August 5th, 2010
Beauty, Beyonce, Hair, Rihanna
How to Get What You Want at the Hair Salon
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

You spend your hard-earned money at the salon so in order to get exactly what you want, you should:

a. Strong arm your stylist until he/she gives you what you want
b. Grab the flat iron and do it yourself
c. Create open and clear communication between yourself and your stylist

Um, duh—the answer is sooo A!

Just kidding, it’s C.

Here are some ways to strengthen the bond between you and your stylist so you can get what you want at the salon:

1. Know the lingo. If you’re unable to clearly state what you want your hair to look like using some stylist lingo, those Beyonce curls you dreamed of might turn out to be Jermaine Jackson jheri curls. For instance, according to Daily Makeover, knowing the difference between a “trim” and a “dusting” might save you from having a total breakdown the next time you get your hair cut. A dusting means that you only want to cut off the dead ends so that you won’t notice a difference in your hair length. A trim implies that you want to take off at least an inch and actually see that your hair is shorter.

Get more hairstylist lingo over at Hair by Monica and Redken Certified Haircolorist Danny Pierce.

2. Be realistic. Just because the blonde-streaked pixie works on Rihanna, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Your face shape, lifestyle, and hair condition completely determine whether or not a hairstyle will work for you. For instance, if you already chemically relax your hair and it’s clinging to life from all the damage you’ve done to it, no matter how much you want it, adding a permanent color will bad news for your hair. Unless you like the bald look.

Not sure which styles work best for your face shape? Check out my post on Hairstyles for Your Face Shape.

3. Use products for your hair type. As a skeptic nation, we often have a reflex to say no to anyone trying to push product on us. But next time you may want to listen up and pay attention to the products your stylist uses on your hair. What you use on your hair affects your hair’s health and your hair’s health affects how good your style looks. For instance, if you have dry hair you’ll want to avoid loading up on products containing alcohol because they’ll dry your hair even more and can lead to breakage.

4. Bring plenty of pictures of what you want. A picture speaks a thousand words so bring plenty of them to show your stylist what you want. There are way too many images of different hairstyles available on the net for you not to.

5. Seal the deal with a great tip. If you love what your stylist does with your hair, if you can afford it, give him or her something extra beyond the customary 15-20% tip. If you can’t afford anything beyond what you already pay to get your hair done, get creative. Does your stylist like a certain type of coffee or cake? Bring it to the salon! Or send more clients your stylist’s way. People love to be rewarded and will feel appreciated when you give. They’re also more likely to remember you. Hey, it may even get you an appointment on a crazy-booked day or a freebie conditioning treatment.

6. Know it’s okay to part ways if you and your stylist just don’t see eye to eye. If you’ve been going to the same stylist since the third grade and she still leaves you sitting with relaxer in your hair while she catches up on her “stories” or always triple books your appointment which totally deebos your whole Saturday afternoon, it’s time to part like the Red Sea. No need to feel guilty—this person doesn’t have your hair’s best interest at heart. And if you do feel guilty, I guess a handwritten note explaining how while you love her/him to death, you’ve just decided to go with someone else would suffice.

Have any hair salon nightmares? Good experiences? Share them in the comments :)

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13 Responses to “How to Get What You Want at the Hair Salon”

  1. Dinka Don says:


  2. Dinka Don says:

    Ok, now that I’ve got the giggles out, this was a GREAT article! I’m actually going through this and it just may help my 60+ year old stylist understand where I’m coming from. Otherwise, I just might have to cut her loose. Thanks!

  3. Michelle says:

    Oooh! Thank you! I never really knew how much I should be tipping my stylist!

    And yes, that pic of Bianca is classic…been there! Yikes…suppose to be honey blonde streaks came out platinum blonde and my brother was calling me Storm from xmen because it looked like I had gray hair! Needless to say it all fell out because it was over processed. Whew! Yeah, I cried big time!

  4. esme says:

    whenever i go to a hair salon i directly ask for what i want. if i don’t get it, then it’s obviously not the stylist for me. the worst thing that happened to me at a salon actually had nothng to do with my hair, but when i was 16, the owner of the salon was waxing my eyebrows and burned me badly my eye was swollen shut the next day. that incident put me off waxing and turned me onto threading and i stopped going to the salon shortly after.

  5. esme says:

    burned me so badly*

    also about tipping, i’ll tip a hairstylist but i won’t tip the owner of a salon.

  6. Great post and that photo of Bianca is so hilarious. Thanks for the post I’m sharing it now!

  7. NAIJA VIX. says:

    This article was HILARIOUS!! yet it was very helpful :) THank you now i know the difference between trimming and dusting.

  8. Joanne_ says:

    Great!! I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve had with my stylist. We NEVER see eye to eye so we always meet ata happy medium. Its crazy but it works.

  9. Blessed -& Well Dressed says:

    haha Bianca . Classic ! Fortunatley my stylist is really nice & never pushy .
    But what’s up with ‘dusting’ never heard of it . Maybe it’s not a MN thing .

  10. sun.kissed says:

    Great article and that pic of Bianca is hilarious! I’m usually pretty satisfied with my hair and a picture always helps. My worst salon trips have always involved my eye brows.

  11. Vixenlibra says:

    LMAO @ the Beyonce curls turning out to be Jermaine Jackson Jheri Curls!!!!!.
    I appreciate this article. I never heard of “dusting” and I see that my definition for “trim” is actually “dusting”

  12. Hana says:

    Fortunately, my mother is my hairstylist. Although she and I have different tastes when it comes to hair, I’ve always liked all the things she’s done for my hair (except for one cut that went wrong – rather not explain it, still touchy about it lol). Now I’m just trying to figure out how to get her to teach me all her techniques!

  13. beyonceaddict says:

    Great article! I’ve never even heard of the term dusting tho. Beyonce curls vs Jermaine Jackson jheri curls lol! VERY crucial difference. I definitely agree with bringing a picture to your stylist.

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