Fostering a Climate of Honesty and a Code of Ethics


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Many hairdressers and salon owners are working hard and experiencing many challenges as they try to earn a good living and provide a better life for themselves and their families. In order to make this a reality, we must join together as professionals and address a topic that is hurting our salons, our profession, and our livelihoods.

This article is meant to help bridge the gap between salon owners and hairdressers, so we can provide a better dialogue and better understanding between staff and management. It all starts with honesty and a code of ethics. Business and staff stability is crucial if we are to succeed together.

In order to provide a positive and professional salon work environment we must develop a code of ethics which will benefit everyone working in the salon. Honesty and a code of ethics builds the foundation to a successful business for both staff and owner.

Honesty between management and staff will lead to a professional and positive salon environment for everyone and help combat turnover and business instability. Follow these guidelines towards fostering a climate towards honesty and a code of ethics:

Combat Gossip, Pettiness and Negativity — Avoid allowing yourself to be drawn into salon gossip and pettiness against the owner or other hairdressers in the salon, it only hinders your opportunity to contribute to a happy and positive work environment. You have a right to complain if you feel you are not being treated fairly, but do so with the owner in private, not with your coworkers. A fun, happy, work environment will be your reward.

Do Not Take Phone Numbers — taking a customer’s phone number without the owner’s permission is just wrong, especially if you plan on quitting and going to another salon. If you decide to change jobs, do so in an ethical way, let your new owner help you build a clientele.

If you decide to leave for another job, leave on good terms. Never burn the bridges behind you, you may want your job back or references.

Keep in mind, if another salon solicits your services and expects you to bring a clientele, let that serve as a red flag and warning your new salon is depending on you to make their salon successful. Honesty and a code of ethics is the only way to build a successful career.

Don’t Be An Unethical Salon Owner — most salon owners attempt to build their business in an ethical and honest manner the old fashion way by hard work, a strong code of ethics, and a determination to build a successful team and business.

Unfortunately, many salon owners will attempt to recruit a competitor’s staff member, after they have been trained and built a clientele, by offering higher commissions or booth rental options.

Recruiting hairdressers who have been trained by another salon owner by means of letters, flyers, and postcards in the hopes they can build and grow their own business is just wrong and unprofessional. This type of behavior is why we’re seeing a rise in commission and rent wars and the growth of low priced franchises. Don’t foster dishonesty within your business, or else your credibility and leadership will be questioned by other staff members.

Unfortunately, many salon owners are being forced into this cycle of dishonesty out of desperation just to survive. Honesty and a code of ethics is the only way to be successful in business and in building a successful hairdressing career.

Of course there will be times as a hairdresser, you may need to change jobs due to poor management and other legitimate factors, but do so in an honest and ethical manner. If you’re good at what you do, people will find you.

Whenever someone applied for a job with me I never asked them for a clientele. I believe that clientele belonged to the previous owner because I firmly believe in a code of ethics. I trust myself in promoting and helping my new member of my team to build a new clientele.

These are difficult and changing times for both hairdressers and salon owners; we need each other now more than ever. There are more than enough customers for everyone.

Let’s end dishonesty in our profession and begin working together through honesty and our own code of ethics.