15 things your hair stylist wishes you knew (but is too polite to tell you!)

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There isn’t a living soul who doesn’t want their hair appointment to go really well. We bring you the tips to make it happen, and they come straight from the stylist’s mouth!

Don’t arrive more than three or four minutes early for your appointment – it only makes your stylist (and the client they’re attending too) anxious because they feel they’re holding you up. If you have to arrive early, be sure to let the receptionist know you’re not in a hurry.

Schedule your next appoint of the day well clear of the time you expect to finish at the salon. If you do find yourself in an unavoidable rush, let your stylist know at the start of the appointment (if possible, they can then plan to skip the wash and/or dry to reduce your time in the chair).

If your appointment is with a stylist who hasn’t previously worked with your hair, bring with you a photo of a cut (and colour if that’s also what you’re after) that appeals. Don’t go overboard – just two images, please or you’ll confuse the stylist.

When bringing a photo of a style, take it along in print, not digital form. Digital photos often come with colour enhancement and backlighting – and as no stylist is going to be able to replicate that, a digital photo is setting the scene for disappointment.

Once you’ve consulted with your stylist over the photo, put it away! Hair is organic and the image you’ve brought along is a consultation tool only – not a measure of the final result! Micro-checking throughout the cut only makes everyone nervous.

If you don’t have a photo, never be afraid, during the consult, to say what you don’t want. While many people have trouble describing the cut they would like, almost everyone can say what they don’t want – which is a very real help to a stylist.

If you’d rather not chat, please make it clear (your stylist isn’t a mind-reader, and they won’t be offended by your comment). At the same time, there will be times when they need to concentrate (especially if working on a new style) so be understanding when they indicate this.

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Please don’t answer your phone unless it’s absolutely urgent (in which case you should be able to tell your stylist in advance that you may be expecting a call). Holding your phone against your ear destroys the stylist’s cutting line.

Don’t put your glasses on unless you check with your stylist first (in which case they will assist you). Pushing glasses on any old-how can scrape away wet hair colour and disturb cutting lines.

While the cut and/or colour is going on, keep everything you need on your lap. If you bend forward to get something out of your bag, hair clippings will go everywhere (including down your neck), and a stylist wearing gloves that are covered in hair colour, or holding three implements at once, isn’t in a position to help you.

Don’t begrudge the time your stylist takes to educate you about the product. Especially if you are getting a new style, the product you will need to keep it looking good may very well differ from what you’ve been using in the past.

Stylists don’t want to sell you products if what you already have at home will do (believe it or not, they’re not into waste!). So, if you’re having a new style, take a photo (or note down) the products you already have in your arsenal.

Take a photo of the style outcome before you leave the salon (especially if your next cut is to be by a different stylist). This photo is the guide for the work that will happen on the next appointment.

If you can’t schedule an appointment with your regular stylist, be discreet in asking him/her to recommend another stylist in the salon. Salons are small places and no stylist wants to be overheard recommending one colleague over another.