As you know, my hair color is a little unorthodox. I often forget because I see it everyday. However when I'm out and about I get reminded that it's a rare color and eventually the fact that I'm a hairstylist gets brought up. I was recently at a wedding and I found myself surrounded by a group of women asking me all sorts of questions about their hair. What do you think of this color? I just added more blonde? I'm worried its too light for my skin tone, does it wash me out? And so on goes the conversation. This doesn’t just happen with random strangers but friends and acquaintances as well. It all starts with a simple compliment and the next thing I know I've spent a half hour educating and reassuring these women that yes we (me and whomever their stylist is) are professionals and that although they may not fully understand why their stylist makes the decisions they do, I'm sure they have good reasons.
I try my best to support and uplift all of my fellow stylists and I think it's very important to do. I walked away from the conversation wondering if these women were asking their stylist all the same questions! I had to ask myself what can I take away from these talks? Do my clients ask random hair stylists for their advice? Are they questioning if I'm making the best decisions for them? I immediately went to the salon and starting asking my own guests questions based on the conversations I'd had over the weekend. They reassured me that they weren't going around asking the kinds of questions I was getting. They explained that one of the reasons they choose me as a stylist is because I do a thorough job of educating them what and why I choose to do what I do for their hair. They completely trust my advice and vision because of this. They also aren't afraid to speak up and ask questions.
Based on these conversations I figured it was time to share some insight as to how you as a guest can take control of your hair appointment. Knowing how to relay your needs and desires is the most important part of getting what you want when it comes to your haircut, color and style. Here are 4 steps to identifying what you want out of your hairstyle and how to express that to your stylist!
First and foremost do your RESEARCH!
This first step is counterintuitive to what some would say a hairstylists job is, we know that your stylist is the professional and you come to us looking for professional advice and answers. However, we're not miracle workers; okay, I know some of us are capable of making magic happen but we can't read minds! We can imagine and create styles and colors that will compliment your hair, skin tone and face shape but it's hard to make you completely happy without your input. So if you find yourself constantly underwhelmed with your hair you might need to take a look at what you're giving your stylist to work with. I have guests texting me all the time asking what I think of a certain look for them! This notifies me they are interested in doing something different and gives me the heads up so I can properly prepare for their next appointment. Take some time to think about and research what you want before you're sitting in the chair. That way your stylist can build upon and perfect your idea to create a look that’s unique for you!
So you find yourself scrolling through Pinterest the night before your hair appointment thinking you're ready to make a change but not sure what you want. Pinterest is a great resource to turn to for ideas, but lets keep it real. If you have curly hair look up curly hair styles, if you have fine hair look up fine hair styles and so on. Create a board and pin to your hearts desire! If you can't find a picture of the exact look you want pick and choose different parts of photos and tell your stylist what you like from each one. If your hair looks nothing like a photo but you're thinking you'd like to go in that direction make sure you show your stylist so they know your long term goals, can help you determine if this look is attainable for you, and you can make a plan together to get you on track to the hair of your dreams!
When choosing a hairdo take a realistic look at your lifestyle and current hair routine. Ask yourself some questions like, how much time you want to spend styling, what's your hair type, and what kind of commitment to maintenance do you want? I find that I am often drawn to blown out or beach waved hair styles, but the reality is I have short hair and don’t have time to do that in the morning nor do I want to make time. Think about your current hair routine, do you wash and go, are you a night before blow dryer, or do you wash, blow dry and style all in the morning? Certain hairstyles require more time in the morning and you have to decide if you can accommodate that. If you find yourself putting your hair up often, choosing a short haircut, or shaggy layers that can't go up all the way without some work may not work for your lifestyle. Your hair is your most important accessory, but you have to be realistic about combining your hair goals with your daily life and try to find a style that gets you excited about doing your hair everyday.
Keep in mind that each head of hair is completely different so it's great to bring in inspirational photos. Your stylist should be able to create a look for your hair texture, color and face shape based on those photos. They are a reference point to help you show your stylist what you want, a great stylist will be able to take a photo and tweak it to create a look that is perfect and unique for you.
When I bring my car to the mechanic he starts describing the parts that need to be fixed. He throws out words like 'tappet head' and 'knurled piston' (you just googled those, didn't you?!) and he might as well be speaking a different language. To him it's second nature, he can imagine these parts, their functions and purpose. All the while I'm standing there asking myself what's a 'tap-it-head' and what does that have to do with my car? He's the professional and that’s why I bring my car to him but I have to remind him that I don’t speak car part language and I need him to put it into laymen's terms so that I can understand! Sometimes your hairstylist needs this same reminder.
We assume that everyone knows what we know when the reality is that this isn't always the case. If you hear words like 'balayage', 'disconnected' or 'interior layering' and you start to panic don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you're thinking it in your head, ask it! Whether it's about your haircut , color, the styling tools they are using, or the products being put in your hair, that’s what we are here for! We want you to feel confident about the haircut and color process and to be able to recreate the same look that we are giving you in the salon at home. That means educating you on the processes, products and tools you need in order to do so.
How many of you have found yourself sitting in your stylists' chair watching them cut your hair and you're thinking in your head maybe I should take more off or why is she cutting the layers so short? I have been there ladies and I know it can be intimidating but if you're not forward right away and sit in silence while this is happening it's just going to get worse. Your stylist is there to put your mind at ease and accommodate your desires. If you speak up your stylist can satisfy your wants and adjust what they are doing to meet you half way. It may be uncomfortable to ask them to change something, especially if they're almost done, but we are always willing to accommodate. The sooner you speak up the easier it is to shift the direction of what we are doing and it's better to say too much than too little. Be specific with what you want from your experience so that your stylist can meet your expectations and you leave satisfied.
Now that you have heard it straight from a stylist, don’t be afraid to bring ideas, ask questions and talk to your stylist about your hair goals. As long as you're realistic with yourself and do your research, together you and your stylist should be able to make your salon experience relaxing and enjoyable. Leaving you feeling more confident with your hair and your hairstylist!
Hi, I'm Jolene, I started my career in the hair industry over 12 years ago. I have learned a lot along the way, not just about being a hairstylist but about life. I'll keep you up to date on the latest hair color and cut trends of the season, educate you on all different kinds of hair products, styling tools, and everything life!