Top 10 Ways To Choose A Hair Stylist

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Hair is one of the most important facets of your appearance, and while, yes, it does grow back, it is important to find a stylist who you can trust will give you the look you want. Use these tips to help you find a stylist who will give you the kind of haircut that will make others stop and wonder, “Wow. I want to know who cuts her hair!”

  1. Ask friends and family – Start by asking friends and family who have hair styles you like for referrals. Choose friends and family who have a similar hair type so that you know you are getting a referral for someone who can work well with your hair.
  2. Ask strangers – It might seem odd to ask a total stranger where they get their hair cut, but this a great way to get an unbiased reference. While friends and family can be a great resource for referrals, they may also pressure you to use their stylist, even if you don’t feel it is the right choice for you. If you see someone with great hair, tell them you love their hair cut and would like to know who their stylist is. They’ll be so flattered by your compliment, they will probably give you their stylist’s name and number faster than you can say feathered bangs.
  3. Compile a list of recommended stylists – You should try to get four or five referrals before you set up any consultations. Take your time and map out the location of each stylist so you can set up consultations efficiently.
  4. Reputable salons – Stop into reputable salons and ask to set up a consultation with their best stylist. Look through local high-end magazines to get the names and addresses of salons you would like to visit. Many newspapers and local magazines compile a list of the top businesses in the area every year. Go to their web site to find out which salons made the cut in previous years and plan on visiting those salons.
  5. Go to the salon – Plan on visiting the salon where the stylist works. Does the salon appear clean? Is the staff friendly and professional? Are you greeted when you first walk in? Are there a lot of people waiting in the lobby? How do you feel while you are there? If you feel like you cannot wait to leave, this is probably not the salon for you. You should feel relaxed and tended to in a good salon.
  6. Observe the stylist – Get to the salon several minutes before your consultation to have an opportunity to observe the stylist in action. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch her finish a client’s hair and not a sub from that day’s lunch. If she is working on a client’s hair, notice how she is interacting with the client. Does she appear confident and calm? Does the client appear to be enjoying the haircut? Is the stylist explaining what she's doing and asking her client questions about what she wants? Does she appear to be listening to her client?
  7. Consult with the stylist – Call the salon and schedule a hair consultation with the stylist you would like to meet. Be firm that you are not coming in to have your hair cut at this time; you simply want to meet with the hair stylist. Some stylists give potential clients a complimentary consultation, but keep in mind that others will charge. Be respectful of the stylist’s time. A consultation could take about 30 minutes, time that cuts into the stylist’s time making money providing their services. Do not feel pressured to accept services you may not be comfortable with.
  8. During your initial consultation – Start by telling the stylist a little bit about yourself, your style, the looks you like, and why you are looking for a new stylist. Let her look at your hair and offer suggestions for styles that work best for your hair type and lifestyle. If you are a busy stay-at-home mom, for example, she should not suggest a high-maintenance hair style. Ask the stylist about herself and her styling philosophy. Does she seem experienced, confident, and knowledgeable about hair? What is her policy if you are not satisfied with the hair cut? Will she offer complimentary touch ups and bang trims?
  9. Be firm – Be very clear about the styles you like and the look you want, but at the same time be open to the stylist’s suggestions. Allow the stylist to offer their expert advice and opinion, but do not feel pressured into any styles, colors, or treatments you do not want. If the stylist seems pushy or wants to dictate your hair style, it may be time to find another stylist.
  10. Develop a long-term relationship – If you feel comfortable with the stylist during your initial consultation, work on cultivating a long-lasting relationship. The advantage of finding a great stylist is that you have an expert who can give you the best results for your hair. Plus, if you develop a good rapport, you can rely on your stylist during hair emergencies and to provide great styles for important occasions.