Beauty industry provides services which help us look better. There are many different types of salons dealing with hair styling and coloring, nails, tanning, massage, luxury spas, etc. They compete to offer more services and related products. According to Beauty Industry Analysis (, the beauty business is booming and expected to have revenue of almost $11 billion by 2018. When you visit a salon, you expect to get the best treatment which implies effective, safe and approachable service. The main law for beauty business is "the client is always right". But that's not always the case. Customers can face bad treatment which affects appearance and can harm health. Let's focus on top 6 complaints in hair and beauty salons.

Poor customer service

Bad or incorrect performance of the service, hair complaints

When a customer visits a salon, he/she wants to meet a real professional, instead can get a very poor result. Hair complaints include bad haircuts, when a customer doesn't get a haircut he/she asks for, like in the Facebook post where unsatisfied customer shares a photo of a haircut which she sees as "completely hacked":

how to report a beauty salon

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There are many hair complaints connected with hair dyeing like uneven blocks of color, undyed or partially dyed hair, wrong color like in the Facebook review, where a hairdresser bleached the hair so it turned gray with some blue tones. The client spent 6 hrs at the salon and the stylist asked to come back the next day to fix. However, the gray didn't disappear and the hair was damaged. 

A hairdresser can change the length, cut hair too short, texture hair without permission, damage hair by blow dryer, pull or tug hair. In this review, a person wanted only the "deep condition". However, a hairdresser "washed and CUT the hair" without doing the deep condition, then "blow dried, curled it" and wanted extra money,  that was not mentioned before.

A customer should complain and explain what is wrong with his/her hairstyle and ask to rectify it. If this does not work, here are some ways how to report a beauty salon:

  • You can file a complaint with the state agency that governs the salon and their license. To notify the local governing agency, visit the BeautyTech ( It provides links to each state. 
  • Choose the state you live in and follow the link. The state board web site will open, there will be a form to complete.- If you file a complaint online, you should choose the board (barbers or cosmetology), barbers' type (barber shop, barber assistant, barber owner, etc.), fill in the incident date and provide a complaint description.
  • You can also file a complaint by email to The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation that protects and empowers consumers through advocacy and education. Download the form from the state website  and complete it.  Together with this form, provide all relevant documentation that supports your complaint (Contracts/proposals, invoices, proof of payment, information about your attorney, witnesses, etc.).

Tattoo complaints

It is even worse if you got a bad tattoo. It is costly and painful to remove. In this review about tattoo studio, a customer tells that the tattoo looks very amateurish; the colors are uneven and bleed outside of the lines. 
How to report a beauty salon when you got a bad tattoo:

  • Start with the tattooist on spot, then to escalate the issue.- Notify the local Board of Health, that regulates the industry, in case of any injury, infection, complication or disease as a result of a body art procedure. The contacts you can find on this website. According to the "Model Regulations for Body Art Establishments", the Board shall investigate complaints received about an establishment or practitioner's practices or acts that violate any provision of the Board's regulations. If the Board finds that an investigation is not required because the alleged act or practice is not in violation of the Board's regulations, then the Board shall notify the complainant of this finding and the reasons on which it is based.
  • If the Board finds that an investigation is required, then Board starts it. If a finding shows that the act or practice is in violation of the Board's regulations, then the Board shall apply whatever enforcement action is appropriate to remedy the situation and shall notify the complainant of its action in this matter. 
  • You can also contact the tattoo parlor's insurance company and file your claim (you may need the picture of the tattoo you wanted in order to prove that you instructed the tattooist to follow that specific artwork), full name, address of the tattoo salon and tattooist, if possible).

We would suggest that you choose a Division of Professional Licensure in your state by using the following search query in Google: "the Division of Professional Licensure + your state name" and you will see the "" website. The Division of Professional Licensure takes action against those who fail to maintain acceptable standards of competence and integrity. If you have a serious complaint against a licensed hairdresser, a manicurist, an aesthetician or a licensed salon, contact the Division's Office of Investigations. Once you find the relevant website, you should be able to find a sample complaint form there.

Incompetent staff

Customers complain not only about a bad result but also about lack of respect. Rude managers can spoil the whole impression of the salon.

  • The salon team forgets about etiquette: hairdressers and managers can eat, talk on the phone while working, show their bad mood, behavior which turns off customers. For example, according to this Great Clips review, "... (man) in the Arlington Washington Great Clips salon, starts throwing tantrums, slamming things and moaning. I have left before, not because of the wait, but because I was worried I would get him...". 
  • Customers wait too long for service. One person wrote a review where he/she described how he/she waited thirty minutes and no one came in, didn't do any further acknowledgements and finally the person just got up and walked away. 
  • Worthless check-in. Customers admit inconvenient and ridiculous check-in system when a fifteen minute wait can turn into a forty-five minute (or more). The staff should value every client and deal with the problem of long waits. It is good to address managers, describe the situation and ask to solve it. In this review, the customer liked the Smartstyle stylist but was disappointed with the manager: "...The manager however, i could do without her rudeness!.."

How to report a beauty salon if you come across rude and unprofessional treatment:

  • contact salon owner, or address its main office if it is a chain of salons;
  • leave a review on websites like

Sanitary conditions

There are many stories about sanitary violations made in the salons. Datonsnews made a salon report and admitted many violations like re-using nail files and buffers, etc.

It is good to check:

  • The salon license and the license of the person providing the service.
  • The overall condition of the salon. Is it clean and neat? Does the cosmetologist, manicurist or aesthetician wash his/her hands before starting each new client?
  • A sterilizer (a container filled with a disinfectant solution for sterilizing tools) should be visible. The tools must be properly sanitized between each client. Combs and brushes must be kept in a mixture of equal parts of barbicide and water (a disinfectant liquid) between uses. Employees must follow basic practices such as washing towels, cleaning sinks and floors and washing hands.

If you come across bad sanitary conditions, here are ways how to report a beauty salon:

  • You can complain to the relevant Board of Cosmetology. For this purpose, please Google "Board of Cosmetology + state". For example, we searched for state of Idaho, and we received the following result:  
  • Print it out, fax it to them or mail it in.

Membership issues: unauthorized charges, auto subscription, cancellation

Customers come across such issues very often.  This client shares a situation when he/she went to a new hair salon. The appointment was scheduled for 9:30 am. The customer received a voicemail about an upcoming appointment and forgot he/she had to work. The receptionist said they had a 24 hour cancellation policy. The client called at 10:00 am, due to later hours on Fridays. Technically, the customer called 30 minutes later than he/she should have but only because they were closed. The appointment cost about $120 to get the hair colored. The receptionist said that they were going to charge his/her card $120. If you don't cancel within 24 hours, you're charged the price of an appointment. There was no agreement. The receptionist said it was their policy. 

In this case, the salon had the right to charge the fee. To avoid such situations, read salons’ terms and conditions. A customer might get the owner/manager to agree to waive the issue because of the difference in opening time, but they are not obligated to do so.

Gift cheating, deals and coupons cheating

Beauty salons provide gifts and coupons to attract more clients but in fact the discounts, gifts and coupons don't always work. Customers are unsatisfied with membership policy, cheating with gift cards and coupons. Salons should take complete control of coupon campaign. Customers should  file salon reports when such issues arise, for instance, to write about their bad experience with mentioned campaigns on websites like

Sexual Assault

This is a very weighty issue that requires immediate actions. This reviewer describes sexual assault that happened to his wife. He addressed it with the owner but still did not get a call back. Here are some steps to take if you faced sexual assault:

  • Find witnesses or other victims;
  • Contact a lawyer in your area;
  • File a claim of sexual assault to police;
  • Apply to the Division of Investigation which deals with assault and sexual misconduct in your state. For example, for California we found California Division of Consumer Affairs.

High Price and Hidden Fees

In pursuit of income, salons forget customers' rights. This user reviews Supercuts beauty salon. He says, that when the total estimate of services at the beginning was $167 but at the end, after 5 hours, it became $245. According to Hairdressers, Manicurists and Aestheticians Consumer Fact Sheet, here are what the consumers should know about their rights:

  • Ask for a full price list for all services in the salon beforehand.
  • Check for "a la carte" pricing (additional charges over the price of the basic service). Tell the master what you want and ask about cost before, enquire about extra charges.
  • No salon may use any advertising which is misleading, inaccurate or misrepresents any materials or services, terms, values or policies.The Division of Professional Licensure will take action against those who fail to maintain acceptable standards of competence and integrity. For example, for Massachusetts, we found Massachusetts Consumer Board and here you can file a complain.  

Features of a good beauty salon include:

  • All items in the salon are clean and hygienic. No dirty brushes, messy tables, noise.
  • Good time management. Managers should inform a client in advance about overbooking or running late, offer free extra services or a discounted rate.
  • In case of bad service, it is good when the salon manager offers something either to improve the cut, a free next appointment, a discount or some take-home products and otherwise shows how they care about salon clients.
  • Masters/ specialists ask a client the questions and queries, suggest possible options.
  • Professional staff that attend workshops and master their art (certificates).
  • Attentive and friendly customer service. Customer should hear encouraging phrases: "How can I help?" or "I can solve this problem", etc.

A salon's main mission is to bring beauty and happiness to clients. The clients should report the issues to be heard and to get those issues resolved. The companies should take such claims into consideration to improve their service and prevent such issues. By analyzing salon reports (the business summary, client retention, employee utilization, product sales, appointment metrics report), beauty industry has the ability to make informed decisions.  Thinking of salon reports can help grow the business. Also you may find more beauty and health tips in our next article.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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