What to do when your superstar stylist leaves

When your superstar stylist walks into your office, closes the door, sits down and asks if you can talk:  you get that sinking feeling in your stomach telling you what is coming next…..they are leaving.

Its natural to take their resignation personally, panic and get upset.  You may feel angry, disappointed, confused and even betrayed.  However, now is not the time for these emotions.  You have a business to run and clients to keep.  Instead, stay positive, calm and focused on your salon.

It is important that you move quickly and take the following 5 steps:

  1. Contact the stylist’s clients immediately.

It is preferable that the clients hear the news directly from you and it gives you a chance to book them in with another stylist.  If you cannot contact them by phone, then a letter or email is another good way to get in touch.  A text is too short and impersonal.  It may send out the wrong message as it might look like you’re not that bothered about their custom.

  1. What to say to clients.

Stay positive and keep the message simple.  Remember the clients are the salon’s clients.  The client doesn’t need to know the details, just that you will continue to look after them at your salon.  Acknowledge that you are sad to see the person leave, but you wish them all the very best, and now back to you and your next appointment…….

  1. Manage the gossip!

No matter where the stylist is going to or what the circumstances of their departure is, do not let your team gossip to clients. Give your team their instructions.  If necessary give your team, particularly your reception staff, a script, so they have a well rehearsed response at the ready.  Some clients may feel a little let down, so it is important to manage the situation.

  1. Social media.

Keep an eye on your social media accounts, just in case clients are being poached via this channel.  Now is the perfect time to increase your own marketing and shout about just how fantastic your salon is.

  1. Pull out all the stops.

Do everything you can to keep your clients, but if they follow the stylist, don’t give up – continue to market to those clients and make it easy for them to return to your salon.

 Remember, you are an amazing entrepreneur and this is just a bump in the road!


If the departing employee agrees to an ‘exit interview’, this is an opportunity now to be missed.

Exit Interviews:

  • Provide an opportunity to ‘make peace’ with the disgruntled employee
  • Are seen as a positive activity by existing staff
  • Provide relevant and useful data for future training needs
  • Might even result in giving you a chance to retain your superstar
  • Hearing and handling feedback is a powerful development process for the salon manager
  • Are a unique chance to survey and analyse the opinions of departing employees, who are generally more forthcoming, constructive and objective than staff still in their jobs.

In no time at all, your salon will be back to normal – everybody is replaceable!


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