How to Choose a New Hair Salon (2)

Hair stylist and hair salon client
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It’s here where 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 hair stylist never really understood what the client wanted. Maybe the client didn’t explain her desires clearly and the stylist assumed that what the client 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.
Each of the cases above has at the heart of their problem a lack of good communication skills. One of the parties involved has either failed to properly express the things they want or know is true, or has failed to listen to what the other has to say on the subject.
Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of these situations happen by human error, without any malicious intent. A woman doesn’t ask for an unflattering look intentionally, and a stylist doesn’t 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 that kind of game, loses business very quickly.
Choosing A Hair Stylist/Salon: What to Watch Out For
Now that we’ve talked through the client/stylist relationship and the pitfalls that are likely to occur, let’s talk about the things to look out for from the start. I’m talking about the preparations you should make and what to look for when you are shopping around for a new stylist or salon. By doing your homework and keeping your eyes open, you can get a lot of information and make a decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.
Ask Around
First things first, you need to approach the prospect of a new salon/stylist with the same seriousness you would use when making any major commitment. You don’t buy a house or a car by walking in and talking whatever’s next in line, or whatever listing the agent has sitting on his 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 to salons in your area that you might pass near and note those that seem to interest you. Make a list of potentials and move on to phase two.
Investigate in Person
Phase Two involves visiting the salons in person. Introduce yourself to the receptionist (or whomever greets you) and explain that you are looking to find a new hair salon and would like to just sit and observe things for a little while. You don’t need to spend more than 15-30 minutes at most to learn enough to know whether the salon is worth further thought.
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 quietly observe, you should ask yourself why they would do so. Are they trying to hide something?
And 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 are you going to be under if you become a client.
If you are simply allowed to have a seat and quietly observe, the first things to look at are 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 at what should be a prime business period. Most salons do business according to the popularity of their work. A salon that’s empty at peak times probably means that the salon’s reputation is flagging.
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