Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Communicating With Your Stylist


Ok, let’s say you’ve been going to your neighborhood hairstylist for a long time. She does a great job on your hair, her shop is convenient and comfortable, and the price is right for your pocketbook. But then one day you go in thinking you want something different from the same-old style. You’ve been looking at some different pictures, and seeing people who sort of have the style you want; but all you know is you want a change, and you want it now.

The Common Complaint

But just say that you walk out of the salon feeling like you didn’t get what you wanted. If fact, by the time you get home and take a close look at your hair, you decide you just hate it, and you also decide that your hairstylist is incompetent. So, what do you do now? Do you call and tell her off and demand satisfaction or a free ‘do, or do you just gripe to your close friends and never return?

Well, if you’ve done the latter, don’t feel bad. Most of us have done this at one time or another. In fact, the whole reason for this article is to redeem myself for doing the same thing about a month ago! (Photo courtesy of Bob Steele - Copyright all rights reserved Bob Steele).

Here’s what happened:

I had just moved from Austin, TX, to Dallas, TX, and started a new job. My boss, knowing I was looking for a stylist, took me with her to her own stylist so I could get an idea of how the she worked. I liked what I saw, and I made an appointment to have her cut my hair. The first cut was great, and I was happy with it. But when I went back to her the next time, I was in a hurry and didn’t check the cut afterwards as I usually do. I was home when I noticed she had left a small section behind my ear longer than the rest. I trimmed it myself, grouching the whole time.

NOTE: What I should have done right then was to call and tell her what happened. I know she would have insisted I return so that she could go over it with me and make it right. But I didn’t give her that chance, and I didn’t tell her.

Looking For The "Perfect" Stylist

A few weeks later I flew back to Austin to spend a few days with an old friend. When she picked me up she was sporting the new Bed Head look and I loved it. One of her many skills is hairdressing, and she said she could duplicate the style on me. After she cut my hair, we ran out and bought the Bed Head products, and I had my own Bed Head. (Photo courtesy of Bob Steele - Stylist - Jennifer - Copyright all rights reserved Bob Steele).

However, I knew I couldn’t fly to Austin every time I needed a trim, so I asked my friend where she got hers. The salon she mentioned has a branch in Dallas, so when the time came, I went there. The stylist did a wonderful job, made some good suggestions, and spent a lot of time with me. The only thing wrong with the whole deal was that it was over twice what I paid my original stylist!

Back to My Original Stylist

Most good stylists not only keep up with new styles, but do a lot of experimenting on their own. I knew my Dallas hairstylist had good training, so I decided to go back and see if she could do my Bed Head. When I came in, I asked her to take a good look my style, and could she duplicate it? She looked it over and said she could. I told her what I noticed in the cutting; that each section is cut down in notches, not cut straight across the top. The result is a fringed look, not a blunt cut. (Photo courtesy of Bob Steele - Copyright all rights reserved Bob Steele).

After shampooing, she began cutting. I watched her like a hawk, and sure enough, she notched each hair section as I had asked. I also told her that I prefer my Bed Head with the side hair behind the ears, and since my back hair naturally grows to a point on the back of the neck, I wanted that emphasized. She did everything I asked, and we both checked the sides and back thoroughly. I decided I wanted the back trimmed closer and tapered more into the neck, and she did it beautifully. The whole process took longer than usual, but once she knew what I wanted, she was more than willing to take the time it needed.

The Happy Ending

The final result was a drop-dead gorgeous Bed Head that looked good enough front and back for me to enter a room forward or backward! I was very pleased with it, and plan to return to her for all my trims. (Photo courtesy of Bob Steele - Stylist - Jennifer - Copyright all rights reserved Bob Steele).

I realize that not everyone’s story ends happily. Sometimes there really is a problem, and you deal with it as you can. But in my own experience, I found that the fault lay with me for not communicating with my stylist.

Once I told her in detail what I wanted, took the time to look it all over and even had her redo some areas, everything was fine.

The bottom line? Unless they have done something awful like frying the hair off your head or turned your hair bright pink, give ‘em a chance! Most professional stylists appreciate being told what their customers liked and didn’t like about their work. At the very least, they learn from mistakes and don’t repeat them. Ask yourself how you would feel if you provided a service and one by one, your customers disappeared without a word. It wouldn’t take long before you wondered if there was something you were doing that caused them to leave.

Keep those lines of communication open! More often than not, it can mean the difference between ok hair and great hair!

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