So let's be honest here, there are a lot of hair stylists out there, how are you supposed to know if your hair is in good hands? The consultation is the most important part of an appointment, especially if it's the first time meeting your stylist. This is where your stylists gets to know you and vice versa. This is where, if your stylist is knowledgeable, she/he can extract from you, with certain key questions, what you are looking for in a cut/color/look.
Here are a few indicators of a knowledgeable stylist:
1) Getting to know your hair routine.
- How often do you shampoo and condition?
- What shampoo and conditioner are you using?
- What other products do you use?
- Do you heat style? If so do you use a blow dryer, fingers, flat/curling iron, brush, etc?
- What kind of brush? Flat, round, metal, boar bristle?
These VITAL questions let us know what you (the client) are doing the 364 days out of the year we aren't doing your hair. In my experience, about 80% of clients aren't shampooing and conditioning properly and using the wrong tools and products. This is important because how many times have you left a salon, your hair looked great and then you tried to recreate that same look at home only for your efforts to fall short? This is probably because your stylist didn't find out if you were a low maintenance wash and go'er or a high maintenance flat ironer. Or they didn't go over how you, the novice, at home, could recreate that style or an alternative. It probably would have helped you learn a new trick in your styling repertoire or deterred you from cutting it in that specific style/length. I always make sure I'm extremely detailed and thorough in my consultations or I'm not doing my job. It's such a subtle nuanced dance we do, stylist and client, in order to reach a common end goal.
2) Caring about the integrity of your hair.
The main goal is to not just leave the salon happy but to be happy with your hair until the next cut or color service. We want you to be our walking billboard. The mark of a great stylist is that all your friends go to them! Word of mouth has been my path to success. You are our advertisement. Which also correlates with your hair health. Treatments in salon are great but money is well spent on quality shampoo and conditioner too. Your at home hair care is crucial to beautiful hair. The right products can extend time between salon visits and help with the ease of styling. Healthy hair showcases your cut and color flawlessly. A stylist should always tell you what they are going to do in order to achieve a certain look. Is it going to damage your locks? Will it require a lot of maintenance? At home or in salon?
3) Discussing, in depth, your desired look.
Color is seen by how light reflects off of a surface. The smoother the surface (your hair's cuticle) the shinier and prettier your color appears. Photos are a great starting point when it comes to discussing color goals. They allow for a more visual and concise conversation. Words mean a lot of different things to different people, especially when it comes to tones. There is too much room for error when something so visual is discussed just verbally. I always have clients saying "I know this is annoying but I have photos". I always respond with "that's not at all annoying. I love photos". I am left wondering what stylist has gone around rolling their eyes when someone has pulled out a photo!! I encourage people to try to look for photos of people with as close as possible to their hair type, complexion, and face shape.
4) Reiterating exactly what you both have decided will be the end result.
That way the verbal contract that you've both entered into is clear and your hair needs and desires are met.
It's a difficult task to find a great hair stylist. This blog entry is my attempt to make it a little easier by informing you the client on what to look for.
Next blog entry will go into detail about your hair routine. How often, how you should be shampooing your hair and with what. Stay tuned...
Knowledge is wealth and beauty!