How Long Is Too Long To Spend In The Hair Salon?

The hair salon is a place that has long since equaled dread for many ladies. Hours upon hours spent sitting and basically doing a whole lotta waiting. Under the dryer for twice as long as it takes to dry your hair. Stomach growling from pure hunger. Kids ringing your phone wondering if you’re still alive. And husband furious that you have been MIA for nearly 8 hours on a Saturday.

Raise your hand if you can relate to one or all of the above. My hand is super high in the air right now. This is not by any means to discredit the professional stylists who keep to their booked appointments, show up on time and treat you like they respect your valuable time.

This, unfortunately, is about the opposite experience which a lot of us go through much too often. While witnessing a woman completely break down and lose her cool in the salon one such Saturday, I began to wonder how much time was really too long to spend getting a fresh do.

There is time associated with having any service performed. We all know and expect that, but are our expectations too high?

One thing I know for sure, we should not be in the salon for 6 and 8 hours. That is ridiculous by anyone’s standards. Let’s examine some of the standard services you may go in for and how long they take. Then we will remove any factors that could extend that time frame and see how quickly you could get in and out of the salon in a perfect world. Ok? Let’s go!

Wash, condition, set and style.

I think it’s fair to say that longer hair for any service will obviously take longer than that same service would on shorter hair. But, all other things being equal, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to thoroughly wash, rinse and apply conditioner to the hair. Without deep conditioning, you should spend about 3 to 5 minutes with the conditioner in your hair and then have it rinsed out.

We are at approximately 25 minutes on the high end of things.

The time it takes to set the hair will definitely depend on length. With a short cut, you would get your hair molded and wrapped before going under the dryer. That should take about 10 minutes. Then, depending on the density and thickness of your hair, you would be under the dryer from 25 to 45 minutes.  Let’s go with 45 minutes, which puts us at a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes.

For long hair, you may get a roller set. That takes more time to complete that a short wrap, so we’ll allow 30 minutes for rolling the hair up and 1 hour to 1 ½ hours under the dryer. Again, thickness and density play a part here.

So for long hair, we are at about 2 hours and 25 minutes on the high end.

Now, let’s pretend that you are actually taken from under the dryer when your hair is dry and not 45 minutes after the fact. In that case, if you have a shortcut, your hair would be styled at this point.

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About Kaye Wright

Kaye Wright is a short hair lover and pixie perfecter. With 3 instructional eBooks, a short hair blog and a growing YouTube channel, she covers all things short relaxed hair. From the latest styles, to products, to money saving tips, she has got you covered.

About Kaye Wright

Kaye Wright is a short hair lover and pixie perfecter. With 3 instructional eBooks, a short hair blog and a growing YouTube channel, she covers all things short relaxed hair. From the latest styles, to products, to money saving tips, she has got you covered.


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    1. Lulu Lefrank
      Lulu Lefrank

      Jasmine J. A. Jones I love the fact you call a hair wrap, a doobie. I grew up calling it that too. Latina household!! I remember the first time I went to a salon in the late 90’s the girl look at me strange. After a 5 minutes of explaining every one understood ????????

  1. Rosheda Roberts
    Rosheda Roberts

    I did from 9:30am-3:20pm and had to warn her I had to get my kids from school. Still was late getting them. Ridiculous, ain’t went back yet. I don’t mind waiting but damn, finding a great stylist is hard.????????‍♀️

  2. Pauline Grant
    Pauline Grant

    If I’ve booked my appointment for 11am and I arrive on time I expect to be seen within a reasonable time frame from arrival (11.15am at the latest)……I don’t expect to arrive ten minutes before my appointment, be left in my seat , jacket still on, no acknowledgment from my hairdresser, waiting around for at least an hour & a half before I’m seen, have 1 person wash my hair then they disappear and I’m left for another hour before anything else is done because she’s busy working on someone else’s hair and by the time my hair is done I’ve been in that saloon for an entire day!….This is why I stopped using salon’s over 20 yrs ago because the service is ridiculous, they treat the customer with ZERO respect, they’re constantly over booking appointments because they’re hopeless at working out reasonable time frames needed to do each customer depending / based on what the customer is having done , they’re inconsiderate and think no apology is needed (never offered anyway) when they are running late & have kept a customer waiting hours, they are normally understaffed hence why you see 3 hairdressers trying to work on several heads at once.The salon’s are greedy for the money but offer an abysmal service and expect customers to accept this crappy service and winge about “supporting black owned businesses “?….. well I did support them for many many years and for that I received crap service, and endless hours waiting to be seen and entire days wasted ..I use an independent hairdresser now (she’s a young black lady just starting out on her own) and I’ve never been happier!…..if black businesses want our support they need to up their game and get their act together instead of running salon’s like a part time hobby!

  3. Jp Rideout
    Jp Rideout

    Thanks to my stylist I am usually there no more than an hour. Anything over 2 hours is to long for me because the service I go in for is very limited.

  4. Tee Nacheal
    Tee Nacheal

    A good stylist knows how to book her/his clients regardless of what they are getting. You should never have to sit and wait. When you arrive for your appointment you should be sitting in the chair getting prepped for the shampoo bowl. My stylist has a huge clientele and she books everyone 2 hours out. So no one sees the next person nor are you sitting on top of one another. I love it.

  5. Megn Freeni
    Megn Freeni

    I had a barber that was 2 hours late… a barber. Like a dumbass i waited and what was supposed to be a 5pm, 45 min appointment, had my son and i there til almost 8. Never saw him again.
    Also i walked out on a lady who took another customer before me when they came in after me. She had me waiting already (no big deal, i had time), then told that walk-in i was first…. then, while i’m STILL waiting, takes care of that customer as soon as they walk back in, before me. I got up and left.
    The braids i get take 4 hours. As soon as they are finished, the braided tries to take a break, no ma’am, i will not be here all day. Finish my hair so i can leave.

  6. Michelle Lucas
    Michelle Lucas

    Back in the day my hair dresser would be like come on let me shampoo you and then have you sit there with your hair wet so you wouldn’t leave.

    It got so bad I starting doing my own perm at the house so when I got there she had no choice but but get me shampooed and under the dryer lol.

    Now I am natural just get blow outs no time under the dryer life is good. In and out in less than 2 hrs

  7. Sharunda Kuykendall
    Sharunda Kuykendall

    They should have to take a time management class. You cant work on 3 people at the same time. When you go to a franchise, they have you in and out. I feel like the beauticians dont even care, that they leave you waiting.

  8. Tasha N. Moore
    Tasha N. Moore

    I went natural for this reason so I wouldn’t sit in the salon all day… Even when I was the first one in, somehow I was still there until 3… Now I even pick braid hairstyles that I know will only have me in the chair, 2 hours-3 hours top… ????????????

  9. Bhavani Parvati
    Bhavani Parvati

    Stylist that overbook do not care about their clients. They only care about the $ your going to put in their pockets

  10. Effie Lisa
    Effie Lisa

    Every black hair salon takes to damn long ????????‍♀️. So we make time for them ????????????

  11. Vonnie Willis
    Vonnie Willis

    Yall complaining… and I love it. The conversations are so intellectual and the networking is fun! It’s lively even on my stylists slow days. I went from natural to locs in the same shop. ????????????

  12. Alexandria Fergie
    Alexandria Fergie

    These responses ???? the time you spend in a salon is dependent on service.

    Wash and blow should be 45 mins
    Wash blow and straighten 60 mins
    Treatment & silk press 120 mins
    Relaxer & style 90 – 120 mins
    Smoothening systems 120 – 240 mins
    Colour 90 – 300 mins
    Weave 120 – 180 mins
    Braids 300 – 480 mins
    Cornrows 30 to 120 mins

    I ensure my clients are seen at the time of their appointment and I dispose tardiness.. Clients love walking in and being seen promptly and if there is a delay due to unforeseen circumstances you apologise to the client and start them ASAP (no more than 15 mins after walking through the door)

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