At least once in our lives, we’ve each sat in a stylist’s chair, nervousness tingling up our fingertips at the progressing results. Maybe the color of your highlights looked a little off while being painted on, or the angle of your layers wasn’t just so. Bottom line, sometimes it seems impossible to figure out how to get the cut and color that you want.
So, how to avoid walking out like Kesha when in your heart, you’d hoped for Blake Lively?
Going to your salon appointment prepared is the key to getting a style you love! Here’s a breakdown on making the most out of your next salon visit, no matter which services your look requires.
Prepare For Your Next Cut
Think On It
Switching salons or considering a dramatic change? To face the sharp edges of your stylist’s shears with confidence, take some time to really think about your hair. What you like about it, what you don’t, when you’re happiest with it, and when you struggle—these are all things your stylist needs to know to give you a great cut.
Also, be prepared to listen! No stylist will ever tell you “No,” but they may suggest that undercut bob isn’t the best for your face shape, or a high-maintenance style won’t fit your hectic schedule.
Collect ALL THE PICTURES
Why is it we’ll take fifteen pictures of a nice meal, but only bring one to the salon?
To make sure a new cut meets your expectations, bring images from multiple angles and in different ways you hope to style it. Going for a pixie? Don’t forget pictures of the back. Like some parts of one cut and other elements of another? Bring ‘em all!
And it’s not just pictures of how you’d like your style to look that matter. If your search yields images of a similar cut that you really don’t like—bring those, too. That way your stylist knows what to aim for and what to avoid.
Your idea of “just the ends” or baby bangs might be totally different from your stylist, so it’s important to speak freely about what you’re hoping for.
If you’re feeling shy, try to look at every session like a lesson. Ask lots of questions! Doing so will help your stylist better understand the look you want to achieve. As a bonus, you’ll pick up some great tips and tricks for home-styling that could make mornings a lot easier.
Show Your Style
We’re not just talking hair! While lazy-day clothes might be the most comfortable for that hour or so in the chair, your Sunday get up won’t help a stylist understand how brazen or ladylike you like to look. Especially important if you’re going to a new stylist—they need to see your personal style when understanding how to interpret the look you hope to achieve.
Feel Confident During Your Next Color
Be Honest About Your Hair History
Been hitting the (dye) bottle at home? Your stylist needs to know. Having an understanding of what level of dye you’ve applied—and how often—can mean the difference between beautiful color and potentially blotchy strands.
Your stylist might also want to know what shampoo you use (that includes the harsh stuff at your gym), and other chemicals your hair comes in contact with, such as products or chlorine from regular swimming.
Come In Clean
It might be most useful for a stylist to see just how you like to dress, but when it comes to dressing your actual strands, try to keep product to a minimum. Dry shampoo, extra oil, and even shine serums can slightly darken or lighten the shade of your hair, causing a colorist to misjudge its actual color.
Your best bet to accurately achieve the shade you desire? Leave the tousled bedhead for another day.
Bring Even More Pics!
Dying for a caramel blonde or striking cinnamon? Just like when you’re coming in for a cut, it’s super important to bring pictures that demonstrate the color you want, since your idea of a shade might be wildly different from what your stylist imagines.
But there’s a caveat to using photos as inspiration for your next color-go-round. Instagram and Pinterest? Totally glamorous, but it’s not real life.
While it’s possible to flat iron or curl your way to a style that looks best on other hair textures, many of the candy-colored shades trending online are simply unrealistic to achieve without completely damaging your hair—or at all.
To make sure your expectations and experience match up, be sure to chat with your stylist about whether the shade in your inspiration images can be achieved, what it will fade into, and how often touch ups are required.
For Either Cut or Color: Get Your Consultation On
Shades offers walk-in consultations free of charge to existing and new clients. Granted, if all you need is a bang trim, you don’t need a consult!
But, if you are thinking of going from pageant hair to a pixie cut, with a drastic color change to boot? Then know that it’s in your best interest to sit down with your stylist and talk strategy first. This is your chance to tell your stylist all about your hopes, habits, and hair history without feeling crunched for time.
During a consultation is also a great chance to chat about your budget, since factoring in more frequent trims for that pixie or extra product to maintain a new color is an important part of keeping up look.
Finally, Don’t Forget To Offer Feedback
Was there something about your salon experience that didn’t quite cut it? Trust us, your stylist wants to know! Learning the truth about what you did (and didn’t) like is the best way for us to grow—and provide you with exactly the service you want, every time.
And if you’re ready to get creative? Swing into Shades in Roseville at 1470 Eureka Rd #160, to consult with one of our stylists today!