Salon Drama Rules in a Toxic Salon

Salon Drama rules in a Toxic Salon 🚩

Hey there, Susan Wos, here. You’ve arrived on this blog because you own a salon, or maybe you are working in a toxic salon that is full of DRAMA, am I right?

Working in a salon that drains your mental health, a place where things feel out of control is a complete career buzzkill!

Learn about how to fix salon drama, or if you can’t, the best way to exit a toxic salon.

This blog was inspired by the constant feedback I get from beauty pros who are working in environments where salon drama limits their ability to thrive. No owner, ever, wanted to have a resentful staff when they wrote the salon’s business plan.

So, how do we get to a place where people don’t want to stay in a business where they can make a ton of money?

Simply put, if you don’t feel happy, respected, or if your professionalism is constantly being challenged, this wears away at talented salon pros to the point where all we think about it getting OUT.

I have personally worked in 10+ salons in my 28 years as a hairstylist. I now work with thousands of salon owners, hair stylists and a wide variety of beauty professionals as the owner of Salonspa Connection.

I’ve been in the thick of salon drama, both personally and in consulting with salon owner clients.

At this point, I have literally seen it ALL!

Table of Contents

How does salon drama start?

Salon drama starts at the top of the food chain.

Yes, that’s right, it’s almost always because of a lack of leadership from the salon owner or manager.

This is not to say a toxic stylist or front desk person can’t get the ball rolling, it’s how the issues are addressed that causes the drama.

Can you fix a toxic salon?

You can fix a toxic salon, but it’s best to set preventative measures to ensure the business has minimal salon drama. Once a creative gets their dreams crushed in a toxic salon, things get out of hand.

There are proven ways to avoid owning a toxic salon, and escaping salon drama as a stylist. Most of the time, setting clear expectations for conduct will keep others from walking all over you.

This is true for both owners and stylists- make your boundaries known, be friendly and be professional, no matter what comes your way.

You know you are in a toxic salon when the rules waiver, you don’t feel supported, there’s unfair management and it feels like a chaotic environment.

A not so super sweet, real story of ownership- so what if a toxic stylist gives a good haircut!

I had a stylist- a hair color expert from San Antonio, Texas working in my business. Her art was beautiful, she was on time and at first, I felt lucky to have found her.

Over time, her haircut skills gave way to abusing staff and a crappy work ethic. She’s a “master colorist”, trained in NJ at one of the top salonspas, for pete’s sake, I would tell myself.

She became a manager before all the toxicity overcame her awesome sales numbers. Everytime I interviewed a new stylist, she would ask for their number to send a follow up text.

Stop employee abuse before it gets out of control

THIS is where the abuse started, I thought she was just nurturing a new staff member. She just wanted to assert her power before the stylist started working for us.

Once I knew she was making everyone miserable, I called a staff meeting without her there.

There was no love for this person and she was chasing off my new hair stylist recruits before they even got off the ground. She was a bully, and I didn’t have what it takes to control her behavior.

I eventually ended up selling my salon. It felt great to let her go to a new owner who could show my staff the love they deserved.

Ain’t nobody got time for that… in the salon!

Things have changed since coming out of the pandemic. We all had time to think about what we loved about our salon and made plans to walk away from people that don’t care about our needs.

If your business is toxic, fix it. If you are working in a salon where you endure mental stress because of staff or management, get out of this toxic salon environment.

Find better salons to work in

There are a lot of great owners who will support you and your dreams. Contact us, no appointment required, to chat about how we can help you find the job (or booth rental) shop you deserve!

Are hair studio suites free of salon drama?

Absolutely not! Hair studio suites can be some of the most toxic salon environments.

While you may have your own, private room to style and dress how you please, suite dwellers are not all friendly.

Ex toxic salon drama creators are rampant in suites.

While there is decidedly less salon drama in suites, the hair appointment biz tends to attract a variety of personalities.

Find drama free work environments

If you are in search of a job or a booth rental salon, check out our options on job board. Don’t stay in an unhealthy environment.


I hope you have enjoyed my brain dump on toxic work environments!

We offer consulting for owners and private help for professionals. If you are in need of help, just reach out, or at least give us a follow on Instagram 😉

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