaning and stocking supplies, have no receptionist, frequently out of color/products, low commission on retail… just to name a few. Did I mention we have to run her boutique that is attached to the salon when she’s not there? And we get no commission on those products.
    I’ve been there for 5 years and have never gotten a raise, other then when I was a manager and a stylist, and got totally taken advantage of (which is the reason I went back to just doing hair).

    My problem is now, that one of my last good co-workers just left to go to a salon suite and rent a space. She wasn’t treated well by my boss when she left. I have been thinking of doing the same thing for a long time now. However, I am almost certain that if I leave, the salon I am at now would suffer a lot. That would leave only three part time stylists, who in all honesty, are not that great at their jobs.

    I truly do not want to ruin the salon I’m at, but I know my clients will follow me. That, combined with my coworker who recently left and most of her clients leaving, will probably put a big strain on my current salon.

    Before you ask, yes, we have tried to talk to my boss about things that need to change, but we usually get snappy passive aggressive answers, or she just starts crying saying she is doing the best she can. She has refused to give raises to anyone who asks, and on top of that she cut our retail commission down to 10% AND decided to take backbar costs out of our services before calculating commission… so I am actually making less than when first starting.
    Now, I AM almost always fully booked, and I do okay financially, but I know I am worth a lot more with my experience and training (and based on client retention and satisfaction). I just feel like my growth potential is stunted, and I want to take the next step, without causing problems for my boss.

    I guess I said all of that to say… is there any other way I can get through to my boss, without having to leave? Any suggestions will be much appreciated. And if there doesn’t seem, to be a way to make things clear to her, any suggestions on how to leave peacefully would be appreciated. 🙂

    • Your experience is pretty typical. A lot of salon owners I consult for are exactly like yours. Directionless, clueless, and generally happy to remain that way so long as they don’t have to do any work to educate themselves. (At least, they’re happy to stay that way until revenues plummet.)

      My recommendation to you is to sit with her in a meeting and present all of these issues to her the same way you have here.
      1.) You’ve been there five years and have never received a raise.
      2.) She’s not managing the business properly, or marketing it, which is entirely unacceptable.
      3.) You need to be making commission on the boutique items. You aren’t a sales clerk. You’re a professional. If she’s going to insist on treating you like some cashier, she needs to be paying you for the privilege.
      4.) The way she treated the last employee to leave was unprofessional and not something you were happy with.
      5.) You *know* the salon would suffer without you, and you’re ready to walk out on her if things don’t change. You have leverage. Her salon isn’t your problem. She’s not even treating it like it’s her problem. If she doesn’t respect her own business, why should you?
      6.) She is NOT doing the best she can, or these issues would have been resolved after the last discussion, or the one before that, or the one before that.
      7.) The backbar costs aren’t legal and won’t fly.
      8.) You ARE worth more. If she doesn’t recognize that, you can easily find someone who can.
      9.) Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she needs to consider all of this from YOUR point of view. Would she stay if she were in a similar situation? What incentive do you have to be loyal to someone like her?

      When you have this meeting, I’d be very blunt about it. (I’d also have a letter of resignation in my hand and a backup plan ready to execute.) She needs to hear this and she needs to hear it in a very direct way in order to really get it. If she doesn’t get it, it’s past time to move on. Nobody would blame you, least of all me. Present her with the issues and tell her that if she’s not ready to make a plan of action *right now* to correct them, that you’ll hand her the letter and be on your way.

      • Hi Tina,
        Thank you so much for your reply. I never got a notification that you sent this reply, or I would have updated much sooner… but I am happy to report that I ended up doing pretty close to what you suggested.

        The talk with my boss didn’t go well. She basically thinks her business is being run as best as it possibly could be, and if it’s not, then it because of circumstances “out of her control” (like not having enough money to advertise, pay a receptionist/ boutique employee, etc).
        I felt like there was no other choice but to leave, so about a month later, I gave my notice. She didn’t take that well either, but I was past the point of caring. I was still respectful to her, and thanked her for my time there. I now hear she is telling people that I ruined her salon, and she’ll probably have to close her doors soon… but if she allowed a single employee to have that great of an effect on her business, is that really their fault? I think not, and I don’t feel guilty for leaving. I wish her the best, and hope she can turn her business around before it’s too late.

        I now have my own business at a salon suite, as I just couldn’t face working for another boss who could potentially be like my last one, or worse. I am in love with my new location!!! My clients love it (and most of them followed me), and I have a renewed passion for my career. It was the change I desperately was seeking, and needed. I love the privacy I can offer my clients, but I also still feel like I work in a team environment with the other stylists. I love the positive energy the place has. It’s only been two 1/2 weeks since I started, and I have already gotten new clients, and am making a name for myself via social media, and my scheduling service (StyleSeat).

        Thank you again for writing, and even though I read it a bit too late, it helps me a lot now to know that I handled things properly and professionally.

        I love your site, and have gotten a lot of great ideas and help from your posts! Thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

        • Lol, those circumstances certainly aren’t “out of her control,” but you know that as well as I do. It’s typical of people like that to abdicate responsibility and blame others for their failures, which explains why she’s throwing you under the bus for her poor management. I’m so glad everything is working out!

  11. Hi Tina,
    I have been a stylist for over 10 years. About 4 years ago, a friend of mine opened a new salon and I followed her to be in “better conditions” than where I was at. It was not a pretty break up at my old salon, so I know the taste of what I may be facing. You guessed it, I think I am ready to leave. The owner of the salon that I am at is never present. She hides behind management big time to relay orders and messages to staff. It is frustrating because I pull numbers in service and retail that even as a decently staffed salon could potentially hurt the business. Bottom line, I think i am ready to rent a chair and start my own thing that way. I know that I am worth much more than the less than 50% service comm I make and 10% retail comm I make. There is no room for raises other than raising the cost of already high end services for the clients which in turn give us a small raise, if you will, at the clients expense. My concern is that I could potentially start losing clients if this continues! What do I do!?! And how do I respectfully get my guests to follow? I cannot remember the terms in which the contract had that I signed upon hire. Help

    • You definitely need to review the contract. Don’t do anything that could put you in violation of a document you signed your name to. Then you can resign appropriately and hopefully come to some kind of agreement with the owner so you don’t leave on bad terms.

  12. I’m busy with my apprenticeship year currently.
    I started working at this salon 4 years ago when i was still in high school work as an apprentice.
    I can literally feel the change in my confidence with my current boss and what it was like in the college.
    I felt comfortable asking questions and learning more things.
    But at my current salon, i get a snarky attitude when i ask something and she always says i should already know the answer.

    I want to feel comfortable where i work to learn not only from myself but from my colleagues, and i dont want them to feel intimidated when learning something from me.

    My confidence has dropped so much in this salon. I used to be so proud of everything i did, but working here just has me checking the clock to see when i can go home.

    Now i dont know what i should do.
    Its literally affecting my happiness. I want to be somewhere where we can be professional with eacb other.
    I dont want to know about everybodys personal life.
    I just want to be happy again

    • The only good thing to come of this experience is that you know exactly how not to treat people. If I were you, I’d have a meeting with the people who are treating you poorly and let them know you won’t tolerate it any longer. If they continue, I’d quit. You don’t deserve to be treated that way, or to have your first experience of this industry be a sour one. I completely agree with you about not wanting to know anyone’s personal life. I’m the same way. I go to work to work, not to make friends. There are salons like that out there; it just takes time to find one you fit into. The first few years may be rocky, but trust me, it gets better. 🙂

  13. I’ve been at the same salon for seven years the owner is very greedy and never feed me clients. No advertising .. no education nothing. I still make hourly pay same as I’ve made for five years I talked to her about a raise and she said give it time it’s been months. I have a job lined up already what’s my best way to leave. Do I quit. I am the only other hair stylist she has. The salon I would grow so much. If I gave my two weeks she would make it a living hell.

    • You’re not required to remain in a hostile work environment. The two-week notice is a courtesy you can extend, but if she uses that courtesy to make you miserable, feel free to walk (I certainly would). Employers who try to force out departing employees by being rude and hostile don’t deserve your presence. Revoke it at will.

  14. Wow! What is it with small business women owners in the spa/salon industry? The owner of where I work is so similar to some of the owners mentioned here. Overly sensitive, emotionally reactive and not professional, all sorts of excuses as to why the business is not succeeding, no new obvious marketing schemes that I can see, lots of anger and blame, rarely any praise or thanks. Anytime I need to interact with her I am basically terrified. She has made some very strange choices in firing people suddenly, including myself from another position. I recently asked for a raise since I had been there for a year, and she got really defensive and angry about it since the business has been doing poorly. Maybe this is all because these are people that are trying to run the business they own and they are too attached and too close to it and cannot make wise choices? Or perhaps they don’t have the business training to really know how to do things? I don’t know. All I know is that I have been trying to move on, and I keep staying because the other choices are not much better. Perhaps it is time to change careers?

    • It’s all of those reasons and more, lol.

      This industry can be incredibly difficult to work in, but there are a ton of options available that may be preferable to leaving completely. Each, of course, has their pros and cons, but it really sucks to see people leave a career doing something they love just because they’ve been victimized by one (or more) incompetent salon owners. I’m really hoping things will get better eventually, but it’s going to require everyone involved to be a lot more honest with each other. So, if you do quit, make sure you let her know exactly how she failed you and how she’s failing her business. If nobody shames this behavior and the people who do it, it’ll never stop.

  15. I’ve been working at a salon for 8 years now, I started as a commission stylist and then decided that renting was going to bring me more profit, also freedom. I read your article on commission vs. IC, the owner at my salon made everyone an IC and never paid anyone an hourly wage for days where there were no clients. We were required to stay and wait for hours until walk-ins or phone calls came, we all had set schedules. I realized all of this and said nothing because the owner of the salon is impossible to talk to without taking everything personal or getting defensive. I know this with experience on other subjects. I am now planning my escape (I know, totally sad to say) to a new salon that seems like a dream compared to what I’ve been through. When I was given the rental agreement the owner mumbled something to me on the note of the agreement being non-negotiable “take it or leave it” basis. The owner was upset I decided to rent because I was bringing the in the salon lots of money and the salon would be taking a huge cut by me renting. For 6 months I did my numbers realizing that I was giving the salon a huge chunk of income, twice the amount it would be to rent a chair. I signed the agreement, because I knew I wasn’t in a place to leave just yet. On the agreement it said it was good for one year. Well, a couple years have passed and the agreement hasn’t been looked over not once. There was not a new one set in place. Back to my escape, I’m wondering if there hasn’t been a new agreement for years, am I month to month now? Do I need to give notice for leaving? The agreement doesn’t say anything about giving a notice. The owner has me pay rent bi-weekly. If I want to leave after the first two weeks, do I have to pay for the entire month? or just the first two? How do I go about getting my deposit back? The owner is very cut throat when it comes to stylists leaving, I’ve been there long enough to witness many stylists leave. Usually, the conversations goes “I’m giving you my notice that I will be leaving” the owners response is “No two weeks, you can leave now.” and like that they all left. I want to do things the right way, but I know me leaving the bridge is already burned. Please help me Tina!

    • Yeah, she can’t do that to you if you’re on a lease. Your lease ends in accordance with the terms outlined in the agreement. You’re month-to-month now, which means if you give her notice in the middle of the month, she can’t tell you to leave right then and keep the money. Either she refunds your rent for the final two weeks, or the lease stands until the end of the month. I’d recommend writing up a notice that outlines your exit. “Blah blah, per the terms of our lease, I’m providing adequate notice and will be fully vacated no sooner or later than [DATE].” Should she try and evict you beforehand, remind her that she is not your boss, she doesn’t have the right to fire you, you’re on a month-to-month lease, you’re paid up for the month, and if she wants you out now, you expect to have the remainder of your rent refunded.

      • Thank you for replying! Your words have given me so much more confidence in myself. I am more confident standing up for myself with the help of your other articles.

        My boss is now trying to withhold half of my coworkers deposit. The owner says because it costs money to build another station for her business. I know it’s complete BS. Nothing was stated in the rental agreement about rent deposit going towards a her station.
        These owners!!!!

        • I’m glad I could help! Tell your coworker that if nothing in the lease stated that a portion of the deposit would be withheld, she legally CANNOT do it. Ugh, these people drive me insane.

      • Tina! My coworker got her full deposit back thanks to the knowledge I gathered from your blog! Super happy!
        Me on the other hand, am getting ready to hand in my letter of resignation on Tuesday. I’m wondering if you have any other suggestions. I won’t be giving a two weeks due to the owners lack of professionalism. Should I had it in at the beginning of the day? At the end? This is all new to me.

        • That’s awesome! 🙂 I’d say you should hand it in at the end of the day, otherwise she’ll make you miserable or boot you out the door as soon as you hand it to her.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here