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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 Styling Industry Brings Hope to Cancer Patients

Sheryl Crow long layered hair style with loose curls

Hairdressers Touch Cancer Patients in Unique Way

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the hair styling industry plays an important role with those suffering from this breast cancer. Hair stylists touch the lives of breast cancer patients in a very special way. We literally touch people daily with the services we perform. I just read a story from a breast cancer survivor, that reminds me again how the little things we do make a big difference in the lives of those afflicted with this terrible disease.

Below is an excerpt from this woman’s most heart-felt story which she credits her wig and stylist for not only being able to accept her fate, but “even be able to laugh at it.”

“I looked into the bag with complete and utter disbelief. It was difficult to reconcile being beautifully maned one day and shiny bald the next. There was no segue, no gradual change. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for that moment. I lost my grip. I kept thinking how vain, how shallow I must be for agonizing more over baldness than cancer. But it was true; cancer I could handle, baldness I couldn’t.

After two days in bed I realized I couldn’t spend the next six months in bed waiting for my hair to grow back. I bought a wig a month earlier. I put it on. It looked awful. I cried. I called Raymond, from whom I’d purchased this wig, and he told me to come into the hair salon.

I didn’t know that in Raymond’s tiny, crowded room where he styled wigs, I would learn to face and accept the harsh realities of breast cancer. I only had one breast, no hair, no eyebrows and possibly no future.  It sounds grim but somehow in that room I learned not only to accept my lot but even laugh about it. And Raymond was largely responsible.

We joked and laughed. He told me about other cancer clients and their wig woes. I relaxed, grew more comfortable. Looking in the mirror and seeing myself bald became less difficult. I learned how to feel vulnerable and safe at the same time. It was a long process and Raymond was a great facilitator. I’ll bet her never knew how important he was to me.

Sounds odd doesn’t it? Visits to a hair stylist, a wig stylist, being the bright spots in a cancer scenario. But the intimacy of the stylist-client relationship is legendary; quadruple its intensity when the client is newly bald and the hairdresser is one of the few privy to the knowledge.”

As a hairdresser, I know the blessings you receive in being an intimate part, in touching lives in such a healing way. It’s an AWESOME job!!

You can donate used wigs to the American Cancer Society.


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How to get the best from your hair stylist

Learn how to communicate with your hairdresser. A hair stylist cutting a clients hair.
Best Hair Stylists Really Do Care

Last night my husband and I watched the movie “Barbershop” a warmhearted, life affirming, comedy set primarily in a barbershop on Chicago’s South Side. Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) owns the barbershop, having inherited it from his father two years ago. Of the seven hairdressers who work in the shop, five are black males, one is a black female, and one is a white male.

I really liked the dialog in “Barbershop,” and for me the lively talk inside the shop is the best thing about the film. It brought me back to my early days working my first hair salon, my relationship with clients and fellow my hairdressers was like a second family. A real sense of pride that I felt as a hairdresser. I had the opportunity, daily, to make a difference in people’s lives.

The best hairdressers know that if you feel good about the way you look, you will feel good about yourself in general. Good Customer Service is where it is at when the sole purpose of your business is to look after the needs of invididuals.
– that’s powerful stuff! There aren’t a lot of careers that provide an opportunity to have this intimate connection with so many people. Quite frankly I really miss that part of my hairdresser experiences.

The best hairdressers want to make a positive impact upon every single client who comes to them for a haircut, perm or hair color job. When a hairdresser knows that they are making a real difference in your life, they will pull out all of the stops and give you their very best in skill and talent.

If you make your hairdresser feel like they are an important part of your life, you will maximize this important relationship. That means giving them some positive feedback from time to time. I’m not talking about condescending compliments when none are due. But good solid feed back about what is going right with your hair style. There must be some good or you wouldn’t keep going back. If by chance you have trouble finding positive feedback maybe then it is time to find someone else.

I’ve written an article that will help you find the best hairdressers “How to Find the Best Hair Salon“.

The best hairdressers have the technical skill of course, but just as important is their CONCERN for your well-being. Your feelings don’t lie. My favorite customers made an effort to connect with me too! But it was very hard to do my very best on a client who was constantly nit-picking, whining and complaining and finding fault. Those types of clients made the day very long.

Realistically, they may not hit a home run every time, but if you’re feeling good about your look most of the time –you’ve probably got a best hair stylist and a friend. TELL THEM.



3 Secrets to Finding Your Best Hairstyle


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