A visit to the hair salon should always be an enjoyable experience, both for the client and the stylist. For your visit to run smoothly, we wanted to share with you The Ultimate Guide To Hair Salon Etiquette. Hear what hairstylists have to say about arriving on time, knowing what you want to do with your hair, and much more.
Our founder Wendy Iles behind the chair. Photo Gab Connole.
The first Etiquette tip is prebooking. We know this can be difficult for some of you because you don't always know what your schedule will be 6 to 8 weeks down the road, but if you do have a pretty consistent schedule, it would really be beneficial for you and your stylist if you book your next reservation before leaving the salon. This will prevent you from having to call your stylist in a panic hoping they can squeeze you in somewhere. This is never a good idea, as it may be a rushed service which could result in error. Try to get in the habit of booking your next visit before leaving the salon, trust us you will be thankful you did. Then you can always make changes if you need to.
Cancellations & No Shows
Since we are on the subject of making changes, lets talk about cancellations. If you pre book and you need to make a change to your appointment, this will not be a bother to your stylist. Just be sure you provide at least 48 hours notice. If you have to cancel or change your reservation and you do not give the stylist at least 48 hours, you are leaving the stylist in a situation where they may be unable to fill that time that they reserved for you. This results in the stylist not making money for that lost time.
Think of it this way, how would you feel if you went into work and your boss told you that he wasn't going to pay you for 1 hour today. This is how it is for the stylist, when they are not with a client, they are not getting paid, so cancel if you must, just be sure to be courteous and give them plenty of notice. In regards to no shows, these are NEVER acceptable. Try to avoid this if possible. Many hairstylists have developed a no show policy if this becomes a habit. Meaning you will need to prepay for the service in order to book in advance.
Arrive On Time
Now that its the day of your appointment, we cannot stress enough the importance of arriving to your appointment on time. It may even be a good idea to arrive 15 minutes early just to be safe. Allow enough time for traffic issues or coffee stops. This is very important because if you arrive late, you actually set your hairstylist up to be late the entire rest of the day.
This will create a domino effect for the rest of the clients and its not fair that they all have to sit around and have their appointment start late because you chose to make a stop at Starbucks. Which leads us to this, NEVER ever show up to your appointment late with a fresh Starbucks in your hand...Especially if your don't have one for your hairstylist. Its a guaranteed way to be added to the naughty list. All jokes aside, but really there is some truth to this.
Know What You Want
Another tip from The Ultimate Guide To Hair Salon Etiquette is to come prepared and know what you want. Have photos on your phone of images that you are inspired by, but be realistic. If you are going for a drastic change, it may be a good idea to send your stylist a text prior to your appointment and share with them that you are thinking of changing things up a bit. Send them images of your inspirations.
This is important because you want to be sure they have reserved enough time for what you are wanting to do, and also that they have in stock what you are wanting in regards to color. This will eliminate taking time out of your day to come to your appointment only to be told you need to book it for another day where there is more time.
Hair by Peter Thomsen of @chelseahaircutters using Iles Formula.
Budget For Your Visit
If you are changing up your hair color, and you are on a tight budget, its very important to talk with your stylist in advance about what you want to do and how much it will cost for the process. This is important because sticker shock can be an uncomfortable position for both you and your stylist to be in. To add to this, don't haggle with your stylist about price. This is never ok. If your stylist costs more than your budget, respect that and ask if they can help you come up with a color idea that will fit your budget.
Keep in mind, oftentimes the initial change is more than the maintenance and upkeep. Be sure to get this information before committing to having it done so its not uncomfortable for either of you. Also, asking in advance for pricing will allow you to save up in between visits, rather than being surprised.
Since we are on the subject of cost, another tip from The Ultimate Guide To Hair Salon Etiquette, is your stylists prices. Be supportive when your stylist has a price increase. If you cannot afford their new prices, ask them to recommend you to someone they respect that is in your budget. Hairstylists are often challenged by clients when they raise their prices, even when its been years since their last increase. Look at it from this perspective, how would you feel if you worked at the same job year after year with not a single raise in your pay? Your stylist deserves an increase every now and then. Show them your support by congratulating them.
If you get home and realize you aren't totally happy with how your hair turned out, be honest with your hairstylist. They would much rather you come in to have it changed then to never show back up again. If your stylist is a true professional, they will be happy to make the necessary adjustments. Keep in mind, this doesn't always include a full style afterwards, so if you have somewhere to go right after, you may want to ask to add on a fully styled finish.
Bringing Your Child
Your children are lovely, but bringing them with you to your hair appointment is not good salon etiquette. There are a few reasons why. First, there may be another client who has arranged for their child to be with their nanny or sitter so that they can relax and enjoy a quiet experience. If you have brought your child with you they will likely be a disturbance to the other clients. Be respectful of others service time. Another reason, is because your child will most likely get bored, especially if you are receiving a color service. Keep them home, and give yourself the gift of enjoying some alone time.
During your service, your stylist will likely recommend haircare products that will protect your color, maintain the health of your hair, and also help with the styling process. Don't take these recommendations lightly, especially in regards to color protection. If you have spent money to get that beautiful hair color you have been dreaming of, don't ruin it by going home and using non professional haircare products. Believe it or not, using the right shampoo and conditioner will extend the life of the hair color.
Be sure to budget for taking home what they recommend, trust us it really does make a difference. Also, keep in mind you will not be able to achieve the styling results without using the recommended styling products and tools. This is an area we always encourage clients to invest, it will change your life.
Many of our salons that carry our Iles Formula products would recommend our 3 Step System, which includes our Shampoo, which is sulphate free, Paraben free, and Silicone Free, our Conditioner, which is the jewel of our range and provides instant repair for all hair types, and our Finishing Serum, which controls frizz and hydrates even the driest strands. Your stylist might also recommend a Deep Conditioner, like our Hair Mask. Our Mask can be used once a week or once a month depending on how much repair is needed.
If it's not in your budget to take home all of what your stylist recommends, ask which ones are the most important. Then add to your collection with each visit. Also, buy your products from your stylist, don't run home and purchase from Amazon. Support your local small business by purchasing from your stylist directly.
So there you have it, The Ultimate Guide To Hair Salon Etiquette. We hope this has helped you by giving you the inside scoop that hairstylists want you to know.