When it comes to their hair stylist, many people have serious commitment issues. They jump from stylist to stylist, seeing whoever is convenient at the time. I have to admit, I never used to think there was anything wrong with this. But, after working at a salon, I now realize that there are major benefits to sticking with one stylist.
First of all, if you see one stylist regularly, then she (for the sake of easy pronoun usage, we’re going to assume your stylist is a woman for the rest of this article, even though there are a lot of great male stylists out there) is going to know your hair really well. She will now if it’s prone to dryness, if it gets frizzy, and if it develops odd curls when cut a certain way. She will be familiar with your face and what styles frame it best. She’ll also know your color history, including every chemical that still clings to your strands, and therefore be able to determine how to achieve the color you want next without things going horribly awry.
A regular stylist will also be aware of your personal preferences. Not only will she be able to give you the exact look that you’re after, but she will also be able to make recommendations that you are likely to love. In addition to recommending cuts and colors you might not have thought of, she can also recommend hair products that will keep your hair looking great
even when you have not been to the salon for weeks. A stylist who you have not seen before might try to make recommendations, too, but they probably won’t be as perfect for you.
If you have formed a good relationship with your stylist, then she will probably be reasonably flexible with you. For example, if you have a date that you just have to look perfect for, she might be willing to squeeze you into her already fully booked schedule. She might even be willing to work late for you.
Your regular stylist might give you some good deals, too. Most stylists raise their prices periodically, but they keep their prices the same for regular clients. I’ve seen customers save $20 or more per visit just because they have been loyal to one stylist over the years. Customers who come in extremely frequently (for example, getting a trim or color retouch every two weeks) are also sometimes given a discount.
At this point, you should be convinced that it is in your best interest to commit to one stylist. Now, you just need to know how to go about starting a meaningful relationship. The first step is finding a hair stylist with whom you can imagine spending the rest of your life, or at least several years. Try asking for recommendations from friends and coworkers with
great hair. You could also try going to a hair salon you like and asking the receptionist for recommendations. Do not, however, just ask for a “good” stylist; the receptionist will probably tell you that all the stylist there are good, and this may or may not be true. Instead, ask for someone who is good with your hair type and is an expert in the services you want. For example, you might ask for a stylist who is good with fine hair, short cuts, and highlights. If you have any age, sex, or personality preferences, mention that, too.
Once you have found the perfect stylist, you need to show your appreciation by being polite and tipping well. Christmas (or Chanukah, or Solstice, or Kwanza) gifts are also customary. If you need your hair done and you cannot see your stylist for some reason (schedule conflicts, vacation, etcetera) ask her to recommend someone else at the salon; this way your regular stylist can speak to the substitute stylist and make sure that everything is done correctly.