Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Salon survival guide

Surviving the salon and getting what you want...to look good.

Many women enter downtown salons feeling like they are going into battle. They are scared they will leave looking like an Ape, Zebra, or some other zoo animal. They share their experiences of; being burned with relaxer, hair falling out, drenched in water, hair cut off, bleached to hay and feeling totally ignored and scared. All these things do in fact happen, and it's not even that uncommon.

To lessen having this type of experience, there are a few tips to avoid a disastrous situation. The salon receptionist is your best tool to get information. First, calling to book a same day appointment with a new stylist means you will generally be put into a slot available, not necessarily with the stylist you want and need. Ask yourself this question, 'why is the stylist free?' Most good stylists are busy and require advanced booking or require a consultation appointment. This is okay to do for blow-dries, but don't venture into colour/cuts last minute unless you have been referred to the stylist by someone you trust, or who's hair you love.

Second, ask the receptionist what level and experience the stylist has. 'Stylist’ is generally junior, and may be good if you are on a budget and like to take risks. Intermediate/senior stylists have approximately five to ten years in the salon and are generally a safe bet. Director stylists are the most expensive, but the best if you are picky, or unsure about a new look or makeover. It is okay to ask the receptionist if the stylists are licensed. It is required, but you would be surprised and shocked about how many don't have it.

Booking a consultation is the best way to go because you can look at pictures, portfolios and make sure you and your potential stylist are on the same page. Most professional salons will insist on a consultation as it allows the stylist to get to know you and provide the best possible service. Lastly, don't say, "Do whatever you want" unless you are prepared for whatever the stylist is in the mood for, (note: they may have been out partying all night) or you have established a relationship and truly trust them. Lastly, make sure you feel comfortable telling them what you like and don't like, and listen to their professional opinion.

Repeat clients and referrals are a stylists business lifeline, and ultimately they will do their best to have you come back.These are just a few tips to get started with a new salon and leaving looking beautiful, not like you are part of the wildlife exhibit at the Toronto zoo.

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