I am super excited about this post and I got amazing hair stylist Kacie DeJesus to write a how-to guide for dumping your current hair stylist when you're unhappy. We have all been there, and it can be an awkward situation, especially if you have been going to your stylist for a long time. However, things change, styles and preferences change, and that can come especially now that we are in our 30s. We don't necessarily want what we did 10, or even 5 years ago.
Check out the advice from a hair stylist's point of view who's been in the biz for a long time. Kacie makes a lot of points that I never considered, and are really beneficial to know even if you are happy with your current hair stylist, like not settling! Kacie really knows her stuff, and also gave me the best hair cut of my life!
I'll Help You Divorce Your Hair Stylist!
That's right, I said it. I've unfortunately heard one story too many of how unhappy you are out there. A lot of you. And I'm here to help you navigate the waters. Complaints range in size and severity. From "It wasn't what I asked for," to "She hasn't listened to me in a year!" One client of mine said even though she was unhappy with her stylist, she continued to stay with her for 6 years!
So let's discuss why women continue to give up their satisfaction with their hair? First, I really do believe that as women we are genetically pre-disposed and raised to cater to others needs and put ourselves last. So part of this is in our nature. We don't want to ask for what we want. We don't want anyone to think we are a bitch. And as women we are already very good at reading facial expressions, body language, and using our intuition, or gut to help us navigate our surroundings in the world. Also, we dread the trial and error of finding the next person that may potentially only do "ok" with our hair type. In our minds, that means lots of mess-ups, and growing out something that should have been more Heidi Klum, than Halle Berry. And let's face it, it is embarrassing if our hair is messed up. It makes us look like we are incompetent at selecting the proper stylist, or salon, which in turn makes us look like we are incompetent of making other decisions in life. These days society makes it seem like the choice of leaving your husband because you are unhappy is easier, than it is to leave your stylist. Oh the glory of hair!
Many of you are probably wondering about the etiquette surrounding the separation process. It's actually very simple. Wanna know the secret? You control the money.
Option #1- Give your current stylist one more chance to get it right and tell him or her that you have been unhappy with previous visits. Explain why. Bring pictures of what you want. At this point, your stylist should re-consult with you like you are a 1st time client, and try to figure out what's missing in their communication with you. They should be polite, and show sensitivity to working it out with you. If she brushes off your concerns, move on. If he/she once again doesn't listen, move on.
Option #2- Just don't re-book. When you don't show up, they will know why. Either option is perfectly acceptable. Some stylists or salons will call if you've been missing for a while. This is a chance to repeat your concerns while standing firm on your decision. Other good things to say are: "I don't feel like the two of us have the same vision", "We just aren't a match," or "I think we have a communication barrier & have decided to move on." Don't be surprised if they ask for the opportunity to try again, or offer you a "special" to get you back in their chair. Part of this is a business tactic, but hopefully a stylist would say that because she truly does care. Even so, if the two of you are not a fit, then you are not a fit. Keep in mind that stylists consider themselves artists, and not every artist's work is enjoyed by every person. We know this, so professional stylists will not be offended at your decision, and may even wish you luck or suggest a stylist they may know of that they think you might like.
Being a stylist who loves to do hair for many different reasons, I get it. I understand it's scary, confusing, frustrating, and... it's a process. But as a professional my number one concern is communication with my clients. This should be the concern of any reputable stylist out there. This is really the key thing to look for when selecting a new stylist. I pride myself on asking the right questions, being able to see or hear a "red flag." In which case, my job is to ask more questions. And if their vision changes in 6 mos, or 2 years, I know I still need to be able to deliver what they want. Beyond that, it's part of my job to keep their look current, and suggest new thoughts or options to them every time I see them.
Your first visit to a new salon is like an interview. Sure, the stylist is asking you questions.... but what are you asking her? What should you be asking her? This is your interview too. Please ask lots of questions! Let them know your concerns, or problems you've had in the past. If you've put box color on your hair, please say so. We are not judging, we need to know how to deliver what you want. Box color may pose a challenge that I need to formulate around. Pictures are welcome. And always ask if they participate in continued education! Any stylist worth her salt will say yes, and attend at least once a year. Ask what kind of continued education, and is it mandatory? Do they receive it in house, or attend trainings at a different locations? What did they learn last? As they answer you will be able to get a sense of if the education is forced by the salon and whether the stylist loves learning, or resents it. If the stylist is receiving continued education outside the salon you can bet he or she is paying for it on their own, because they love what they do. Any resentment towards continued education is completely unacceptable in the beauty industry. If you find yourself sitting in that persons chair... move on!
Let me give you an example of what a guests' first visit with me entails. I ask what they are wanting to achieve or what their dream hair is, if they have had their hair similar in the past, if so, did they like it, and how much time do they usually spend styling their hair, how they feel about maintenance, and their schedule for repeat services and a close guesstimate on the pricing. I also try to offer solutions for anyone who informs me of budget concerns. I let them know about my passion for what I do, and explain that I want them to love their hair every time they walk out the door. Therefore, I guarantee my work, I give free fringe trims, free massages with all shampoo/conditions, and blowouts are always free as well.
Part of my job is suggesting ways to get the hair into the most healthy state possible. (We all want that gorgeous shine that we see in the celebs' hair.) And making sure they can re-create the look at home, with the proper tools. With liquid tools, I explain why it will work for their hair, how much they will need to use for their hair type, and the amount of product for the desired result. I also explain how to use the dryer, brush, and flat iron to get results with ease while doing the least damage to the hair.
This is my standard of service, to every client, every time. So get out there, and make a change. Life is too short to be unhappy with your hair!
And P.S.- You can ask any salon for a consultation appointment, or a Blowout to test the waters before making the leap.
Happy Perfect Hair Hunting!
Xoxo- Kacie DeJesus
Sexy Hair Education Expert
Salon Manager @ The Beauty Spot in Mesa, Arizona
Head of The Beauty Spot's Bridal Division
Lead Educator of The Illumination Program