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10 things your hairstylist wants you to know

1. If you want your hair to go you need to keep getting it trimmed.

Before I started doing hair, I never understood this because no one took the time to explain it to me. What your stylist means is that when your ends split, they will split up the strand until that hair breaks or falls out. The more hairs that do this, the thinner and “scragglier” the bottom of your hair will look (because there is less hair there). If you get a “dusting” which is a miniscule trim (.25-.5 inches), to remove the split ends and keep them from splitting up, roughly every two months, you’ll maintain and keep the hair you have longer- enabling you to have longer, healthier hair.

2. I am not a magician, but I do have magic potions, kind of.

 I don’t magically change the texture, density, or curl pattern of your hair when I style it. I manipulate it with products. The reason your hair feels so much better after I smooth it than after you do, isn’t my hands, it’s the $33 dollar heat-protecting, smoothing spray I use. So when you say “I can never make it look like you do,” you may be using non-professional hair products. It’s not magic, it’s science.

3. Why my products are better than Walgreen’s.

Piggy-backing off that, the reason salon products are so much better than drug store ones is simple: Chemists. The highest expense in any industry is salary/personnel. When developing hair products, the most qualified (hence highest paid) chemists are working in the labs of brands like Oribe. For Oribe to make money on their products after paying these geniuses, they have to make their products more expensive than Pantene Pro-V who simply make cheap knock-offs, laden with cheap ingredients.

4. Coloring your hair and lightening it are not the same.

In fact, they are opposite processes. “Coloring” your hair darker, or to a different shade about the same color level, involves depositing color molecules into the hairshaft. Lightening it (“highlighting,” “blonding,”) is the process of removing the melanin (color molecules) from your hair, causing it to look lighter (blonder) or if all the color molecules are removed, white/platinum. Number 5, is the reason you need to get this.

5. “Color doesn’t lift color.”

While taking your color darker isn’t a problem, if you come in with dark brown hair and want light-brown hair, I cannot just put a light brown color over it. It won’t do any more than if you put light brown ink on top of black ink. I’d just be stuffing more molecules into your hair-shaft. To give you lighten brown, I have to lighten it all over to a blonde-ish color, and then put the light brown on top of that.

6. Just because that’s your “natural hair color” it doesn’t mean you have natural hair.

As stylists, we refer to “natural” (or virgin) hair, as hair that has never been touched by chemicals. Your hair grows about 6 inches a year. If you have 20 inches of hair and haven’t colored your hair in a year, you’ll have 6 inches of new growth, and 14 inches of previously colored hair, so even though it looks natural, it isn’t. I need to know this so I can formulate your color appropriately. I’m not judging you if you’ve colored your hair. It will just make things easier for us when formulating,  if you're upfront with us from the start your results will be more predictable.

7. Time is money.

Most stylists work on commission or in a booth-rent situation, they pay a weekly rent to their salon owner. When you no-call, no-show, or call to cancel at the last minute, your stylist doesn’t make money.

8. Tipping is appreciated

Tip your stylist. Unless your salon has a no tipping policy, your stylist is really hoping and sometimes depending on tips. Go on a percentage system, give what you can or feel is deserved, but give something. It’s always better than nothing.

9. I’d rather fix your hair than you be unhappy.

Most stylists are happy to fix your hair if you’re unhappy with it. If you hate your hair and go around telling people that I messed up your hair, that’s bad for my business. Most good salons have redo policies where you can come back and see your stylist for tweaks and fixes, for no charge. Simply be polite and let us know. If someone truly messes up your hair (cuts it wonky, fries it off, turns it an off color), maybe just bite the bullet and go somewhere else. If they didn’t recognize and note their mistake, they’re either lazy, dishonest, or they don’t really know what they’re doing. Lastly on this point, if you go for a change and don’t like it, that doesn’t mean your stylist did a bad job. There’s a difference between you changing your mind and the stylist doing something wrong. Which leads us to our final hint-

10. High expectations

You might not look or feel exactly like Jennifer Aniston, because you are not her and just because you bring in a picture of Jennifer Anniston, it doesn’t mean your hair will be identical. You don’t have the same hair (or hair history)

11 Comments to 10 things your hairstylist wants you to know:

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I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of info that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.
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