How to deal with late hairdressers

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(This article is valid for every industry)


Running a business obviously involves having to deal with staff issues and perhaps one of the most frustrating for any salon owner is the late hairdresser.

This scenario can leave you as the manager having to deal with unimpressed customers who are naturally expecting their appointment at the allotted time.  It is important to identify whether this lateness is an issue within your salon and whether there is a pattern in this particular staff member's behaviour.

These are the questions to answer:

  • Is he/she talking to your client or other staff too much?

  • Is it operational and not the fault of the hairdresser? It could possibly be  the customer’s journey within your salon causes them to arrive late in the chair.  If so you need to find out why.

  • Is it training that is needed? In which case what kind of training?

  • Do they give their clients too much attention?

There are solutions to implement within your salon which will help this type of behavior and here they are in 10 steps:

  1. Give 15 minutes extra for 6 weeks to every appointment so your hairdresser has more time. This will show that you are keen to support them in improving their services.

  2. Calculate how this will affect their takings.

  3. Calculate how this then affects their commission if that is the case.

  4. For the first 6 weeks, monitor how he/she improves or not as the case may be.

  5. Bring models in between for them to practice on their timing. Ensure that each model is given a feedback form to give you a clear idea of the experience they received. This form should include the timing of the service.

  6. After 6 weeks: have a meeting regarding his/her progression

  7. Look at his/her takings and target them accordingly

  8. Take the 15 minutes away unless they need to keep it for another 6 weeks. Do bear in mind that when you give someone 1 hour to do a haircut, they are most likely to take 1 hour. Make them understand the aim is to ensure they do the haircut within the recommended 45 minutes.

  9. Bring in more models. Again ensure they have a form to fill in.

  10. If you have chosen to take another 6 weeks, after that decide whether you want to put them on performance management or whether they have successfully achieved everything you wanted them to.

Implementing this procedure for such behaviour will ensure this member of staff will either improve or feel too much pressure to carry on.

Your attitude towards such issues will make it clear to your team the importance of finishing or starting on time. 

If you choose to take the performance management route, ensure that everything you do is written down.  This way you have proof of all the support you have given if you need to dismiss someone.

It's inevitable you will have days when everything runs late but when it becomes a problem, it's easy to take control with these steps!


Valerie Delforge - Founder and CEO of Delforge + Co

Consulting agency and Business Academy specializing in the Hair and Beauty industry