Is It OK to Flirt with Your Hairstylist?
It happens all the time. In fact, we’ve probably all either seen it, done it, or thought about it: flirting with your hairstylist. And really, who could blame anyone? You see them on a regular basis in a laid-back place; you chat with them about movies and books and the cool things you each did last weekend. So yeah, there’s a good chance you’d want to know how to flirt with them. (Especially if they give a great scalp massage.)
But then again, they’re at work. You’re paying them—part of their job is to be friendly. And there’s the whole business of having to search all over town for a replacement in the event you weird them out. So what’s a single person with hair to do? We asked three stylists whether you can ask them out and, if so, how to do it.
Terra Therapos, stylist at The Circle Salon (a editors’ Pick!)
“Such a juicy topic,” Terra gushed. “I think flirting is always a compliment! As long as it is known that both parties are single, flirting is pretty harmless and creates a friendly rapport. … If the stylist flirts back, I would say it is game for asking them on a date.”
Just make sure you’re prepared for whatever their response might be. “If it isn’t mutual and there were mixed signs, it may create awkwardness,” she said. “If you go on a date or two and it doesn’t work out, you [might] have to find a new stylist or … keep things casual and find humor in it later.”
James Rosko, stylist at Fuga Italian Escape Salon & Spa (also a editors’ Pick!)
“I've been hit on and I think it's appropriate,” James said. His one caveat for would-be flirts: don’t assume every compliment is a come-on. “The relationship and trust between a client and hairdresser is like nothing else. Our job is to constantly make people feel better and beautiful. Some people might mistake it for sexual attraction.”
That said, don’t be afraid to broach the subject. “A lighthearted comment on how [your stylist] looks or how much you appreciate them is always a nice way to start. Then definitely invite us out for drinks,” he laughed. “I'm a few people's hair husband.”
Abby Mazer, stylist at Sport Clips
Abby, who works mostly with male clients, has kind of a Seinfeld stance on the whole thing. She’s not someone who would date her clients—not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just as two pals might not cross that line for fear of losing the friendship, she’d be hesitant to risk losing someone as a client.
But Abby knows plenty of people who have dated and even married their stylists. “It happens a lot more than people are probably aware of,” Abby said. “I’ve had [flirting] happen to me where it’s been really obnoxious, they’ve asked for a booty call or whatever. … You get all different kinds of people. If you’re a real new client, maybe wait until you have more of a relationship with your stylist.”
Her best advice? Just be cool about it. “It’s just like asking anyone out. You can read people. If the stylist is flirting back and you get the feeling that they’re interested, I think the client should just ask. In a nice way, a proper way. Do it right [in the chair], don’t take someone to the side or anything. Because then the whole salon will know and it becomes a whole big thing.”
Illustration by Kelly MacDowell, Groupon
Kelly's first concert was Fleetwood Mac and her first career was in the beauty industry. Now a style and music writer, she loves Project Runway and her dog, Watson.