How to Choose a New Hair Salon (2)

Hair stylist and hair salon client
Photo: Depositphotos
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It is here that things start to break down. In every case with an unhappy customer, the problem can be boiled down to a failure in communication. Perhaps the customer explained her desired look to the best of her ability, but the hairdresser never really understood what the client wanted. Maybe the client didn't explain her desires clearly, and the stylist assumed that what she wanted was something else.
Sometimes, the client wants something that is unsuitable for her face shape and hair type and the stylist changes the look to suit her own esthetic. And sometimes, the client asks for something and the stylist does as asked, but the result isn’t what the client expected.
In each of the cases above, the root of the problem lies in a lack of effective communication skills. One of the parties has either failed to adequately express their thoughts or has not paid attention to what the other has said on the matter.
Ninety-nine point nine percent of these situations happen due to human error, without any malicious intent. A woman does not ask for an unflattering look intentionally, and a stylist does not disregard a client's wishes out of spite or to prove her position of authority. The client never wants to look bad, and the stylist who plays such games loses business very quickly.
Choosing A Hair Stylist/Salon: What to Watch Out For
Now that we have discussed the client-stylist relationship and the potential pitfalls that may arise, let us discuss the things to look out for from the beginning. I'm talking about the preparations you should make and what to look for when shopping around for a new stylist or salon. By doing your homework and keeping your eyes open, you can acquire a lot of information and make a decision that you will be happy with for years to come.
Hair salon client
Photo: Dreamstime
Ask Around
First and foremost, you should approach the prospect of a new salon/stylist with the same seriousness you would use when making any major commitment. You can't just buy a house or a car by walking in and taking whatever is next in line, or whatever listing the agent has on their desk. Plan to ask around among your friends or associates (specifically the ones whose hair you admire) for where they get their hair done.
You can also look for salons in your area that you might pass by and note those that seem interesting to you. Make a list of potentials and move on to the next phase.
Investigate in Person
Phase two involves visiting the salons in person. Introduce yourself to the receptionist (or whoever greets you) and explain that you are looking for a new hair salon and would like to just sit and observe for a while. You don't need to spend more than 15 to 30 minutes to learn enough to know if the salon is worth further consideration.
Now, when you go into a salon and ask to observe, there are two things to be immediately wary of: If the salon manager or receptionist deny you the opportunity to simply observe quietly, you should ask yourself why they would do so. Are they trying to hide something?
If you find yourself suddenly under siege and the target of a high-pressure sales pitch, you should ask yourself: If they are this pushy with someone who just walks in the door, how much pressure will you be under if you become a client?
If you are simply allowed to take a seat and observe quietly, the first thing to look at is how busy the hair salon is. If it is a weekend afternoon and the salon is virtually empty, then you should ask yourself why the salon would be so empty during what should be a prime business period. Most salons do business based on the popularity of their work. If a salon is empty during peak times, it likely indicates that the salon's reputation is declining.
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