Products Used by Your Hairdresser

Hairdresser and client during a hair consultation
Photo: Bigstock
Q: My hairstylist refuses to tell me what products he uses on my hair. Is this normal practice in this profession? I've explained the importance of knowing since years back a stylist was negligent and the product used on my hair caused it to fall out in clumps within minutes.
A: No, this is not normal practice at all… In fact, it is particularly strange.
I can only make educated guesses concerning his reasons, and it will obviously be best if you confronted him head-on on why he does this, but here are my deductions:
1. Does your stylist work in his own salon? If so, my best guess would be that he either uses substandard products, or he just has a really strange chip on his shoulder concerning his profession and consequently doesn’t want anyone else doing his work as well as he does it, or maybe even better.
While people like this do exist within the hairdressing realm, they are quite scarce. Most proficient hairdressers and stylists have enough self-confidence and professionalism to enjoy educating their clients in styling their own hair, especially when the client specifically asks for this. I’d lean more toward the possibility that he’s using sub-quality products and does not want you to know about this. In either case, I would seriously consider changing hairdressers.
2. Does your stylist work in an open/commercial salon environment? If he does, this scenario is even stranger. Stylists and hairdressers earn commission on the products that they sell. I know of a few very gifted stylists that pitch their products so well that they earn more from their commissions than they do from their services (i.e. cutting, coloring or styling).
It could again be that he’s insecure about giving away his styling secrets and tools, especially since his coworkers may hear this, as they’re his direct competition… but this is unlikely, as stylists and hairdressers usually share advice and professional opinions very easily.
If I were you, I’d just ask him straight-up why he feels he needs to be so secretive about something so strange and make your call from there.
See also:
Is it really worth buying the more expensive hair products?
What makes a certain hair care product professional?
Should I be using the same hair care products the hair salon uses?