Some of us hair stylists work long days and occasionally 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. Here are some helpful tips your stylist wishes you knew:
- Products and styling: When a client says they want a “wash and go style” that looks styled and smooth without product but have untamed hair naturally, it is not realistic. The photos you see in a magazine are styled with product, hot tools and brushes. A haircut can take you halfway there but know that most styles require your upkeep with products and tools. Ask your stylist how you can maintain a look and what your hair product prescription is. Hair does not take shape until it is 90% dry so put your products in and do your morning routine and go back in with your blow dryer and a round brush to complete your look. Make sure you tell your stylist a little bit about your lifestyle so they can recommend a low maintenance style and give you some styling tips.
- 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 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.
- 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, pending the length, texture, density, previous services and what you want compared to what you have now are all factors in giving a proper 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.
- Friends and family hookup: 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.
- Late and no shows: Please be assured that if we are late it is because of some of the above reasons and 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. 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.
- 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 dish and laugh and catch up but sometimes we need to multitask and sit still, ladies. 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!
- 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. Try to avoid washing your hair everyday. Dry shampoo is amazing. I prefer Sexy Hair H2NO.
- Hair ties: It is summertime and it is hot! Maybe it is time to hit the gym or maybe 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.
- Blondes: 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 on point. Be patient and expect to pay more than you are used to. Same for the fashion colors like purple and teal, which is an entire separate blog post. We have to go almost platinum to achieve these looks and they require several processes and are hard to keep in which equals extra appointments to maintain.
- Swimming: 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!
Hopefully this will bridge the gap for some concerns you or your stylist may have. Stay tuned for some recommendations for season product must haves!
Contributors: Misti Blu Day, Danni Gess, Theresa Lanno