You anticipate each meeting with a giddiness that can’t be contained. No one could ever make you feel so beautiful and complete. But in an instant, your world falls apart. Your stylist informs you (for whatever reason) that she can no longer be your hair stylist. Now you are left with the question, “What am I supposed to do about my hair?”

As a stylist of 12 years, I found myself in this awful position after my family and I relocated to Dallas from Chicago. I felt complete and utter panic at the thought of someone completely unknown to me picking up shears and cutting my hair.

Just like with dating, it was a daunting task. However, after some trial and lots of error, I did find a hair stylist that suited my emotional, styling, and time needs. In order to save you some bad haircuts and botched color jobs, I have compiled some rules for “dating” a new stylist.

  • 1. Hookups Welcome 

This will most likely be the best method leading you towards a great stylist. Ask your friends and family who they see. Be sure to ask about pricing, availability, time management and location. Ask strangers. If you like their hair, ask who does their hair. You would be surprised how many women love to share a good thing.

  • 2. Do Your Homework

Its okay to go into stalker mode. It's your hair! The internet is a wonderful way to gain more info. Google the stylist, this will tell you a lot about their professionalism and personality. Ride past the salon on a busy day. Check out the location, parking, neighborhood as well as all those things that could make it a no-go for you. I have even scheduled a manicure in a salon to scope out the atmosphere. 

  • 3. Keep it Casual

Schedule a consultation if you are still weary. This is a great no commitment way to have an open conversation about your hair and its needs. This also gives you a chance to see if your personalities will gel (pun intended). If the stylist doesn’t do consults or wants to charge, RUN! No hair damaged, no time wasted, and no love lost.

  • 4. No One Night Stands

Don’t make your first appointment a full head of highlights, haircut, or some pricey (in time and cost) chemical service. Keep those first dates simple so you can build trust, rapport and communication. Give the relationship time to develop and let the stylist get a feel for you and your lifestyle. If she is a thoughtful stylist, she can make recommendations about what might work best for you.

  • 5. Be Real

Be honest and successfully communicate your desires and expectations. If you don’t like something, say something. Also, if you do like something, let the stylist know. Stylists are human too, prone to forgetting things and making mistakes. An attentive stylist will appreciate your feedback because it makes her job easier. 

  • 6. Don’t Micromanage

Stylists are artists. Yes, it is a creative job that is based on science, geometry and biology. But the creative side usually fuels our personalities. With that said, tell the stylist what you want; but don’t try to tell them how to do it. Explain what you like and even why you like it. Then pick up that O Magazine and let the magic happen.

The relationship between a woman and her stylist can last longer and be more meaningful than most romantic relationships. It is a very delicate and cooperative relationship that dwells and thrives on the blurred line of personal and professional. A great relationship takes time to build. Be diligent yet patient. Try to be honest with the stylist and yourself while trusting the process. Remember, sometimes you just have a to kiss a lot of toads before you find true love. 

I'd love to know, what was your best salon experience? What made it special for you?

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