No More Haircut Nightmares!

Photo by Shannon Deuel

“Just a trim, and I would like to go blonder, please.”

Next thing you know, you’re standing in front of your bathroom mirror looking in disbelief at the three inches that were taken off of your less-than-golden locks. Let’s face it, we’ve all had a hair salon experience that didn’t turn out how we wanted it to. But, have no fear! Valley is here with tips on communicating with the professionals from a professional herself.

Valley recently sat down with Rachael Taylor, a Certified Redken Colorist and Senior Stylist at Looks Hair Design in State College. Rachael has been doing hair for a little over eight years and was happy to answer some questions, coincidentally while Valley got their hair done.

VALLEY: Thanks for agreeing to participate in this discussion Rachael.

RACHAEL: Of course, as a hair stylist I know how important it is to make your clients

happy with their cut or color service.

V: What do you wish clients would do before coming in for an appointment?

R: I ask that all of my clients come in for a free 15 minute consultation, either same day or before. This helps me to see their hair in person, to discuss exactly what they hope to achieve, and to answer any questions they might have.

V: You mentioned discussing what people want to do to their hair, I feel like that can be so vague. How do make sure you’re on the same page with the client?

R: Pictures are huge! Like they say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” it really is. Often people start throwing around words like “balayage” and “warm tones” without actually knowing what they mean. Also, asking for red hair could mean one thing to you and a completely different thing to me. If you show me a picture, I can see exactly what you want me to do.

V: As far as pictures go, what should clients look for in the pictures that as a stylist, you would look for?

R: Say you want highlights, look for where the highlights are placed. Even if you don’t like the color, bring that photo to show placement. Then find another of color you like. Make sure you differentiate that you only like the color of one picture and only the placement of the other.

V: What about cuts? I feel like they notoriously go wrong all of the time.

R: Hah! Unfortunately, you are right. But that usually isn’t the fault of the stylist. It all comes down to communication. Too often, clients don’t speak up fully about what they want and then leave upset when they didn’t get the picture in their head. Speak up! We’re not mind readers. If you don’t like that I’m going to cut off half an inch because your ends are dead, tell me. We won’t be offended.

So next time you want to get your hair done whether that is a trim, a color service or a major style change, make sure you are communicating effectively with your stylist. If you don’t have the words for what you want, Valley suggests going on Pinterest and finding a picture that closely shows how you want your luscious locks to look. Learn to communicate openly with your stylist and you can say goodbye to hair nightmares.