Hair Stylists - likes and gripes

elizabeth_5February 28, 2006

I have a great hair stylist.


She cuts with scissors.

She can cut poker straight hair in layers and not make it look chopped up. This is a talent not easy to find in small town Ohio, believe me.

She does a terrific coloring and highlighting for me. I get many, many complements on my hair.

She has a small shop (4-5 chairs) in a nice strip that is very quiet. I don't end up with a head buzzing from the noise level.

She plays nice instrumental music at a converstional volume.


She forgets I don't want cream rinse.

I have really thick hair and she never gets it entirely dry at the roots.

She loves to use lots of "product" (the current term for hair goop apparently) when styling my hair. I swear she sometimes uses at least three liquids and tops it off with hair spray.

This leaves my hair noticably dull, heavy and feeling like it got greased at the roots. With the dampness and the "product", I end up with a flat hairdo about half an hour after I leave the salon.

I usually end up washing it that night. Those "products" do all wash out of course and the lovely shine is back.

I've mentioned this to her at length several times, but if I don't tell her each time, she just starts using more and more "product." I'm a monthly regular BTW.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to leave her. Her fees are on the low end of high for this area, but I don't put that in the Cons since I value her talents that highly. In my life's experience with hair salons, I consider her close to a jewel and hope she never retires. :)

I'm interested in other's Likes and Gripes. Should hair stylists should start asking patrons their "product" preferences each time (if they can't remember), like store baggers ask "paper or plastic?" Seems like a reasonable expectation.

Oh, and any hair dressers in the forum? Feel free to grip about clients. ;D

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-She is a family friend so we have lots to talk about.
-She works out of her home, and usually has her husband watch my daughter for me (okay that is a huge pro).
-She gives a great haircut and charges me less than her regular customers.
-She did my hair and makeup for my wedding (consultations and the actual) for free as a wedding gift, it was awesome.

-Sometimes hard to get an appointment, as she is a busy mom too.
-She never wants to do foils for my highlights, always wants to use a cap (they still look great though).
-She lives about 35-40 minutes away.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 11:44AM
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I usually go to the same person. She is a family friend (one of ma's best), so it's great to catch up. Her shop is in her basement and not very big, so it's a nice intimate setting. She cuts great hair, always getting it just right, and she charges practically nothing.


She is in her mid to late sixties, and often hints around about retiring. :-( Also, she is very rough and I'm very whimpy. She pulls my hair and usually whacks me at least once w/the dryer.

My one aunt has a great friend who has a shop at her home as well. Every now and then I'll go to her for a change of pace. Going to her though, she charges a teeny bit more, is really loud and gossipy (tho sometimes that can be fun for a bit), always crowded, and she also smokes in her nearby garage----you can still smell it in the salon area. But she REALLY cuts great hair, and pampers me. Mom's friend will semi-dry my hair and send me out the door. My mom leaves that way too, so we really don't mind much---usually just going home anyway. But my aunt's friend will blow my hair dry slowly and carefully and then hit it with a flat iron or something. I feel so girly when I'm there---and she doesn't hurt me either!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 12:36PM
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She has hair like mine and so does a pretty job with the cut, style.


She is too rough with the shampoo and it does not feel good at all. Also digs me with her fingernail occasionally. I feel like she takes me for granted as a customer.

I should change.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 7:38PM
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I just have to change haridressers after about a year. If I don't I look like the same old me. I wish more hairdressers were really, really good with assessing my face and my fine hair and my dislike of flat irons and gunk. I like my hair to be shiny and condition it well with olive oil and mayo. I say they are the best. Then change out the two tone hair colors they do for me to something wonderfully different and a new hairdo to go with it that I don't immediately start growing it out and countin' the weeks till it is gone. The ones around are very good but don't customize for me.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 8:58PM
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I grew out my hair and now cut and color my own. I hated going to the salon. I hated bending my neck over those torture sinks. I hated all the mediocre cuts, expensive coloring, ruinous roller-brush blow-outs and goop (product). I once had a really talented cutter, but he died of AIDS long ago. Never to be replaced. He was a real artist - not the usual "by-the-book" cutter who just did what they are taught in beauty school and nothing else. He would do whatever he wanted and it always looked great.

Sigh. Maybe I need to get rich so I can fly to Manhattan and pay Nick Arojo $400 for a cut.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 5:13PM
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I enjoyed reading all the responses. I agree about the "torture" shampoo bowls. I have arthritis and have had some real problems with sinks or chairs at the wrong height.

It's interesting what we'll sometimes put up with to look good isn't it? As for getting rough treatment, I think it's your right to speak up or find someone else. Would be harder if it's to a family member or friend though.

All the male hair stylists I've had did superior work on my hair, but were among the worst at how they treated me as a customer. I've learned to be more assertive over the years, and I think it has paid off. I still let some things go since I know I'll never find perfection. It just seems that there are a few little things hairdressers could do better that wouldn't cost them a dime.

To be fair, I'm sure hairdressers would offer a different perspective - the sore feet plus beauty-salon lung. :!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 7:55PM
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What I've learned about hair stylists.
1) Find someone who has a style you like, ask them where they get their hair cut and the name of the stylist. It's a great way to find good stylists in salons you may not have considered before.
2) Any decent hairdresser who is truly good at their "craft" will not be easy to get an appointment with and that's for good reason. Beware of someone who can take you the same day (unless they have a sudden cancellation) They will also either own the salon or, (not always, but most times) make mucho bucks. Be prepared to shell out good money.
3) LOOK at the way your hair stylist does THEIR hair. Don't go to someone with purple spiked hair and zebra striped boots to get a "Lady Di" classic look. If you have the time, go to the salon and watch them cut and style someone else's hair. Do you like what you see?
4) A good hair cut will not require a lot of product and tools to look good. A good hair stylist that knows their craft will not HAVE to rely on product to make the hair style right or product sales to boost their income. If you don't like goop stay clear of trendy shops like Toni and Guy, cause they LOVE to sell you goop.
5) Bring photos of hair styles you like, more preferably, photos of yourself with a cut you liked or a style that worked for you in the past. A picture speaks a thousand words. Hair dressers see a lot of heads and it's not easy remembering everyone's preferences. Help your hair stylist help you. Have notes about things you disliked in the past, such as: No Texturizing, I Like My Bangs Long, etc. Never go without your notes and photo or you may end up with a different cut each time you leave.
6) When you get a stylist who LISTENS to you, LOOKS at your photos, RUNS their fingers through your hair assessing how your hair behaves, TREATS you well and gives you a GOOD cut, by all means TIP them well! They've earned it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 10:07AM
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I have one more thing to add to these great comments.
I am 60 and I wear my hair in a page boy and spend good money to have them color my hair and then highlight it.
I have found that in my quest to have new hairstyles they don't seem motivated to suggest new changes. I feel "old "when I deal with my current hip hairstylist who reminds me of the guy Johanathan on the cable show "Blow Out". Yes, I do bring in pictures and I encourage them to think a little bit about how to improve the look - maybe a little less refined highlights and more contrast. Even others I have used say they will but they don't. I have tried to wear stylish clothes that would reflect my fun side but it doesn't work. What to do?I feel they have given up on me. Anyone else have this problem

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 7:37PM
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dawn, I hear you on your desire to break out of the mold and try something younger; I had the same hairdresser for 5 years and he would just laugh when I would ask him to do something less safe on my hair. In the end, I switched to a younger and hipper salon and got a younger looking cut, I was ready for it.

It seems that at one point, hairdressers peg you a certain way and can't be bothered to change a thing with your hair. You just have to change hairdressers and experiment a little.

If you have a pageboy, are you willing to go for a layered, shorter cut ?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 5:58AM
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I'm glad you found someone that made you feel new again. That wahat I'm looking for too
I guess the end of this conversation for me is where I started on this good conversation = I must continue to change hairdressers when I feel they aren't putting anymore effort into the style- just snipping away and thinking about what they'll do after work. They would neve guess I'm a bit disapointed either because I'm funny to work with and tip well. Laugh clown Laugh. Oh well, it could be worse. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 11:54PM
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