The key to avoiding a bad haircut? Going to an experienced hairstylist that makes you feel at ease. But finding a good hair salon (especially after moving to a new area) can be trickier than finding a great apartment! Here are some qualities to look for when deciding on a new hair salon:
Salon floors get littered with freshly cut hair all the time, but if you notice clumps of hair around a chair that wasn't recently in use, that's a bad sign. The hairstylists' stations should be free of clutter and the styling tools and products you see should look clean and new. If you spot any globs of hair products or stains on the counters, you should probably choose a different salon.
While a great deal is always tempting, hair salons with cheap prices may be setting them so low because they can't compete with other nearby salons in either skill or service. On the other hand, high prices don't necessarily mean high quality Ė the salon may be inflating their rates to create the look of prestige.
Choose a salon with reasonable prices that you can afford, and be sure sure to account for your stylistís 10-15% tip (and yes, you should always tip the stylist if youíre happy with your cut).
Hair salons in malls are busy places, frequently trafficked by walk-ins and passers-by in need of a quick trim. As such, they may not provide the attentive service that you and your tresses need (and deserve).
Beware the salon in a run-down shopping center next to payday loan offices and convenience stores - the rent in these locations is low, and customers don't tend to be picky.
Finally, proximity to where you live may not be the best indicator of a quality stylist, but it's a definite plus when you need to make an emergency appointment after a DIY hair color mishap!
A hair salon that can offer extensions, straightening treatments and other high-end professional services is often a sign of hairstylists who are up to date on the latest trends and technology in hair care. Just make sure the salon isnít hiking up their prices on regular cuts and coloring for the added convenience of one-stop shopping. Unrelated services like manicures, pedicures and waxing are a great bonus, as long as itís clear that hairstyling is the salonís primary focus. Note that manicurists and the like should also receive a $1-$3 tip.
5) Customer Service
The most telling sign of salon quality is how much their employees seem to care. This applies not only to your hairstylist, but the other stylists and employees as well.
The first time you visit, your stylist should ask you several questions about what lengths, styles and colors you like for your hair and make suggestions on what she feels will suit you best. You should feel comfortable telling her what you want and if youíre displeased with your cut. If she reacts defensively or doesnít seem like sheís listening, move on.
Thanks to Cailin Honeycutt of The Beauty Bunny for writing this article for Misikko!
Photo courtesy of House of Styles Salon.