How To Choose A Good Hair Dresser

Step 1: Know What Qualities to Look For

  • You may be wondering what qualities make a good hair dresser. Although the answer is subjective depending on what you are looking for, there are several general traits you might want to look for when choosing a new hair dresser. These include, but are not limited to:
  1. Good communicator
  2. Knowledge of health-related topics associated with hair
  3. Ability to recognize conditions or abnormalities on the skin, hair or scalp
  4. Friendly and personable
  • Step 2: What Are Your Needs?
    • Knowing what your hair needs are is extremely important in finding the perfect hair dresser. Some hair dressers, for example, specialize in highlights or perms, while others are known for their flair for the hippest styling techniques.
  • Step 3: Get Recommendations
    • A great way to find a hair dresser is by talking to others. You can:
    1. Talk to friends and family. If you are getting advice from people that know you and whom you already trust then chances are you will find you like the hair dresser they recommend.
    2. Talk to salon schools in your area. Usually they can tell you some of the better salons and stylists around town. Sometimes they may suggest you try their school, where for a discount you can get your hair done by students in training. Although not always ideal, it is one way to get a cheaper cut and style.
  • Step 4: Find a Good Quality Salon
    • Sometimes the best way to find the most qualified hair dresser is to first find the highest rated salons in your area. Usually top notch salons only hire the best, so if you find the right salon, you will most likely find the best hair dresser to fit your needs. You can also specify to the person in charge of appointments what your needs are and they can then tell you the person on staff that specializes in that particular hair cut or treatment. You can find salons in your area by:
    1. Word of mouth. Again, friends and family will usually be honest and suggest a decent hair dresser for your needs; assuming, of course, that they have a good flare for hair!
    2. The internet will provide a wealth of information. You may even find sites that rate the salons and their stylists.
    3. Drive around town. Sometimes by walking into a salon and asking questions you can at least get a feel for the place and the hair dressers there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either! You might even want to talk to some of the customers there.
  • Here are some questions you should cover during your hair stylist consultation:

    • What are the main products that you use in servicing your clients’ hair?
    • What types of services do you offer? (Relaxers, roller sets, deep conditioning, wraps, braids, etc.)
    • What hair types and textures do you work with? (Natural, kinky, relaxed, etc.)
    • How long have you been a hair stylist?
    • What are your hours?

    Here are some things you should look for at a salon:

    • How is the stylist interacting with her clients? Is she handling their hair with care? Is she explaining what she’s doing before she does it?Is she listening to her client?
    • Does their seem to be a long wait for the stylist to get started? Does it seem like people have been there all day?
    • Is the salon clean? Are there places for salon equipment? Is the washing area clean? Is clean up being done as work is being done? Are stylists eating in the same area as hair is being done?
    • How is the atmosphere? Is it air conditioned? Are the hair stylists getting along with each other? Are there lots of of unwatched children? Is there cursing? Are street vendors allowed to solicit inside the salon?
    • Is the salon convenient for you? Is there ample parking? Is the neighborhood safe whether you choose to visit morning or evening.

    My Pet Peeves About Beauty Shops

    The going joke in my family is that I didn’t have any hair when I was born. I was the cute bald baby, who didn’t sprout hair until I was 4-5 years old. My mom says that my hair was so short and scarce that only my babysitter could grab the baby hairs and put my hair into a semi style.

    As time went on, I got older and my hair grew and grew. My mom never put a perm in my hair and therefore when I got older, I didn’t either. My mom washed and pressed my hair from the time I was a young girl until I was in college. I got my hair done at the shop for special occasions but for the most part my mom pressed my hair. I was fine with sitting in my mom’s kitchen, next to the stove, talking with her and getting my hair done for free.

    The times when I got my hair done at a shop, things NEVER seemed to work out. I got my first hair cut at 16 and it was uneven and my hair wasn’t pressed hard enough, so it was an afro by the evening. I got my first set of streaks when I turned 18, but they were too light, the color blended in with my hair and no one could see it.

    As I got older and started making money after college, my mom encouraged me to find a beautician that I liked and could afford. The beauticians that I went to either cut my ends too much, didn’t streak/die my hair correctly, didn’t press my hair hard enough or had me waiting for hours to get a simple wash and press. I finally found a beautician that was affordable, close to my house and very friendly. My cousin recommended her to me. I have been going to her for at least 4 years now and she does a great job. She presses the mess out of my hair and she keeps it healthy and looking good. Even though I enjoy my beautician, I still have pet peeves about how things go down in the shop sometimes. I love my people and I’m not trying to be negative about black beauticians but some of them need to do better. Below is a list of beauty shop pet peeves that I’ve experienced or heard about over the years.

    Things That Should Not Go Down In Any Shop

    1. Loud vulgar music

    2. Beauticians showing up late to work

    3. Beauticians booking too many clients and making their clients wait all day.

    4. Beauiticans moving slowly as if their clients have nothing better to do but to sit in the shop with them all day.

    5. Beauiticans that let their clients use vulgar language and have inappropriate conversations.

    6. Beauiticans that like to sit down and eat when they should be finishing up your hair

    7. Beauticans that won’t return your calls promptly when your trying to schedule

    8. Beauticans that are nosy and talk to much

    9. Beauticians that cut too much of your ends and play dumb when you confront them about it

    10. Beauticians that don’t keep the shop environment peaceful and professional

    Black folk we have to do better! If you own a business you want it to be the best in town! You should be professional in your attire, language and shop environment. People should be lining up outside to get in because your reputation and craft are stellar. Don’t fall into the stereotype of many black on businesses (esp barber and beauty shops) where you are late to work, make your clients wait, your shop is a club scene and people are always talking about inappropriate topics (who is sleeping with who) Fight to be better. Customer service is everything!! Trust me, your business will increase when you professionalism does also!

    **Ladies what have been some of your experiences with beauty shops? What would you like to see change about the way black beauticians do business***