Why you should trust your stylist, or find one you will!

One in a series of reposts from my deleted blog.

First and foremost, you absolutely MUST trust your stylist.  No excuses.  If you don’t trust him/her, then you should not be sitting in that chair.  You should always be your own hair advocate, but if you don’t trust the wo/man with the shears, you will never be happy.

If you’re the type of client who knows exactly what you want, that’s fine. You pay the bill, you get what you want. But if you’re the kind of client who tells your stylist what to do, you are short-changing yourself. You may know (or think you know) what looks best on you, but you didn’t go to cosmetology school, right?  You don’t know how to layer, you probably don’t  even know the lingo. I can’t tell you how often someone has told me “how many” layers they want. There aren’t any number of layers! Layers aren’t (generally) like rock strata.  You shouldn’t be able to count them. Layers that you can count are chunks. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have chunks! I’ve done beautiful cuts with “chunks”, but these are more accurately called “disconnected layers”. Layers are more correctly thought of as a continuum. We also use the term “graduation”.

When a client tells me they want a certain number of layers, I know it’s time to educate, delicately. That’s why they trust me.

You should, however, always be able to make your stylist understand what you’re looking for. I’ve discussed the consultation before. That’s where we build trust. If you “tell” your stylist how to cut your hair. Your wasting your time, and theirs.

If you’ve had trouble communicating with a stylist in the past, and are currently looking for a new stylist, please schedule a consultation. Any stylist worth their salt will be happy to set up a few minutes to talk with you. Believe me, I find the time is well worth it from my position as well as the clients! If the stylist has an attitude when it comes to booking a consult, they will only be worse when you’re sitting in their chair.

The consultation allows you to explain what you are looking for, or ask for ideas. The consultation is the first step in building trust. It lets you test the stylist’s knowledge, techniques, and most importantly, communication skills.

But how do you find this magical, all-knowing stylist? Well, your lucky, it’s the 21st century! Most of my new clients find me in one of two ways. The internet, or word of mouth.

The internet has loads of info. That’s what it’s for. Google hair salons, or stylists, and you’ll find so much info you won’t know what to do with it all. I’ve found some of the most general to be the best. If you get into sites that are specific, they usually have an agenda. Payed ads aren’t going to tell you much, unless they have a killer website, and even that’s paid propaganda.  Stick with google, or yahoo, maybe even LinkedIn or Facebook. Somewhere where you can get opinions.  I’m lucky to work in the city of Davis. You can’t beat the Davis Wiki. Information and opinion, if you use it right, you can trust the data. I look at it this way: if someone’s business is listed on a consumer site, someone likes them. If there aren’t many (or any) opinions, in all likelihood the patronage is older (not a bad sign if you’re not looking for trendy/artsy), no bad comments are a plus. If they have mixed reviews, they’re probably not too bad, people like to complain, you can’t please everyone, blah, blah. If they have raves, you should be impressed. Or they might be good marketers, but it’s your best bet.

Word of mouth is primo.  Stop someone whose hair you like on the street.  They’ll be flattered!  If they give you a recommendation, ask them how long they’ve been going.  At least three visits are best, but if you love their hair, go for it, even if the stylist is new to them.  A friend you’ve known more than a year is great.  If you like their hair and they’ve gone to the same stylist for at least 3 visits, jackpot!  That’s the safest bet you’ll ever get in finding a stylist.  I always say 3 visits because it goes like this: 1st visit the stylist does exactly what you ask for, 2nd visit the stylist isn’t quite sure what they did last time (we’re not computers) and they try their best to duplicate the cut, 3rd visit and they do what they think they should do.  If the 3rd cut’s good, you’re dealing with a stylist with talent.

Money means nothing.  Wait!  That means just because they’re expensive doesn’t mean they’re good, or that they’ll listen to you.  It’s hard to learn that one.  I’ve had a client for a number of years now who came to me after not having her hair cut in a few years.  She had been so traumatized by the high-end (read:expensive, very) celebrity stylist who cut all of her hair off in his Hawaii salon, that she hadn’t had a cut since.  He was very unhappy, apparently, when she started crying in front of the models that were waiting to be finished for a shoot she tells me.   I have to admit that at first I thought she might be a wack-job, but she’s turned out to be a great client!  She is always very happy, and we seem to click.  That’s what you should be looking for, someone you click with.

Don’t settle for less!

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