Seriously. Treat it like a Date.
We see so many people come into the salon straight from the gym, or dropping their 17 carpool kids off at school, or the lady doctor, looking like a frazzled hot mess. Totally not helpful if its the first time. Your first meeting with a hairdresser should be treated like a first date with the lady (et-man?) of your dreams. Really.
I’ve compiled a list of no-bullshit things that are pretty important when you walk into a hair appointment with a new hair hero. Because it can be the best- or worst- day of your life.
1.) Don’t dress like a fucking bum.
Unless you are a bum, then carry on. But seriously. We need to know how you look on the reg, not when you leave the gym. Do you put any effort into your daily routine, or do you literally live in a top knot? Let a sister know. If the salon is a well-organized, modern salon, they should probably have a consultation form that rivals a psych doctor’s office (if not, consider running because they are probably also writing appointments in a paper book), so things like this should come up organically. But, in case they don’t, let them know if you don’t own a blow dryer or brush. And let them know if you absolutely take 20 minutes to blow dry and 30 minutes to carefully curl anyplace your hair every morning (lies, absolutely lies).
2.) Don’t bring an audience.
As in your husband (because he looks like a creep and he can drop the credit card off later), best friend, mother, sister’s best friend’s uncle’s cousin… what the hell ever. And definitely don’t bring your kids. This is your first time. It actually is all about you. And kids break stuff, and there are hot irons. Quite frankly, we are not babysitters and other clients are’t either, so just don’t. That is actually rude. And friends have too many opinions, and if they are so goddamned good at it (which they never are), then maybe you should let them do it. There is nothing worse than a best friend coming along and going ‘but she looks terrible with gold highlights’, and then the client actually showing us a multitude of pictures of-get this- golden blonde bitches. Leave the audience at home, you’ll make new friends.
Okay, mixed opinions on this one. Because Pinterest is so chock full of bullshit. Just so many edited photos of nonexistent colors that we can’t give you because your hair won’t do it and also still stay on your head. Bring with you a solid mix of “I love this this!” and “this is what I am totally terrified of”, the latter is pretty important. But if we don’t start somewhere, we just won’t have any idea where we are heading.
4.) Know your history.
Not like exes and GPA in high school, but box color is pretty relevant. And so are meds. We don’t give a shit if you are on crazy meds (we are too), but it definitely affects hair color, just like blood pressure, birth control, and hormones and heart meds. Have you gone from black to blonde and back to black in the past two years? Uh, we need to know that. Was is professionally done? (and hey, your cousin using color from Sally’s actually doesn’t count) Or did you undertake that task by yourself (brave, very brave, lil’ lady).
5.) Call ahead.
Don’t just walk in expecting someone to treat you like a princess. We have other clients paying a lot of money for our time. We really want to be your best friend, too. Just not when you waltz in off the street because your best friend suggested ‘stopping in’ over the 7 cocktails that you just had. Just don’t. Schedule a ‘consultation’. Big word alert. But let’s go over this one. A reputable salon won’t charge you for it, and it should take about 15 minutes. In that time, you can get the vibe of the salon, know what you’re going to have to pay, come up with a plan and definitely leave with a feeling of ‘well this is scary as shit’, or ‘awwww yeah, I’m gonna be super hot!’… let’s assume the latter. Book your appointment for your services from there.
6.) Talk about dollars.
If you are on a budget, have that discussion. No one is judging you, trust me. But if have $100 to spend and want $300 worth of services, plus $150 in retail… uhhhh, we gots a little problem. Well, we don’t- you do. And then a huge surprise bill. So, that is shitty. Just bring it up. And if you need to budget it in to your life, most stylists have these huge hearts and are (overly) willing to work with you anyway. But don’t be douchebag about it. As in- no, we aren’t doing your hair for free. We went to school for this, and this is how we pay our bills. That doesn’t mean all those services aren’t possible, just maybe not today. Maybe half of them today, half of them next time. It also doesn’t mean you are going to look like a shit show when you leave today. Just open that dialogue.
All in all, finding a hairdresser is scary. Like, really scary. Probably more-so than finding whoever you are going to marry, because, let’s face it, your hairdresser has to get you. So, keep in mind that while talent is really important, a general knowledge of how to actually do hair good fucking hair ranks in importance as well, but you have to vibe. If you walk in and are greeted by someone who has a million better things to do, or has the personality of a door knob, then fucking leave. They might talk bout how weird that was for a minute, but they’ll forget about you. And then you will go find a new salon home, where you are welcome.
Search until you find the perfect one, because it exists. Really.