So you’re stuck trying to figure out how to find a good hair stylist.
Your stylist left, you moved, whatever, but you want to know how do I find a stylist, and once you do find your stylist, how do you know that they’re any good.
I know you’re wondering this because I get asked this question all the time.
I have a five-step system, I have some tips that are going to help you figure out how you know if that stylist that you’ve chosen is any good.
Table of Contents
How to Find a Good Hair Stylist
But before we even get into this, I need to preface it.
I’m going to share some tips with you, some things that are going to help you find a solid stylist. Think of them as framework, if you will.
But I am not by any means saying that just because a stylist doesn’t fit into these particular categories, that they just inherently aren’t a good stylist.
There are plenty of amazing artists out there that might not fit into these at all.
But if I’m just gonna paint this with a very broad stroke, these are some good framework ways that you use to help find a solid stylist, if you’re having a hard time doing that.
School Doesn’t Matter!
Tip number one is understanding that the school your stylist went to doesn’t matter!
I know that sounds horrible, so let me break this down so you understand why.
First of all, most schools just teach students how to get past the state board test and that’s to say that it’s really more about sanitation and sanitation processes than it is about actual advanced cutting, coloring, perming techniques.
Do they teach them cutting, coloring perming and all that? Absolutely, but it’s a very base process and it doesn’t really get into the advanced stuff.
You might be saying what about the really high-end schools out there.
They can be great. I mean the school that I went to was a fantastic school. I loved it. I got a great education, but with that said, sometimes students leaving those schools, while they do have a stronger education in some ways, many times they’re feeling like they know everything.
Sometimes they can be less open-minded to ongoing education, which can be problematic.
So the easy way that we avoid all of this or that we combat this is, if you have to switch stylists and you’re switching salons, try to find a salon that has an apprenticeship program.
The reason apprenticeship programs are great is because it means that any stylist, even if they’ve been doing hair for 10 years, when they come into that salon, they have to apprentice one of that salon senior stylists.
Many times this allows them to learn the process of how that salon deals with clients, how they go through consultations and maybe even advanced cutting and coloring techniques.
Many times those salons can have more of a foot in ongoing education. Many times they’ll bring in stylists from a bunch of other different salons and really get a well-rounded ongoing education to learn new techniques that aren’t just based in one company.
So one way is simply look for a salon that has an apprenticeship program and if they don’t, don’t worry. I still have more tips for you.
Does Stylist Have an Apprentice?
Tip number two piggybacks a bit off of tip number one and that is: does the stylist that you’re seeing have an apprentice.
We talked about having an apprentice program, but now you’re curious does the stylist actually have an apprentice that you’re going to see.
The reason that this is important or the reason this can be beneficial to you is because, typically speaking, almost always, to have an apprentice, you have to be booked heavily enough to require an apprentice.
What that means is you’ve been established at the salon for long enough, your client retention is good enough, you basically know how to put people in your chair and how to get them to come back.
And the way that you get them to come back is to do a good job.
So if your stylist is busy enough to where they need an apprentice, the probability is high that you’re in good hands.
What to Ask?
Tip number three is finding out from the salon, and the way I would do this is actually call and say: I’m looking for a senior stylist, because that typically means that they’ve been there longer.
Or just asking the question: I’m looking for a stylist that does x, y or z, that they specialize in, but then asking how long has the stylist been at your salon.
And then the question is how booked are they, how far out are they actually booked with clients.
The reason that this can be helpful is because if a stylist has been there for a long time, typically that will show consistency, as well as it shows some reliability. It shows that they’re not jumping around salons a lot.
A lot of stylists will jump around salons, but somebody that’s stable, that stays in the salon for a long time and is booked in advance (a few weeks out, five weeks out, a couple months out, something along those lines) that usually shows a stable stylist and it shows somebody that has been around long enough to acquire that clientele to be booked.
At the end of this article, I’m actually going to share a little secret tip that I’ve talked about a little bit before, but most people don’t know about it. I’ll give you a little resource on how to find really good salons near you.
Tip number four is finding out does the stylist seek ongoing education. There are a lot of opportunities to learn new techniques, to learn new skill sets, just to really learn from other incredible stylists.
There are a lot of opportunities out there to do it. There are the international beauty shows, there are private education courses, there’s getting stylists to come in to your salon and have them educate hairstylists on new techniques or things that were working really well for them.
There’s a lot of opportunity out there. But determining whether or not your stylist is seeking ongoing education, I believe, is pretty important.
In most places, to keep your license, you’re not required to seek any sort of ongoing education. So having somebody that’s proactive about that, to me says a lot not just about the person’s skill level, but also about their commitment to the craft.
The next tip is going in for a complimentary. It should be complimentary. In some cases it may not be, but the charge should not be dramatic. But a consultation prior to your service.
I know that this isn’t the most fun thing to do. It’s definitely not the most convenient thing to do. But going through a consultation is going to give you the most insight into whether or not the stylist and you are going to connect, but also, more importantly, to give you a little insight into what kind of stylist you’re dealing with.
What you’re looking for is you’re curious to see how many questions your stylist asks you.
I ask a lot of questions and many times I will ask multiple questions. I’ll even ask the same question in different ways because I’m looking for insight. I need to understand not just what you want, but I need to understand why you want it!
And I need to understand what other things are important to you:
- what do you like
- why do you like it
- how is your day-to-day look
- how is this style going to fit with your lifestyle
- is it going to be something you’re going to maintain
- how much maintenance are you looking for
- is there anything you like, anything you don’t like
- what are the things in the past that you’ve had that you didn’t like and why did you not like them
- what are the things in the past that you liked and why did you like
There’s just so many questions that we need to ask because it should be about you and not about what I want to do just from looking at you.
I don’t know what I want to do until I have enough insight from you to understand what’s going to not just look good on you but makes sense for you.
So finding a stylist that asks a lot of questions, in my opinion, is one of the things that’s going to set them apart from many other stylists.
Find somebody that asks questions!
I told you that I was going to share one very important resource with you. It’s https://www.intercoiffure.com.
It is a group of some of the best stylists in the entire world. It is no simple feat to become part of this group, but once you gain access, you have access to some of the best ongoing education you can possibly find.
Most important, there’s so many prerequisites to a salon becoming part of Intercoiffure that it’s going to be pretty sure that that salon has been tested, if you will.
I’m not saying that the only good salons or only good stylists out there are part of Intercoiffure. That’s totally a lie.
But it is going to be a good starting place if you’re having trouble finding a good stylist.
It might be a place that you can start looking.
Go ahead and visit that site and then search for salon locator and look for a salon near you.
Back to best hair tools.
Samantha is a hairstylist with over 12 years of color and stylist experience. She enjoys using her knowledge to create what her clients really want when they sit down in her chair. Her passion is creating unique looks that her clients feel great in.