My last post was key things to look for when searching for a new salon. To carry on this three part series, this a general overview of things to remember when you found that salon you’ve been searching for, and now you are ready to choose your stylist.  If you have specific hair needs; such as being a double process blonde, or your looking for a very short funky cut, I advise that you do your research before you book with a stylist. Most salons offer information on their website that gives details about their stylists skills. Often stylists have things they are more partial to doing, so naturally over time they become more skilled in those services. However, when choosing a stylist, you really want someone who is well rounded and has a good grasp on all things HAIR. So below are the main things that makes your a stylist a keeper.


1.They introduce themselves right away, and give you a real consultation.   They should look you in the eye and offer you a drink(if the receptionist or assistant hasn’t already.) Do they try to make you feel comfortable? Some stylists are naturally outgoing, it comes with the trade, but not all. Some are VERY artsy. Hopefully you will get one that is a good combination of both, but remember; ultimately it is SKILL that is important. So if they are a little unsure personality wise, but exude confidence in what they can do, give them a chance. Also, if a stylist isn’t fawning all over you, be glad. It means she is probably in high demand. Professional is what you want, not  phony.

2.They truly asses your hair. They should and ask what you’ve been using on it and what chemical services you’ve had. And ladies, don’t fudge, we can tell even if you do! Help us help you ,by telling us what you really put on your hair. 92% of women are using the wrong type of shampoo for their hair, so if you think you will impress us because you use Pureology, think again.

3.If she calls herself a hairdresser, leave. Maybe this is a little harsh, but she doesn’t take her career serious enough to refer to herself as a stylist. Generally, unless your in a small town, or over 70, this term is not used in good salons.

4.They ask about your hair concerns  What do you like/dislike about your hair? What is your line of work? How much time are you willing to spend on your hair in the morning? How often do you go to a salon? And as a client don’t be offended at these things. Be honest. It will save you grief and time when trying to style your hair at home.

When it comes to cost, if a stylist doesn’t mention cost, she’s not being sketchy. Just ask for a breakdown before they start formulating and mixing. We are often not “numbers” people.  While you may be seeing dollar signs, we are envisioning ways to make your hair amazing. If you want extra conditioning or styling, ask before you indulge, it is often an up charge. I always see my assistants struggle with this in the beginning. For example, most of my blonde color clients come on a 5 week schedule. We alternate like this, first visit  is usually high-light /low-light /pastel (base), and haircut, – five weeks later they come in to just have the pastel touched up, then all the other stuff again the next time, and so on. During the appointment where they just get the pastel, its literally just that color service, which is performed by my assistant because it is a basic all over color application. A a blow dry style with a color and no haircut, is an extra charge of $30( we do a quick tousle dry to assess color and so clients don’t leave with wet hair), because this is a separate service. However, when a client  receive’s haircuts, it is included because it is part of the haircut service and necessary for dry cutting. This is where I sometimes have to step in and make it clear to clients. So word to the wise, just ask if your confused on what’s included on the services your getting.

A side note that I think applies to all service based business, but especially to ours; a stylist should not discuss religion or politics. So if you feel like your stylist is trying to convert you to whatever it is he or she is soap boxing about, again speak up. Or just remind them it is impolite to discuss such things, that should shut them up. One last thing, do try to remember that stylists are only human. They have bad days too. The difference is when you work behind the chair, you don’t have the luxury of just putting your head down on your desk in the privacy of your cubicle or office for a few moments to relax or re-group. They have to be on point, all day every day. Its a tall order, so give a little grace every now and then. Whether your looking for a new stylist, or considering leaving the one you have, remember this advice before you make any big commitments. Having a good relationship with your stylist is worth it. If you’re lucky,  it’s one that you will have for life.