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How to Talk to Your Hairdresser

How to Talk to Your Hairdresser

Here are some ways to make sure you and your hairdresser are on the same page

It is my firm belief that most hair salon disappointments can be traced directly to miscommunication. What you’re trying to describe is not what the hair stylist sees. After all, when you think of it every woman has her own unique idea of what “short hair” is. To one it means chin length, to a stylist it may mean above the ears and to a third person it could mean a buzz cut.

Let’s face it, our language is simply not very precise, so it is vital that you learn the terms you’re likely to hear while you’re hanging around your local salon. Like any profession hair styling has its own insider lingo. To the average client hairdresser-speak can sound like Greek, so how do you get your message across when you describe the look you want? To the rescue this quick hair dictionary.

  • LONG LAYERS lighten the weight of the hair and add swing; achieve a textured look by shortening the top of the hair.
  • TAPERING is a form of layering used to take the weight out of back of hair.
  • SLIDE LAYERS are used mostly on curly hair to reduce bulk from the top layer allowing curls to fall evenly.
  • CHIPPING is also known as point cutting, is used to add texture.
  • TEXTURIZING is done using thinning shears. It adds movement and body by reducing weight from heavy sections, while leaving extra length in others.
  • RAZORING is done with a straight-edged blade to cut or texturize the hair.
  • SLIDE CUTTING uses a very sharp scissor blade to skim over the surface at an angle.
  • SINGLE PROCESS HAIR COLOR is best used for covering gray hair.
  • DOUBLE PROCESS HAIR COLOR is used for highlights and to bleach the hair.
  • HIGH LIGHTS lighten and brighten a solid background hair color.
  • LOWLIGHTS add depth and contrast to a light solid look.

I have an article Getting the Best from a Hairdresser which can give you some other tips as well, but if you still are having trouble communicating with your hairdresser, maybe it’s time to move along, in that case check out my article Smart Girl’s Guide to Finding the Best Hair Stylist.

  



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Surviving The Loss of a Stylist

Lost My Hairstylist

You know you’ve had a bad hair day . . . when

You can’t eat. You are having trouble sleeping. The sun doesn’t shine like it used to. Friends call and ask to meet for drinks, but your get up and go, has got up and went. You look at your reflection and wonder “will I ever find a hairstylist, I love again?” You can’t imagine life without them. It only happens once, so you’ve been told. Is it possible? Dare you dream that you will one day find another hairstylist?

We have all been this woman, at some point in our lives, we have been in need of a new stylist. Maybe it was because you moved to a new city. Maybe it was because of a hair color gone wrong. Maybe your hairstylist decided to stay home to raise her children. Whatever the reason, we are left wondering “What am I going to do? How do I find another stylist? I don’t even know where to begin.” Barb has written a good guide on How to Find a Great Hairstylist, if you take her advice will find yourself sitting in the chair of a stylist, but then the real work begins.

The all important consultation

I have been in the customer service gig for over 20 years, and in the beauty biz for over 10 years. I am a woman who has had the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to her hair and her experiences at the salon. (I have had a stylist use Static Guard on my hair – enough said).

Every day I meet at least one woman who; hates her hair, feels her stylist doesn’t listen to what she wants, is in need of a new stylist, or all three. The one thing these women had in common – lack of a proper consultation. Once you have taken a seat at the stylist’s station, you should have a consultation. I don’t care of you have been going to the same stylist for 15 years, each appointment should begin with a consultation. At every appointment you should hear at least three of the following questions;

  • What are we doing today?
  • Were you happy with your previous cut?
  • Were you happy with the last color you had done?
  • Have there been any changes since I last saw you? (*stress/medication/illness can sometimes affect how a color/perm processes)
  • Have you used any box color on your hair in the last 6 months
  • Have you used any Henna products on your hair in the last 6 months (possibility of a chemical reaction with professional hair color)
  • How do you do your hair at home? (blow dry, flat iron, etc.)
  • Do you like to use styling products in your hair

All of these questions are a crucial part to a positive experience at the salon and getting the style you want. Think about it, when you go to see the Doctor for your first appointment or your 500th. – you are always asked the same questions, you are always given a consultation. You deserve the same at the salon. Stylists are professionals, they want you to look good and feel good. They want you to come back, you are their advertising. They are following your lead, so be open and honest. If you don’t like their idea, tell them. Not sure of the color, tell them.

A professional hairstylist will welcome your input and want you to be happy with your hair, and maybe, just maybe, you will regain your appetite . . . you will rest easy. The spring will return to your step and once more, you will love your hair and smile at your reflection.

Contributing author Sara Stancu is “That girl in the red coat”. Sara is also the manager of a salon and retail shop with over 20 years of customer service and sales experience. Her tell it like it is approach is aimed at educating and enlightening clients, stylists and salon owners. She has also been the woman locked in the bathroom hating her hair. You can follow Sara on her website That Girl in the red coat and Twitter.


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Smart Girl’s Guide to Finding the Best Hairstylist

Score the best hairstylist with ease

Going to the salon shouldn’t cause anxiety it should be a source of inspiration, relaxation, and joy. If you are regularly experiencing distress then maybe you need to find a new hairstylist. These are things I know as a beauty insider, there are certain key things you should look for. Before I give you the keys to fab hair, let me give you a homework assignment to get yourself ready for your new adventure.

Do Your Homework

  • What are you looking for with your style? Most hairstylist love to get details on how you are styling your hair and how much time you are willing to spend, if you’re looking for a wash and go style then be sure to let them know.
  • If you have pictures of cuts and colors we love these, but remember they are a reference point.  Just because you have a picture of Jennifer Aniston does not mean you will look like her. Also it’s best to choose styles that have your similar texture and density of hair.
  • Get excited and be positive!  Negativity projects onto the new hairstylist, so give them a chance to WOW you and be open to their ideas about changes, new products and updated styles.

Learn how to communicate with your hairdresser. A hair stylist cutting a clients hair.

 Where to look

  • Check out social media, ask your friends for referrals and check out the hairstylist or salons on Facebook. See if they have any pictures posted and note how professional they are.  Social media definitely tells you a story of how the stylist/salon works.  Most up to date salons and stylist are going to be actively displaying their work on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • When you find a salon/stylist that you are interested in, stop in for a list of services. This will give you a chance to view the professionalism of the staff and ask about consultations. If you’re getting a good vibe,  go ahead and schedule a consultation.
  • Don’t shop cheap, don’t expect to get the best if you are only looking for cheap. Stylist who use good products, get good up to date education and pride themselves in exceptional work, are never the cheapest.
  • When you go in for a consultation if the stylist asks you a lot of questions about what you have done to your hair in the past, what products you use, or how you style at home, then this is a good sign they care about your outcome.
  • A hairstylist who goes to hair shows, trainings, and works at an education oriented salon is going to be a better hairstylist by far.
  • How does the stylist present themselves? Are they dressed professionally are they up to date with their own style? Is their hair fresh and healthy? Are they distracted by phone calls and texting? If so, back away! Their complete attention should be on you
  • Look for a clean salon and clean styling area, it’s the little things that add up to a successful salon/stylist.
  • Do they seem to know what’s best for your face shape, hair type and lifestyle? If they aren’t offering ideas and good communication then it’s time to move on.
  • What type of hair color do they use and what type products do they retail? A good stylist/salon will be proud of the brands they represent.
  • A good hairstylist/salon has nothing to hide.  Social media, education, dress and hair, if they are on point and ready to make you fabulous, then you know you have found a goldmine!

It’s not hard to find the best hairstylist that fits your vibe and personality, it just takes a little prep work. But the effort will pay off when you walk out of the salon looking great and feeling amazing!

Contributing author Kim Bush has over 10 yrs experience in the beauty business, traveled the U.S. as an artistic advisor for Joico, working in a successful salon, styling and writing for national media outlets, music videos, television, runway, celebrity events, and photoshoots. She is a master stylist on staff at Asante Salon and Day Spa in Nashville, Tn. Find Kim on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


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