How to Help Your Hairdresser Help You

Finding a hairdresser who 'gets' you is like finding the Holy Grail. Creating a lasting hair look is a creative collaboration between stylist and client. Losing a valued and trusted hairdresser can feel like losing a partner. The right hairdresser should know you and your hair intimately. You should feel trust for one another and be able to communicate effectively.
A lot of clients are understandably anxious when it comes to sourcing a new hairdresser. It can take time to cultivate that sense of trust and openness so necessary to crafting great hair on a consistent basis! Whether you are returning to the same tried and tested stylist or trying to find a new hair saviour, here are some valuable ways in which you can help your hairdresser help you (and your hair!)

Bring In Pictures

It's true what they say; 'a picture says a thousand words.' Trying to describe the style or cut you want at length runs the risk of being lost in translation. A photo can't lie and will clearly communicate the aesthetic you are aiming for. It's better to select several photos that flaunt the style you are trying to achieve. They may be photos of celebrities, a friends cut or former photos of you in your hair heyday!
A stylist can then use the photos to re-create a look that you'll love. They'll also be able to assess the photo adequately; sometimes clients bring in pictures of luscious long locks only to discover that such thickness and length has been achieved using extensions and may not be 100% replicable on the clients hair unless they opt for extensions as well. Your hairdresser can also analyse whether the image has been doctored, filtered or photoshopped and as such give you a more accurate idea of the kind of color you can expect if you select a similar style.
Talking through these points with photos to hand is a great way to help your hairdresser visualise exactly what you want and manage the client’s expectations. You can also bring in different pictures; one for the cut, another for the color and a third for the style.

Use a Celebrity Example

Celebrities, whether they be actresses, models or singers, are often held up as the pinnacle of beauty with access to some of the world’s best products and stylists. It's no wonder then that clients wish to replicate the locks of the rich and famous. Certain celebs set hair trends. Remember 'the Rachel?' inspired by Jennifer Anniston? If you've ever been told that you look like a certain celebrity or you share similar features such as coloring or face shape, then using the rich and famous for inspiration and influence can be a very effective method.

Have a Consultation

The best move to make, particularly when making the jump to a new hairdresser is to have a consultation prior to your hair appointment. The consultation helps you communicate freely with your hairdresser and build a sense of rapport. It's a great way for the client to suss out whether or not this stylist can help them with their hair and it's also an effective way to see whether the two of you share chemistry in terms of trust. You should feel easy and comfortable around your hairdresser.
Your hairdresser should be honest and supportive of your hair vision. They should be able to point out any concerns they have when it comes to using certain dyes or going for a dramatic cut. You should never feel dominated or pushed around by your stylist. The point of such a meeting is to collaborate and to thrash out any ideas, worries and hair fantasies! You can also use this period of time to quiz your hairdresser on their background if you so wish; do they have any areas of expertise? Have they worked extensively with your hair type?

Be honest!

Ultimately it's YOUR hair so you have to be honest about what you want. Your stylist can guide you as much as humanely possible, but the client has the final say. It's very important to be able to talk honestly about your hair; how do you usually wear it? How do you frequently style it? Do you wash and heat style your hair frequently? When did you last cut and/or color your hair?
Answering truthfully enables your hairdresser to understand what will work for you not just aesthetically but in terms of practicality. Is this a style that is compatible with your daily life? Does this hair cut elevate you to become the type of woman that you want to be? Once you build this back and forth rapport with your hairdresser, you'll find it easier to be upfront about your requirements and you'll leave the salon with tresses to die for.

Talk Throughout the Process

Sometimes, clients and stylists are on the wrong page. If you commence an appointment with a shaky, faithless foundation, you'll probably feel anxious and restless throughout the appointment. A great way to combat this is to talk with your stylist throughout. If hair length is sacrosanct to you and you are concerned that your hairdresser may cut too much, check in with them.
If you are concerned that the dye used will be too light, bright or alternatively too dim, speak up and let the stylist know your concerns. You can then work together through the process and you'll find it a more relaxing and pampering encounter.