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A guide to hair salon etiquette

A neat haircut has the power to transform the way you look! As a woman who has to visit the beauty salon every 8 to 10 weeks because her layers grow faster than she wants, there are a few things that I have learned and taught myself over time about salon etiquette. They have always saved me from the agony of leaving a salon with a sad face and a bad haircut. 

Be specific

Decide before going to the beauty salon what you want. I have learnt from my personal experience that hairdressers want you to be as specific as you can about your needs and wants, be it a cut or colour.

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"I don't want my hair to be too short" is too vague for anyone, including hairdressers. Your definition of 'too short' may be different from your hairstylist's definition of 'too short.' Therefore, be specific. Consider saying something like "Take an inch off the length."

A bad haircut can jeopardise your mental peace. Therefore, it is very important to give specific instructions to your hairdresser. No hairstylist wants to watch a client leave the salon with an unhappy face.

When you are unsure

Not everyone knows what haircut we want or will look good on us. If you are one of them, save pictures of some haircuts that you like and show them to your hairdresser.

Chelsea Federer, a hair and colour specialist at Fabrizio Salon & Urban Retreat Spa, an upscale beauty establishment located in Wilmington, Delaware, said, "Visual references always help, especially when clients cannot be specific about the kind of cut and colour they want."

A guide to hair salon etiquette

Photo: Collected

"Pictures or even parts and pieces of pictures can help your hairdresser understand what kind of look you are trying to achieve and whether it is possible to achieve that look in one visit," she added.

Everyone's hair is different, however. Not all cuts and colours you like on Instagram may be suitable for your hair. Save photos for your hairdresser nevertheless, because 'a picture is worth a thousand words!'

Go to the same hairdresser

Once you have liked a hairdresser's work, go to him/her all the time. People, who are particular about their haircuts, always do this. Going to the same person every time means that you need to give fewer instructions; your hairdresser already knows what you want.

Make an appointment, though. Do not just walk into the beauty salon hoping to find your favourite hairdresser sitting idle!

Have plenty of patience

A particular cut and/or colour may not always be achieved in one visit. Therefore, do not show impatience as stylists work on your hair; you could be stressing them out.

Also, visit a beauty salon with plenty of time on your hands. A client-in-a-hurry is a stressor for stylists and colourists.

A guide to hair salon etiquette

Photo: Collected

Even after holding patience, you may not always see the look you desired for, especially hair colour. Why?

"There are times when a client's colour and hair treatment history, diet, and medications affect her hair's receptivity to colour, making it difficult or unfeasible to achieve the desired outcome," Chelsea Federer said.

"In complex cases, additional treatments and multiple visits are needed," she added.

To achieve your desired cut and colour combo, you may even need to wait weeks. However, the wait is absolutely worth it because, in the end, a good haircut and colour will dramatically improve your appearance.

Therefore, do not get angry or grow impatient, if you do not see the look you wished for in one salon visit.

Tip your hairdresser

I have always tipped my hairdressers, be it in Dhaka or Delaware. Tipping is a kind gesture that is always appreciated. Here in the US, the standard percentage of tipping a hairdresser is 15 to 20 per cent of the final bill.

Our hair is the only crown we wear every day. To ensure that the crown fits us right, going to a hair salon is a must. However, as a client, just going to a hair salon is not enough, practicing good etiquette and having realistic expectations are also necessary for an overall good cut and/or colour experience.