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DesireeCassandra's avatar

What do you look for in hairdresser?

Asked by DesireeCassandra (1130 points ) November 19th, 2012

I am a hairdresser, looking for what makes people come back! I love doing hair and making people feel good.

What do you LOVE or hate about getting your hair done?

What about getting shampooed? Do you like a long scalp massage? No massage?

Please share with me what you love and hate about getting your hair done.

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26 Answers

Judi's avatar

I look for a hairdresser who considers it a career, not a job. I look for someone who is constantly taking continuing education classes and is up to date on the latest trends and color technology. I look for the hair dresser that the other hairdressers respect and whose advice they seek. In the end, it’s all about the results. Did they listen to my concerns, did they communicate what they planned to do and did it come out the way I expected, and is the cut good enough that I can make it look good at home.

Sunny2's avatar

I usually get a recommendation from someone whose hairdo I like. Then my turnoffs are: chewing gum; lengthy conversations with other workers while doing my hair; very long fingernails that feel sharp on my head; smokers’ breath; ignoring my own wishes about what is done with my hair (I don’t like high style do’s. My hair has a mind of its own and I just want a wash and wear style that will grow out gracefully). I hope you have clients who offer you an opportunity to try more interesting things than I would. I’m sure I’m a boring client. But I’m happy to chat a bit.

ucme's avatar

Economy, more bangs for my buck.

Buttonstc's avatar

Someone who is skilled at (and hopefully enjoys) using a razor comb.

Finding someone who is good at doing razor cuts gets increasingly difficult.

And if someone tells me that they can do just as good a job using scissors, I know they’re talking out their ass.

I have very thick hair and it defibitely requires layering. A blunt cut with scissors leaves me looking like the kid on the Dutch Boy paint can.

If someone isn’t good with a razor or just prefers not using it for whatever reason, just say so. Don’t try to bullshit me.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Someone who cuts my hair for 10 bucks, who does it in silence and does not make me look stupid.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’ve been seeing the same guy for 6 years, since I was 16, and the only reason I’d see someone else is if he retired or moved. He’s been in the business for 20 years and even has out of towners that travel over state lines just to see him. Needless to say, he ain’t cheap, but he’s worth it. I’d never get a $10 haircut. Call me a snob, but you get what you pay for.

What I like about my stylist is mainly that he’s talented. He knows what he’s doing and, even though he’s more likely to do what he wants with your hair than what you tell him you want, it always ends up looking good.

He is, however, somewhat of an acquired taste. He’s rude, crude, and I LOVE it. It’s worth what he charges just for entertainment value. I spend most of my visit laughing and joking around with him. He normally washes half my make up off during a shampoo and, when I say something about it, he’ll say “it wasn’t on right in the first place.” That’s just example of what I mean about rude and crude. Love that guy. :)

I had to see a different person once a couple years ago and was bored out of my skull with the conversation that woman tried to have with me. No thanks, I’ll stick to what I know.

chyna's avatar

Don’t complain the entire time about your life and the bad things going on in it. I come in to relax and I really don’t know you well enough to hear about your problelms every time I come in. Don’t make me wait any more than 10 minutes. If you are running a half hour behind, call me and let me know. I will either reschedule or come in later instead of spending that half hour in your shop seething, I can be doing something else at home.

jca's avatar

My hair is cut and colored by two different people, a stylist and a colorist. As far as the cut goes, I pay a lot for it (about 70) but it looks as good after 8 weeks as it did the day after it’s cut. My stylist is like an artist and I don’t tell him much other than giving him a little direction about the length I want. He does not smell like smoke and he does not have long fingernails.

In searching for him, I went to one with long fingernails who was clawing at my hair as she dried it, and it was the scariest thing, seeing those nails coming toward my eyes!

As far as the color goes, I have heard people who color their hair at home say that with single process (meaning one color as opposed to highlights) they “just do it at home and save themselves the money.” They get their hair color from a drugstore, i.e. Revlon, Loreal, whatever. What I am told and what I can see is that the product that is from a salon is different from the product you buy in a box. Apparently the peroxide level of the drugstore product is higher than the peroxide level of a salon product, and my salon recently changed its product to one with an even lower peroxide level (I think I was told 3%). It’s also made with silk or something, and combined with haircuts every 10 weeks, it does not make my hair dry or brittle and the ends look good. When people color their hair at home, they seem to get it cut very infrequently, and it starts looking burnt and raggy.

Other than that, I have been seeing my colorist about 8 years and the stylist about 12, so they’re both very personable and we know each other very well.

jca's avatar

One more thing – after reading the recent posts, I never wait more than a few minutes. It’s a posh salon and they offer you tea, coffee or water. I like that, and I know most salons don’t do it.

DigitalBlue's avatar

My “hairdressers” have almost always been people that I know, salons are too expensive for my taste.

The only thing that is really important to me is that s/he listen to what I say. I have gone to too many salons to have a stylist all but completely disregard what I’ve asked for, and that is very frustrating. If I say I want 5” cut off my hair, don’t cut 10” and don’t cut 2”. Now, I understand that sometimes people will ask for things and not really have a grasp on how that will translate onto their own head (in which case I think a discussion is fair, but don’t just start hacking away), but I am not one of those people. I went to beauty school, I know how much 5” is and that adding layers will alter the perceived length… please assume you do not have creative freedom – unless I say that you do. In which case, have at it.

Other than that, I don’t really care. It’s hair, whatever horrifying thing might happen while I’m in your chair can be reversed with enough time. That’s the nice thing about hair.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Here is why I quit getting my hair, and nails, and soaks, and massages done at a very expensive salon in an upscale area: When I was getting my hair coloured, the stylist was carrying on a very explicit conversation with another stylist (the owner) about their boyfriends, constant use of their cellphones, the water was never hot enough, and they charged waaay tooo much. The end.

JLeslie's avatar

I like when my stylist writes down what colors she used on my hair. I can’t tell you how many times I have loved my color, the person says they are going to put me in their book, they don’t, and the color is horrible the next time I have my hair dyed.

I have very thin hair, I tell them not to texturize my hair, and half of them do, half my hair on the floor and I already am concerned about every hair on my head! Back in my day, I am 44, texturzing was not done, and I am old enough that I want it the old fashioned way. I need a stylist who know not only new techniques, but old ones too.

Have up-to-date and new hair magazines while I wait.

I do like a little extra time spent on washing my hair, but not a long message, just a little extended time.

Don’t take forever on a long process. Getting highlights can take a while to begin with, don’t be in slow motion while doing them. Highlights and a cut has taken me three hours sometimes, that is too long.

janbb's avatar

Don’t talk about politics! And listen to my requests about my hair.

bookish1's avatar

I’m with @poisonedantidote. I hadn’t had a professional haircut for about a decade until I went to a hole in the wall barber’s called “Casa Coiffure” in Paris. Dude asked me what I wanted, did exactly what I wanted, 8 euros, bam.

marinelife's avatar

Someone who does a good job on my hair.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: The place I go to keeps cards on each person and it’s got the color and date on it, and what exactly was done.

About 20 years ago I went to a hole in the wall in an urban area and I got a great haircut. I think I went twice to that woman and she told me she was moving away to CT. I didn’t realize at the time that I should have gotten her new salon’s name.

If you luck out, you can get a great cut at a cheap place, and if you’re not lucky, you can pay a lot of money and get a crap cut.

gailcalled's avatar

Someone who listens. The woman I use now understands that I cannot sit in a seat with my head back in order to have her shampoo me because of vertigo issues. She is happy to have me come in with wet, clean and conditioned hair. I pay her for the shampoo.

She has carefully observed my cow licks, grey hair, brown hair, curly hair, wavy hair and straight hair…all on the same head.

She now uses different cutting techniques on different patches…and I have a wonderful wash and wear do (with a little defrizz product.)

She doesn’t nag when I want to leave without having my hair blow-dried.

I tip her well do to very little but listen.

OpryLeigh's avatar

There are two hairdressers in my life and both were good friends before I allowed them to touch my hair! I am very precious about my hair and so I have to trust someone with other parts of my life to trust them with my hair!!! I wouldn’t dream of going to a hairdresser that I didn’t already know.

I am quite extreme, I know but my advise would be to make an effort to gain people’s trust. Get to know them a bit beyond the normal small talk and, if possible, offer them a cup of tea!!! My best friend, Vikki, has her own salon and everyone who comes in to get their hair done is offered a tea or coffee and given a little glass cup filled with smarties. I think this is a lovely touch and it makes you feel like you are being looked after and pampered rather than just handing money over for a trim! Small details like this would help me decide on a salon over another.

rooeytoo's avatar

I like them to be about middle age, I value experience. But they should keep up with the new developments and styles as well. Professionalism I guess is the attitude I prefer. Cutting hair is an art and you don’t learn it by taking an 8 week course at beauty school.

Bellatrix's avatar

@gailcalled hit on my major need. That my hairdresser listens and then acts on what I said not does what they want to do anyway. I don’t mind my hairdresser giving me suggestions for how I can update my hairstyle or to lift my look but I don’t want them doing something different without speaking to me about it first.

AshLeigh's avatar

Someone who knows the difference between one inch, and three inches.
When I get my hair cut I say “No more than an inch off. And before you start cutting my hair, show me how much you think an inch is.” They always take too much off.
When I say I want a lot of layers I don’t mean one. I mean like seven.
Cut my bangs the way I ask. Don’t leave them longer. Don’t cut them shorter.
Do what I say I want, not what you think will look good. Remember that I’m the one who has to live with it, and if I’m not happy, I’m not paying.

livelaughlove21's avatar

These answers make me damn happy I’m not a hairdresser.

AshLeigh's avatar

I’m a jerk about my hair. But if I have to live with it when they do it wrong, I feel like I’m allowed to be mad.

Earthgirl's avatar

I learned a lot from my hairdressers over the years. I learned so much that I know what to do and what not to do. I now cut my hair myself.

I like a hairdresser who takes his/her time and is very precise. I don’t like someone who just starts whacking away, lol. When I was very young I had a hairdresser named Jim. He was a quiet, methodical person who used to comb and trim inch by inch (or millimeter by millimeter) and was very, very, methodical when he cut. I liked that. It made me feel secure. I never had to worry that he would go overboard and cut my bangs way too short. (like @AshLeigh , I totally understand, I am the one who has to live with it!) The man Jim worked for was Tony. Tony was the owner and the cute guy celebrity haircutter. Tony said Jim was too slow but I liked that about him. I followed Jim around until I moved away because he made me feel secure. Getting my hair cut with Jim was not a stressful experience where I never knew what I was going to get. There are some things in life that warrant predictabiltiy!
I moved to New York city and I struggled to find someone I could afford who understood my thin, fragile hair. I know how to add volume but many hairdressers would mercilessly cut and didn’t know how to blow it dry to add volume. I would act as if everything was okay when I left the salon and go home and redo my hair the way I wanted. I was rarely happy with the results, no matter what I paid. So now, I cut my own hair. I learned how from a great hairdresser named Peter in Manhattan. Unfortunately the salon closed unexpectedly and I could never find him again. He taught me how to “stack” my hair to create volume. He had such a quiet , calming presence. He was, like Jim, very precise.

I don’t think this is going to be much use to you and I am sorry about that. I totally respect people in the creative arts and fashion. I love watching What Not to Wear and seeing the makeup artist and hairdressers change the look of women to bring out their best features. Good luck to you in your endeavors!

DesireeCassandra's avatar

Thanks everyone! There is some really awesome input here!

I am a hairdresser, been doing it for a few years. I guess I am just always looking for ways to better my services. I honestly feel like I found my passion! :)

jazmina88's avatar

I have had 2 folks in the past that made my hair look like cat fur on top. I have really curly hair. It’s hard to find someone who can make it look good and curly. Alas, these folks around not around. One is a detective.
I sometimes go to Paul Mitchell school closeby, if I know someone in the program. I dont professional color much and it makes it affordable.

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