Checking in at the salon for the creation of your dream prom do can be a rather daunting experience.
Keep in mind that the disconnect from floating out of the salon coiffed like version of Whitney Port or Natalie Portman to crying your eyes out over the do that doesn't do it for you is directly tied to expectations.
Before you pick up the phone to book your Prom hair appointments - and always book early - know exactly what to expect so that you are not disappointed.
Once you understand how salons operate during the Prom crunch cycles, you can come out a big winner with a style that makes you feel terrific and works beautifully with your gown.
Be Prepared Before You Step Foot Into The Salon
During Prom time when many hairdressers are busier than ever. When possible, always book a "practice" session right after you have purchased your gown, at least a few weeks before your actual prom. Plan to go to the salon during a slow salon period and make sure that you are booked for plenty of stylist cycles to really try on several styles.
Most salons and stylists are very happy to book a "Prom Practice Session" and will work with you to create a few styles based on either a photo of your gown or the actual gown. It is best to take gown photos to prevent any damage from happening to your Prom dress. However, if that is not possible, take the gown carefully encased in plastic.
Before booking the practice session, make sure that you explain your purpose and ask for an estimate of the cost.
If you can't book a practice session, be sure to book your Prom day appointment several weeks in advance. Always call one week in advance to verify that your date is still on the books to avoid any disappointments or confusion.
Hairstyle Photos Are Important
Whether you go for a Prom Practice appointment or opt to only go to the salon for your actual Prom, it is imperative that you take large, clear photos, images or print outs of some of the styles that you would like.
Limit your styles to 2-3 options. When possible, provide a front, back and side view.
Be open minded about the party hair images you selected. Keep in mind that a French Twist on Lindsay Lohan may not look anything like a French Twist that your stylist might create for you.
The reason? Not every hairstyle looks best on every face shape, hair type, texture and length. You must also consider your body style and length of neck. Some hairstyles are very complex and may be too consuming or complicated for your stylist to complete in a routine updo session. Try to select foolproof classic styles that will enhance your best features and work well with your gown type and style.
Be sure and ask lots of questions when you book your appointment. Make sure that there will be plenty of time for your updo session.
You may need to clarify whether you want your hair washed, blow dried, curled and styled or if you will arrive at the salon with your hair already washed. Be extremely specific so that there is no confusion.
While it is always best to do a pre-Prom practice session so that you already know the style that will be created for you, going to the salon just for the Prom, can be successful with some careful thought, communication and follow-up.
Speak Up To Make Your Desires Known
One of the biggest mistakes made at the salon on Prom day is assuming that your stylist understand what you want. Even if you take a photo, you may be shocked to see the finished style.
Don't wait until the stylist is completely finished to tell her that you are unhappy with the direction that the updo or style is taking. By that point it is usually too late for the stylist to fix it.
Stay involved and alert from the very beginning. Discuss key points about the style including:
Whatever you do, speak up throughout the process and do not wait until the end. Be very specific. It is better to provide too many details rather than not enough details.
Hair Accessories & Other Details
Remember that a hairdresser makes their living working on hair.
Any additional details are important including whether you will wear flowers in your hair or hair accessories that need to be added in the salon after the style is finished. If you will be wearing either, be sure and have them available.
Be open minded and hear what your hairdresser suggests. If your hairdresser advises you that your hair is not long enough for a full French Twist, ask what is possible instead. If you are advised that bangs would be good to minimize a too large forehead, consider that as good advice and then choose to take it or not.
Keep in mind that creating your dream Prom hairstyle must be a collaborative partnership between you and your stylist.
Don't Be Shy
If you have a problem speaking up, take your best friend, boyfriend or family member to help you get your desires heard.
Stay involved throughout the entire process and you will be much happier with the results.
Never, ever tell the hairdresser to "do what you think" or "just do something that looks nice" because the chances that you will be unhappy are extremely high.
Take responsibility for selecting your own style.
Proper Salon Manners
Remember that a hairdresser makes their living working on hair. They must be on time. therefore you must respect their time and be on time for your appointment.
Even better, arrive a few minutes early and use the restroom, ask if you can put on a smock and get your photos and notes ready. That way, when it is your time, you will be perfectly composed and ready. Leave your cell phone in your purse and keep it turned off so you can focus.
When your hairdresser is finished with your style, thank them. If you are happy with their work, it is suggested that you tip them. The general range of the tip can be 15% to 20% of the service. If you have an unlimited budget and are wildly happy, you can tip more.
If your budget is tight and you can't afford to tip, stop by after your prom with homemade cookies to say thank you. Remember to show your appreciation.
Planning your visit to the salon for your Prom style is key. When possible, plan a Prom hair dress practice visit. All the celebs do it for their weddings and special events. Why shouldn't you if your budget allows for it.
Whether you do a Prom practice visit or just a Prom day visit, schedule early and confirm your appointment at least 7 days in advance. Get the name of the person that gives you the appointment so you have a reference point.
Arrive fully prepared for any appointments. Have clear hair photos of the style you desire. Stay fully engaged and express your desires completely. Understand that if you show a photo of Lindsay Lohan, Natalie Portman or Whitney Port, you may not come out of the salon looking exactly like her. This is because not everyone looks exactly like a celebrity.
Keep an open mind, take full responsibility for your ultimate style and you will float out of the Salon looking absolutely fabulous.
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Original Publication Date: 02/16/2006 - Revised Publication Date: 02/04/11