I’ve been styling hair for 25 years, so I have learned an important lesson about clients: no matter how skilled I am at my job, it won’t always be the right fit. As every woman knows, finding the perfect hairstylist is a tricky and important thing. I talk to my clients (and friends) about this all the time. Here are some things I have learned about finding a good partner for your hair needs:
- The best way to find a hairstylist is to ask around. See someone’s hair you like? Ask them who does their hair! Referrals are always my favorite way to get new clients. When a new client comes to me on the recommendation of one of my current clients, I know that I am doing a good job. And in general, I love my clients, so I tend to like their friends, too. I always appreciate when you send cool, friendly people to me for hair styling! But just because a stylist works for one person does not always mean they will be a match for another person. Sometimes it takes a little bit of shopping around to find a good fit for you.
- Sometimes a stylist works perfectly during one phase of your life, but then starts to be less helpful when you decide you’re going to drastically change your style. Coloring hair to make it look natural is my forte. But when a regular client suddenly comes to me wanting their hair punk-rock-blue, I probably won’t have the right dyes on hand. So I generally refer them to another stylist. On the other hand, I can often special-order color and product for special occasions. So, it never hurts to ask!
- Your stylist should be convenient. Most of us have had the experience of moving away and not wanting to divorce a stylist we’ve grown to love. Sometimes we’ll hang in there, flying across states or driving great distances any time we need a hair cut. But when you are looking for a quick bang trim, it really needs to be convenient. On the other hand, I used to style hair down south, so a lot of my regular clients commute from the Peninsula for their regular sessions with me. I notice that these clients don’t usually try to squeeze me in after work — instead, they make a fun Saturday of it. This is why I have Saturday hours… so there’s a convenient time slot for everyone.
- Last thing: you want your hairstylist to be someone you like spending time with. And as a stylist, it’s nice for me when I enjoy the company of my customers too! So, personal fit is just as important as style fit.
If you don’t think that your stylist is right for you, it’s important to follow your intuition. They won’t be offended! (Well, not if they are professional, anyway.) As much as you want to find someone who is excellent at cutting and coloring your hair, your stylist wants to make you happy. And if that’s not happening, it’s probably time to move on.
I grabbed this line from an article I read in a salon magazine recently: “Clients form the foundation of your salon business; the stronger the foundation, the stronger your business.”