The Trick To Never Leaving The Hair Salon Unhappy Again

Photographed by Winnie Au.
By Aspen Rae Hogue

Are you thinking of taking the plunge and making a change to your hair color? Excellent news: We fully support that. We want to help you make the best of your salon experience.

First things first: Know what you want. The best strategy is to bring in pictures of your desired 'do. Find images of the color, tone, and brightness; this is key to the understanding between you and your stylist. Aura Friedman of Sally Hershberger explains: “With color, language and perception play a huge role in the consultation.” She suggests figuring out "exactly what it is you like about the photo, [such as] the contrast, dimension, or lightness.”

As always, finding images of hair similar to yours will be a huge help for you and your stylist. Rita Hazan of Rita Hazan Salon NYC says to “be realistic with your pictures; find ones that have similar features as you do, [such as] skin tone, eye color, and facial shape.” Having a realistic end result in mind helps you leave the salon with exactly what you wanted.

And before you even get there, do your research. Clariss Rubenstein of Gloss Salon Beverly Hills says to “find a stylist whose work you love. This way, you go in with an element of trust in place... I trust my stylist completely. If I’m open and I just want her to work her magic, I ask her opinion and let her go to work.”

Related: How To Style Natural Hair 7 Different Ways

Photographed by Winnie Au.
On the day of the appointment, it’s totally acceptable to go into the salon with less-than-squeaky-clean hair. In fact, Hazan suggests “not washing your hair the night before a service. If you have a sensitive scalp, the natural oils will protect you from any irritations,” which is an especially important precaution for color and lightening. She also recommends “doing a treatment the week of getting your hair colored, so it’s hydrated, healthy, and will accept the color evenly.”

Remember: Tell the truth and be prepared to spill your hair’s color history. Celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen recommends you be completely honest about your history of hair treatments, "especially when it comes to chemical services — even if it’s embarrassing.” Knowing your history helps your stylist fully evaluate what needs to be done to keep your hair healthy throughout the service.

Stephen adds, “many things affect the way your hair reacts to hair color. So do yourself a favor and come clean, even if you did a DIY color two years prior.” This not only helps to start an honest relationship with your new stylist, but it will also ensure you'll leave the salon with healthy, beautiful hair.

Now that you have everything you need to rock your next appointment, get your color on!

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