Reality check! How do you tell clients their idea wonโ€™t look good? ๐Ÿ™ˆ

adam-winger-KVVjmb3IIL8-unsplash.jpgHey beauty professionals! โœจ


Have you ever had a client ask for a look that you knew wouldn't work for them? Did you decide to break the news to them or give them what they asked for? How do you set expectations for clients who have unrealistic ideas?

Share your thoughts and experiences with us below! ๐Ÿ‘‡



Elisabeth (she/they)
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Message 1 of 21
Square Champion

This happens more frequently now with social media.  But, I talk about the differences in my client's face versus whatever video/picture they show me.  Skin tone, shape, bone structure, eye color, skin sensitivity, etc.  I really try to educate my client before every service so they know what to expect.  If I could make everyone look like (insert celebrity here) then I'd be a billionaire.  I'm super honest with clients that I can make their makeup, lashes, whatever look like that but they still won't look like Beyonce. 


Haute Beauty Guide
Message 2 of 21

Ask more questions to understand the WHY behind their choice. What it represents or means to them. We're not mind readers and it's not always about the aesthetics. A woman's grandmother once passed and in honor of her she started to dress like her grandmother for her season of mourning. 


Throttle our recommendations can be difficult at times. If you want to recommend something different then DEMONSTRATE the reason behind it. Not everyone processes words into pictures. As an artist it's easy to see those pictures yet if one is not wired that way they need help to see what you see to understand a recommendation which is different from what they have been envisioning for themselves for weeks.



Message 3 of 21
Square Champion

I'm in the fashion industry and I'm always honest with my customers.  Over the majority of my customers take my suggestions into consideration, but I have a few who want what they want.  I let them know my exchange policy and keep it moving.  I know in the beauty industry it's definitely different, but I would want the truth and any suggestions you had... 

Jacqueline Mull
Owner of Jackie's Uniquely U Boutique
Owner of Uniquely U Anime

Message 4 of 21

Tell them it's a great idea! Then you do it exactly how they wanted it done! To finish you tell them it looks great and they have wonderful ideas! It's your job to make them feel good! Not to burst their bubble! 

Message 5 of 21

I would say that is a tricky situation; sometimes what they want will cost more money than they are willing to pay or it compromises their hair condition.


Message 6 of 21
Beta Member

I think honesty is policy.  One of the things I respect most about my Hair Stylist is her honesty.  She has never steered me wrong.  I would feel this way about anything related! 

Message 7 of 21

Being in the Hair industry for more than 30 yrs, I find that most people like honest opinions for their hair, they come to you as a professional, for a professional opinion. If they come to me with something i think might not be the best style for them, I say hey thats a great style but what if we tweak it a little to fit your face or lifestyle. Usually, it goes fine nobody wants to leave with a style that they cannot style themselves or doesn't fit them..

Message 8 of 21

Against my choice I was raised in a church that convinced my mother to leave my Father to join their congregation. My Father must have thought ๐Ÿ’ญ this isnโ€™t going to look good on the Church.  He failed when He filed a law suit against the Church for stealing his bride and two children. The man in the church who later adopted me and cheated on my mom with prostitutes  was kicked out of the church multiple times. The church baptized me and later would not open their doors for me to join in and sing praises.  Sometimes a haircut is what the church needs especially when the head of the Church starts to wear a wig and use makeup to cover the truth!!  I agree that TRUTH IS BEST EVEN IF IT HURTS!!  My current best friend has a horn on her head formed in a matted dread lock.  Truth is my friend is beautiful with the Horn. It may not be appealing or look good on her.  Yet she is my miracle ๐Ÿ˜ Shall I shave her head to give her a look that all may judge her without hair? Or leave a horn on her head to see if people will accept her how she is?  Oh the hair on the head!!  The depths of the spirit and mystery that God had put into every strand on the head. 

Message 9 of 21

Hey there , I am not a hair professional but my sister is. She would always nicely say to the client I am not sure if that would be as flattering as this style would be on you(insert suggested style) would look beautiful, gorgeous on you ! I never heard any of her clients get offended they appreciated her honesty. But I would say that would be on a client to client basis in which way to word it.

Message 10 of 21

My number 1 rule is to be honest with all clients.  When I tell a client that the idea they presented will not work, I give them samples of why that idea will not work.  Most of the time, clients think their idea is original.  I will then explain the services I will provide to them that will make their project an original design and stand out.

Message 11 of 21

not in the beauty industry, but in the service industry (bakery/cakes/weddings). I think honesty is always best, and gentle steering, "ooh, i LOVE that, but how about we tweak it a bit to best fit your style, face shape, etc..."


I feel like most of my clients are receptive to advice, since they come to me for my expertise. If they insist on their original idea, do what they want. There is only so much you can do.

Message 12 of 21

As a designer/seamstress/embroiderer, I tell clients that I do alterations, but I DON'T alter dresses and suits to change their stylings.  Lots of brides take their gowns to people like me to have them worked on but I tell them I don't "ALTER" them, I make them fit properly, that's the point of have alterations done.  And when I do them, you can't tell anything has been done to your clothing until you put it on, and that too is the point of having alterations done, and done by a professional, not by someone who has a sewing machine and decides they're going to do things they aren't professionally trained to do.

Message 13 of 21

I make commission quilts for people and sometimes I know their ideas won't work.  I do my best is give them a preview of their idea and then my tweek of their idea so they can judge for themselves.  I tell them these are two ideas, neither are right or wrong, just different and point out how they are different by describing objectively (this line is thinner/wider, this color is brighter/more muted, etc) and NOT using any value/judgement words (boring, dull, lopsided, ugly).  We keep playing around until they are happy, and if their original design makes them happy, no problem!  I'm documenting the preview as what they selected and that goes in the contract. 

Message 14 of 21

I custom make plenty of pieces for clients and although some ideas are funky I try to collaborate to make their idea the best possible.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Of course my job is not to criticize their idea they do pay to make the vision come to life.  Its a win /win scenario where I please the customer and make a little doing the design/mold design.  

Message 15 of 21
Beta Member

Hi Elisabeth...๐Ÿ™‚


Being in the industry for over 35years, I've learned a few things.. 

* Always value the clients opinion

*Seek 1st to understand

* Make them feel Valued


When a situation like this happens, you should definitely listen to the client 1st. See where their focus is, then bring the reality in.lol.

If it's a 1st time client, I'll simply offer options on Pinterest, they're More realistic photos you can show.. but at the end of the day, You're the PHD IN THIS.. Show ur worth๐Ÿ‘‘

Message 16 of 21

Love reading these responses! Anyone a tattoo artist reading this? I feel like i have gone to my artists with ideas in the past and they're like "ya, no that will NOT work" and i'm super grateful cause tattoos are for life (usually) 

๏œ๏ธ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
Message 17 of 21
Square Champion

We have clients all the time bring in photos of beautiful nail art where the fingernails in the pics are long with full nail beds.  Meanwhile, our clients nails are short and maybe a little stubby lol.  We'll explain that we can get as close to the design but it will be altered because of their nails or we'll suggest letting their nails grow out a little (we'll help them of course with awesome service) and then we can save the design for another time.  We have plenty of other options that we'll show them and 9 out of 10 times the totally understand ๐Ÿ™‚

Message 18 of 21
Square Champion

I set the expectation that this is how it would look against their skin and hair and how it could appear unnatural. When they say I was right, I just let them know we can adjust for next time

UV-Free Tanning Salon Owner, Northern California (Campbell)
Square Champion - Expert
Message 19 of 21
Square Champion

Not sure if this will help! 
mom a hairstylist here in Iowa and I have an iPad that I keep my business hair Pinterest pages easy access to my hair boards for all different types of hair clients.  I bring that out when 1. They have no clue what they want or 2. When they tell me something but I know that will not work for their texture or face shape.


now there is even an app you can download that will show them what kind of face shape they have so you can use that as a tool. 

so for someone who has a super round face you can say these haircuts/styles would look great on you! Vs just saying no sorryโ€ฆ or not sure what to tell them u can use tools to help you so you come across as the professional and you know what your doing!! 


Message 20 of 21

@mdgolden01 I love these ideas! I think offering an alternative is always better than straight-up saying no to someone. 

Elisabeth (she/they)
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Message 21 of 21