As a hairstylist and salon owner, I spend a lot of time observing interactions between hairstylists and clients. Regardless of gender, the best stylist-client relationships begin much like courtship. I may be going off the beaten path here, but stay with me. Your hairstylist is responsible for creating or enhancing the image you want to project to the rest of the world. Therefore, when you visit your hairstylist put your best foot forward; it will capture his attention in the best way possible, and motivate him to do exceptional work. In order to make your "first date" with your new stylist a success, I've made a list of some suggestions for you to consider before you head off to your appointment.
1. Show up with a positive attitude and an open mind. If you had a scowl on your face while on a date you wouldn't get past the appetizers, right? So if you wake up in a bad mood on the day of your appointment, consider rescheduling, you'll feel more at ease and you'll be able to communicate your expectations more effectively when you finally do end up in his or her chair.
2. This suggestion is going to annoy more than a few tech junkies out there, but I have to say it because it's more important than you realize. Ready? Put your phone away! If you were to pull out your phone in front of your date and text the night away you'd be lucky to make it to the main course. To use a cliche, "live in the moment", feel and watch what your stylist is doing. The mirror in front of us is not just there for you to see the end result, I need to be able to see your face. After all, your hair is the accessory of your head (your face being a part of it), therefore I cannot cut your hair if I'm staring only at the top of your head.
3. Would you sit down with your date and expound on all of your shortcomings over cocktails? No? So why would you sit in your stylist's chair and immediately spout off all of the reasons your hair is "terrible"? That will get us nowhere and it instantly brings down the mood. Instead, point out the attributes that you find appealing, for example: "I really like my cheekbones" or "I love the way I look with my hair pulled off of my face". This makes for a better cut because your hairstylist can create a style that allows you to accentuate the features that you enjoy. Your hairstylist cannot change the fact that you inherited your great-grandma Gertrude's frizzy mane but he can find a way to help you manage what you have.
4. One of the most important, yet overlooked, habits when it comes to your "first date" with your new stylist is how you dress. On a date, you'd dress in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and provocative, yet comfortable. Similar rules apply for your first encounter with your new hairstylist. You don't have to go overboard (unless that's your style), but you should dress in a way that reflects how you spend most of your time. So if you are an athlete and spend most of your time in sweatsuits, by all means, arrive in your best sweatsuit! With an accurate picture of you, your hairstylist can enhance your look and tailor your cut to fit all aspects of your lifestyle.
5. In the 80s, I hated when clients brought magazine pictures because I thought I was the coolest French hairstylist around and I didn't need anyone telling me what to do. After many downward dogs and handstands my ego has returned to normal proportions and now, I love pictures! Even if the images don't suit you, it gives me insight to what your dreams are, and they can help us get as close as possible to your perfect "do".
Even if you forget everything I've told you, remember this: the "first date" always comes down to seduction, and seduction is not necessarily sexual; it is stimulating the interest of others using your best qualities. If you share these with me, they will undoubtedly materialize in your new style. Next time we will talk about what you should expect from your hairstylist.
Bio Photo by Alexander Berg