Healthy Hair Care Blog From A Professional Hairstylist

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How To Effectively Communicate With Your Hairstylist

Communication, communication, communication.  It is a very important thing to have in any relationship we have, whether it is with our significant other or the person on the other end of the speaker in the drive thru.  If we are not communicating effectively with each other then we often end up with things we don't want, need, and haven't asked for.  Communication is also important when dealing with your hairstylist.  It is definitely the stylist's job to give you exactly what you want to the best of his/her ability, but it is the client's job to tell us what it is they want.  Have you ever heard the saying "closed mouths don't get fed"?  That about sums it all up.

When dealing with your hairstylist, especially when it is your first time meeting them, don't assume that the stylist will know exactly what you want.  Explain in thorough details and let the stylist repeat back what they interpret you saying.  That way, you can make sure you are both on the same page.  Here are a few ways to help you effectively communicate what you want out of your salon visit:

  • Tell them- This sounds simple but it is very important.  Tell your stylist what you want.  That is the first step to them understanding your need.  I'll go a little more in depth with this one later in the post.
  • Bring pictures-  If you have a hard time explaining exactly what you want, bring in pictures to help your stylist better understand what you are looking for.
  • Wear your hair similar to what you are looking for when you come in-  I have clients do this all the time.  I ask them how they would like their hair and they tell me they want it similar to what they already have but just on clean hair and they want it to look professionally done.  It's simple and I get it every time.
  • Explain what you don't like- You can also help your stylist figure out what you want by telling them what you don't like.  If you don't like big hair and lots of curls, we can automatically start eliminating in our minds styles that you definitely will not be pleased with.

Let's revisit the first bullet on simply telling your stylist what you want.  Let's take an example:

You love to wear your hair roller set and coming away from your face.  Today you go meet your stylist for the first time and all you tell her is that you love roller sets, but you forget to mention that you like it styled coming away from your face.  Your stylist roller sets your hair and styles it where you have a part on the left side and coming in your face.  She turns you around to the mirror to check yourself out.

At this point, you look in the mirror and you are thinking to yourself that the style is cute but not necessarily what you wanted because you like your hair coming away from your face.  You would love it if she got rid of the part and styled it that way instead.  You are also debating whether or not you should say anything since you forgot to tell her in the beginning that you wanted it coming away from your face.  You don't like confrontation and are unsure about how she will take it if you tell the "professional" to change what she did.  The following are things you should NOT do at this point.
  • Just stop going to the stylist- Unless you really, really hate your hair, don't give up on that stylist just yet.  Allow them a chance to style your hair the way you like after you have told them exactly what you like.  Now if you tell them exactly what you want and they still can't deliver, then you are justified in finding someone who can give you what you are looking for.
  • Simply smile, say you like it, pay, then go home and fix it the way you like it- I know a lot of people do this, I myself used to do it all the time when I got my own hair done!  There isn't anything wrong with going home and playing in your hair after your salon visit and tweeking it to exactly what you like. But when you do this your stylist does not know how you really feel because you didn't speak up!  All she heard you say was that you liked it and since you made another appointment she assumes that is how you like it styled since you told her that you were pleased.  So now, every time you ask for a roller set guess what? You are going to get it with a part on the side and coming towards your face.  Instead, once you are turned around for the "reveal" you can say "I like it but I like to wear it coming away from my face.  Can you style it like that for me instead of having the part?"  In doing this, you have informed your stylist on exactly how you like your hair and they can make a mental note of how to do it in the future.
  • Simply smile, say you like it, pay, then call or text with your concerns later-  If you don't like your hair once your stylist is finished, don't tell her that you do, then later on call or text them voicing your concerns or asking can you come back and get it redone.  Again, just simply tell your stylist you are not happy immediately.  If a client tells me they are unhappy, I will address their concerns and will be willing to fix it right then.  However, if that client doesn't say a word or says that they are happy, then texts or calls me when they get and asks can I redo it or wants to tell me what they are unhappy with, I then have a problem.  Some clients will not say anything to your face, but when they get home and get behind their computer or cell phone they become internet thugs, get real big and bold and are then voicing all of their opinions.  At that point, especially if the client is trying to be argumentative and disrespectful, that stylist/client relationship has pretty much started deteriorating.  And just like all clients have the right to pick and choose who their stylist will be, we stylists also pick and choose who we want as clients.  I can't speak for all stylists but I personally know that with this business clients come and go all the time for whatever reason whether it be money issues arise, relocation, or they just want to try something different.  So I don't lose any sleep at all if a client stops coming to me.  Don't get me wrong, I really love and enjoy what I do and would like to style my clients for years and years and years, but I know that is not realistic with everyone and I'm good with that.  So again, don't be that client that has to hide behind their cell phone or computer to confront their stylist instead of just telling them while you are still in the salon.  Communicate your feelings!
Now do you see how communicating with your stylist is so very important?  It can make all the difference and help you and your stylist better understand each other.  Until next time...


1 comment

  1. This is a great post!

    With that being said - you know what would be nice? If stylist were trained to ask these kinds of questions of their clients. After all, they see more clients a day than that client sees the styling chair!

    Thumbs up on these pointers though! Makes me want to sit your chair!


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