Ask Lisa | Column

by | June 1, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

Hair-Raising Moochers
Dear Lisa,
I am a professional hairdresser/hairstylist with over 20 years of experience. I own my own salon. My family and friends constantly expect free or discount services, which I cannot afford. How should I handle it?

Dear Hair-Raising
This is an age-old dilemma. I was just talking with a friend whose brother-in-law is a doctor, and he has a similar complaint.
We are often told that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But those we know and love, family and friends, surely realize that being a hairdresser/hairstylist is your livelihood. Your livelihood features a business model that cannot be sustained on free services.
Occasional discounts are one thing, but freebies are another. I would simply explain to would-be moochers, friends or relatives that you value their business and offer your services at the best rate possible, but you have rent, liability insurance, licensing fees and other costs associated with running your business. Therefore, you are willing to schedule them less often if it is more affordable, but they should expect to pay when services are rendered, just like any other customer.

Volunteers Gone Awry
Dear Lisa,
My mom and I volunteer at a local food bank, and we are thinking about quitting because many food-bank workers pick the best of everything we give away to keep for themselves, even though we don’t think they need the food. What should we do?
Wondering in the Lowcountry

Dear Wondering,
As someone who has done and still does volunteer work, I understand your concerns. Have you and your mother ever considered speaking to the manager of the program (without calling names) about this problem?
I think you should let the manager know what’s going on, as that kind of greed takes needless advantage of the kindness and generosity of others and can hurt credibility and goodwill toward charities.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a volunteer who loves pineapples, for instance, asked for a spare can, occasionally. But repeatedly helping yourself to large quantities of donated goods sounds greedy and somewhat abusive.
You and your mother could also call the offenders aside and suggest that he/she/they wait until all guests have been served before stocking up, with permission of management.
Don’t let the inconsiderate actions of a few people discourage you and your mother from volunteering in your community.

(“Ask Lisa” is primarily for helpful entertainment purposes and is not intended to take the place of certified legal, financial, or medical advice. Columnist Vasilisa Hamilton earned a bachelor of arts in journalism with a psychology cognate from the University of South Carolina with honors, and a master of science in professional writing with honors from Towson University in Towson, Md. Her website is Please send your “Ask Lisa” questions to

comments » 7

  1. Comment by Gwen Britt

    June 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    The column is wonderful; this is a great feature for the Press. I am looking forward to the next edition!

  2. Comment by Vasilisa C. Hamilton

    June 6, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you for your kind comments. Stay cool, and stay tuned.

  3. Comment by Marianne Holmes

    June 7, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Great column! Nice addition to the Press & Standard!

  4. Comment by Vasilisa C. Hamilton

    June 7, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    We appreciate your interest and feedback. Stay tuned.

  5. Comment by Dru Clements

    June 7, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    What a terrific column. It’s filled with great advice and helpful hints for all to enjoy.
    I can’t wait to read to read future columns!
    Thank you so much.
    Dru Clements

  6. Comment by Lucy Smith

    June 7, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Nice column well thought out common sense answers.

  7. Comment by Vasilisa C. Hamilton

    June 8, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I appreciate your responses, Mrs. Clements and Ms. Smith. Keep in touch, and feel free to weigh in anytime.
    Thanks and Best

The comments are closed.

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