Learn how to manage your hairstylist for best results
By Leah Fletcher
The art of getting the haircut you desire continues this week. Communicating and connecting with your stylist to ensure the best results is a major factor in your expected outcome.
If you follow the steps that conclude with Number 10, and the following contributing hairstylists believe you have a greater chance of being satisfied with your final results.
Step 5—Ask questions and listen to your stylist’s opinion.
It’s always a good idea to write down any questions before the haircut, according to Philadelphia stylist Jasmine Humphrey, who believes you won’t forget them during the consultation with your stylist.
The types of questions posed, she believes, should cover: “What type of color best suits me?”, “Do you think my hair resembles this picture of Halle Berry with short hair?” and “How long will it take me to style this type of haircut in the morning?”
“During the consultation, if you believe you don’t have your stylist’s total attention, make certain your point of view has been heard,” advises Humphrey.
Step 6—What if your opinion differs from your stylist’s?
Imagine you have a photo in hand, and your stylist tells you she can’t guarantee you will look like the model in the photo. What do you do? According to stylist Madeline Hunter, it matters. “Always consider a professional opinion, but you know best how much work you’ll put into your hair,” Hunter said.
She offers the following examples of how to best handle a stylist’s opposition.
• Your stylist tells you the cut won’t work for the shape of your face. While face shape matters, there are other factors to consider when getting a cut, including your personality and your longings. Thank her for her professional opinion and then tell her, “But I really want to try this and I trust you to do it. I’ll take full responsibility for the outcome.”
• She tells you your hair texture won’t accommodate the cut. Ask if her if certain products or styling tools would help. If your hair is too curly, would a flat iron work or blow dryer work? If your hair is too straight, would a spray that adds volume or curling iron help?
If your stylist disregards your questions and directions, Hunter advises finding a new stylist. “But don’t overlook the fact that a stylist is the trained professional and she/he is trained to know their skill level and what would work best for a client,” she said.
Step 7—Demonstrate the length with your hands.
One of the most common “hair horror stories,” according to Humphrey, is related to the requested length. “When it comes to length, stylists tell me it’s better to show it rather than say it. Instead of saying you want 3 inches off, actually take your hand and faux chop it where you want her/him to cut,” notes Humphrey.
In the end, don’t be afraid to speak up during your haircut if you feel it’s too long or even short. Humphrey believes it is better to get your requested haircut and not have to explain, in dismay, “I told her to cut off 2 inches, and she hacked off 6 inches.”
Step 8—Think before communicating, “Try something new.”
Nala Archie, who writes for a monthly style blog, relates the time she let her stylist try something new. Yikes! The result was a cut she really detested and one that took months to grow out.
“Although we usually trust our stylist blindly and allow him or her to work their magic, it’s not always a good idea. You don’t want to be a model for a new look the stylist is trying out.” Archie said.
Step 9—Honesty with your stylist is the best policy.
“You must make it perfectly clear to your stylist how far you’re willing to go. Otherwise, you might end up angry with steam streaming from your ears,” says Humphrey.
If your goal is to love your new hairstyle, you have to make sure that you’re clear about how much time it’s going to require to maintain it.
“Will you love your new hairstyle enough to pamper it every morning with five products, 30 minutes of drying time and 15 minutes styling time?” Archie asks.
If your standard morning routine is applying hair gel and pulling your hair into a ponytail, Archie believes it’s a good idea to let your stylist know. “You don’t want to end up with a fancy, layered, hair style, curled with a flat iron or curling iron that takes hours to imitate,” Archie said.
Additionally, it is important to reveal to your colorist any chemical treatments you’ve applied to your hair within the past year. Not disclosing your hair’s past to your stylist might be disastrous, according to Archie. “If you don’t tell your stylist you had a Brazilian straightening treatment four months ago, you risk damaging your hair if your stylist elects to do a dual-process color,” explained Archie.
Step 10-Don’t be afraid to speak up.
It’s normal to be nervous about the direction your color or cut is going. However, you should not be fearful about speaking up and sharing your concerns, according to Humphrey, who believes if you are unhappy with the cut or color once it’s done, you should be able to say so in a polite way.
“Stylists appreciate honesty. Plus, there’s nothing worse than a regular customer who never returns to your salon, and you have no idea why,” Humphrey said.