The day has finally come...You've prepared for it by saving pictures on your phone and by, finally, deciding on that daring bob coupled with a beautifully deep and woody red. Now what?
Finding the perfect stylist is a little like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. There are so many of us out there. How do you find the right one? You must ask yourself a few more questions. Do you want one stylist to conceptualize your entire look? Do you prefer having two - one to execute the cut and one for the color? If one stylist feels right for you, then looking for the right one consists of finding someone who is adept at BOTH cuts and colors. If you want two experts, you would go to a departmentalized salon where stylists have chosen their specific area of expertise and then have consults with both.
Now to explain the kinds of questions that are important to have a proper and successful consultation. It is my hope that you will be able to go out from here and achieve your new look with beautiful results - no matter where you go.
1. What technique is needed to achieve the results?
Is it a highlight or an all over color. In the case of the red bob I presented at the beginning of this article, then an all over color is needed to attain results.
2. What is the existing color of your hair?
This is crucial. If you are blonde with highlights, then it may be necessary to fill the hair and then color over with another color to really achieve a lasting and durable result. If you have blonde regrowth and near-black midshaft and ends, then it is most-likely necessary to remove the black color first, then the colorist may formulate a regrowth formula and a separate formula must be used on the pre-lightened mid and ends.
3. How long do you plan to stick with your new choice in color/cut?
This is by far the most under-asked question and discussion. If it's a new cut, you may want to be sure of how long the shape will last. Bobs are best maintained with a cut every 6-8 weeks. Shorter hair, like a crop, needs trimming usually every 4-6 weeks to maintain it's original edge. When you decide on a new color it is of utmost importance that you not think of hair color as merely slipping on a new dress or outfit that you buy daily or weekly. If your hair is to look and feel beautiful, think of it as a one of a kind purchase - like an expensive new purse or that Alexander McQueen you have been saving up for. Hair color is by far the most beautiful way to accent a gorgeous haircut but it must be undertaken with care and maintenance. If you truly want your hair to be an outward expression of the inner you then I believe it is important for all of us to look at it with a bit more forethought and not just on a whim.
4. What is your ongoing budget for your hair?
It's sometimes an uncomfortable question we, as your stylists, have to consider WITH you. Tell your stylist the amount you can invest and we will consider the best options for your end and ongoing results. Initially there may be a bigger price tag to achieve the initial result because a color change is usually considered a color correction. (Refer back to question 2) However, maintenance of the new color may be easier in subsequent visits. All I'm suggesting is that you be as thorough as possible so that you have no surprises at the register later on.
5. How much time do you honestly spend styling your hair everyday?
This is where you are asked to be honest with yourself and the stylist. Achieving the results come down to some very important key factors. Do you use a brush AND blow dryer? What products will be necessary? I was asked last night at the salon by a client- "Are products important when blow drying hair?" My answer was a definitive "YES". Products are the soft tools whereas irons, blow dryers, and brushes are hard tools. They are important to achieve results on hair. Whether they help your hair hold a curl, loosen a curl, or to eradicate a curl - they are all important tools, in whatever combinations we use them. It is also important that you pay attention to what your stylist does when styling your new look. If it looks hard to do, simply ask them for the abridged version. Your stylist is there to help you find the essence of your outward hair expression. They want you to be happy with your hair. It is in all of our best interests that you go out to face the world with confidence and verve. We especially love it when you refer those who like our work back to us. (Some of us will even hook you up on future appointments for doing so - I know I do!)
These are just a couple examples of questions asked during a consultation. If the stylist doesn't make you feel secure, say "thank you" and be on your way to the next person on your list. It's important that you build a relationship with the person who is performing a very intimate service such as this. We all know that, at times, this person can be your "hair-apist" as well as someone who performs hair services. We hold many secrets untold and can really perform magic when we know you well. I hope this article helps. I know I'm passionate about my craft and ultimately, I care deeply about my clients lives' as well as their hair. Happy hunting for that perfect match to you all!