“Best” Hair Salons

Through the years we have had many new clients who start their appointment booking something like this..” Well I went to this salon that was supposed to be the best in Kansas City (or number one, or won all these awards..) and I just had a very bad (also fill in blank) haircut, color, customer service, or paid $3000 for my hair extensions. Whatever, you get the idea. I’m not kidding we have truly heard this at least a hundred times.

If you know me, you know I speak (and write) rather bluntly. What makes a salon great? Well if they call themselves the best… you might consider that a self-given title. What is so surprising is that this notion never even crosses the minds of  these otherwise educated clients.  Future salon service recipients, wake up! Unless the citizens of Kansas City decide to cast a real ballot (and not a publication) where they actually vote on something like this-  then don’t be fooled!

Let’s be honest, If you’re a high functioning, got a lot going on every single day, type of woman like myself- then it’s probably challenge enough to make time to vote in the ACTUAL political election! Let alone a non-existent poll about local Hair salons. And please, Don’t waste your time thinking the “best of” stuff in is legit either. Most of it is through blatant campaigning or” awards” that the receiving business must pay for, literally. If you’re an established service based business owner, you get these emails all the time. They start by saying something like  “Congratulations, you’ve been chosen as the best of the best of Kansas City, click here to receive your award!” The first time I received one, I was thinking “All right! Let’s see who thinks we’re awesome!?”  I then clicked on a page that showed a small sculpture displaying my accolades that I could purchase for $99.99.

So how do you find a salon that fits your style and budget? I’ve compiled a list below of key things to look for before you book.

What to look for in a hair salon.

Before I continue, I must get this out of the way. I realize it is popular for nice, high -end salons to refer to their clients as guests. I want to be one of those salons that say this with ease! I’ve tried using it on occasion to the stylists, but they always end up raising their eyebrows at me because they know me to well. I think this is slightly cheesy for many reasons. For starters, a guest isn’t invited to my table for Thanksgiving, then charged for the meal afterwards. And though I strive for an inviting salon atmosphere, I’m more interested in your hair concerns. I take hair very serious, this is my business. We may become friends, but you start as a client in my salon because of my hair knowledge. The knowledge of which I have built my business upon. While you’re here, please have some tea or wine, read a magazine and lets chit chat- but your hair is priority one, not flourishy words.

So here are some ways to find the right salon.
  1.  Research, and not just online.  Ask friends, family ,the lady in front of you at the grocery store who has a glamorous bob ! And be realistic. If you have fine hair, ask a fine haired person where they go. Curly? Then ask a curly girl where she goes! You get the idea.
  2. Go to an actual salon. Is there more than one person there? To me a salon should be more than a 1 banjo band. It’s amusing  when a 1 person salon gives them self some exotic name. Now, I’m not bagging on stylists who choose to work from home. But if you’re looking for a new stylist, start with an actual salon. Wouldn’t it be nice to be accommodated by a staff that knows you AND your color formula? This is a bonus  in case your stylist gets the flu the day before your hair appointment for your class reunion! Also, a stylist is more motivated to stay educated when the stylist next to her is young and talented, or when the owner requires and encourages continuing education.
  3. Atmosphere is important, but not the focus. When you arrive, what’s the general feel of the salon? Is it clean, modern, and most importantly APPROACHABLE? Do you feel comfortable? Everyone wants to be in a nice place, but a water feature and glitzy chandelier doesn’t  make your overall experience, or haircut, better.
  4.  Look at the other stylists. Listen to the conversations. Do they seem like they know what they’re talking about? Great salon owners  are great because they have great stylists. The stylists are great because they have someone leading them that inspires and educates. Like attracts like.

Don’t make rash decisions when it comes to your hair. At the same time, be articulate! Tell the person you speak with on the phone what type of stylist your looking for. A good receptionist or assistant will tell you who they think would be a good fit. Remember, there is a reason that you are looking for a new salon to start with, so be patient! It may take time, but a good salon that can take care of your general hair needs should be on your short list of business’s you use regularly.