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Getting the Best From a Hair Stylist

Hair Stylist Sectioning Hair with a Rat Tail Comb

Get what you want from your hairdresser
By Victoria Wordinger

A great haircut starts with the best hair stylist. However, cutters who are great at short hair cuts may not be ideal for longer looks. What’s more, many women unreasonably expect a stylist to be able to do everything, or they stick with someone they like just because they think they’re friends. They’re not . . . hair stylists are simply people who provide you with a service. When you know what you want, start by making a list of their qualifications. Here’s a roundup of places to look:

Among Friends

Recommendations are the best place to start your search. If you know someone who has your hair typeand a haircut you love, ask who does her hair, Just be sure the hair salon is in your price range.

Within Associations

Hair salons that are members of Intercoiffure are renowned for their artistic training. Members of the Salon Association are more business oriented but they probably have strong training programs. Also, hair salons and hairdressers who belong to the National Association of Cosmetologists tend to keep up on the latest hairstyle trends and techniques in their field.

Then, there are special associations for hair colorists. Their members tend to specialize, so don’t look there for a great hair cutter. Most can be found on the Internet.

In Trendy or Sophisticated Areas

Depending on what type of haircut you want, salons that will best deliver it tend to be located in neighborhoods that reflect that particular hair style, i.e., don’t expect to get the coolest new hairdo in the richest part of town. Once you’re in the right place, watch customers coming out the door. If you see lots of fabulous haircuts, ask the receptionist to recommend a hair stylist for a consultation, or ask a customer who cut her hair.

On Hair Product Websites

Wella, Redken, Graham Webb, Paul Mitchell, Matrix . . .  any of the professional hair care product companies offer tons of training. See if any of their educators also work in a hair salon near you by checking out their websites.

Once you find a great salon or hair stylist, or if you already have a hairdresser you dig, see how many of the following qualifications apply to him or her: Cutting specialist, platform educator, former cosmetology instructor, holder of advanced education certifications, more than 5 years of experience, editorial session hair stylists, in-salon trainer, Vidal Sassoon-trained cutter. The more of these skills and training your stylist has, the better.

Now that you have a hair stylist in mind, book an appointment for a style consultation. If you want to stay with your current hairdresser, let the receptionist know that you need extra appointment time, because you want to talk about making a change.

Photo Finish

Next, collect several pictures of hairdos you like. In addition to the photos in this magazine many Internet websites have images of styles you can print. Some even let you upload a photo of yourself so you can give them a virtual test. Before you walk in the door, set some boundaries for what you will and won’t do.

In the chair, don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial you think they’ll sound. It’s a good idea to write down your questions beforehand so you won’t forget any of them. Show your photos and discuss how they may work with your hair type, facial shape and lifestyle. Ask if the look will be easy to work with at home.

Article courtesy of Harris Publications

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Hair Salon Etiquette

Hair dresser coloring a clients hair

Getting Along in Hair Salons

Hair salon snafus usu­ally happen when you’re uncomfort­able in your hair salon or unsure of proper protocol.  Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Tipping Tips

Hair salon tipping is straightforward: The standard is 20%. Sham­poo persons should get $2-$5, depending on what else they did. If you got a great scalp massage and they assisted your colorist, be generous. If the assistant also does the blow-out, tip 20%. Ten percent is cheap, but if you just can’t add another $10 to a $100 haircut, ask the desk about other hair salons’ prices. Most hair salons have “tier pricing,” in which juniors or those with less experience in the same hair salon charge less.

Tipping the owner is still a no-no, but if you got a fabulous new look, consider a special gift, like flowers. A modern way to gift is to post a rave review for your fave hair salon on Yelp, CitySearch, Twitter or Facebook . Go ahead and let the salon owner know you’re doing it. And of course, referring clients is the best sign of appreciation.

Love it/Hate It

If your hairdresser didn’t give you want you want, or worse, did dam­age let your stylist know immediately what’s wrong (without screaming or crying). No satisfaction? Tell the manager or salon owner. If you get a redo, then you can tip on the basis of the fix.

Of course, if you demanded a short cut and then decided you hate yourself in short hair, don’t blame your hair stylist or refuse to tip over your own unresolved issues.

Extras Can Add Up

If, during the consultation, your hair stylist or hair colorist suggests addi­tional services, always ask the price. There’s no embarrassment in asking first, and any first-rate salon will have a staff that’s trained to tell you the price of add-ons up-front.

If you failed to ask the cost of suggested high lights when you booked an appointment for a root retouch, it’s on you. But if it was implied that a few high lights or a makeup touch-up was free and it wasn’t, let the receptionist or the salon manager know. He or she will usually take it off the bill.

Switching Hair Stylists

The trickiest situation is when you want to change hairdressers within the salon. If you think of your stylist as your friend and want to avoid hurt feelings, being clear about what you want in advance—and noting what you don’t like immediately—can save the day. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide if you want to swap hairdressers or switch hair salons.

If you really want to change hair stylists, try this: Tell your existing stylist that next time, you’d like to try Mary, and that you hope he or she won’t be offended. Explain why, and give your hairdresser a chance to right any wrong. You can also speak to the salon owner, asking him or her to smooth it over for you.

Don’t simply make an appointment with someone else—you’ll risk having your regular hairdresser greet you at the door (where you’ll both feel embarrassed) or see you in another stylists chair later, which creates bad feelings.

Fortunately, many hair salons encourage hairdresser swaps, and ones with different pricing levels give you an easy out. Of course, if you start out by trying different hair stylist with each visit, it’ll be a lot easier, and you’ll simply be appreciated as a loyal salon client.

Article courtesy of Harris Publications


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How To Get the Most from a Hair Salon Appointment

A hair stylist cutting a clients hair
If You’re Looking for a Better Outcome From Your Next Hair Salon Appointment, Here is what you need to know

Don’t go into another hair salon appointment without reading this first! If you have ever walked away from the hair salon loving your hair, only to get home and never again be able to produce the same results, then read on. I would estimate that more than 1/3rd of hair salon clients leave the salon feeling unsatisfied or, end up being unsatisfied with their hairstyle in the long run. What causes this much dissatisfaction?  Lack of communication between client and hairdresser tops the list! Here are some suggestions from this hairdressers point of view, to better communicate your wishes with your hairdresser

The Consultation

During the consultation, make sure that you not only tell the hairdresser exactly how you want your hair, but show her too. Pictures say a thousand words and will help to show your hairdresser exactly what you are trying to explain. Bringing in pictures of hair colors, haircuts and hair styles that you like will help bridge the communication gap between the two of you. Flip through magazines, check out for picture ideas and ask your hairdresser to show you some hair color swatches, so that you are both on the same page during the consultation. If your hair type or face shape won’t work with the hairstyle you like, your hairdresser will know what type of look you are going for and can show you pictures of similar alternative hairstyles.

During the Appointment

It is a good idea to ask your hairdresser how to keep up your hair color, haircut, and style if he/she doesn’t offer up the information. For example, I tell my clients with short hairstyles that they need to come in more often (every 4-6 weeks vs. every 6-8 weeks) to maintain their cut.

The Blowout

Ask your hairdresser to show you how to do a proper blowout. Your hairdresser should show you step by step how to style your hair so that you can achieve the same hair style look. If your hairdresser forgets to tell you, be sure to ask about the hair care products she is using as well. You will need to know what type of styling products were used to create your hairstyle, ie; gel, mousse, smoothing cream, root lifter, finishing spray, curl definer, etc. It’s important to have all the necessary tools to be able to achieve any given hair style.

Communication is key for getting the most out of your hair salon appointment. Your hair salon appointment should always start with a consultation. After a great consultation, I always know that I am giving my client what she wants. After showing her how to style her hair, I know that she’ll continue to get exactly what she wants from her hair.


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