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Communication between two people is at the root of any connection. Within the beauty industry, not only does it build a relationship between client and stylist, it allows for a successful outcome at salon appointments. A clear consultation should always be the first step, start things off properly with these tips from Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa. He shares tips on how to communicate with a hairstylist to get the best results at your next salon appointment!


“Arrive with some ideas, wants and needs, and have an open dialogue to develop trust and confidence in the hairdresser as a professional,” says Carruthers.  “The worst thing to do is to dictate exactly how you want the look to be achieved. This puts the hairdresser in an awkward position and they may not be willing to tell you it’s not a technique they are uncomfortable with.”


How to Talk to a Hairdresser

  • Have realistic expectations.  When showing a picture, talk more about the specific elements, what you like and dislike, shape of the silhouette, and what styling regimen is realistic for you. A good hairdresser will be honest about how close they can get to the image based on the variables involved (texture, color, the health of hair, face shape, facial attributes).
  • Talk more about the results and less about the approach.  Stylists attend beauty school to get a professional license and then take advanced training, so they are proficient in many techniques that yield different results.  If you’ve seen a video technique, share it and get their feedback - they are literally trained to know what looks good on people.  Nine times out of 10 they will have a solution for an issue. 
  • Hang in there, it can take 2-3 visits to really get things right.  The first appointment is all about communication – hair aspirations/grievances, lifestyle, personality, etc.  If after that appointment something needs to be altered, talk about the desired “result” so improvements can be made. “The top seemed a little flat – I’d love more body.”  Don’t give up if the hairdresser is headed in the right direction, every head of hair responds differently to techniques and it takes a few appointments to really learn each guest’s preferences and the intricacies of their hair. 
  • Breaking up is hard to do but move on after 2-3 visits.  Both the hairdresser and guest want the same thing, a good experience with beautiful hair.  If the guest is leaving unhappy and the hairdresser feels frustrated, it’s time to find a better fit.  “It’s not an insult to switch hairdressers, if there is no common bond, it’s better for everyone to part ways rather than struggle in a relationship that isn’t working,” says Carruthers.


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