REPORT: 'Great, thanks!' most common response to horrifically disappointing haircut

The reason for this phenomenon seems to be people’s deep, all-consuming terror of hurting the feelings of the stylist,
(Shutterstock / Iakov Filimonov)

When a stylist enthusiastically spends two full hours cutting your hair with such an intense concentration that she brings each individual hair shaft two millimetres from her eyes for inspection, and when the end result is that you have an absolutely devastating double-reverse mullet from hell, and when she holds a mirror up behind you and cheerfully goes, "What do you think??!!!" clearly the most natural and obvious response is, "It's great, thanks!"

A new government report out last week says that fully 95.4% of salon clients who are horrified by their haircuts automatically reply with one or more of the following statements:

"Great, thanks!"

"It's perfect!"

"Amazing, thank you"

"That's exactly what I had in mind!"

The report also explains that when a stylist counters by saying "anything you want me to change or adjust?" the mean response time before a customer yelps "NOPE, NO, NO, everything's just exceptionally perfect, bye forever" is 0.0000012 seconds.

Leora Walsh, 31, one of the subjects interviewed for the study, explains that after asking for "beachy waves" last week, her stylist inexplicably cut her hair into what she describes as "an upside-down frizz-triangle, like a straight-up isosceles? I look like page 44 of a sentient algebra textbook."

"However, I responded the only way you CAN respond: I said, 'Love it!' and then tipped her 55%."

The reason for this phenomenon seems to be people's deep, all-consuming terror of hurting the feelings of the stylist, even though most stylists themselves report that this is not a thing they ever take personally, and that they want to know how they can improve.

"They're just so chipper and spiky and named Kayley and I'm scared of them," reports an anonymous woman who recently left a salon with a cut and colour she describes as "if Carrot Top had been held upside down by a malevolent giant and badly shaken for a month."

Unfortunately, some stylists are keenly aware of this politeness phenomenon, and have started to mess with people to see how far they can take it.

"If you're going to tell me your cut is awesome no matter what, well, let's just see, shall we!" laughs a chipper and spiky hairdresser named Kayley.

"Yesterday a man came in and I purposely gave him a haircut that can only be described as Fabio-got-trapped-in-a-Maytag-front-loading-washer-for-one-month."

"It's just jokes!" she laughed. "It'll grow out. Plus, he told me it was awesome."

Don't miss anything from CBC Comedy - like us on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Author

Sophie Kohn


Sophie Kohn is writer and producer with CBC Comedy, a stand-up comedian in Toronto, and a graduate of Second City's Conservatory program.