”My hairdresser moved away and no one has been able to do my hair right since.”

Have you ever said that to someone or something similar? People tell me that all the time, and it drives me crazy! Whatever the excuse is when you find a good hairdresser, you do not want to let them go. Here are some tips to look for in a hair stylist that will make you want to lock them up forever.

How They Look

I know this sounds kinda shallow, but don’t tell me you don’t judge someone by how they look. If people don’t look professional, you don’t trust them. For example, if your doctor was wearing sweats and a stained, nasty t-shirt, you wouldn’t think he was serious or educated, and you would look for a more professional doctor. So, look at your stylist’s appearance, too.

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When I go to work, I always have my hair done, makeup on point, and cute flattering clothes. If I didn’t dress up or have my hair done nicely or if I wore my PJs, you would look at me and think, man, she doesn’t know what she is talking about and I don’t want her to touch my hair because she doesn’t look stylish or educated. I mean, if you are going to take your job or profession seriously you need to be serious and look the part.

Station Cleanliness

Before you have someone cut your hair, look at their station. Is it organized and all the hair cleaned up from previous clients? Some stylists aren’t organized with their tools, and that is OK, but if hair isn’t swept up or color is all over the place, you don’t want to be in that station. Keeping things clean and organized makes for a clear head and helps you know your stylist is keeping up with health code regulations.

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Also, some things that I try to watch for is if food or drink are all over their space. It is unprofessional to have your lunch and soda spread all over. Just look at how they work, in a sense, because if they are clean they are keeping things professional and healthy for everyone.

Make Sure They Listen and Give Advice

This one is a big one for people. People will not go back to a stylist if they feel like they are not being listened to and getting what they want. Make sure your stylist listens to what you say and understands. They should also analyze your hair, like how it falls, how you style it, and where your cowlicks/problem areas are. If someone just starts cutting your hair without first saying anything or taking the time to listen and understand, then say something. Obviously, say it in a nice and respectful way, but let them know what you expect and want so everyone is on the same page.

Personally, I always like to repeat to the client and respond saying what they said in a different way. For example, If you say you want a crew cut, I would say, “OK, a crew cut is shorter on the sides and a little longer on top; usually, the top is cut with scissors and the sides with a clipper. Is that what you are looking for?” That way we can be on the same page without any confusion. I also like to give alternative ideas, like a haircut that will be flattering to your face shape or with your hair type. So, just look for someone who will listen and try their best to understand and give you what you are looking for. Everyone has their    off days, so be understanding, as well.

Makes You Feel Good About the Experience

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I like to hear clients come back to me and say, “I just loved how you cut it last time.” It makes me feel good and it also means they liked the atmosphere and experience they had. If you leave feeling like you got what you were looking for, either in cut or color, then it was good, and If you had a pleasant conversation and some laughs then you are more willing to go back. Make sure you feel comfortable going back, both in style and company.

Licensed and Educated

Anyone can BS advice; anyone can lie. Look for a professional cosmetology license from the state you are in. A license means your stylist went to school, got the hours, and passed all the tests to legally do hair. People always just assume we take a couple hours just to learn how to cut hair. But, it is actually more sophisticated than that. I had to get 2,000 hours and learn anatomy, chemistry, and how not to cut someone’s ear off in a hair cut. My profession is just that: a real career. Make sure someone has all the right licenses to practice and is actually educated with current styles.

What other things do you look for in a hair stylist? Tell us in the comments below.

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