38 Secrets Your Hair Stylist Won’t Tell You
Hair salons share their secrets for saving money, getting a great hair cut, and more.
The clients I dread the most are those who say things like “Do whatever you want”
Or: “I’m pretty easy to work with.” Nine times out of ten, hair stylists say, it’s not true.
We know you hate the word bleach
So we hairdressers use words like lightener and decolorizer. But no matter how we prettify the language, if we’re lifting a dark color out of your hair, we’re using bleach. If you’re not sure exactly how much lighter your hair should be, here’s how to find the best hair color for your skin tone.
Yes, I keep notes about you on your client card, and they can get pretty personal
I may note that you don’t tip well or that you talked loudly about how drunk you were last night. I may also write down that you’re going through a divorce or that you’re into tennis so I can remember to ask you about those things next time.
After you’ve been late a few times, I ask our receptionist to say your appointment is at 2
But really it’s at 2:30.
If there’s one rule to live by, it’s this
Don’t make your first appointment with me on a Saturday. That’s our busiest day, and I won’t be able to give you the time and attention you want and deserve. And definitely make sure you’re familiar with these hairstyle terms everyone should know before their next appointment.
It’s fine to use Groupon or another social media site to save money on your hairstyling
But be wary of hair salons that offer deals all the time. That’s not a good sign.
Thin hair doesn’t have to be worn short
I had a client who wore her super-thin hair short for years because she thought she had to. I finally talked her into growing it out into a stacked bob, and everyone now says she looks incredible. Hair stylists say if you want to maintain your thin hair, here are the 8 rules to keep it healthy.
Always dry your hair completely before using a hot tool like a curling iron or a flat iron
If your hair still contains moisture, the iron will damage it, hair stylists say. These are the safest ways to use heat on your hair, according to hairdressers.
Sometimes when I don’t have a client’s color—either because we’re out of it or because I forgot to write it down last time—I don’t say anything and just mix something new
If you think I’m applying what you had before, you’re much less likely to complain.
I know you’ve heard you shouldn’t wash your hair before getting an updo, because a little grit can help maintain the style
But please don’t show up with hair that’s greasy, tangled, or smelly. Wash it the night before, and don’t put any styling products in it. That way, we hairdressers can start fresh and create our own texture.
Every year after school starts, at least one mom brings in her daughter with hair down to her waist and tells us to give her a pixie cut
We know what’s going on: a lice infestation. But when we point out the nits and tell the mom we can’t do the cut, she always acts surprised and says, “I didn’t know.” We’re thinking, Yeah, right. To save the embarrassment for all involved, don’t ignore these clear signs of head lice and get the situation under control before your appointment.
We don’t “wash” your hair—we “shampoo” it
When we’re trying to make you feel pampered, we can’t use the same word you use for doing dishes.
I’m a beautician, not a magician
I can give you Gisele Bündchen’s haircut, but I can’t give you her face. If you’re after the shiny locks all models seem to possess, your best bet is these 13 stylist-approved tricks for shiny hair.
Don’t ask me to squeeze you in
My work takes time. When a client says she’s in a rush, I tell her she needs to schedule her time better. If I’m already booked, I’d be taking time and effort away from other clients. You wouldn’t like being treated that way.
I’m not a psychologist
Hairdresser school does not teach about counter transference, projection, negative reinforcement, or personality disorders. If you’re looking for a therapist, all I have is a tail comb and an opinion. Instead, try focusing on these questions your hair stylist wants you to start asking.
Layers are the magic remedy
Some women think that if they keep their hair all one length the way it was in high school, everyone will think they’re still in high school. Guess what? You’re not. As you get older, you need to soften the lines around your face. Don’t fall for these hairstyle mistakes that age your face.
Bodies and hair change as hormones change
If your hair is dry, listless, or brittle, or if it’s not holding your color or style the way it used to, see a doctor. If your hair isn’t overprocessed, you could be pregnant (surprise!) or menopausal (yes, I can tell). In the meantime, try out these home remedies for dry and damaged hair.
A trim is not “just a trim”
It requires my expertise, skill, knowledge, and time. Would you say to your dentist, “It’s just a tooth,” or to your doctor, “It’s just a leg”?
Let me do my job
If you want to buy a bottle of color and do your own hair to save a buck, you can live with the consequences.
Take a picture
Some clients will say, “Cut my hair just like you did last time.” That always baffles me. The average time between appointments is six to eight weeks. I have hundreds of clients. I already know which are the best haircuts for every face shape, but how am I supposed to remember exactly how I did your hair the last time? If you want a carbon copy of a cut and style you loved, take a picture and show me.
Standing all day and using scissors and a blow-dryer takes its toll on hair stylists
I have arthritis in my fingers, calcium deposits in my wrist, and 10 percent less hearing than I used to. I am a physical wreck.
We see women at their worst
Their hair is wet, they have foils on their hair, they have no makeup on. There’s nothing for them to hide behind. So they tell us everything. The truth is, I really don’t care about their personal lives. I’m only interested in their hair.
I’ll work hard to make you happy and I’ll want you to like it
After you leave my salon, I’ll worry about what you think. (I work on people, not on cars on an assembly line.) And if you feel like calling to tell me how happy you are with my work, you will make me smile.
For stylists, tips should be 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of your bill
They are a significant portion of my pay. If you stiff me, I’ll remember. And yes, salon owners who style hair do appreciate tips and want them.
Sure, you can bring your child or your dog in to the hair salon
As long as you control them. One of my clients used to bring her Great Dane in to all her appointments. He would curl up in the corner and sleep the entire time, so I don’t mind. But if your baby or your dog starts bothering me or the other people in the salon, I won’t be so easygoing. It’s not the worst though of the craziest things hairdressers have seen at work.
I am not all things to all people
I don’t have manicurists or masseuses in my salon because I’m a hairstylist.
Men will tell you things they won’t tell their wives
“My throat hurts.” “My back aches.” They want a little sympathy, which maybe they can’t get at home because their wives have heard it all before, or they’re not listening. So they tell us. It’s the only place they can unload.
Spend a little money on the right products
Hot water removes color. The sun can dry your hair. So protect it as you would your skin. Cover it when you’re outside in the sun. Wash and condition it properly. Try out these 11 tricks to have healthy hair all summer long.
Putting too much junk in your hair will almost always kill a look
The market is saturated with every possible product to make thin hair thick, dull hair shiny, and curly hair straight. But more is not more. Your hair wants to be healthy. That doesn’t mean trying to totally recreate it every day. Just help it a little. Let it do its thing. Don’t miss these ways to have gorgeous hair without expensive products.