How to "Really" Talk To Your Stylist
Working with a pro stylist is just like consulting with your doctor: You get a lot more out of the experience if your communication is as clear, understandable, and honest as possible.
When you trust your hair to the care of a trained professional, you’re always ready to give that stylist the benefit of the doubt.
That’s why, if you end up with a new style that’s disappointing…
...you’re tempted to blame the styling products...the tools the stylist used...even your own hair!
But the truth is, working with a pro stylist is just like consulting with your doctor:
You get a lot more out of the experience if your communication is as clear, understandable, and honest as possible.
“A stylist always appreciates a client who lets them know what they want out of their styling experience”
So, we asked a collection of top professional stylists from around the country:
“What are your best tips for communicating with a stylist?”
Their insights will help you ensure the next conversation you have with a salon stylist will get you exactly the styling results you’re looking for!
TREAT YOUR STYLIST LIKE A PARTNER
Stylist Orlando Pita’s celebrity client roster includes such headline-grabbing ladies as Oscar winners Jennifer Connelly and Sofia Coppola and international attorney Amal Clooney.
According to Pita, thinking of your stylist as a collaborator is the key to a successful styling experience.
“Oftentimes, I don’t know who this person is,” Pita says. “If they sit in my chair and say ‘do what you want,’ well, that’s not really exciting for me....so I think collaboration always works best.”1
In other words, your stylist is your partner in crafting your exciting new look...and you wouldn’t embark on a new venture without sharing the project’s details and goals with your partner!
So don’t be afraid to really discuss your desires and concerns with your stylist.
It will not only improve your chances of getting amazing results...it will also make the stylist’s job that much easier!
MAKE IT VISUAL
The good news is, even if you’re shy about sharing too much about your hair, there’s a great way to let a stylist know what you’re looking for...without saying a word.
“WE LOVE PHOTOS,” says Lorean Cairns, co-owner and creative director of New York’s Fox & Jane Salon.
“In hair, a picture really is worth a thousand words.”2
So don’t be afraid to bring in those magazine articles or clippings.
Martyn Duff, a regional creative director for Sassoon Salons, likes clients to show him “images that relate to the hair texture they want, colors they love, and shapes that inspire them.”3
Hairstylists are visual artists.
So if you can show them a strong image of what you want or need out of your hair...their skills and talent will let them do the rest!
TELL THEM WHY YOU’RE REALLY THERE...
Pro stylist Jon Reyman, founder of the nationwide Spoke & Weal salon chain, has a list of topics he regularly discusses with new clients before he even touches their hair.
These topics include:
- Your best past haircuts and styles
- Previous styles and cuts you haven’t liked
- Your normal daily styling routine
- ...and most important of all...why you’re looking for a new stylist in the first place
Reyman says this last question is crucial because it answers arguably the most important question of all:
What hair problem are you looking to your stylist to solve?
“If they’re sitting in my chair,” says Reyman, “that means someone else failed them...whoever you saw before didn’t do their job, and I want to know what went wrong so I never do that.”4
Simply stated, any time you’re seeing a new stylist, it’s because the old one didn’t work out.
Making those former problems clear is a wise way to help ensure they never happen again!
...AND TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE!
Finally, Julia Dickson, founder of the New York boutique salon Fox & Boy, says it’s important to give your stylist a key piece of information about the hairstyle they’re creating:
The personality of the person wearing it!
“Tell us what kind of music you listen to, artists and movies you like, etc.,” says Dickson.
“A girl who works on Wall Street probably has a different definition of a ‘cool’ haircut than a musician.”5
In other words....the more your stylist knows about who you are outside the salon…
...the better they’ll be able to sculpt a style that’s absolutely “you”!
“Different women have different needs and desires for their hair...make sure your stylist know what’s going to do the trick for you!”)
...just like with any important relationship, communication is a must for a successful client-stylist connection.
So keep the tips from these top stylists in mind next time you visit the salon…
...and we’re sure they’ll help you and your stylist work together to create a look that’s simply spectacular!
- Colameo, Lindsay. “5 Things Hairstylists Wish You Would Tell Them.” Allure, Allure Magazine, 25 May 2017, www.allure.com/story/hair-salon-tips.
- Metrus, Lindsey. “17 Things Your Hairstylist Wants You To Know.” BuzzFeed, www.buzzfeed.com/lindseymetrus/17-things-your-hairstylist-wants-you-to-know?utm_term=.ch9RL6kNJ#.qdwoKNBW1.
- Cernek, Susan. “How to Speak Hairdresser: Tips on Getting the Haircut You Want.” Glamour, Glamour Magazine, 12 Oct. 2009, www.glamour.com/gallery/how-to-speak-hairdresser-2009-10#4.
- McIntyre, Megan, and Tracy Wang. “How To Get The Best Haircut Of Your Life.” Pictures, Tips On How To Talk To Your Stylist, www.refinery29.com/72422#slide-6.
- TodayShow. “Was It Something I Said? 9 Tips on How to Talk to Your Hairstylist.” TODAY.com, www.today.com/style/was-it-something-i-said-9-tips-guarantee-you-never-t3731.