Don't Be Scared
From the beginning of time, there has been tension rising between a client and their stylist
over the words that have gone unsaid. Clients everywhere have smiled with tears in their eyes and questions on the tips of their lips; well not anymore.
1. Can you redo this? I don't like it.
I don't know about anyone else, but this is beyond the hardest question to ask any hairstylist.
As a little girl, I remember not liking my curls or my twists, and when the end rolled around and my hairstylist would say 'That is so cute on you, do you like it?' and I didn't, my heart would almost jump out of my chest. I would be too afraid to ask her to do it over. Too scared to ask her to change it or add something. I would just smile and nod; didn't matter how I felt on the inside. I think this is the hardest question because we worry about hurting their feelings or making them upset. As a client, often turned friend, we feel that saying that we don't like the style or would like improvements are rude, especially when we look up and the hairstylist is beaming with pride. We've all been there until you realize that you are paying for this service and take pride in your hair, just as the hairstylist takes pride in their work. It's okay to ask for changes or make corrections, these hairstylists are professionals, and they want you to feel satisfied when you leave. Constructive criticism is welcomed and helpful for both of you to get the most out of your appointment.
2. Are we finished yet?
Seriously, some hairstylists can have you waiting forever and ever. You begin to wonder, is getting my hair done even worth it? Will I make my event? How does the outside of the salon look? Can I stand another song? Oh gosh, why did they ever take this show off of television! It can be tiring to be sat under a dryer, unable to see the timer with no end in sight. Or for you to think, I must only have five braids left, and thirty minutes later they are still braiding. I know it can seem childish or annoying to ask 'Are we done yet?' But do not be afraid to ask, you may have appointments or a time frame you were working in and needed to notify others. However, do not be overly impatient when it comes to your hair is finished. When attending the salon
, you never know how many people are in front of you or if your hair will be cooperating today. Attempt to book your appointment
on days that you don't have much to do or go to the hairstylist
you know can get the job done nicely in the least amount of time.
3. Why are you cutting so much?
"Is it bad?" you ask Kelly, your hairstylist. "Nope, I don't even have to take that much off," Kelly replies. You think to yourself, "Good." Kelly precedes to cut off two full inches of hair. You think to yourself, 'Oh, my God. Are you serious? That's "not that much."' It's enough to make you turn around and ask her, "Why are you cutting so much?!" It can be hard to suck it up and part with your hair, but your hairdresser is doing what is best for you.
4. What is the absolute longest I can go between treatments?
Listen, I know that I should get trims
during a specific time frame, but can I like, just skip it?
5. Are you heavy-handed?
This question may be frustrating to ask because almost every hairstylist thinks they are the most gentle and caring when it comes to the hair and scalp; it can be hard to get the honest truth. But ask anyway, get your medicine ready.
6. Do you have any deals?
Don't feel cheap for asking for deals! Hairstylists often have specials that you might not know about because you don't ask! I can't count how many sales I've missed out on because I was afraid to ask. One hairdresser that faithfully does my weaves has a $75 Weave Wednesdays special that I knew nothing about because I usually got my hair done Saturday mornings. That means that I was spending an unnecessary extra $55. Ask, and you shall receive!
7. Where can I get these products? So I can do this at home.
Hairdressers do love teaching their clients healthy hair
, but they are still hustling sis so I can see the conflict of interest when it comes to getting exclusive stylist products. We always want to know what is in our hair that makes our curls pop, our wrap silky and fluffy and our untimely edges are fleeked to perfection. This new knowledge isn't to say that we will never go back to the salon again, it's just that sometimes you want that salon look for a DIY price. Don't be afraid to ask the name or ingredients or products or even tools like flat irons, brushes, and curlers. Healthy and beautiful hair is the number 1 priority. Often your stylist also has store brands that rival the salon brand products
8. Can you avoid these places in my head?
It can be embarrassing to divulge what has been going on with your hair extensively. You should try to remember that your hairstylist is a professional and that they are here to help you with your hair not judge you. Be sure to tell your stylist about bald spots, scalp irritation
and areas of breakage. Speak up! The best thing you can do for your hair and the relationship between you and your hairstylist is, to be honest about your concerns and ask for less tension or a new part placement.
9. How much would this cost without ____? (Fill in the Blank)
Once in awhile your hair can start to feel like a car. You went in for an oil change and told that you need new breaks, shocks and that you should go ahead and buy new tires. But you leave telling them that all you can afford to worry about right now is the oil change you came in for. Yes, maintenance and a good hair routine
is key to healthy hair, but skipping a few things once in a while will not throw off the entire path of your hair. It is best not to skimp on your hair care but #teamyoureluckyIevenmadeitinforatrim, says can we ignore some of the signals my hair is sending me right now? Never be ashamed of being honest with yourself about your current hair budget. You may think your hairdresser is looking at you as if you are a mad woman at an auction but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Get what you came for and be out. Your stylist will understand. I deep conditioned at home, hold the protein treatments
and intensive oils
for two weeks from now, thanks.
10. Am I Next?!
If this article were about "Top Pet Peeves About Hair Salons and Why I switched to DIY," this would be number one on my list. Did my 9 am appointment mean anything?! Seriously, some hairstylists will go to the laundry mat, eat their lunch and do six other clients before getting to you. By that time your 9 am has turned into a 10:45, and that's just the starting time! This whole hour doesn't account for time spent under the dryer or detangling. It's the question that is always on the tip of our tongue as we see people being swapped out of the styling seat and to the dryer or shampoo bowl, waiting to hear those holy words, "You can come sit in my chair!" And if you're wondering, I always ask. I want to know if I have time to read my book or start a movie; I may legit be able to run down the block grab a sandwich and be back, and nothing would have changed. So go ahead and ask; make use of that waiting time.
11. Could you correct what this other stylist messed up?
Now, I know what you're thinking, why isn't this number one? That is because whether we realize it or not, our hair stylist will always know when we have cheated on them. That's right, what your lips are shy to say, your hair will scream at them. If you went to someone else who caused hair breakage or did a sketchy color job, your hair will let your stylist know from the condition she witnesses. So beat your strands to the punch and spill the beans.
12. Will this make my hair fall out?
It can seem rude to ask this question, but you just have to know. There is a handful of hairdressers who care more about the style than the health and strength of their client's hair. Although it can be scary, ask is my hair healthy enough for color or braids right now? Ask is a sew in okay right now? Make the hairstylist pay attention to the current state of your hair; if anything happens a bald spot or a breakout, you can say that you explicitly asked for clarification and guidance.
13. Will your assistant be doing my hair?
The apparent and initial answer to this question is of course not! But realistically, we are still tempted to ask. After an assistant washes, blow dries and braids down our hair, we begin to wonder if she is just going to finish us off. From what I gathered on IG and hair forums, we have a reason to be afraid to ask this question as it proves to be irritating to hairstylists everywhere; however, we just have to know.
14. How long will it take my hair to grow back?
Hairdressers are obsessed with healthy hair, not long hair. It can be a difficult thing to ask these kinds of questions when your stylist insists on redirecting your attention to hair care practices
. (AKA, google it behind her back and track your progress).
15. What do I need to do before coming to the salon?
With all the new rules coming out, it is good to ask if you need to do any prep work before you get to the salon. For instance, I used to get my hair washed and conditioned by my hairdresser, then all of a sudden it became come to the salon cleaned and blew dried, ready to be serviced. There are also surcharges for extra bundles
. For that reason, it is essential to read peoples profiles or websites thoroughly and if you are still confused, ask questions before you arrive. You don't want any miscommunication or extra charges.
16. Can I eat this, like now?
I stopped pass Starbucks for nothing this morning! All I want in this salon is a big blueberry muffin while I wait and my coffee.
17. Would this style look right on me?
Agonizingly swiping through your phone, you show Kelly (your hairstylist), all these styles you want to try but are worried about being denied. Is my hair long enough? Will I have to cut too much? What will the upkeep be?
18. Is my hair healthy?
Seems like a simple enough question right? Wrong! When you ask "is my hair healthy," you are opening a can of worms that will lead you down the path of shears and lots of dryer time so beware! Your stylist will not hold back with you and let you know the areas in which your hair is lacking. Though, this honesty from her can be a positive thing. So many times I had chopped off my hair
or thrown it under weave assuming that it was unhealthy or rough when all it needed was attention and the proper styling to prosper. Long story short, I was walking around with inches of beautiful, healthy, thick and healthy hair but I had no idea! I just knew that I would have a massive list of things I needed done as well as dos and don'ts. But in reality, she informed me that I had healthy hair and the only thing I needed was to grease my hair a little more often. Who would've guessed?
19. What are all these treatments doing for my hair? And do I need them?
This question kind of hints toward the other one on our list "How much would it be without xx services?". Except, this time, we want an explanation of the services. You've seen many IG videos of keratin treatments, and from the website, you think you may be into an OlaPlex treatment
, so what are they exactly? A keratin treatment
is used to infuse moisture into the hair and cause a straightening effect
. The straightness of a perm without a product, while an Opalex therapy focuses on strengthening hair bonds and repairing the damage. Ask your hairstylist precisely what would be beneficial for your hair, and what would be the outcome before self-diagnosing and hopping on board with any hair altering decisions. Knowledge is power.
20. How Should I get my hair?
Many are afraid to ask their hairstylist this question because, for lack of a better word, it seems a little annoying to them. Many stylists seem to be bothered by the prospect of going back and forth with you over what you might want for your hair. Another issue that may arise with this question is that you worry your hairstylist may give you the same style you've seen on their Instagram 3,000 times. That's okay, if you are going because you like their signature style, less so if you were fishing for some creativity. Go ahead and ask if you have no idea, or trust their judgment, don't be wary of either thing happening. You both still have to get the job done, and someone has to choose the still, and ultimately, no matter the opinion, you still have to give it the green light.
No Longer Afraid
Those days of googling hair questions
or leaving unsatisfied are over. Go straight to the source and ask your stylist; the one who has spent years doing hair and has gone through training. Furthermore, be your advocate and speak up about what your hair needs, and what your pockets don't. Show that your value both your and their time and pop the question. All is fair in styling and hair.