Some of us hair stylists work long days and occasionally, during our busy season, do not even get a day off. We are make shift psychiatrists and usually end up doing an extra toner on someone instead of eating lunch.
Below are some helpful tips your stylist wishes you knew.
Seriously, texting us at 11pm for an early appointment the next morning is something that happens way too often. Let us sleep, poop, have a life, eat and watch Netflix! We are so grateful to have you choose us as your stylist but we are also humans. Chances are, a 4pm “can you squeeze me in today” text is not going to happen. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try but please try to book in advance. Oftentimes we hate saying no and skip our lunch break or personal plans to squeeze you in. We much prefer to give you an appointment that won’t be rushed while we are starving and holding our bladder all day.
2. We are not magicians
Whether it’s a short, fine haired bride who wants a voluptuous updo, or a curly client who brings in a photo of color ideas on straight hair, please keep in mind that we are not magicians. It is best to be realistic and stay in your range. Sometimes clients fall in love with the face or the style and look of the photo they reference to for inspiration. I have seen photos that even look exactly how their hair is already but they just can’t see it while idolizing over a photoshopped face. Many of the inspiration photos have hair extensions or are photo shopped, have filters on them, have been retouched or an adjusted saturation.
3. Dirty hair
Please come in with clean, dry hair. If you walk in with thick or long hair and it is damp, you will cost us at least an extra 15-30 minutes and put us behind schedule, which will make the next client late. Typically stylists try to book themselves solid and even miss lunch and breaks because certain clients take longer, like having a client who has thicker hair than expected or their color is more of a correction and so on. Also, if you have not washed your hair in several days, it is the equivalent of getting a pedicure without shaving your legs or eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before seeing the dentist. It also can make the color more resistant to penetrate the hair shaft if it is coated in products and oil. So, not only is good etiquette but also ensures the quality of your service.
4. How much do you charge?
We cannot give you an absolute price on your services until we see your hair. Consultations are free with most stylist to get a proper quote. There is a baseline, however, depending on the length, texture, density, previous services and what you want compared to what you have now. There are many factors in estimating a price. For instance, if you book a color and a cut and walk in with black hair and want to be platinum and your hair is thick and long, that price is dramatically different that a simple root touch up. That is also a color correction and not a typical color service, which may require your stylist rescheduling you due to not blocking off an adequate amount of time for your service.
5. Friends and family deals
Friends are wonderful clients but sometimes the line gets blurred and those close to us expect free or discounted services. What they may not realize is that sometimes that $30 that you throw us for a $150 service barely even covers the product cost. This is our livelihood and many of us pay for our own insurance and products, education, tools, and try to make ends meet with whatever is leftover. Please keep that in mind when asking a friend or family to hook you up with a service. Same goes for trading services: make sure the trade is fair. Trading a two hour color service with multiple products and double processing done, a 45 minute service in return is not a fair trade. Also, it should be full price in trade for matching full price, not discounted service in trade for full price service. Just be fair or your deal won’t stand for long.
6. Late and no shows
Please be assured that if we are late it is because of some of the above reasons. Know that we are panicking that you are mad at us and plotting your next appointment with your new stylist, while have been holding our bladder since we woke up this morning, and are on the verge of pissing our pants. I know it sounds contradicting to ask that if you are late to please inform us when sometimes we are the late one. Occasionally it helps us because we are behind and thank god, so are you. However, sometimes it puts us far behind and now every client after you is waiting past their appointment time. Also, there are times I have personally come in for one client and not only dragged my children out of bed to rush them to a sitter (on our one day off to squeeze you) in and then you do not show? Helpful hint: If you are late, please bring a present! We all love coffee. It helps us forget you were late, I swear.
7. Dance party in our chair
Please try to remain seated and somewhat still while getting your fabulous new haircut. We tend to get caught up and excited to see eachother or are having a conversation with the person next to you and you are turning your head to make eye contact. Though, it is absolutely adorable that you are making new friends and we are catching up on the latest gossip. It is fun to laugh and catch up but sometimes we need to multitask and sit still. Also, keep in mind that your head is down when looking on your phone. Heads up please. And, thank you for checking in on Facebook that you were getting your hair done by me! We love it when you share us with your friends.
8. Shampooing tips
Shampoo your scalp only. When rinsing, the shampoo will glide down the hair and into the drain. You do not need to shampoo your ends. Your ends are getting sufficient shampoo through the rinse and is more dry and fragile than the rest of your hair. Your scalp produces oils and is strong and healthy and can handle a good scrub. When conditioning, it is nearly the opposite. Your scalp produces healthy hair and natural oils, therefore you do not need to condition the scalp or if you do you may have an oily appearance. Condition the midshaft to ends which may be chemically processed and often passed over with heated tools. If you have had a few days go by without shampooing your hair and many coats of products it may be best to shampoo twice. In fact, I recommend it.
9. Hair ties
In the summertime it can get very hot! Maybe it is time to hit the gym or perhaps you just wanted to sleep those few extra minutes, so you tossed your hair up in a messy bun. Well, what you may not know because you cannot see it, is that when you apply friction from a hair tie several times a day or even just several times a week, you are eroding the hair shaft and causing breakage that is not fixable. Many, many times I see this as I part off the nape section to begin a haircut and it is inches shorter. Try using bobby pins or clips instead. I always know a ponytail wearer when they sit in my chair, due to the line of breakage.
Though it can be done beautifully, I still consider this the unicorn of hair colors. It is a lot of work, high maintenance and a very proud accomplishment to your stylist when complete. Please understand that this is a process and we very much value the integrity of your hair and want the end result to be healthy. We are not trying to rip you off and we certainly do not want you walking out the door with our name attached to your hair if it is not looking amazing. Be patient and expect to pay more than you are used to. Same for the fashion colors like purple and teal. We have to go almost platinum to achieve these looks and they require several processes. They are hard to keep in which equals extra appointments to maintain. Also, we absolutely hate the grey trend. Going from black to grey in one session is not going to happen. It’s so much maintenance too. We hate feeling like we disappoint you when you don’t get that instantly gratifying makeover.
Before you jump into a pool full of chemicals that will dull the beautiful color we just did, please wet your hair in the shower first. Your hair is like a sponge and if already soaking in the tap water, the chlorine or salt water will roll off of the hair instead of being soaked up first. I prefer to use a leave in conditioner when I hit the sun. Keep that hair protected!
12. Give us one more chance
When you first meet your new stylist, keep in mind we are total strangers. Occasionally, it takes more than one appointment to get to know your style and how well your hair lifts (if your hair is stubborn or not) and how you wear your hair. I recommend coming to your first appointment with your hair styled how you wear it daily. I have had some clients share a photo of their good hair days to reference to. When we see you, we see your 6-8 week fade out with your hair not styled and we are expected to know exactly your style. Let me get to know you!
If you call to make an appointment and start out by saying that you are super picky or have seen several stylists and can’t be happy, we are all going to fight over not taking you. It can definitely be difficult finding the right stylist for you but after so many attempts, it may be time to ask yourself if you are the problem. You are beautiful no matter what, but something is making you unhappy about yourself.
Hopefully this will bridge the gap for some concerns you or your stylist may have.