In the game of *winning at life* most of us strive to make a difference, find our true soul mate and do what we love. And if we’re really lucky (like bonus-level, great karma lucky), we also happen upon that amazing hairstylist who, when we visit their chair, knows just what we like and need to make our best-selves better.
The secret is, there are many unicorn stylists out there—you just have to know how to spot them.
We asked some of OUR favorites from the Aveda North America Artistic Team what questions you need to ask to find your best hairstylist.
Read on for their top tips on finding yours.
Top Questions to Help You Find Your New Hair Guru
I’m looking to _________. Who is the busiest in your salon for the service I need?
Simple: You want someone who is experienced and established in that service.
Susan Ford – Aveda North America Artistic Team, Hair Cutting
The best ones are busy for a reason. If you can hold on and wait for the appointment, you’ll get the person with more expertise.
Morine Bangle – Aveda North America Artistic Team, Hair Color
Ask, “Who cuts the most short hair?” Many salons want to say everyone’s excellent at it, but this is how you know which stylist really does it the best.
What’s their personality/energy level?
Are you the chit-chatty type or does 90 minutes of silence sound like bliss? That’s an important part of your overall salon experience.
Lupe Voss – Aveda North America Artistic Director of Hair Color
Sometimes a stylist’s personality can be a bit much. If the guest is looking for a quiet experience, they should ask for a quiet, calm person. Or, if they need the energy and enjoy conversation, they can ask for someone more energetic.
What’s the stylist’s skill level/price point?
Many salons have tiered pricing based on the stylist’s level of advancement.
Dusty Rhode – Aveda North America Artistic Director of Hair Cutting
Ask about pricing, specialties, and skill levels. Be sure the salon and the stylist are completely upfront about pricing; it’s not a secret. We don’t want the client to be surprised by anything unless it’s a good thing—no negative surprises.
We want to know what your main priority is. Experience? Specialties? Price? What are the issues that are most important to you? We have a range of service prices depending on skill level, from master stylist to fresh talent.
Ask the Stylist
What is your Instagram?
Many stylists use Instagram as an online portfolio of their work. It pays to check them out!
Take a look at the stylist’s Instagram to see if they do the styles that they’re looking for. It’s great; it’s like having a pictorial business card.
Can I come in ahead of time for a consultation?
A consultation is an opportunity to meet your stylist, communicate what you want, get price estimates and ask for options based on your budget and maintenance needs.
A good salon will offer a consultation before your appointment. Bring pictures, but don’t be married to them—let the stylist recommend how they would customize the look to fit your face shape and coloring.
A first-time guest should have a consultation—to meet their expectations and to see if the “fit” is right with the stylist. A complete estimate should be given so there are no surprises at the end.
It’s important to be completely honest with your stylist in the consultation, especially where color is concerned. We want to know what you have done to your hair for the last three years, in a salon and at home. We’re not judging you—we want to get the chemistry correct. Hair color and treatment is a science.
Am I making a big change?
Color is hot right now, and you have social media and magazines showing loads of amazing drastic color changes. What they’re not showing you is that color changes take multiple services, over the course of several visits or in a very long day. It’s important to talk to your colorist about the journey it will take to get the look you desire, how many processes it will be, how much time, how much to maintain, and how much that will cost.
Do I have realistic expectations?
If you’ve gone to multiple salons but still aren’t getting what you want, maybe the look you’re going for is not the look for you. If stylists are giving you an honest professional opinion, take it to heart. They might not want to force your hair to do something it doesn’t want to do—but a good stylist will come up with something even better.
Have I done my homework?
Do. Your. Research. Search the reviews—that can be huge. Obviously, you’ll have bad ones, but if there seems to be a running theme with negative reviews, or if they don’t handle bad reviews well, that’s cause for concern. And don’t be afraid to ask multiple questions. If they can’t answer them, you might want to keep looking.
Of course, if you’re looking for a new personal hair savior, Mixd Salon in Philadelphia is the best place to start. As the best salon in Philadelphia, we just happen to be full of unicorn stylists, and we’re happy to help you find your perfect match. Give us a call today to get started or stop by our salon to get set up with a consultation.