4 Rules for Communicating With Your Stylist or Barber

How To Communicate With Your Stylist

Have you ever walked out of a salon crying because you didn’t like your new hair cut?

Have you ever been disappointed with the way your hair color turned out?

Have you ever looked like the kid to the right as you watched your hair fall to the ground?

We’ve all been there.

We all have the hair horror story.

But when you look back at the situation – is there something you could have done (or more importantly- said) differently?

My major hair disasters occurred when I told my stylist “Just do what you want” or “I don’t really have anything special in mind.” But in reality, I knew I wanted my hair color to look like Ashlee Simpson in her dark days and I wanted swoopy bangs like Jessica Alba.

Why didn’t I explain what I really wanted? Not communicating my ideas resulted in a bad hair cut and color. But guess what? It wasn’t my stylist’s fault at all!

They say all good relationships are built on good communication. And I have to agree! Follow these four rules when communicating with your stylist and I guarantee you’ll have a more positive experience, a better relationship, and amazing outcomes!

How To Communicate With Your Stylist?

Rule #1: Be honest.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to communicating with your stylist (and anyone really). Be honest about all of the following:

  • Your hair habits
  • Your product usage
  • Your hair color history (this is the time to open up about any box dying habits)
  • Your likes and dislikes
  • Your opinion of the finished cut and color

Rule #2: Be clear.

Don’t assume your stylist is a mind reader. Be detailed when explaining the haircut, hair color, and style that you’re wanting that day. Even better? Bring in pictures to SHOW her what the look and color you want (this is a sign you’re a good client). Your stylist actually loves that you know exactly what you want. But not don’t just my word for it!

I asked Laura Piercefield, a hair stylist at Be Salon, about the best advice she has for clients when communicating with their stylist and she said:

“Two things: have realistic expectations and bring pictures, lots of them. In my experience, the more a client shows me, the better I can ascertain their desired style, and ask the appropriate questions. What we can’t say with words, can be said with our eyes.”

I also asked Laura if she could think of a time when great communication resulted in an amazing outcome. She said, “A client came to me with pictures of 6 completely different colors and cuts. The theme was volume in every single one, the colors were all bold, but with little dimension. She wanted fullness more than anything, so I cut 7 inches of her hair. After that she knew what color she wanted, cool very ashy pale blonde.”

Rule #3: Be open.

Along with being honest and clear, you should be open to hearing what your stylist recommends. She walks the walk and speaks the language.

Trust her as your hair expert and take her advice to heart. She truly does have your best interest in mind when she is recommending a haircut, color, or even product.

When I first made the switch to bangs, my stylist warned me that bangs require a lot of love and attention.

She knows me well, so she drilled the following ideas into my head before I committed to bangs.

You need to style your bangs daily- no slacking!

You need to have regular trims.

You need to be dedicated to bang maintenance.

I was up for the challenge and dedication – so I made the switch. But I am extremely thankful that she was open with me about bang hair care.

Rule #4: Be understanding.

Just as Laura mentioned earlier, not all hairstyles were created equally. It’s so important for you to be realistic and understanding when communicating with your stylist. Let’s be real- I would LOVE to have thick, long, and curly hair like Sarah Jessica Parker some days. I’d even settle for thick hair. But that’s unrealistic. My hair is too thin and if I try to grow it out too much or don’t use proper products, then I’ll start to look like the straw man from the Wizard of Oz. So remember – when your stylist tells you a color or cut isn’t for you- she isn’t trying to hurt your feelings. She is following rule #1 in hopes that you will follow rule #4.

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