Cutting hair is finally a job again. Sadly, your spouse or parent can’t experiment on your head anymore. Unless, of course, you count all the reasons you’re in therapy, am I right, folks? They’re playing with your head all the time. Speaking of therapy, getting a haircut is somehow leagues better for my emotional wellbeing than a session with my psychologist. Is it because I need a new one? No. It’s because barbers and hairdressers are doing the Lord’s work and don’t get enough credit. Thankfully, a thread on Reddit’s r/AskReddit allowed these wonderful people to vent about their worst customers.
If you’re a jerk, why don’t you do all your jerking in private? Wait. That’s not what I meant. I meant: be good to the people making you look good. Do not end up in a story like the ones that follow.
Here are stories of the worst customers to ever get a haircut from a professional hairdresser or barber:
1. The smelliest batch.
“One of the first shops I worked in there were two individuals who would regularly come in for cuts. Both of them were physically so dirty it changed their skin tone, and they absolutely REEKED of cat piss. Being close to them made my eyes water, and it was extremely difficult to breathe as the smell of ammonia was just plain overwhelming.
We never turned them away, and we were always as polite as we could be… But fuck if those haircuts didn’t feel like they lasted three hours.” –gcattoggio
2. Oil is in demand again.
“Long time ago but I had to wash and cut a teenager that hadn’t washed his hair in what looked like months. Salon policy was to wash after a men’s cut and the smell was awful. After his cut, I tried to wet his hair in the shampoo bowl and the water just ran off his hair because of all the oil buildup. I had seen a lot during my years as a stylist but that was the worst experience.” –bzookee
3. Come back later.
“Had one client that had really bad Psoriasis and no hairdresser wanted to help him. He was also very ashamed,so we made the deal that he could come in after closing time.
It was really bad and most of the equipment (combs, clips ect) were disposed instead of disinfected.” –Tackbracka
4. The worst one.
“My husband is a barber, one day he had a guy come in with dreads, wanting them all shaved off. He parted his dreads, looked at his scalp and noticed it was green!! He touched it and saw it ripple. Asked the guy when he’d last washed his hair, he replied ‘about 3 years ago!!’ My husband realised the guys whole scalp was covered in a layer of pus!! Sent him straight to A&E to have it drained and treated with antibiotics.” -anonymous
5. Someone should put up a sign or something.
“My sister is a hairstylist and got scabies once from a kid. Apparently the mom knew the kid had it too, just didn’t tell my sister until they were leaving. Yuck.” –82workthrowaway82
6. The Beehive.
“My mother was a hair dresser in the 1960s for Vidal Sasson. During the time of the beehive. Customers wouldn’t wash their hair for weeks, they’d just keep spraying it to keep it in place as it was such a complicated do. This meant a LOT of fleas, lice, and on one occasion cockroaches that had to be washed out.
For some reason this never bothered my mother all that much, but hearing about it made sure I never, ever wanted any kind of hands on customer service job.” –LibraryLuLu
7. Hair is complicated.
“When the family showed up, the mother and grandmother were white, and the granddaughter was African American. They obviously didn’t know (and didn’t bother to learn) how to take care of the girl’s hair, because it was in a giant, waist-length ponytail that was completely matted. She also had a bit of a developmental disability, and they claimed she would not wash her hair herself.
I could smell her as soon as she walked in, but when the stylist got her hair wet at the shampoo bowl, the smell quickly permeated the entire salon. It was like a punch to the gut. The hair stylist had to keep coming up front for fresh air. She said giant flakes/sheets of dandruff and buildup were basically crusted to the girl’s scalp and throughout her hair. The matted ponytail was the worst of it. What should have been a simple 45 minute service ended up taking over four hours.
The girl looked great when she was done. I felt terrible for her because it was pretty obvious that her mom and grandma had no intention of keeping her hair maintained. I got the impression that they basically only took her for a haircut when things got completely out of control.” –girlofthewoods
8. A statue walks into a salon.
“Way back in the day, my mom was a hairdresser. she told me a story once of this guy coming in who had birdshit all over the top/back of his head.
guess he got pooped on and didn’t notice or something.” –skivian
9. This seems to be a common issue.
“I had a young man come in with his mother. He was about 8 years old and had tight curly hair. His mother ask me to shave down to a 00000 that is the shortest you can go with clippers. I said sure it was my last cut of the day and I was eager to go home. I start the service and notice barely 1/3rd in that he had a lice infestation under the tight curly hair. I mean these guys were huge. Probably why his mother needed me to shave it off.
So.. I discontinued the service and spent the next 3 hours disinfecting everything in sight. The boys mother called the barbershop later to complain because I wouldn’t finish shaving her sons hair. We tried to explain that it was illegal for us to continue the service as it might spread lice to others and recommended a specialty shop that could take care of this for them but she demanded that it was because we were racist. That was fun.” –sometimes_always
10. Get the scissors.
“I once had to turn a lady away after she booked in for hair extension removal. The micro bonded type your stylist should tell you last three months max. Nobody told this lady. They had been in for seven months! My boss booked her in with me (the extensions weren’t done in my salon) I took one look at it and told her I couldn’t help. There was a chunk of hair about six inches wide that was matted with bits of hair glue (not what we use) poking out. To me her options were shave it or cut it almost to the scalp. Some “hairdressers” shouldn’t be allowed.” –hinky28