#1: Bring Visuals to Your Appointment
Hairstylists are visual people. We work better having a picture of what you’re looking for, rather than a description in which we may misunderstand. During the consultation process, we strive to understand what it is you’re going for but often terms that we’re familiar with get used by clients who may not understand their meaning completely (to no fault of their own). Having a picture to reference can help ensure we’re on the same page.
Oh, and bringing pictures of things you do NOT like can help too.
#2: Be Honest About Your Hair History
When your stylist asks you your hair history, be honest with them. They’re not doing it to be nosey. We need to know what is on your hair so we can formulate your color to ensure you can reach your goal. If you say there’s no color on it and that you want platinum blonde highlights, we will know that you lied when we remove the foils and your highlights are orange.
We need to know at minimum a 2 year hair history and what kind of color was used (box or salon). We also need to know if you have well water as that will affect how your color takes and if we need to treat your hair prior to your color service.
Being honest with your stylist and you will be much happier with your results.
#3: We Don’t Raise Our Prices To Upset You
Our education wasn’t free. Our continuing education isn’t free. Our tools and supplies are not cheap.
Salon prices increase on average once per year (or at least they should). As stylists learn new techniques, they become more valuable to the client. Offering services and specialty color skills that not just anyone can do is something that they are proud of and deserve to be compensated for.
Along with that, the ever increasing cost of supplies, utilities, rent, etc. add up quickly. A small price increase can help your stylist and salon continue to grow and prosper.
And trust me, the hardest part for a lot of stylists is letting their clients know that their service cost has increased, even if it’s only $2-$5.
#4: Your Hair May Not Do What You Want It To
This obviously goes for styling, but also about color too. Not everyone’s hair will go platinum on one or even two sessions. A lot of factors go in to this; current color of the hair, what type of water is used at home, and the condition of the hair. If your hair is compromised to begin with, your stylist should recommend conditioning treatments prior to any lightening service to strengthen your hair.
If you have box color on your hair, going to a pale blonde will be a process. Occasionally we find that gem that the box color lifts out beautifully, but that is rare. Plan on at least 2 sessions, possibly more to get to your goal. Listen to your stylist and the advice and expectations they give you. They want nothing more than for you to be happy with your results.
#5: Toner is Essential
Let me start by saying, I have a handful of clients who’s highlights lift to a perfect white blonde and I don’t tone them. However, most of my blondes never leave the shampoo bowl without being toned.
What is toner you ask? Often applied at the bowl after rinsing your color, toner is used to counteract any unwanted tones in blonde hair. If your highlights look yellow or orange, your stylist would apply a toner in a shade that would counteract those colors and give you more desirable results. The use of a toner does not mean that your stylist messed up. It’s just part of the hair color process.
You don’t have to be blonde to receive a toner though. Often referred to as “glossing” or a “glaze”, we sometimes do the same process on our brunettes and redheads to intensify a color and add shine.
#6: Empty Chairs = Empty Bank Accounts
We understand that things come up and you may not be able to make it to your appointment, but when you cancel at the last minute or no-show, your stylist has no chance to fill that spot which equals no pay for the time they had you scheduled out for. Most stylists and salons will ask for 24-36 hours notice if you need to cancel (unless an emergency comes up). If you cancel late, or even worse, no show you may end up finding yourself paying more at your next appointment by being charged a fee to make up for the spot you cancelled in.
Salons base their pricing on a lot of things, but the main one being how much each chair needs to bring in in a day for the salon to be profitable. Empty chairs = no money coming in. If you plan on not coming, please give your stylist at least 36 hours notice so they can attempt to fill that spot. Once the 24 hour mark passes, it’s much harder to do so.
#7: All Color Services Are Not Created Equal
We don’t expect you to know the terms for all of the different color techniques, but it is important that you give your stylist an idea what you’d like to have done. We have had clients call in for an all over color and then come to find out they want an ombre. Or someone wanting blonde highlights, only to find out they have box black on their hair. That’s the difference between a 2 hour service and a 4 hour service. If you book one thing and then ask for another when you show up, your stylist may not have time to accommodate what you want if it’s going to put them behind for their next client.
#8: We Don’t Mean to Run Behind
Occasionally if we’re running behind, it is our fault. But often it’s out of our control. It could be a situation as mentioned in #7, or maybe their 2nd client of the day was 10 minutes late and that pushed the rest of the day behind. We do our best to catch up, but we cannot sacrifice the quality of our work to do so.
If time is of the essence and us being a few minutes behind is going to be a problem, politely let us know and we would be happy to reschedule your service. You can also let your stylist know upon booking that your schedule is tight that day and if they’re running behind they can contact you before you even show up.
#9: We Don’t Enjoy Turning People Away
Hairstylists work on commission, so no, they don’t like to turn any service down. However, sometimes we don’t have a choice. Whether it’s a color service that would end up damaging the clients hair, or a walk-in for a haircut that no one has time in their schedule for right then, we HATE turning clients down. Please be understanding. If your stylist turns down your color service, listen and take the advice they give you. If you walk-in for a haircut and no one is available, go ahead and set up an appointment for when it’s convenient for you and the stylist. And remember, just because a salon accepts walk-ins doesn’t mean they’ll have availability right when you walk in.
#10: Stylists Make LITTLE Off Of Retail Sales
Commission on retail (if even offered) for stylist is SMALL. Like 10% or less in most salons. So when they are recommending products to you, they’re certainly not doing it to get rich. They’re doing it because they are educated on the products, they know your hair, and in their professional opinion they know that they will work for you. Trust your Licensed stylist more than someone on social media just selling you random haircare.
But most importantly, Stylists wish our clients knew how much we value and love them. Without you, our careers would not be possible.