I have been going to the same stylist since before I got married (20+ years ago). She did my hair on my wedding day. She knows my hair, knows the curl pattern, how much it shrinks from wet to dry. I think if I let her have free rein to cut my hair as she wants, she'd do a great job. But for years, I have been growing out length and/or color, so I've gone for "dustings" and minimal shaping. Styling my curly hair from wet to dry-- she doesn't do a good job. She sits me under a hood dryer, or uses a diffuser, handling my hair and making it poofy and stringy. It sort of frustrates me that she can cut my hair, but it looks like crud no matter what she does to style it. Many times I tell her that I prefer to walk out with my hair damp/wet. When I get home and do my my hair myself either the same day or the next day, I always like my hair; she cuts it well. Cost is $85, including tip, for about an hour of her time.

There is curly salon near my house. There is also a single stylist who specializes in curly hair near my house. I know the curly cuts will cost more than $85 if I were to go to these other stylists (probably about $150+ from what I've read). I have been tempted to try one "just once", yet I feel guilty about leaving my usual stylist, and I am nervous about spending that much money going to a curly specialist who has never done my hair before. I told myself that I would make an appointment with one of these new stylists that have been recommended here at NC.com for a year-end treat to myself. Yet, what did I do today when I went to see my old stylist? I booked my regular 10-week appointments with her through March of next year. :/

I can't seem to work through my anxiety about leaving my current stylist, so I stay there. I know her, she knows me, she will do anything to make me happy with my hair. In all fairness to her, I have not given her the chance to just use her talent and cut my curls in a slightly layered long curly style. Ever. At today's appointment, we talked about changing my style more at my next appointment. At the end of October, I should have another inch or so in length and then if there's some gradual layering on the sides and ends, she will have a bit more to work with.

Has anyone else been on the fence like this about leaving a long-time stylist? Any advice? I am tempted to stick with the one I know well, who knows me well, because as we change my style I think I will be comfortable telling her what I like and don't like. I may feel intimidated with a new stylist, especially a "curly pro". I've done this with my current stylist for so many years and she does listen to me (but then I feel like what do *i* know, since I don't know how to cut curly hair!?)

Thanks for reading all of this!
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Salon Care Honey Almond, Devacurl OC, Acure Argan Stem Cell+Argan Oil, Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Repair
Leave-ins: BWC, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG
DT: Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!