What Your Hairstylist Wished You Knew
Have you ever shown up to your hair appointment 5 minutes late with an overpriced coffee and greasy day 5 hair? I think we all have been there at least once.
If you don’t know, I’m a full-time hair stylist and makeup artist in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. As someone who has been a client and now works behind the chair, I was curious about what our beauty professionals wished clients knew but maybe aren’t telling us!! So, I went to Instagram and asked my fellow hairstylists, barbers and MUA's. Here is what they told me.
“Have realistic expectations, aka Pinterest hair is not cheap”
This topic was one of the MOST repeated in the responses. Personally, I think this falls on the stylist more than the client. So, let’s talk about this in two ways:
First, as a client, having “realistic” expectations might be hard because you don’t know the science, technique, time, or cost of a specific look you want. Which is why you go to your stylist so they can tell you. The problem with this arrives when the client sets restrictions on the stylist even though they don’t have the knowledge to do so, like appointment timing or the price. Example: You want to be bright blonde from your natural dark brown hair. Your stylist knows the steps, pricing, and timing but you only have ½ of that money to spend on your hair and you are on a time crunch. What needs to change? The client’s expectations on the final look not the stylist’s prices or timing.
The second way I look at this is as the stylist, it’s our job to listen and manage the clients’ expectations. Find solutions that will give the client a similar style to their goal but fits their price range or time frame. Example: explain that starting with a few foils instead of the whole head will fit their price point and timing. It won’t look like the end goal today, but the process is started.
Pinterest is an amazing recourse for ideas but realize every hair color is different. All hair color fades (even permanent hair color) and needs maintenance. The hair in the inspiration photo was freshly done but in 6 weeks it will not look like that anymore.
“Please wash your hair”
Someone please tell me why this beauty myth got started? Would you paint your nails without removing old polish and washing your hands? Would you stain a deck without cleaning it off first? Washing your hair, the night before your hair appointment, is always appreciated. If you are looking to color your grey hair but come to your appointment with loads of hair spray or tinted root spray, your color is not going to be as good as it could be if your hair was clean. Need help finding your perfect shampoo and conditioner? I can help you with that HERE.
“Your posture affects the outcome of the haircut and how I have to move.”
When your stylist, barber, makeup artist adjusts your head to a position, it’s for a reason. We are trained to know the body, the angles we must cut and how the combination affects the final look. Try to accommodate those positions while they work so your hair cut isn’t crooked.
Also remember gravity in the shampoo bowl. If you are lifting your head too high water WILL run down your neck. Isaac Newton was a real one.
“Communicate if you’re going to be late, need to reschedule or cancel. No call no show is just rude”
Communication is KEY. Most businesses will have their cancelation/rescheduling policies on their websites. Everyone is human and life happens. If you happen to cancel later than stated in their policy or you no call no show, the business will probably charge you a fee.
Why? Time is money baby. And if the Starbucks line is why your late, get us one too.
The days of walk-in appointments are gone. If you’re a stylist, you probably know this but as a client you might still think walking into a salon is your best bet to get an appointment. If a stylist is at work without any clients, odds are they aren’t making money. Would you just hang out at work if you weren’t getting paid to be there?
Not ALL shops are this way but as a safe bet, always check the business’s website for their booking protocols. Also, a Facebook page is not a business’s website and may not be the best way to contact them.
“If your stylist isn’t raising their prices this year, they took a pay cut.”
When I read this response in my Instagram question box my jaw literally dropped because she is spot on. Usually, when a stylist raises their prices, it’s celebrated because they are leveling up their skill set and their business is booming! But this year with the cost of doing business rising those two things don’t even have to be WHY your stylist’s prices have increased. It’s simply because if they don’t raise their prices this year, they would be taking a pay cut. Could you imagine the company you’re currently working for saying, “Hey you did great last year, we would like you do to everything the same this upcoming year, but we are going to decrease your pay by $5 per hour”. You would be running to indeed.com so fast my friend.
“Everyone lifts warm”
This was a common one that came up in the responses because as a client, I’m sure the phrases: “My hair always turns brassy”, “I have red undertones” or “I lift really warm” have come out of your mouth during a consultation. Well, that’s because EVERYONE lifts warm. It’s not news to your stylist and they have the tools in their arsenal to take the correct steps to combat the unwanted warmth. HINT* Purple shampoo is NOT always the answer. Learn more about that HERE.
You still feel like your color is too warm? Head back up to paragraph one where we talked about expectations and consultations because THAT is where the magic lies.
“Kim K makeup inspo is great but is that really what you want?”
I cannot express to you how many times clients have showed me their makeup inspiration picture of Kim K on a red carpet while saying “I want a light natural makeup look”
Bro. Talk about an oxymoron. As a makeup artist, we can interpret that as, they like Kim’s color selection of all neutral tones but make sure to ask them if they actually want a full coverage glam? Most of the time they don’t. Even though we know that is what Kim is wearing.
“Makeup has texture. You can’t expect makeup to fix skin problems”
FACTS. Again, this comment can be added to the “realistic expectations” category in paragraph one. If you have perfectly smooth, glowing skin, this might not apply to you. However, if you have texture, acne, dry skin, wrinkles or lines, makeup will not “fix” this. It can somewhat camouflage it while enhancing your beautiful features! The key is really in the client’s prep work. Check out my post on 5 things your MUA wants you to know.
I hope this was informational to you and that it sparks effective communication between you and your stylist <3