We’d all like to think our hairstylist is a magical genie who is perfectly capable of granting any sort of hair wish. But truthfully speaking, our go-to stylists are only human, and can’t transform your tresses with the flick of a magic wand. And yes, you may think you know the ins and outs of everything hair, but maintaining appropriate salon etiquette is key to ensuring a great appointment for both you and your stylist.
Not only is seeing eye to eye crucial, but it can also help you achieve those wondrous (and not to mention realistic) results every time you pop into the salon. So, if you are looking to brush up your salon etiquette, here’s five things you can stop saying altogether. Yes, that even includes asking for discounts.
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Please Don’t Lie
There’s probably nothing a colorist hates more than lying about previous dye jobs you may have had in the past. Whether you’ve done henna, a semi-permanent color or highlights, Shaun Surething, co-owner and lead stylist at New York–based Seagull Hair Salon, says there is definitely still existing color in your hair, making it extra important to be honest about your past color history.
“Lying about having no traces of color in your hair will result in unpredictable results in the salon,” says Surething. “Even the most well-trained colorists can sometimes not see an old gloss that will affect the outcome of your new color.”
Even worse comes lying about using box color, which can really affect your color outcome, especially if you plan on going lighter. To avoid unwanted and awkward color overlap, be sure to tell your stylist about any box color products you may have used in the past, even if it was three years ago.
“Don't ever try to lie about using box dye or at-home color in hopes we won't find out when you want to go lighter,” says Tiffany Chiapparelli, lead educator for amika. “We are lifting your hair from any color you've had, so there is no point in lying about it.”
But Don’t Hold Back Either
Complaints at the salon can be tricky, but there usually is a way to air your grievances without sounding like that nagging woman everyone dreads. Experts like Chiapparelli stress the importance of speaking up, especially if your results are not to your satisfaction.
“Don't be shy if there is an issue that you notice mid-appointment,” she says. “We want you to be happy—so please speak up!”
Don’t Think Your Results Are Going to Look Like the Picture
Visuals can be more than helpful when it comes to showing your stylist exactly what you are going for, but some experts warn against relying on celebrity hair photos, as they can create unrealistic expectations. Just because your favorite songstress went blond, doesn’t mean you’ll get the same dramatic bleached effect. "If you bring in a photo of a hair color you want, keep in mind that photo might have been edited, and there may not be a way to create that color in real life,” states Jackie Ferrara, senior colorist at Pierre Michel Salon.
Similarly, the same concept also applies to haircuts, as different facial shapes and features can make any chop look different on anyone. “We all have different head shapes, face shapes, features, hair texture and even hair color,” says Nicole Contrastano, senior expert stylist from Pierre Michel Salon. “One haircut can take on a whole different look on someone else.”
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Don’t Show Up Late, and Demand to Be Out On Time
Another way to tick off your hairstylist is showing up late, which can seriously throw a wrench into his or her schedule. A stylist’s schedule can book fast throughout the day, and showing up extremely late can throw off his or her workflow, really affecting your results.
“We can't make miracles happen and rush to give you the best appointment when we don't have the allotted time,” adds Michelle Lee, co-owner and master designer of Salon Eva Michelle in Boston. “Stylists naturally want their clients to be happy with the service, but if we feel rushed and we can't make it the best, it's a double-edged sword.”
Don’t Be Resistant To Change
Change is always synonymous with a new cut or color, so experts recommend keeping this in mind when booking appointments, especially for haircuts. According to stylist Amerah at Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa, clients should always remember that all haircuts require some sort of change, even if you are coming in for a trim.
“Don’t say you want a haircut, but then proceed to say you don't want the hair to look shorter,”Amerah says. “Anytime you cut hair, it only gets shorter.”
In addition, Chiapperelli finds that you shouldn’t give your stylist mixed messages either, as backing out of changes you’ve agreed to makes the process more unnecessarily complicated than it should be. “Don't tell your hairstylist you are ready for a change and then decline every one of our suggestions—it sounds like what you really need is a margarita and a good therapy session,” she adds.