Have You Ever Left in the Middle of a Service (a Hair Appointment, Manicure, Massage, Etc.) for Any Reason?

Published in: Just For Fun

k oh no

Surprisingly, no, but there have been many times when I probably should’ve trusted my gut and said, “Screw this!!” to being polite, and just got up and left. It would’ve saved me lots of money and time.


The incident that still bugs me the most to this day — I can’t think about it without frowning and growling, grr! — was a massage at a fancy spa that my friend Christine and I went to right before my wedding NINE YEARS AGO.

You might think that the passage of almost a decade would make the wound less painful, but noooo.

We decided to do a full-on girls’ day, so we both booked facials and massages at this high-end hotel spa that charged high-end prices. I was in hardcore treat-yo’-self mode at the time because the wedding was in a couple days, and I figured, why not? It would give me a chance to relax, and I’d done all of the wedding planning by myself, so I was wound pretty tightly. (I would not suggest this to anyone. Even though it saves money, it’s super stressful… Get thee some help! — especially if you’re doing a destination wedding. *steps off pulpit*)


When it came time for my appointment, the massage therapist took me into a room which happened to be right next to the hotel gym, where there were multiple TVs with the volume turned up, and the noise boomed though the very thin walls. The sound from the TVs completely drowned out the serene whale songs that were being piped into the massage room, allegedly for my relaxation.

All throughout my massage, all I could hear was a TV sports announcer from the game that was on, dudes cheering the game in the gym and my teeth grinding as I got progressively more aggravated… I asked the massage therapist if there was anything she could do, like if she could call the gym and ask them to turn the TV down, or perhaps get me some earplugs, and she said no.

I should’ve just cut the massage short and asked for my money back right then and there, but I remained still like a bump on a log, naked and furious.

I think the reason this still bothers me is because I was more concerned at the time about being polite than I was about my speaking up for myself. Now, in similar situations where I have the choice to either stay quiet or stick up for myself, I’m better about saying, “No, this is absolutely not OK.”

Still wish I could take my hot tub time machine back to that massage, though…

Oh, Karen, you really gotta learn to let that one go!

Have you ever left in the middle of a service (a hair appointment, manicure, massage, etc.) for any reason?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Meghan P says:

    No, but I agree I also should have too. As recently as a facial at a new-to-me place last weekend. Lesson learned I suppose.

  2. Kellie says:

    I have come close….recently actually!!!! A few months ago I went to the salon to get my blonde touched up and wanted to add some of that rose gold color that’s so popular right now. My stylist has been hit or miss over the years…..sometimes a huge hit! Which is why I keep coming back. Well, this time sucked. She touched up my roots and they looked good. I should have stopped there. She proceeded to mix color for my rose gold and I noticed they looked very bright….like neon bright. Of course I didn’t say anything, worrying more about being polite and thinking maybe it looked brighter than it would be on my hair. She put the color in…..and then started doing a cut on another client while it sat. It sat….amd sat and sat. All of the sudden, I look at my phone and I have been sitting there for over an hour! I asked why it was sitting for so long, and she said the color really needed to “bake” into my hair. Well, needless to say, I left with flamingo orange/ pink hair that could stop traffic. Maybe cute on another girl, but I cannot pull that shizz off! I had to go somewhere else to get it fixed the next day. Should have trusted my gut!!!

  3. Kaileigh Haslerig says:

    I first wanna say congrats on the pregnancy! And I had a makeup appt for a big Halloween party a few years ago at MAC and it was packed, I was asked what look I wanted 2 match the costume. I was a playboy bunny and it was pink and black but the classic beauty/bombshell makeup was all I wanted! 1st my foundation was so light, I’m an nc45 and then she put pink shadow all the way 2 the brow bone. I looked like a geisha! I was so upset but I just went home and fixed it myself when I should’ve stopped from the beginning!

  4. Tracy says:

    When I sat down in my (former) stylist’s chair & she informed me that she just broken up with her boyfriend who had cheated on her with a stripper at a bachelor party I should have made a bee line for the exit. Instead I nodded and smiled & even handed her a tissue because I kid you not, homegirl started crying mid-haircut. Sadly I followed suit and broke up with her too.
    Tracy recently posted … Burberry Pale Barley No. 102 Wet & Dry Silk Eye Shadow | BEAUTY

  5. Lulle says:

    No but I probably should have a few times. Like you I was overly concerned about being polite and nice when I should have spoken up for myself. I can really be too nice, especially with people I don’t know (with the people I know well me I’m a Night Fury :p), and sometimes accept things that are clearly not OK just because I’m shy and don’t want to pass for the whiner/difficult customer.
    Lulle recently posted … Hawaiian Beauty!

  6. Marlène says:

    I first read the question as “have you ever been left in the middle of a treatment” (I blame it on the early morning hour and English not being my first language) and the answer for me is yes :
    the lady that does my brows threw her back mid-waxing (I swear I am not THAT hairy). thankfully, it was near the end of the waxing and her co-worker took over.

    As for the real question, never had to or wanted to.

  7. Jane says:

    My experience was not as severe as yours, but I did leave a hair appointment before anything got started. I was at my regulare salon and had an appointment scheduled for a cut and blow- out with my usual stylist. I arrived a few minutes early and was told Alison would be with me shortly. She did come by but after a few minutes no one took me to shampoo. I waited for about 10 minutes and Alison came by and saw that I was still sitting there. They called for somebody, but no one came. After 20 more minutes, I told the receptionist not to bother that I was leaving. I told them that I could understand if things got busy, but they should tell me if they were running late. The one thing I don’t like is being ignored. Anyway, Alison felt terrible and when I rescheduled my appointment a week later, she only charged me for a blow-out, not the full treatment. I will say that sometimes, it helps to speak your mind. That was the only time that has happened to me at the salon. I still go there, frankly because I don’t know where else to go in the “burbs”.

  8. Alison M says:

    I’ve never left mid-appointment, but I have gone back for a fix! The first time I cut my hair to pixie lengths, the stylist left me looking like an early 90s soccer mom. I went home, cried, cut some of it off myself, then went back and told them to fix it. From then on, I cut my own pixies.
    Alison M recently posted … Cover FX Makeup Brushes

  9. Katherine M says:

    I haven’t left in the middle of an appointment but I have gotten better over the years about speaking out when something bothers me. I have learned that I can still be professional but not tolerate the B. S. If I have to, I elevate things to a manager. Someone had lost their temper at work yesterday and it just made her look like a crazy idiot. If she had been calm and professional she would have yielded different results.

  10. I am like you, most of the time I’m just way too polite and too afraid to offend anyone. I probably would have done the same in that massage situation… Let’s make a promise that next time we’ll speak up! 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Personal | Hawaii honeymoon recap

  11. I have never left and don’t know for sure if I would have he guts to speak up and leave…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Childhood memories – Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum

  12. E.D. says:

    Haven’t ever felt the need to leave mid-appointment, but I have gone back for fixes a few times. Before I started wearing contact lenses exclusively, I had a few terrible haircuts because I literally could not see what was going on until the end of the cut. This was in 6th and 7th grade – all photos from those years need to be burned.

    • deathbyjava says:

      Aw man, me too! I don’t wear contacts all the time, but nowadays, I usually have a few pairs of dailies reserved JUST for those hair appointments.

  13. Shelley says:

    I went to get a pedicure one time with 3 friends and was told there was no wait. Well. . . . that was because they parked me in a pedi chair with my feet in the water and went back to whatever they were all doing. Apparently there were two techs available but not 3 because they started working on my friends right away. 15 mins later I was still sitting there with wet feet but no actual pedi in sight so I got up and left and met my friends later for lunch. I think my 20 something self would’ve sucked it up but my 40 something self said heck no.

  14. Chelsea says:

    My current hairstylist is my cousin, so that would be bad! She always does a great job though.

  15. Lindsay says:

    I should have last week, but I didn’t. We just moved, so I picked a salon that seemed nice out and scheduled an eyebrow waxing, pedicure, and manicure. The lady did an awesome pedicure, except for not painting half my big toe! No big deal, I can’t see it anyway since I’m 34 weeks pregnant. Then my manicure was atrocious. Not one nail is nicely filed and they are all different lengths. Then she botched my usually easy to wax eyebrows. I have one that looks normal and one that looks like a hooker’s. No joke. My husband is sending me to his sister’s house, two hours away, to try and salvage it. It’s the last time I ever go anywhere but to her place! (She’s a cosmetologist.) My baby’s first pictures will be awesome…

  16. Jessica says:

    WOW. Yeah I would have left too.

    I never left an appointment but I had a massage therapist leave IN THE MIDDLE OF MY MASSAGE to get her laundry out of the dryer. It took her about 10 minutes!

    Yeah, I never went back there ever again.
    Jessica recently posted … My Cat Won a Makeup Contest

  17. Erin says:

    I am pretty non-confrontational but there are two times I should have left. An excruciatingly painful massage and a hair appointment that was burning my scalp and was frying my hair.
    Erin recently posted … Bite Frozen Berries Plum Matte Crème Lipstick

  18. yelena says:

    OMG I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL! About a month ago, an ULTA finally opened up near my house. I’m talking about 5 minutes drive and I was so happy. I decided to try the ULTA SALON for the first time and boy do I regret it!
    Thankfully, I was just getting a blow out, so you would think no one can mess that up but….when I showed up the hairdresser did not seem to take good care of her own hair, so that should have tipped me off. But I decided not to cast any snap judgments and just go through with it. If I can summarize my experience in one word…it would be OUCH!!!

    she pulled my hair while she was washing, she dug her nails into my scalp. I told her about it and she just said oh sorry, and kept doing the same thing. when we got to the chair and she starting untangling my hair, she was really rough, pulling through the knots she had created in my hair with her rough washing…I told her again she was pulling on my hair and to try to be more gentle…she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about and looked at me like I was a crazy person…
    I kept biting my tongue even tho I knew I should have walked out of there long before. she proceeded to blow dry my hair with a terrible technique, instead of sectioning my curly hair to obtain a smooth blow out, she just ran a paddle brush through my curly frizzy hair and made the frizz worse. I asked her to use a round brush and she finally took one out and made my hair a little better…to top it all off…she kept asking me to schedule a hair color with her, and to atleast consider highlights AFTER I told her multiple times that I do not color my hair and am not interested in coloring. She asked me atleast 4 times. (I’m not exaggerating).

    Needless to say I am NEVER going back to an ULTA SALON again! And I will definitely stand up for myself in the future!

  19. The LA Lady says:

    I left in the middle of a really bad haircut. I could tell this guy was butchering my hair so before he got to my bangs, I was like, “I gotta go…”

    I was seriously there for two hours. I found a new stylist to fix his horrible work and now we’re beasties so it actually turned out great in the end.

  20. Alex says:

    I have never left mid appointment but god I so wish I did. 7 years ago I went to a hair salon to get my first ever professional hair cut. (I was 15 at the time). My hair was super thick and past my butt and I used to love it, but it didn’t really have any movement or shape to it, so I waited until summer to put some layers in my hair and wow my girlfriends before the next school year began. So, I booked an appointment where my mom would usually get her hair done because her hairdresser was amazing, however once I got there I realized that someone else was going to be doing my hair because the woman that usually did my mom’s hair was on vacation. My first thought was, okay, this is a reputable salon, they’re not going to hire someone less than mediocre right? Boy was I wrong. I asked the hairdresser to keep the length, just have consistent layers throughout. Instead, the hairdresser would pull literally random sections of my hair and instead of pulling them towards her to get an even cut all around, the woman would pull it upwards, and cut the hair at whatever height her arm could reach up to… and since my hair was mega long and her arms short, I ended up with a choppy bob ( actually I don’t even know how to name that shape)…that had no volume, no layers, and it looked x1000 times worse than it did before, only good 15 inches shorter. As I was only 15 at the time and super shy, I did not say anything, and when I walked out of the salon I cried the whole day and the following week. Unfortunately though, as that wasn’t enough, I started having health problems shortly after that and my hair started to fall out like crazy, and I was not able to grow it back, not even mentioning the thickness. Although, a year ago I promised myself that I was going to re-grow my hair back no matter what because all that time I felt like there was something missing in my life. After a year I managed to grow them good 4 inches and now they’re half way down my back and I’m a 1/3 way where I want to be, but that appointment 7 years ago caused me such a trauma that I have not been to a hairdresser ever since and the only person that is allowed to go near my hair wish a pair of scissors is my momma 🙂

  21. Janessa says:

    YES!! Long story short, I should have trusted my gut and NOT let the random lady at the random nail shop I stopped in at (for a random mani/pedi) “clean up my brows”. I spent the next 5 months in various stages of brow grow-out busyness. And SOBBED like a baby when I got home over my once beautiful, now butchered brows.

  22. kazari says:

    Wow, that’s terrible!

    I’ve never walked out of anyplace mostly because it’s hard to judge what the end result of a haircut/waxing/whatever will be until the very end, plus with a haircut often I find it beneficial to give it a day for it to ‘settle’. I have admittedly difficult hair as it’s very thick and can take longer than usual to cut especially for stylists who aren’t used to dealing with thick Asian hair and I’ve had some epically bad cuts. One in particular was a simple layering job but the lady obviously gave up halfway.

    So after one day to see if the cut will ‘settle’ I have no qualms to go back to the salon and demand to see the manager, and demand that the manager fix my hair, and god help me if they ask me to pay.

    …Massages on the other hand, I never do, because I have a thing about strangers touching me.

  23. Rachel R. says:

    No, but there are probably a few hair cuts where I should have. But I was younger and more worried about being polite. And going to cheaper salons. 😉

  24. Kwmechelle says:

    No, but I can remember when I should’ve. The last time was back in December when I got my hair “trimmed”. I gave very specific instructions on how much to trim & even demonstrated how far up to go. I even asked the “stylist” (a term I use loosely since this was a hair school, a decision I wouldn’t recommend) if he was familiar with trimming natural, unprocessed, virgin hair. He assured me he was. The first warning sign came when he asked had I ever considered relaxing my hair. Inside I was fuming. But I sat there anyway- just to be polite. Having lived in two major cities before the small surburban town I live in now, voted the most boring of all the 7 cities in the region here, I was accustomed to looking “different” & standing out in the crowd but I’d definitely much prefer to stand out rather than blend end. My blown out fro that I walked in with was big, voluminous, & bouncy. Needless to say, it lost all of that when he chopped off way too much. Like nowhere near where I’d measured for him. Since then, my hair has grown back to its previous length & then some. No one here so much as comes near my hair with scissors anymore. I now do that myself. And I’ve gained a lot more courage (I think). Now I could care less about being nice. It’s all business from here. With a smile, of course 🙂

  25. LilySmith says:

    I once left from a salon where I had asked to cut my hair just slightly for about few centimetres (I have it really long and always quarrel with my husband about cutting it, he doesn’t want me to) and hairdresser maybe wasn’t listening to me and started cutting it up to my shoulders. So I got up and left immediately without paying.

  26. Kim says:

    No, I’ve never left mid-appointment or had any reason to but half my wedding party left in the middle of our group appointment because my former stylist (rest his soul) was a sometimes-challenging man who was very talented but did what HE wanted, rather than his customers. And he was very prone to running late. My hair was great, thankfully, but the girls who had theirs done by him all took theirs down and the others hightailed it to another salon, who did us a big favor by coming in to help. So, kind of disaster averted but not what I needed on my wedding day. 🙂 It gives us a bit of a giggle, 14 years later!

  27. Amy says:

    Yes, I should have! I should have left at the beginning. I girl I have known for years and years owns a small cosmetics boutique close by. She demo’ed a beautiful navy smokey eye on me at an event one night and I decided I wanted the same for my 40th. I booked an appointment, for which she charges $50 flat, not even redeemable in product and when I got there, right before I was to head to my 40th birthday dinner, she says, oh, my sister dropped in, she wants me to do her makeup for tonight. I should have said no and left but I let her pass me off to one of the assistant makeup artists who did not a great job and they still charged me $50! The kicker was she said she knew I would understand because we are such old friends. I was like, I know! I am your old friend who only turns 40 once and now I have to go to my birthday party with makeup I don’t like! Ugh. I’ve let bygones be bygones but I was so mad back then. I never said anything, though. So not confrontational.

  28. Jane says:

    I’ve returned about 3 times over the years for hair colours to be rectified. When I’ve paid £150 for a cut and colour I’m entitled to expect it to be done properly. One salon was rather “sniffy” with me so I took my custom elsewhere (after they had corrected it of course). I work hard for my money and I don’t see why I should accept shoddy service when I’m paying for it.

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