Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


What characteristics do you look for in a good hair stylist? Share!

Temptalia's AnswerI’ve been most comfortable with people who 1) are aware of different trends in the industry, 2) aren’t stuck in a box BUT will talk you through a hairstyle – not just the cut but maintenance, what kind of lifestyle it is best suited for, etc., and 3) someone who doesn’t push product on you.

Thanks to Nicole for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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36 thoughts on “What characteristics do you look for in a good hair stylist?

  1. My most important characteristic is actually that the stylist be in a quiet salon. I don’t like salons that blast loud music and have lots of people running around. But beyond that, I just don’t want to be pressured into something. My stylist needs to listen to what I’m looking for and then give me input that isn’t completely opposite of the look I want.

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of rebecca blueraccoon

    Since I know jack about cutting hair, I look for someone who can take my basic idea of “Something that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance” and give me just that. I also look for someone who’s not going to talk to me or at me through the whole thing; I like to zone out in the chair, especially since with my glasses off I can’t see what he or she is doing.

    I’m actually seeing a new stylist this weekend to get my hair cut before Thanksgiving, as my previous stylist was in a car accident and can’t come back to work :( I trust the salon I’m going to; I have yet to have a stylist there that wasn’t at least decent. (Don’t tell my husband; I want to cut it all off.)

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    I expect whoever is styling/cutting my hair to do what I ask them to do, regardless if they think it suits my face or my hair. After all, I’m *paying* them, and it’s *my* hair.

    The last time I went in, I told the woman what I wanted, and she proceeded to tell me that my hair was too thick & wavy, so the style I wanted would require too much effort & product. I told her I didn’t care, I had a shelf full of product that would be necessary, and told her to give me the style in the photo. Then she told me how it would be “better” if she “modified” the style. She went ahead and “modified” to her own personal specifications, and needless to say, I was not happy, and it looked horrible.

    Luckily, my hair grows freakishly fast, so I wasn’t stuck with a horrible style for too long. Well, at least nothing a ponytail holder couldn’t fix.

    When it comes to my bangs & trims, I usually just do it myself. Since my hair is pretty wavy, it’s not noticeable if the ends aren’t perfect. When I’ve paid people in the past to trim a specific amount, they’ve taken liberties to cut off what they feel is the “right” amount. Again, it should be *my* decision.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pamela Pamela

      I see what you mean but a stylist can encourage a client to make choices she perhaps was not aware existed. I am a fashion stylist and sometimes I have to tell the client that say, loves purple that it makes her skin sallow. I feel I would not be doing my job not to mention it. Now, she can take my advice and throw it away–for sure. But I am being paid to both advise and follow the clients’s desires–not easy. You might have looked great in the cut but you might have been self conscious about something so drastic. For years, hair stylists always gave me the super short Halle Berry cut because my hair is short and fine. They always explained that it was what “worked” for my hair type. And they were right! But I felt that it aged me and I don’t have a face like Halle so I stopped “working” with my natural hair and went totally Beyonce with wigs. Now, I don’t have to worry about my natural hair type or stylists who remind me of my follicular limits.

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brenda Bribri

    Just a hair stylist who will listen!

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Maggie Maggie

    A “good” hair stylist is skilled with working the customer’s hair type, AND works WITH the customer to create a style that best complements the customer’s lifestyle, tastes, and looks. I’m always up for trying new stuff so I don’t mind introductions to products so long as no one is pushing stuff onto me.

  6. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Phoebe Phoebe

    I definitely agree with everything you said, Christine. I had a series of terrible haircuts (from different stylists) for awhile, and I finally found one who had all of those characteristics above. He was also able to fix my terrible haircut and tell me what all the previous stylist did incorrectly. It turns out, even though I don’t have visually unusual hair (it’s not thick, but it’s not fine either), the texture of each strand is actually unique. My previous stylists were cutting my hair like the rest of their clients’ (pretty much all Caucasian), and they weren’t using the right techniques for my hair (I’m Asian).

  7. Louise

    I agree, really pushy sales people can stress you out.

    I think it’s so important to have someone that understands my hair type. I was seeing a woman who had big curly hair like me, then next time I turned up to see her, someone else had taken over her job and tried to convince me a choppy mullet would work! Uhhh no… I’ve got massive curly hair and would have to spend ages doing it every day. Also gross.
    My new guy is a hair mastermind!

  8. I want someone who would LISTEN. There are things you can persuade me to try, but you can’t say OK to what I ask and then do something different (hair 2 inches shorter than what you asked, anyone?). I like some kind of explanation throughout the process instead of a stylist who is condescending. I’ve been with mine for 7 years now, also because he has an eye for what trends would work for my face and personality.

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jax Jax

    I have problem hair, very thin at the front and very thick at the back and strange growing patterns that affect what I can do.

    1) When I go to a new stylist for a sit down I want to see if they can see the issues, if they can’t then they won’t be able to deal with them.

    2) I want a great cut not a good blow dry, a great cut means I’ll be able to deal with it at home.

    3) Someone who is generous with styling tips and trick and is happy to talk about what they are doing.

    I don’t mind product recommendations especially if we can test them in the salon and as long as they aren’t pushy.

  10. Good question, mainly because I can’t think of an answer! Quite honestly my hairdresser is mean. She’s one of those people who doesn’t smile, and she’s always telling me off for using supermarket products. She’s also a REALLY good hairdresser. I have another girl I see at the same salon who isn’t quite as good, but she’s nice!

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Raquel Raquel

    my hairstylist has been the same since i first cut my hair (and im 24 now)! i trust her as far as cut and colour, but i am aware that i need to find a back up hair stylist..just in case. so i guess i tried 2 more besides her, and didn’t liked them. the first first first thing i look for is someone who KNOWS how to deal with curly hair, as far as styling but more as cutting. my hair is different when its wet or dry, so its something to keep in mind.

  12. I wear a shag razor cut hairstyle and never had a stylist cut it the way I wanted it. I finally just decided to take a razor and try cutting it myself. After awhile it became so easy. I have been cutting my own hair now for over 2 years. Razors are very forgiving.

  13. Terri

    someone that really knows how to cut hair based on the way it grows.

    I have two strong cowlicks in the front and a swirlly in the back making my hair difficult to cut and style. My old hairdresser never commented, she just cut my hair and it was beautiful. So mentioned to me when I had to change to let others know about my growth patterns

    Recently I had to change hairdressers because of location. The new hair dresser told me “Oh no worries I’ve cut cowlicks before” Because she didn’t really pay attention and assumed my cowlicks were like everyone elses she’d cut it the same.

    Then I hear “Oh my… this is a really strong cowlick” And low and behold I had a style mess.

  14. AliceWray

    After a lifetime of many bad haircuts, these are what I look for…
    1) They’re polite. No snottiness. They don’t have to be bubbly, especially if it’s fake-nice, but I don’t want to have the stylist talking to other people or on the phone, like I’m not even there. Or making someone feel uncomfortable about their age or weight.

    2) They don’t push product. I NEVER return to a stylist that pushes product at me. This goes for spa technicians too. Even if they make a sale, they’ve lost a client.

    3) I want them to know what they’re doing. While keeping up to date’s important, not screwing up is more so. I’ve had so many cuts from people that couldn’t get sides even, or never paid attention enough to realize that hair shrinks as it dries.

    4) Be professional enough to give a client the requested look, even if they don’t prefer it personally. Yes, stylist should warn about face shape, datedness, etc. But a stylist should never just ignore the client’s wishes.

  15. Tani

    For me it’s someone who will give you advice about how to care for your hair, tell you why that style will/won’t suit you or your lifestyle, know about health and safety for themselves and you, know about what styles are in and lastly, will take what you want in to account.

    As I’m training to be a hair stylist, these are things you must do otherwise you can fail your your assessments.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Renee Renee

    I have loooonge blonde highlighted hair and found my great hair stylist 12 years ago. I have strayed a couple of times and found some great stylists but nobody beats her. She cuts exactly how much I want off for a trim, never pushes products and is very trendy. I just recently asked for a different shade of blonde, told her what I wanted and got it exactly right the first try!!
    Before her, I was trying to grow my hair back out. I am 5’10” and my naturaly blonde hair was down to my butt (that is a lot of hair). I got a bob cut and colored it chocolate brown! Nobody would cut less than 2 inches off my hair until I found her! My hair isn’t as long as before because now I need to lighten it (darn ageing) so there is more damage than before.

  17. AnnMarie

    My only requirment, Knows how to cut curly hair. I have a mass of frizzy curly hair, and anynone that tries to give me bangs, or cut it dry does not know this type of hair.

  18. Yellowlantern

    If I could just find a stylist that knew what inches and centimeters actually looked like I’d be golden. I usually just ask for a trim of a couple of centimeters and usually leave with way more than that taken off…

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pamela Pamela

    A great stylist must be aware of trends but not force a client into adopting a trend that’s not suitable for her. I think stylists should also consider a client’s face shape and skin tone (for coloring hair) to enhance a client’s beauty. Most important of all is the ability to listen!

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pamela Pamela

      One of my sisters-in-law goes to a terrible hairdresser. My in law is outrageously frugal and clueles about style so she doesn’t care about hair STYLE but more about how little she pays for her cut (“she charges me $15!”). Well, she always wears this Pat Benatar circa 1983 cut. No stylist should give her client that look! So what I’m saying is a good stylist should never give someone hair that came from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. No matter how much or how little they charge, the client should always leave looking…contemporary, modern, au courant.

  20. 1) My hair is really fine, so if a hairstylist is unable to work with my hair, I wish they would recommend someone in the shop that would be able to do a better job. Fine hair can be absolutely ruined by the wrong or inexperienced hairdresser.
    2) I like someone to concentrate on my hair and not jabber all the way through the process.
    3) Not doing what I ask for. At this point, I know what works and what doesn’t work on my hair. Don’t try to talk me into something else.
    4) Complaining about how hard my hair is to work with; Thanks for pointing that out…never knew that before!

  21. becca

    SOMEONE WHO CAN CUT CURLY HAIR! I had so many bad experiences in the past until i found a hairstylist that can actually work with my long curly hair. Most would just trim it whereas she can actually give it a real modern cut/style that’s very “me” and very beautiful. she’s been a hairstylist for 20 years. So, if i were to get a new stylist it would have to be someone with a lot of experience especially at working with curly hair.

  22. Someone who will actually do what you ask!! I’m tired of trying out new stylists who think they know best — if I ask for three inches off, I want three inches off! My last three haircuts have been awful (the first and last thought I’d be better off in long hair, and wouldn’t trim the amount that I wanted; the second decided I’d look cute in a bob, and cut off double what I asked for), and I’m really losing faith in the industry.

    I cut the hair of most of my close friends & family, but it’s just too hard to cut my own, unfortunately :(

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mirian Vermeulen mirian

    I love my stylist. She’s one of my closest friends and she understands my hair. However, she just popped out a baby this past weekend and is out for maternity leave and I have almost TWO INCHES of roots. It’s unacceptable. I might to venture off to get my high lights.

  24. Angie

    Trustworthy- I need to know that I can trust someone to handle my hair, and someone who I can trut will do what I ask for. The stylist I had before I moved was amazing, she didn’t break bank, she respected my decisions and she gave me helpful advice, also she was super nice and funny. She was truly a gem.. still looking for someone like her :)

  25. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rebecca BeckBeck

    I agree with what a lot of people have said – someone who listens to what you want and works with it! The girl I go to now is expensive, but she does a great job, and my hair grows out nicely and looks human for a full six weeks between cuts. She’s not afraid to make suggestions, but we talk about what she’s going to do before she does it and come to an agreement. I went to a stylist once who listened to what I wanted and actually said “… no, we’re not going to do that” and proceeded to give me a sharply angled “wedge” haircut. I have a heart-shaped face that can look rounder than it is with some styles, and the cut made me look like the man in the moon.

  26. Jessica

    I just look for someone who will listen and do exactly what I ask. I have butt length hair that I trim twice a year and cut 4-5 inches once a year. It’s thick and wavy so I like it to be all one length.
    I hate when stylists are overly critical about what I want done or how I wear my hair. I’m just waiting until I have to tell them that I don’t use silicone in my hair and I don’t want any of their expensive serums.

  27. Fawn

    I’m currently going to school for cosmetology. I’m glad I would qualify for all these things! I havent mastered the curly hair yet. but i’m working on it. Havent had too many clients with curly hair. Thank you for all the advice on what you guys look for. :-) One think I look for my hairdressers is that they educate me.

  28. Nicole

    Well, experience, knowledge, good feeling, technique and listen to my expectations from the result.

    I remember taking several magazines to my current hair dresser and we discussed what I like and he explained if this look suites my hair type (fine and no volume!), and my face shape or not. He talked me out of having bangs and I am really happy with that recommendation.

    So, I have an uncomplicated haircut, with not much effort to style in the morning. I heard lots of comliments for my Katie-Holmes-Nicole-Richie-Paris-Hilton-Victoria-Beckham-Bob.

  29. ggbsy

    I haven’t cut my hair in YEARS… I wish I was brave enough. Last time I did, I told my stylist I had an adopted brother and he FLIPPED out. He offended me and took it out on my hair. I was so shocked I just sat there looking at him take a go at my hair… At the end he said he hoped I learned a lesson and I left crying. Turns out, he was adopted and had a sister who hated him, he just projected himself on me I suppose. I left in tears. If I lived in America I would have sued him. I don’t know if I will ever cut my hair again.

  30. Pook

    Many stylists are too egotistical to listen to what you have to say and are only interested in what they want to do and not what your needs are. Others try but aren’t very good. I have only met a few who actually did what I wanted them to. That’s why I cut my own hair.