From borderline discriminatory booking policies and last-minute cancellations to four-figure prices and colorism allegations, the current state of the beauty service economy is…tense.

Stylists charging outlandish fees and canceling on clients without consolation is a professional and interpersonal foul that deserves the resounding lashings being dished out on social media.

An interesting conclusion that has been drawn from this pattern of contentious back and forth, though, is what some women are declaring as unjust expectations from the stylist regarding lofty lifestyle goals.

“Don’t get me started on the hairstylist. They are so unprofessional overpriced. Like Atlanta just has poor customer service. Everybody just money hungry and trying to get rich quick so they can maintain a certain lifestyle for social media,” shared one fed-up user on X (formerly known as Twitter), a popular shared sentiment amongst fed-up beauty patrons.

It’s no secret that a particular idealized lifestyle has become quite popular on social media. Floor-to-ceiling windows, high-rise apartments, luxury vehicles and pampas grass decor have become the literal and metaphorical backdrop to urban success online. Hairstyling, which has been used as a tool for economic advancement within the Black community for years, is one of the default avenues for those looking to level up their lives. But is this necessarily a bad thing?

In the comments of a hairstylist who shared a vlog in defense of hairstylists everywhere, someone wrote that the critiques against stylists for wanting a certain lifestyle were nonsensical, considering the purpose of a job is to provide.

“Yeah when they say ‘paying for their lifestyle’ I be so confused cause baby, this is our job,” wrote the user, earning a response from the original poster, who was previously the internet’s punching bag of the day for charging $275 for a quick weave, “Girlllll like DUHHHH BBY I gotta be in rags for support?”

Someone added that the difference is that “when people say that you’re paying for their lifestyles, it means that you guys can go up on your prices, but we cannot go up what we get paid at a 9-5.”

Now, even those of us with the utmost passion for our careers can admit that without a check, many of our efforts would be all for naught. Notwithstanding basic necessities, these stylists wanting nice things is not inherently unjust; even the most militant among us are not wholly opposed to the material luxuries of life. Instead, the issue seems to be a lack of equitable service for these ostentatious prices. And if we continue to see this ostracization of clients, its likely resentment towards hairstylists and the fruits of their labor — cause the girls do work hard — will only continue to grow.