Have you ever noticed some people have a great relationship with their stylist?
People blessed with great stylist relationships never seem to experience a terrible visit to salon. In fact, they always seem to emerge looking amazing after enjoying a great hair experience.
Is this luck of the stylist draw, or is there some secret to getting along with your stylist?
This topic fascinates me. As a result, I've been keeping notes I've gathered for years from both hair stylists and hair clients who have a great relationship with each other.
As a result of their input I've listed some of the top ways you can get along with your stylist.
In fact, if you follow some of these suggestions you can develop and maintain a fabulous long term relationship with your stylist.
1. Honor Your Appointments Promptly
Always keep your hair appointments, except of course, in a true emergency. In addition to keeping your appointments, you should always be prompt.
Stylists are paid according to the number of hours they work in a day. They're selling their expertise and years of training with hair.
When you make an appointment for an hour of their time, and don't show up, the stylist loses that billable hour, most likely forever. Most stylists can't instantly find another client at the last minute to fill in for a "no show" unless they are lucky to have a walk-in.
When you do need to cancel, call as far in advance as possible. If it's last minute, always offer to pay for your missed appointment time.
If you're running late or have been delayed, call your stylist as a courtesy. Let the stylist know your true timeline. That way, the stylist has the option to juggle her schedule to still fit you in or to ask you to reschedule.
Always treat your stylist like you would a beloved family member or a best friend and they will reciprocate.
2. Arrive Prepared For Your Appointment
Believe it or not, some clients arrive on time for their appointment and then keep the stylist waiting while they use the restroom, make last minute phone calls, check their voice messages, do some heavy texting or detangle their hair.
It's very important to respect your stylist's schedule. If one client is late or not ready for their appointment when they arrive, there may be a ripple effect on all the other appointments that day.
Honor your stylists' valuable time and the time of all the other clients that follow you. Always play it forward and you will rip the rewards.
3. Book Your Appointments In Advance
Establish a personal policy of calling and booking your hair appointments as far in advance as possible. It's actually best to book your next appointment before you leave the salon. If that's not possible, call during the least busy salon times (early mornings, late evenings) to arrange an appointment.
Keep in mind that the front desk at a busy salon will often have lots of activity. In busy salons a front desk person will be tasked with answering the phone and making appointments for all the stylists.
Have your own schedule with a few target dates and times listed so that when you call you can make an appointment quickly and efficiently. Remember to always be courteous to other salon personnel since they support the efforts of your stylist.
Don't insist upon asking to speak to your stylist directly to make a new appointment unless you have a hair emergency that needs their direct attention.
4. Avoid Last Minute Appointments
Stylists understand that "hair emergencies" will sometimes happen.
They understand clients sometimes need a last minute "emergency" appointment. Don't abuse this behavior, lie to your stylist or try to con them. If you need a last minute appointment be truthful about why and offer to pay your stylist extra for the privilege.
Believe it or not, many people will wait until the last minute on a regular basis to request hair appointments. This is not a "once in a blue Moon" but an ongoing event. This sends the message that your time with your stylist is an afterthought. If you want to build a great relationship with your stylist avoid this practice.
Stylists try to work with their clients and help them with sudden hair problems. There is never an excuse for last minute bookings for Proms, weddings or other events which are planned months in advance.
5. Never Tell Your Stylist How To Do Their Jobs
It's always a great idea to be prepared when you visit your stylist. Know the type of cut, style, color or hair treatment you desire, When appropriate come equipped to the salon with photos or questions.
While it's good to know the cut, color or style you desire, it's never good to tell your stylist how to do their job.
You wouldn't dream of telling a heart surgeon how to operate on a loved one, so don't treat your stylist any differently. Respect the fact your stylist knows a lot more about hair than you do.
Don't make your stylist crazy by trying to interfere. Remember they have spent many years learning how to do what they do. Either trust your stylist, or find a someone that you can trust.
6. Help Your Stylist Help You
Hairstylists are paid consultants who are hired by you to help you find the best possible cut, color and style for your hair type, lifestyle and other considerations.
You need to help your hairstylist by sharing the appropriate information about yourself and your hair. Don't expect your stylist to be a mind reader.
Communicate as clearly as possible with your stylist and listen carefully if your stylist makes recommendations or suggestions. Ask them the reasons behind their comments.
Be willing to let your stylist provide you with advice and help. If you ask for a specific style, but are unwilling to use the products your stylist recommends or take the time to style your hair, don't blame your stylist if you don't like the results.
If you want to keep your hair long or short and styled in a particular style, be sure to tell them.
7. Learn To Maintain Your Own Hair
Every client has hair which is unique to them. Ask your stylist for recommendations on products which will work best for your hair type, color, style, length and current challenges.
If the products your stylist recommends are out of your price range, explain this fact and ask for alternative suggestions. Be willing to try the products your stylist recommends if they take the time to make detailed recommendations.
Usually there is a good reason that your stylist will encourage you to use a particular product or set of products. Professional hair care products such as those from Phyto, Rene Furterer and JF Lazartique are not the same as grocery store products, no matter what any advertisements may say.
If you neglect your hair or use products which undo the good your stylist does, don't expect one visit to repair the damage.
8. Don't Turn Tour Stylist Into A Babysitter
Your hairstylist may or may not like kids, but they have chosen a career as a hairstylist, not a babysitter.
Many stylists don't appreciate their clients bringing their children to the salon without prior permission. If you want your stylist to focus on your hair then don't put them in the position of also keeping an eye on your children. Let your hairdresser perform their chosen profession in peace and quiet.
Make sure you have an adult to watch your child while you're in the salon or leave them at home with a family member.
If you can't get to the salon without taking your children discuss your options with your stylist. They might agree to let you bring your children in off-hours or come to your home instead.
9. Don't Try To Be The Salon "D.J."
Most salons pick the music they play to satisfy the majority of their clients and to work with the setting of the salon.
Avoid putting your stylist in an uncomfortable position by asking them to change the music.
If it's too loud you can politely enquire about the option of the volume being lowered. But don't try to impose your own musical taste upon the entire salon or your stylist.
10. Don't Use Your Stylist As Your Therapist
Hairstylists are taught the importance of communication in dealing with their clients and building a successful clientele. They're also taught active listening.
What they're not trained to do, is provide professional advice outside of their field of hairstyling expertise.
While they will do their best to communicate with you and listen politely to a variety of topics, don't expert them to function as your personal therapist. If you have problems book an appointment with a certified therapist or similar.
11. Set Reasonable Hair Expectations
Your hairstylist, no matter how great they are, cannot cut your hair so well that it will overshadow all of your life's problems.
They can't straighten your hair so you instantly look 50 pounds lighter or color your hair so that you look 25 years younger. Some clients have unreasonable expectations and put their stylist in the awkward position of trying to work miracles.
While most hair stylists will do their very best to provide their clients with their desired hairstyle, color, cut or treatments, their abilities are limited to the hair they are given to work with.
Be reasonable with your hairstylist and understand that they can only achieve a certain level of results depending on what they have to work with to start with.
12. Make A Long Term Commitment
If you work well with your stylist and enjoy their results, let them know how much your appreciate their efforts with appropriate tips, gifts or even thank you notes.
This is a common behavior in the world of celebrities such as Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce who form long term bonds with their stylists.
Let them know you're in the relationship for the long term and trust them to do their best for you.
If a stylist knows you are a regular client who will maintain a long term relationship with them, they will respond appropriately by letting you know about new products, special salon deals and will work hard to keep your business.
One of the key ingredients to getting along with your stylist is to build a solid long term relationship with them. Treat them with respect, honesty and condition and always show your thanks and appreciation.
If you let them know that you're in a relationship with them for the long term, a great hairstylist will reciprocate and work even harder to keep you as a happy client. When you have a great relationship with your hairstylist you can expect enjoyable visits with fabulous looking hair.
Original Publication Date: 02/20/2000 - Revised Publication Date: 11/04/11