Main Image Credit:
You should never feel stressed or intimidated by a trip to any hair salon...
...yet so many people have experienced these feelings at some time; so we decided to share some tips on the service standards to expect, and how to help make your visit both a pleasure and a success.
Our hair is one of the few physical features we can control, altering it to suit our mood and match our personality. We wear our hair everyday - and if it isn't right you can't just hide it in the back of the wardrobe. It's obviously crucial to have your say when it comes to getting your ideal cut and style - yet it appears that, come that important moment in the salon, even the most confident, self-empowered individuals can end up feeling like helpless, overawed children, prepared to agree to anything just to get the whole experience over and done with.
So what causes this temporary lack of reason in usually rational, intelligent adults?
The most common feeling is probably a lack of entitlement; it's easy to step into a cutting-edge luxury salon populated by equally glamorous, on-trend staff, and immediately feel too old, too unattractive, or just not cool enough to belong. The second big issue for many is the lack of a clear pricing structure in many salons; the moment the bill turns out to be double your guesstimate is never comfortable - especially if you're not 100% happy with the results.
Yet armed with some straightforward advice on the standards you should expect from a professional salon, along with some helpful tips on how best to communicate with your stylist, and a trip to salon can once again become the relaxing and rejuvenating experience you deserve.
The relationship with your stylist needs to be honest, and can often become truly intimate, so finding the perfect 'partner' is crucial. Communication is key, so firstly you need someone you're totally comfortable talking to. One of the secrets of spotting a great stylists is finding one that doesn't simply discuss the way you want to look, but asks how you want to feel, whether it's super-confident, feminine, powerful, sexy - or all of the above.
Meanwhile a great salon should be ensuring that you stay with your stylist through the entire treatment, ideally beginning with a comfortable and relaxed face-to-face consultation that leaves you feeling confident and informed before you're even taken to a cutting chair. A competent stylist should also be providing you with practical advice and information on how best to care for your hair and maintain your style once you've left the salon, and any cuts or treatments recommended should factor in your ability to recreate them at home, after-all, no-one wants to splash-out on a new look that's finished one shower later! From the outset, stylists should also be clear with you about the costs involved and you should never be embarrassed to discuss this. That's why at The Chapel salons we've only ever charged a fixed hourly rate, so you need only agree beforehand how long your treatment will take to know how much you'll pay.
In terms of ensuring yourself the best possible experience as a salon guest, the first consideration is to be completely honest with your stylist.
If you have previously coloured, chemically relaxed your hair, or used a keratin treatment, your stylist needs to know to avoid any potentially disastrous chemical reactions, and the same applies for any skin problems. It's also incredibly useful to bring images of cuts and styles you admire to a consultation, this is a visual industry and a picture paints a thousands words when explaining to your stylist what you have in mind.
Lastly, try to be realistic - even the best stylists still carry shears, not magic wands. However, if you're told something won't work or can't be done you're always entitled to a clear reason why, so ask questions, be prepared and don't feel daunted - you won't just get the cut you deserve, you'll even enjoy the experience.
Featured article image: Claudia Guariglia / Stocksy