Going to the hair salon should be a pleasurable experience. Whether you're getting your routine maintenance, transitioning your look for a new season or dramatically changing your style, you are trusting another person with one of your most important beauty assets.
First, let us say that most stylists are hard-working and dedicated. They want you to be happy with their services and re-book. Return clients make up a lot of their business, so keeping clients satisfied is essential. That being said, watching out for a problem stylist is important, because no one wants to leave the salon looking worse than when they went in. So...if you see any of the signs below, it's time to run...there are too many good hairdressers available for you to put up with one who doesn't give your hair their full attention.
“That’s not looking how I wanted it to.” These words should never, ever be uttered by your hairdresser during a hair appointment. Whether it’s cut or color, you need to be able to trust your hairdresser, or problems will inevitably follow. Hearing this could mean that the hairdresser is inexperienced, wasn’t paying attention or any number of other things.
A trim should mean a trim. You go into a salon asking for a trim, and leave with four inches of hair missing. This could be due to miscommunication (everyone has a different idea of what “trim” means), or it could be that your stylist simply disregarded what you asked for. Either way, losing inches of hair when you’re not aiming to can be heartbreaking.
The lines of communication are down. Following the miscommunication of a trim is the miscommunication of, well, everything. The best hairdressers sit down with you before they even wash your hair and ask about what you hope to get out of the appointment. They should ask about your style preferences, your daily maintenance, your texture and everything else that can affect your hair. If you don’t have this conversation, there’s a lot of room open for interpretation. Even if you have gone to your stylist for years, it's important to communicate your expectations.
Socializing takes priority over hair. When you’re getting your hair colored, there tends to be plenty of down time for the colorist. No one expects them to wait on clients hand and foot, but if your hairdresser gets to the point of socializing, reading magazines and eating where they forget about your hair, it’s time to dump them. Leaving hair color on for too long can be damaging, plus it’ll ruin the color you actually wanted to leave with.
Everyone gets the same cut. If you see an army of bob haircuts leaving the chair you’re about to sit on, run. Sure, there are trends, but it’s unlikely that every single person who went to your hairdresser before you asked for the same exact haircut. If your hairstylist can only churn out one look, the future is looking bleak.
Your example picture is disregarded. Showing an example picture is highly recommended as it makes for much, much more succinct communication. But, when that picture is completely tossed to the side and you leave the salon with the opposite of what you asked for, your hairdresser will never give you what you ask for and you’ll be perpetually dissatisfied with your style.
Blow drying becomes a damaging nightmare. Even if your cut and color went perfectly, you still have to get through the blow dry without damage. Whether it’s not putting heat protectant on your hair or it’s using a heat styling tool on way too high of a temperature setting, be sure you’re out of the line of fire when it comes to heat damage.
It’s always “Bring your puppy to work day.” We say break up with not only the hairdresser, but also the salon who allows a puppy (or any animal) to roam free. For sanitary reasons and attention-stealing reasons alike, this is a huge red flag.
Vacations are more common than working days. Highly unlikely, we know, but some hairdressers are fond of taking vacations (aren’t we all?). This one only becomes a problem when you can never get an appointment because they’re always away. Sad as it may be, your hair might thank you for finding a new, more reliable stylist.
The phone is attached to their hand. Regardless of whether it’s a phone call, a text or an Instagram, when you’re in the chair, attention should be paid to you. Someone who is constantly on the phone tends to be distracted, especially when their job requires hands to be free at all times.