How to “Date” Your Next Stylist

Ok, so you’re not happy with your current stylist. You’ve been going there for years because gosh darn it…she’s such a nice person and you feel guilty “cheating” on her. Well, we have good news! Divorcing your stylist is easy and painless. No lawyers, no red tape. It isn’t a marriage and if your stylist isn’t continually bringing new things and new ideas to the table, then she isn’t a stylist, she’s just a hair cutter. A hair cutter keeps doing the same things over and over, and treats cutting hair like mowing a lawn. A good stylist will keep updating her education to EARN her clientele, so don’t throw your money away on a stylist that’s just in it for the cash but doesn’t have a passion for the business.

Now you’ve decided to make a clean break but you’re scared. It’s OK to be scared and you very well should be. Finding a new stylist is not always easy; it’s sort of like dating for a perspective hair mate. Each “hair date” is actually an interview and just like dating, you never know what to expect right away. Where do you find perspective stylists? Check people out everywhere you go, if you see a hairstyle you like, ask that person who does their hair and where. Get a manicure, pedicure, or facial at a nice salon and ask the Esthetician or Manicurist who they would recommend from that salon. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We’ve seen butcher jobs come out of popular salons and amazing work come out of mom n’ pop shops. It’s all about each stylist’s individual passion and style, not about working in a salon for prestige or money.

So, you are ready to start dating a new stylist? Remember these three rules and never jump to third base on a first date!

1st Base: Styling

Painless, non-invasive and a great way to see what the stylist is made of. Make an appointment for a blowout and see if they can make your hair look great. Styling hair takes some talent and training and is a great test of skills. While you’re there, check out what other stylists are doing and what they are sending out the door. If you see something you like, make note of where the stylist’s chair is and what they look like and call in and ask about that stylist. Ask about what kinds of continuing education the salon offers to their stylists. Let your stylist know you are looking for a simple easy way to do your hair that doesn’t involve flat irons or curling irons and make sure they show you how to do the same thing at home. Get your hands in there and ask if they can show you how to hold the brush and blow your hair out properly. A good stylist will take the time to educate you. A bad stylist just wants to get you out the door as quickly as possible and get paid.

2nd Base: Color

Color is much easier to correct than a cut. Go for a nice semi or semi-permanent alternative to test their skills. Ask what shade, base color and what level color the recommend along with the brand of color they are using. Do they ask you questions? Does she have a consultation process that she follows to ensure the best results? Does she tell you the truth about the time and money involved in making drastic color changes? Does she tell you why she is using one product over another? Do you feel like this stylist is providing you with the right amount of education about your options? You have every right to know what is going on with your hair. Don’t feel guilty for asking as many questions as you want. A knowledgeable stylist will welcome the chance to show off their database of information they have collected through the years.

 3rd Base: Cutting

By now you’re ready to consummate your relationship with a cut. First time go slow and easy, just a trim, maybe some texture added. Remember you still don’t know this person as well as you need to before your biggest commitment together ever. Your new style baby!

Once you are sure this is the stylist for you, only then you can consider a change of look. Bring in photos of what you like (remember not all things are possible without Photoshop). Bring several different looks and ask the stylist what would be the best for your hair and ask why. Then GO FOR IT!

Keep building your relationship with your new stylist. Educate yourself as much as possible and tap your stylist’s brainpower. Ask about every product and why they are using it along with what it does. I know you want to dive in and tell them all your secrets and make a new friend, but try to stick to their skill level and getting to know her personality first. I’ve heard over and over as a stylist that a client will return to you if they like you as a person, even if your skill level isn’t up to par. That is a fundamental clientele building tactic. Make them like you and they will be back. Don’t be that client. Make your stylist earn their keep by educating themselves and you. Your friendship will grow out of respect and gratitude for a job well done and you’ll look and feel better than ever.

From the Stylists at

The Broadway Centre Spa & Salon

Downtown Bismarck