Hairdressers' Advice for the Best Salon Experience

Beauty Sense volume 2Help your clients get the most out of every salon appointment by sharing these suggestions from fellow hair professionals. This article originally appeared in AHP Beauty Sense, a digital magazine written entirely by professional hairstylists for clients. AHP Beauty Sense is industry elevation through consumer education--please share it with your clients!



5 Things to Keep in Mind for the Best Salon Experience

As hair professionals, we want your experience in the salon to be as incredible as possible. We asked hair professionals from across the country what they wish their clients knew before coming into the salon. Here are five things you can do to help ensure your salon experience is the stuff fairytales are made of.


1. Please Come in with Realistic Expectations


  • No matter how fantastic your hair looks, it cannot give the illusion of a 20-pound weight loss! Susan Cockrell Edens (Mount Orab, Ohio)
  • If you want a drastic color change, please realize it may take all day and will not be cheap if done in one go. Corey Maness (Pickens, South Carolina)
  • When someone brings in an inspirational picture, the style in the picture is colored, cut, and curled to the model. We can give clients their version of it. Most likely it will not look exactly like the picture, because that is on a completely different person. Kristina Catlady (Warwick, Rhode Island)
  • I can only do what your hair will allow me to do. Brandy Powers (Tupelo, Mississippi)
  • I wish clients knew that we can’t go from level 10 box black to platinum or silver in one visit! [Even if] “… they do it on Pinterest all the time.” Also, the colors on Pinterest have Photoshop treatment most of the time! So, when people ask me what color something is, I tell them it’s Pinterest! Nickey Ward (South Hutchinson, Kansas)
  • The curly picture you brought in was [more than likely] done with a wand, not a perm. Bri Cool (East Peoria, Illinois)
  • If you show me a photo of yourself 20 years ago and say I want my hair like this again … chances are you just want to look like you did 20 years ago. Your hair isn’t the same! Cheryl Avina (Modesto, California)


2. Please Be Honest with Us


  • We aren’t asking if you cut your bangs because we aren’t sure; we asked because we noticed. Andrea Gruchala (White Lake, Michigan)
  • I wish they knew when we ask if they have any color on their hair, we mean faded color, too. You still have had a chemical put on your hair. No matter how much that red box dye faded out, it’ll pop back to say “Hi” the second we put anything with developer on it. Amy Keib (Wichita, Kansas)
  • Boxed red is not easier to remove than boxed brown. Molly Tabler (Watsonville, California)


3. Please Trust Us; We Know What We’re Doing


  • I have to follow the laws of science with your hair if I want it to stay on your head, which I do. I’m not being mean or unreasonable; I’m being smart and maintaining the integrity of not only your hair, but also my reputation. Erinn Steger (Port Richey, Florida)
  • What I wish for is that when I give a client my reasoning as to why I believe the cut or color they want is not a good idea, that they would trust me and believe that I only have the best intentions. I am not trying to crush their dreams, and I’m not trying to get out of working harder, I just want what’s best for them and their hair and I want to lay it all out for them before they end up with damaged hair or extreme buyer’s remorse. Betty Sweeny (Ottawa, Kansas)
  • If you only knew how much school and testing we all go through to do our jobs… Monica Saunders (Logan, Utah)
  • I wish they knew how much science is truly involved in our industry. You realize this chemical requires an activator, right? Nobody panic! I’m trained and licensed. Erika Lynn McNamara (Newton, New Jersey)


4. Please Recognize that Doing Hair is Our Business and We Must Run Our Books as Such


  • I hate to break it to you, friends and family, but even though cosmetology is my love and passion, it does not mean I want to do your hair and makeup all the time for freeBrooke-Lynn Theresa Dowdican (Hazelton, Pennsylvania)
  • One of the biggest things I think clients don’t know is how we are paid. Many jobs are hourly or salary, whereas if we don’t have a client in the chair we are not getting paid. When clients no-show, it has a huge impact. In addition, I don’t think clients realize many of us have a wait list and had we known they couldn’t make it, we could have possibly filled their spot. Kristen Magaw (Elkton, Maryland)
  • If you want it done right, it’s not going to be cheap. If you want it cheap, it’s not going to be done right. If you want it fast, it’s not going to be cheap. Pay for what you get. Mandy Yeugelowitz Schmitz (Fort Myers, Florida)
  • Please understand that you should book your next appointment before you leave! Sometimes we get busy and we can’t just fit you in when it’s convenient for you. Tara Nichole Noe (Melbourne, Florida)
  • I wish my clients knew that what we do in this field is an actual job, not just playing with hair, makeup, or nails. We didn’t bust our butts in beauty school to get where we are now. I’ve learned the hard way that the beauty industry is tough, but I’m thankful for going through what I did for this beautiful career of mine. Scottie Bustamante (Stockdale, Texas)
  • I’m a hairstylist, not an auctioneer. My prices are set. Kaitlyn Horn (LaSalle, Illinois)


5. If You Want Your Incredible Hair to Last, You Need the Products We Used


  • You will never be able to maintain your color service using drugstore products! Carleigh Johnson (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
  • I wish more people knew that clarifying/detoxing shampoos are the main solution to their products “not working right anymore,” and that there are color-safe clarifying shampoos! Morgan Elise Weger (Poolville, Texas)
  • At-home hair care is crucial to retaining a specific style. Meggie Rizen (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • I wish they knew they need to invest in the right product to keep the hair they just invested in. Brett Sedgwick (Stafford, Virginia)
  • I cannot guarantee the longevity of my work if you are not using the professional products I’ve personally recommended for you. That drugstore product will strip out the work I’ve just done, no matter how color-safe the bottle says it is. Madison Goerend (Wichita, Kansas)
  • I actually don’t care if you buy it from me or not, I just want you to use a heat protectant. Please. It’s not for me, it’s for you. Keegan Byington (Bristol, Virginia)


Special thanks to all the hair professionals that provided quotes for this article!


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