With Halloween right around the corner, I figured that it's the perfect time to address the only place more terrifying than a haunted house for us curly folk, the.....salon! Mwuhahahhahahhahahahhaaaa!!!! We've all been there. A stylist who, completely unaware of shrinkage, cuts off too much. Or one who goes right in with the comb on dry hair (It's the audacity for me). In October's blog post, we'll discuss when you can tell that it's time for you to go to the salon, how to choose a great one, how to prepare for your visit and how to conduct yourself once you're there. Hopefully, these tips will help make your salon experience more happy than horrid! Let's get started!
Alright, so let's start at the beginning, shall we? How do you know when it's time to go to the salon? There are a few factors that tend to point me in that direction:
Sometimes, I just can't see to get all of the split ends or single strand knots off. I think I've done a great job. Until next wash day, when they're ALL. BACK. AGAIN. That's when I know that it's time to consult a professional. It can sometimes be difficult to get to every single split and knowing how split ends keep right on splitting up the hair shaft, it's important to nip them in the bud.
2. I want to mix it up with color or a professional steam treatment.
When I feel the urge to get highlights, all-over color or want a really good steam treatment, it's time to consult a professional. I'm perfectly capable of touching up my own greys or going darker but DIY lightening can go awry quickly. Times like these call for a stylist's touch, in my opinion.
3. Self care
There are times where I just want to pamper myself. I love the fact that my hair is getting longer and thicker but, with that comes much longer wash day sessions. It feels so nice having someone shampoo my hair and give me a luxurious conditioning treatment.
OK, so now that we know when it might be time for a salon visit, how should we go about choosing the right one? Here are a few ideas that should get you going in the right direction:
1. Phone a friend
If you happen to have curly friends, definitely hit them up for salon ideas. Now also might be a great time to introduce yourself to the other curly girl in the office. There are tons of Facebook groups that can help you out as well, so don't be shy!
While choosing your social media influencers, be sure to follow some in the same region as you. This is a good idea for a couple reasons: you can see which products/techniques they switch to when the weather changes and also, they'll probably be familiar with stylists to frequent (or stay away from) closeby.
There are some pretty good Salon Finders online. One of my personal favorites is NaturallyCurly's. Be sure to read the reviews before booking!
So once you've chosen a salon, some prepwork needs to be done before your visit to ensure the best possible experience:
This might be a few minutes prior to your appointment or on another day altogether, but you want to be sure to make time to meet your stylist and discuss what you're looking for beforehand.
2. Bring photo examples
Make sure that you share with your stylists several examples of what you're looking for (from several different angles). Be realistic when choosing your examples, considering your texture, length, density and other factors that could cause the style to go sideways.
3. Be specific
Be able to clearly state what you want and what you don't want and make sure that your stylist can repeat these back to you. Do you want your hair cut while wet or dry? Ask your stylist for her opinion on each method. It might seem like overkill, but it's hard to come back from a bad salon experience, so it's best to make sure that you guys are on the same page before your session.
OK, so you're in the chair and ready to go. What should you look out for? These tips should help you get through the visit unscathed:
2. Make sure that you're facing a mirror whenever possible so that you can observe your session.
3. Be wary of the stylist handling your hair too roughly, combing/brushing while dry, cutting too much, using heat tools (especially without heat protectant), etc. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, remember point #1 - you are the client and can have the stylist stop or leave at any time.
I really hope that this post was enlightening and that you can put some of the tips into action the next time you consider going to the salon.
When was the last time that you had a spooky salon visit? What about a great one? Please share any tips that you have with us!