How do you Choose a New Hair Stylist?

Many of you have probably been faced with the challenge of finding a hairdresser. Maybe you, or your current stylist, have moved to another city, they no longer work at the salon you love, or you have made the decision to not return for any number of reasons. The dreaded day comes; your hair and you are in need of service. But how do you go about choosing the right person in which to place your trust?

You’ve thought about just running by the nearest quick hair shop for a “trim.” But that is simply a necessity, you want to build a relationship that will last, and find a stylist you can count on every time. It is a daunting task. Not only will they need to have the skill and expertise, but you want someone who stays current with today’s ever-changing looks, and you need to hit it off instantly, or your search continues.

Don’t lose hope. With so much information available online, it’s easier than ever to find a new stylist, and once you find someone, with the right questions, you can be sure the relationship will be a great match.  

Finding a Hair Stylist Using Google

Using search engines like Google will return a wealth of stylists from which to choose. A good hairdresser, and/or salon, will continually update their website with content and pictures, so make sure to include specific search terms to get the best match.

For example, if you have curly hair, your search term should be Best Curly Hair stylist San Diego (or specific city). If you have short hair or want a new shortcut, search for Best Short Hairstylists, and so on. This way, you will find a professional who specializes in what you need and what you’re looking for.

Getting a Referral for Your Next Hair Stylist

A personal referral is by far the best way to find a new stylist. When your friends, your neighbors, and your colleagues recommend you go to visit their stylists or rave about how wonderful they are, it is a clear indication of a great experience. And bonus if you already love your friend’s hair!

Or, if you see cute hair pictures from friends and colleagues on social media and love their style, ask them who they see.  Chances are they’ll rave about them (they must love it if they take the time to show off their style on Instagram!) and you will already love the stylist before you ever meet. And the stylist may even have a referral program that will benefit you and your friends!

Hair Stylists from Yelp & Other Review Sites

Turning to sites like Yelp and Angie’s List is one of the best options to search for your new hairdresser, or find more information once you have found a candidate, such as their hours, website information, rates, and most importantly, what others are saying about them.

It’s important to read as many reviews as possible; don’t forget to check the reviews not recommended as well: look for a link near the bottom of the page that says Other Reviews That Are Currently Not Recommended. Of course, you want a 5-star stylist, but if you read carefully, you will get a good idea overall. If every reviewer has the same problem, chances are it is true.

Same goes for the good stuff, if they’re raving about the same great things, it’s probably safe to place your trust in them. But if there are a few bad reviews, don’t let that sway you…Keep reading and look for the pattern. And when searching on Yelp, use the same specific search terms to find your perfect match.

Have you Checked Facebook & Instagram?

Maybe you started with Social media, or have found a hairdresser on Yelp or through Google and want to know more about them. Checking their business Facebook and Instagram pages will give you a current, visual representation of their work and personality. It will also allow you to see more reviews, and most importantly if they are interacting with their clients online.  Sometimes salons will even offer specials on their Facebook page.

Tip: be wary of salons that do not keep their business social media accounts active and up to date. Their level of social interaction, or inaction, could be indicative of how committed they are to their craft.

Hair Stylist Blogs and Websites

Checking their website for stylist biographies, hours, pricing, pictures, community events, online scheduling, and just all around information is critical. Is the website mobile and user-friendly? Can you access the phone number or address quickly? If they do not care enough to ensure their information is easily found, will they care about your hair? All of these are important in making sure you find a salon and stylist that care about all the little details because it means they will take the same care when providing you service.

What to Consider When Choosing a Hair Stylist

  • Location: Is the salon near your home or business? Or maybe it’s easily accessible from the freeway.
  • Parking: Does the salon have secure parking or metered street parking? Is it in a busy area where parking can be hard to find?
  • Accessibility: Does the salon have wheelchair access, if needed; is it easy to access, well lit for night appointments?

Before committing to a haircut or color service, do your research. And once you arrive at the salon, ask for a tour, they should be proud to show you their space and engage with you!

Scheduling with your Hair Stylist and Your First Visit

  • Make sure to call at least one week before your desired appointment date.
  • Did they return your call or text in a timely manner, or were you able to book online?
  • Did they sit down with you and have a consultation about the style you are looking for, and/or what challenges you are facing?
  • Did they make product recommendations so you can try and recreate the style at home?
  • How was the salon environment?
  • Were you greeted right away?
  • What conversations were happening in the salon? Were you comfortable?
  • Did they offer any complimentary value-added services, like a neck massage or extended scalp massage at the shampoo bowl?
  • Did they inform you of other services offered at the salon? For example; waxing, massage services, or skin care?

Ask about their salon background;  What do they love most-cut, color, or both, what do they enjoy about their salon? By engaging with them about their profession, you can determine if they are right for you. Plus, you want someone who is just as excited about giving you the best style, as you are about getting!

At the end of the appointment, you should feel exhilarated and happy! If you didn’t receive the style or look you were hoping for, or are unhappy, make sure to communicate with the stylist right away. Often, they want to ensure your happiness and will work to that goal.

Pay attention to your instincts. Your stylist is someone who you should feel a bond. You don’t have to become best friends, but if you don’t feel safe enough to talk openly and assertively about what you want, they may not be the right match. By going in with an open mind and asking a few questions, I am sure you will find a stylist that you rave about to your friends and colleagues.

If you are looking for someone to listen to your hair needs and challenges and create a look to fall in love with, contact Kim Creekmore at kim@hairlovedesign.comor visit Instagram @HairLoveDesign