Your hair is a crucial, if not the MOST crucial component of your appearance. The way you style it can tell people a lot about who you are. Similarly, if you get a bad haircut or color job, it can damage your carefully manicured image (and confidence!)
Entrusting someone with the fate of your hair is a big deal. You want to find a salon and stylist that you can trust, and have a mutual understanding with. Finding the right match (like most relationships of importance) is really all about communication; being able to listen to what you want but also getting a professional opinion too.
If you're considering a haircut, dye job, or even just a trim, the process can be doubly complicated if you have to find a brand new hair salon. Maybe your old stylist moved away or changed locations; or maybe you just feel like shaking things up.
If you're starting from ground zero with your hair, it can be a long journey towards finding a new hairdresser. With no way of testing them out ahead of time, it's important to be able to spot the professional and not the pretender!
Do Your Research!
Make sure you do your research before settling on a new hairstylist. To find the best hair salon for your needs, start by asking your friends and family where they go. If their style doesn't mesh with yours, find recommendations online (stylists typically are on Instagram these days, so be sure to take a look at their work there as well). Read reviews on Yelp or Facebook, talk to a salon's current and past clients, or better yet, visit the salon in person and ask about the stylist's experience and portfolio.
One way to ensure that you love your next haircut is by booking a hair appointment that comes with a consultation. This lets you fully explain the exact style you want, and also helps you assess if your stylist is the right fit for you. Pay attention during the conversation and ask any questions that come to mind!
A consultation comes in handy whether you're getting a color, a cut, or extensions. During the consult, your stylist will take into account numerous factors such as: face shape, lifestyle habits, and how your natural hair looks. They'll also check for any unusual growth patterns or abnormalities in your hair.
Your stylist should not only prioritize the health of your hair, but also offer alternatives if the cut or color you want isn't possible without further damaging your hair. They should explain aftercare and maintenance in an understandable way, so you know precisely how to take care of your new look.
Instead of asking yourself why it's so hard to find a good hair stylist, get some feet-on-the-street and find a few spots to drop-in on. Checking out the salon in person lets you “feel out” a hair salon before committing yourself to a hairdresser that you might ultimately regret. Take note of how the staff interacts with their customers and what techniques they use in the salon. Bonus: most hair salons have portfolios with before-and-after photos that can give you an idea of their work!