How to Handle Getting Fired from the Salon 

Like the Professional You Are

Listen closely, because we’re not here to sugar coat anything—getting fired sucks.

We said it, we mean it. It’s never fun, it makes you deal with all kinds of emotions, it can shake your confidence, and can put you in a super-hard funk.

But you know what? It happens to everyone.

Getting fired doesn’t mean you’re a bad stylist or that you’re not going to succeed in your career—it either means:

  • You and your company weren’t the right fit.
  • You did something incorrectly and need to learn from it.
  • Something isn’t quite right.
  • The stars just didn’t align.

Obviously, those aren’t the only reasons that stylists get fired, sometimes, it’s just part of your journey and is a matter of life. The real thing to focus on when getting fired (in most cases) isn’t the actual getting fired part—it’s how you handle it.

We’re not saying that you have to pretend it doesn’t hurt or shake your confidence—you’re a person, you’re allowed to feel things. But if you want to make it in the hair stylist world after this occurrence, you need to handle getting fired correctly.

Getting fired doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be a successful stylist but handling it poorly or unprofessionally could mean that it might be harder to get another (better) job.

We’ve combined our years of salon experience here into a cohesive article that can help guide you through how you should handle getting fired.

Remember, above all, this doesn’t define you as a person or a stylist. Take this hardship with a grain of salt, learn what you can, and go on to be an even better stylist.

Above All, Be Professional

You already know that we’re not going to feed you some nonsense about how getting fired is all roses and daisies—it’s never fun. You’re a person and it’s totally OK and natural to feel that way.

That being said, you’re also a professional and you need to handle it as such. If you do end up getting fired or given a 30-day-notice, it’s vital that you handle it with dignity, courtesy, and grace. If you have a few weeks left before you’re out, make sure you’re using that time to do your best work. Don’t dissolve into the I’m-getting-fired-anyway-so-what-does-it-matter attitude. Be diligent with your clients, work hard, and step up your game. It might not change anything or win you back your job, but we guarantee it’ll make an impression on your current (and future) employer.

Be present, do your job well, and be grateful for your time at said salon—that way, when the time comes for a reference or a call-in to your previous boss, they’ll be left with a professional, positive impression.

If You've Been Legitimately Wronged, Pursue It Wisely

We know that being fired doesn’t always mean it’s right or fair. Sometimes, things go wrong through no fault of your own and you end up getting cut from the biz. It’s not OK, but it’s a fact of life.

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, pursue that. But, do so wisely.

As a disclaimer, remember that the stylist world is really small. We’re not trying to discourage you from reporting a wrongful termination—just that we definitely encourage you to ensure you have legitimate reasons to pursue that path. You don’t want to be known as that person who disputed being fired and comes to be known as a liability.

In short, don’t let someone walk all over you, but be smart about how you handle it for the sake of your future and career.

Take Ownership, If Necessary

Sometimes, great stylists get fired as a direct result of something they did.

People make mistakes. People mess up. People don’t always do something correctly.

And you know what? That’s OK.

Getting fired happens, and while we don’t encourage you to be totally OK with it happening to you often, it’s a fact of life. The difference between a successful stylist who gets fired and a non-successful one who gets fired?

They own up to their mistakes.

If you were fired because of something you did wrong, acknowledge that. Accept that. Make sure your employer knows that you recognize the fault is yours and you’re going to take what you can from it. Don’t do this because you think it’s going to save your job—do it because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s going to help you grow as a professional and person.

Allow Yourself Some Time to Process

We’ll keep this short and sweet but know this is vital.

Your emotions, your feelings—everything that comes hand-in-hand with getting fired—don’t have to be ignored. You’re allowed to feel something about it. Take time to process those emotions and above all, cut yourself some slack.

Getting fired isn’t fun, you’re allowed to be upset, but we do recommend doing that on your own time.  Don’t let it affect your professionalism in the workplace.

Learn From This Experience 

Once you’ve given yourself a little time to grieve and be upset, try to take some time to really sit down and analyze the entire situation.

Spoiler alert: if you do this too early on in the process, you risk getting yourself upset. That being said, it’s different for everyone, so broach this part of the process when you feel ready for it.

Ask yourself important questions like:

  • What exactly went wrong?
  • Is there something I could have done differently?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • How can I avoid this happening again?

Once you take the time to analyze what happened, you’re better able to learn from the mistakes—whether they’re yours or someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to dive into this—sure, it might feel messy at first, but taking the time to sort through emotions, thoughts, and issues can help make sure you don’t have to deal with a similar situation again. 

Look Ahead and Focus on Your Future

When you’ve done your due diligence of reflecting, opening up, analyzing, and learning from your experience, lift your head high and look toward the future. Like we said before, getting fired doesn’t have to define who you are, what kind of stylist you want to be, or your career—it really can just be a mini set-back.

Throw your efforts into finding a new job that’s a better fit for you and your skills. Don’t forget what you’ve learned, but don’t dwell on what happened either. Be strong, be confident, and get ready to take on an entirely new challenge.

You can do it.