How to Get What You Want at the Hair Salon

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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