There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of a bad salon experience. If you have a regular stylist who has learned your likes and dislikes, you know you've found the Holy Grail of Hair. You stay with that stylist and schedule far in advance so you never find yourself in a time crunch and looking elsewhere for your style fix. Your stylist will tell you to bring photos of the look you'd like to achieve so your results aren't dependent on your ability to draw a picture with your words.
Then there are the questions. Stylists set aside a set amount of time at the beginning of each new service to get to know you and your hair. This is a critical part of the process, and if you get through the Q&A session with your stylist without any misunderstandings, your chances of a hair fiasco decline drastically. Read these questions and explanations of their purpose as a guide for the next time you decide to make a beauty change.
1. When was the last time you colored your hair?
If you've been stepping out on your usual stylist just to "see what's out there," you may not want to answer this question truthfully. You really shouldn't fib about this crucially important question, though, and here's why:
Depending on the techniques used in the past, coloring your hair will impact the way it takes color now. If you misinform your stylist, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you can cause a variety of avoidable mishaps from hair breakage to color distortions. Prior treatments will impact your hair for longer than you think, too, sometimes well over 9 months! Even if it has been a long time since your last color treatment, be honest with your stylist so they can customize a color treatment that works for your specific hair situation.
2. Professional or box dye?
Your stylist will ask if your hair color came from a box purchased at the drugstore, and you know they're not going to like it when you say yes. Box dyes are not customized to your needs, they can do a lot of damage to your hair if applied incorrectly or too frequently, and the results never look as excellent as a professional color treatment. No stylist is ever going to recommend that you roll the dice with a box treatment, but we do realize that it happens.
Box dyes are convenient, affordable, fast, and widely available. Sometimes these attributes are going to trump quality. Just. Be. Honest. As with Question #1, the answer to this question will help your hair expert customize your care for best results. You're spending a significant amount of time and money on a professional 'do, make sure you get the most out of both by giving your stylist a complete picture of your hair history.
3. What is your morning style routine?
On a perfect morning I will shampoo, condition, apply heat protectant and a texturizer, blow dry on low heat, curl and apply a setting spray. But guess how many mornings are perfect in my life?
Yes, you nailed it. Nearly zero.
When talking through your new cut with your stylist, it's important to be realistic about what you're capable of working into your haircare routine. When we ask you about your routine, it's not a test designed to catch out beauty frauds. We ask so we can craft a cut that will work with your lifestyle. Some cuts require an hour minimum prep to truly come together into a polished look. Others require much less. If you ask for a high maintenance cut you are making a commitment to your hair. 9 times out of 10, what a client considers a "bad haircut" is really a poorly planned haircut.
When your stylist asks about your morning routine, be specific and be realistic. They will then walk you through what changes you'll need to consider and you can make an informed decision about whether this 'do is really for you and you'll both be much happier.