Don’t Be a Player
I don’t know about you, but I like to try new things. If I visit the same restaurant twice, I’ll order a different dish on each visit. I’m not the person who likes the tread the same path. But one area that I choose to exercise my loyalty is with my hairstylist.
Tale as Old as Time
Since I began getting my hair done by a professional, I’ve rarely switched up stylists.
In fact, over the course of my hair-styling life, I’ve had a total of four hair stylists. The only reason why I’ve had four stylists, and not just one, is because I’ve moved to different cities and states. Overall, once I found a hairstylist that met my hair needs, I stuck with her.
I mean, when I leave the salon, I want to be in love with my hair. And real love stories don’t just happen overnight.
No One Night Stand
I’m not a licensed hairstylist.
But I come from a family of cosmetologists, and I understand that to reach your hair panicle, you have to give your stylist enough time to build a relationship with both you and your hair. Achieving your hair goals isn’t a “one-hitter-quitter.”
Just like any relationship, you have to stick it out with your hairstylist during the good and the bad times, and you can’t judge by first impressions. My rule of thumb is this: If I didn’t walk out bald (unless that’s the look you’re going for!), then I’ll give you another shot to get it right.
Hey, choosing your hairstylist is like an audition. Sometimes you need to hear another song before you can decide.
Who’s the MVP?
Back when I was getting relaxers, I would have one stylist that took care of my relaxers and another for my summer protective styling.
In fact, I had no idea that it was common for most women to have two different stylists that take care of multiple services. But like any other relationship, loyalty comes with its perks, and juggling two hairstylists can get messy.
At some point, you need to choose which of the two (or three, or four) will be your primary stylist.
There are a few cases where your separate stylists have different specialties. That’s understandable. As women, we have our primary care physician, and then we have our OB/GYN. So, I think we can get a pass for having at least two hairstylists.
However, if you do maintain living a double hair-life, then it’s crucial that your stylists are aware of what the other one is doing. To keep the harmony, ask both stylists to write down your specific haircare regimen and share each with both of your stylists.
This way, they can complement one another which is a win-win for you!
Deciding upon a primary stylist is not an easy feat.
I mean, your life is literally in this person’s hands. Okay, maybe not your life, but cut me some slack -hair is life! And if you have hair goals, you need a hairstylist that is enthusiastic about you reaching them. You also need a stylist that is committed and takes their profession seriously.
Let’s break this down:
Five Keys to Choosing the Best Hairstylist for You
The very first thing you should look for in a hairstylist is a cosmetology license.
Let’s stop with the kitchen stylists, ladies! No judgment because we’re all guilty of it, however, any person who is serious about their craft should back it up their services with a license.
I understand that many circumstances might interfere with obtaining a cosmetology license, but I strongly caution anyone sitting in the chair of an unlicensed stylist. It doesn’t matter how lit your style is, if this person does not have proper training, you’re putting yourself in a tricky situation.
If your hairstylist is going to ask for your loyalty, they need to prove their loyalty by educating themselves in their field.
The price might not seem like a big deal, but the cost is the number one reason why clients fail to remain loyal to their stylists.
It does not matter how fantastic your hairstylist is, if you can’t afford their service, you’re soon to go seeking someone more affordable. The first step to choosing an affordable stylist is to consider your budget. Be realistic and make sure that you’re selecting a price point that you can manage long-term.
Second, consider the frequency of your visits. If you need to see your hairstylist once a month, then you’re better off keeping a lid on your expenses and paying a lower price point. If you only visit your hairstylist two or three times a year, then it might be worth making the splurge. At any rate, you can’t change your stylists’ price points.
So take some time to check out their website and ask a few questions before booking your first appointment.
Trusting your stylists is a big one! Appearance isn’t everything, but it’s also something you shouldn’t take lightly.
You need to choose a hairstylist that you trust to take care of your hair. Your hair health is most important, and your stylist should accept that fact seriously. He or she should be transparent about their products and methods and should also be willing to share any concerns they have with you.
Remaining loyal to your hairstylist is the same as with any relationship. It’s all about trust. While trust is the most critical factor, it does take time to develop, especially with a complete stranger. Pick a stylist that proves they are worthy of not more than your money.
Pick a stylist that is worthy of your trust.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Your hairstylist is not a magician.
Your hairstylist should possess an adequate amount of talent to, literally, cut it. Skill might sound like a no-brainer but if you find yourself leaving the salon disappointed more than satisfied; it’s time to find a new hairstylist.
In addition to natural talent, your hairstylist should continue their education by taking classes to develop their skills and learn new techniques. When I was in college, my hairstylist at the time had been doing hair for over 20 years at the time. However, she never allowed her longevity in the field to override her desire to learn and grow within her craft. She made it a point to take classes and learn about the latest trends and styling methods.
I wish this for every stylist in the world. The hair care industry is changing every day. Your hairstylist should be eager to learn about the latest products and tools. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Find out when your hairstylist last took a class.
Remember, your hairstylist is offering you a service. You should have confidence in their ability to deliver the results you desire. Choosing a stylist that is knowledgeable about current trends will result in loyalty.
If your stylist is always up on the new-new, then you’re less likely to go elsewhere for the style you want.
Hairstylists have a poor reputation for running late.
Lateness is partially due to clients running late which affects all the following appointments. Another reason stylists run behind is from having a little too much fun girl chatting. I appreciate a friendly hairstylist, but punctuality shows respect. I usually give whatever appointment I make a 10-15-minute grace period.
Waiting longer than 15 minutes to begin your appointment is unacceptable. At its core, hairstyling is a service-based business. Your hairstylist should take their business seriously. Customer satisfaction is paramount, and punctuality is an easy way to ensure your customers are satisfied.
In addition to being punctual, it’s essential that you’re able to communicate with your stylist easily. In case of cancellations and other emergencies, your stylist should provide you with a reliable way to reach them.
When you decide upon your stylist, make sure that you’re comfortable with the amount of time that you have to wait, as well as how much time you spend in the chair.
Communication is Key
We suffer enough awkward silences in life. At the bank or during your performance evaluation with your boss.
These are just a few times when words escape us. One time when you should never be speechless is during your visit to your hairstylist. Let’s face it, your relationship with your hair can be frustrating. Your hair doesn’t always do what you want. You reach plateaus and might even suffer a few setbacks. It’s easy to get fed up and give up on your hair care regimen or worse, do something drastic.
Open communication breeds loyalty and your hairstylist needs to be your hair therapist. The voice of reason. Someone who can talk you off the ledge and show you the light at the end of the tunnel.
That might sound like a heavy load for a hairstylist to carry, but your hairstylists’ vision for the health of your hair should be bigger than your own. He or she should be able to see potential in even the most damaged conditions.
It’s imperative that you find a stylist who can speak honestly about your current hair condition and devise a plan to move you forward.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
I’m going to make this plain: If I’m giving you my money, then I want you to be 100% honest with me.
Being honest doesn’t always mean that your hairstylist has to be the bearer of bad news. In the past, there were specific styles that I wanted to try, and thankfully my stylist was honest and professional enough to tell me that my hair wasn’t in the condition to try that style just yet. Think of it this way; you’re a walking billboard for your hairstylist.
They should take their reputation seriously to the point that they’re okay with telling you, “not yet.”
The same applies to you as the client. Communication and honesty are priceless when you are choosing a hairstylist. You should feel comfortable enough to share with your stylist what is and what isn’t working for you. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of women who leave the stylist unhappy with either their service or their style.
The same way that your stylist should feel comfortable to tell you that you aren’t ready to go Beyoncé blonde, you should feel comfortable enough to express to your stylist when you are less than satisfied with their service or your style. You’ll appreciate that your stylist is open with you and values your opinion.
That kind of appreciation only comes with building a relationship through loyalty.
Cooperation Is A Two-Way Street
You and your stylist should make a collaborative effort to help you reach your hair goals.
Cooperating means that both parties are flexible enough to hear each other out and follow direction. Most clients subscribe to, “the customer is always right.” Unfortunately, we as customers are not always right and this fact is another reason why sticking to a stylist you trust is so important.
Your stylist should reassure you that she or he has your best interest at heart. In turn, you should feel capable of taking their direction, even when you don’t fully understand the reasoning behind it and maintain the regimen they create for you.
On the other hand, many stylists take the “do as I say” approach. While their professional advice is valid, only you understand your lifestyle and what is realistic for you. Your stylist should be approachable, understanding and know how to mesh their expectation with your lifestyle. You’re likely to be loyal to someone who treats you as a friend rather than a child. If you feel like you can collaborate on your goals with your stylist, then stick with that person.
You’re likely to reach your hair goals faster since you both have the same mindset.
Lifestyle vs. Expectation
Let’s face it. We live busy lifestyles. My life is not a Loreal commercial.
I don’t always have time to wear a 45-minute conditioning mask every week. Heck, I barely have time to sit down for a meal. I’m a wife, a mother of a toddler and a business owner. I work full-time, and I have a side gig.
Other women may have jobs that require them to travel for long periods of time or have situations that put their hair through extreme elements on a daily basis. We all live different lifestyles your haircare regimen is not a one-size-fits-all formula. It’s 0important that our stylists have a realistic idea of our lifestyles and possess the knowledge to tailor our hair regimen accordingly.
It’s our jobs as clients to maintain our hairstylist’s efforts on a daily basis. It’s vital that we know that our stylists can’t fight this battle alone. Unless your hair is cared for by a professional on a daily basis, the truth is that you can do more damage at home than your stylist can fix in a quarterly hour-long visit.
Neglecting the advice of your stylist and trying to keep up with unrealistic expectations will only cause both you and your hairstylist to become frustrated with each other. That frustration might cause you to stray away and try to take matters into your own hands.
Speak honestly with your hairstylist about their expectations, your expectations, and what your lifestyle permits.
Take a Break
The idea of taking a break from your stylist might sound counterproductive to loyalty.
Sometimes absence from your usual routine will make your heart grow fonder, a brief pause, and you’ll be ready to get back on the grind. Taking a break from your routine salon visits is not only good for your wallet, but it can be useful for your hair health as well.
One of the best ways to take a break is to schedule a protective style.
Protective styles are not just for women with naturally textured hair. A protective hairstyle is any style that protects your ends and gives your hair a break from daily maintenance. Protective hairstyles include braids, crochet styles, and sew-in weaves.
Wear a Wig
Another exciting protective style is wearing a wig.
Private Label Hair Extensions has an incredible line of 100% human hair lace front wigs suitable for all tastes. Discuss wearing a wig as a protective style with your hairstylist. But don’t slap a wig on your head and call it a day. The purpose of a protective hairstyle is to give your natural hair a break, so you’ll need to do some light care to the hair under your wig.
More than likely, your hairstylist will want to shampoo and deep condition your hair before installing your wig. Afterward, he or she will probably give you a trim and then french braid your hair. Then, your hairstylist will put a wig cap over your braids and proceed to install your wig so that it sits naturally on your head.
Take my advice. If you’re not skilled putting on wigs by yourself, you should have your wig professionally installed.
Trust me, having a wig installed by a professional is the difference between Martin Lawrence playing Big Mama and Nicki Minaj slaying a lace front.
Protective styles are meant to wear for weeks (sometimes months) at a time.
It’s important to pick a hairstyle that is easy for you to maintain and one that you won’t get bored with seeing yourself in day after day. Keep in mind that you will need to take your style down about every four to six weeks to wash and condition your hair. Just because you’re wearing a protective style does not mean that you can neglect taking care of your hair.
After a necessary break, you’ll be ready to jump back into your routine and revisit your stylist.
Our hair care journeys aren’t meant to be traveled alone.
Whether you visit your stylist only for trims or to get your color retouched, it’s essential that you remain loyal to your stylist so that you can grow together. I wear my hair naturally all year long, but I visit a stylist twice a year for a good trim. I’m aware that my stylist has a better vantage point than me getting my arms all tangled up trying to trim my hair in the mirror.
I also visit my stylist three times over the summer to install a protective style. Even though I don’t see my stylist frequently, I don’t bounce from chair to chair looking for the best deal or out of sheer boredom.
Despite that I don’t see my stylist frequently, I know that it’s vital to stay on this journey together.
Patience Makes Perfect
We have to understand that it takes time to reach our goals.
Nothing happens overnight, and as clients, we need to allow our hairstylists enough time to deliver upon their promises. We need to be realistic about our expectations and then be patient enough to wait for the results.
If you arrive at your appointment with ear-length hair, but you desire for your hair to be waist length, that’s going to take a little time to achieve. It might be a difficult pill to swallow, especially in our microwave, instant gratification society.
But remember, every time you switch hairstylists, you’re essentially starting over.
Reap The Benefits of Loyalty
It might be tempting to book an appointment with the hottest stylist on Instagram with over 1,000 likes but sticking with just one stylist is the gift that keeps on giving.
It takes time to find a stylist that meets all your needs, and then, you need to allow additional time for that relationship to blossom. Honesty and communication are imperative to a healthy relationship with your hairstylist. Be patient on your hair journey. A good stylist has your best interest at heart, but it’s up to you to remain loyal to see the results.
How long have you been loyal to your hairstylist? Leave a comment and share some of the reasons you choose to stick with your particular hairstylist?
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