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Old 05-29-2013, 05:26 AM   #1
 
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Default Hair salon/stylist dilemma

I've been going to the same salon and stylist for a little over two years now. She's supposed to be a curl specialist and offers dry cuts, yet these are over double of what I pay now (which is already kind of expensive, but doable). She decided that my hair can be cut wet. She always trims the unhealthy ends (though mine appear to be very healthy, even if it's been a long time since the previous cut) and cuts it in layers. I'm always happy with my cut, and I can go back to get my bangs trimmed in-between cuts for free.

However, there are some things I am not happy with. She uses sulfate poos (they don't have any without) and conditioners with cones, which also goes for the styling products. Even though the shape of my hair looks better, my hair itself looks way worse immediately after the cut. It's poofy, fuzzy and undefined. Also, she doesn't really give me any advice on products or product use as I am the one who tells her about curly hair. She's interested, but doesn't do anything with it.

I really have to go for a cut again. It's been over six months whereas I usually go every three to four. My hair has been doing great, and even though it's really heavy now because I don't have any layers any more, it still looks good.

My dilemma is, should I go back to my current stylist or not? I really like the salon, but they don't have any CG products and no one is a curl specialist (even though they claim to be, but they are rather surprised when you ask them to tell something about your hair properties). I've never had a bad cut there, but perhaps I don't even know what a really good cut looks like.

It's really difficult to find a curly hair stylist in the Netherlands. There is one in Amsterdam called Simcha, which is supposedly really good, but also rather expensive (+ travelling). I found two other salons here in Amersfoort, but I can't find any reviews whatsoever.

Should I call them to gather information and then try on of them, or play it safe and go back to my current stylist?

One other thing I should mention is that I went natural in 2010. This was after my previous stylist told me I should avoid silicones because they would coat my hair. She didn't elaborate or anything, but so far she's the only stylist who even knew about cones. I chose to go to a different salon because I moved and because I wasn't as content with her cuts any more. Advantages is that she's at least aware of cones and she uses natural products (ABBA - at least, then she did).

If it helps, this is what I "expect" from a hair stylist:
- Knowledge about hair/curls (i.e. hair properties etc).
- Knowledge about products and ingredients, being aware of what is used and being able to explain why she uses a particular product for my hair.
- Respect for my choice to use only natural products and avoid certain ingredients.
- Being skilled at cutting curly hair and listening to my wishes carefully, taking both my wishes and her expertise into consideration.

What would you advise me, based on what I just told?

For Dutch curlies: any curly salon recommendations are welcome!
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:51 AM   #2
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for me, it's about the cut.
if you are happy with the cut, i'd stay with her. then i'd bring my own products and ask her to use them. i've done that many times and never been refused, nor do they take offense. i just say that my hair is fussy (and it is!!), but usually it's so not a problem that i don't say anything.
or, you can let her use her products, then go home and wash your hair, at least with a low poo and see how that goes. worse case scenario use a shampoo like prell -- a few times a year it's fine!
going back 10+ yrs, before i was cg or even knew it existed i had a stylist who used to use keratase products. whatever is in them i dreaded it as it would take a full week (and that was using my old sulfate shampoos) to get my hair back to normal.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
 
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I think RBB gave you great advice. I've never had a problem with bringing my own products to different places. If you are really uncomfortable asking them to use the products you bring, just tell them you have allergies and your derm recommended the products you brought (a white lie but justifiable in this situation). Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:26 AM   #4
 
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Thanks for the advice, both of you! I think I might just do that. I'm a bit scared to try a new hairdresser as I don't want my curls to be ruined. Curly cutting is not as popular here as in the US and the techniques are not particularly outstanding (I've been told).
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:10 AM   #5
 
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I am with RBB and Curlypearl! Bring your own stuff. I've never met a hairdresser/salon that doesn't use cone products, not even the CurlSys salon in Zeist!

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Old 05-30-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
 
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Rapunzel, a salon called Mixtbaby is supposed to use a brand called Mischa Rocks, which should be natural, but I can't find the ingredients so I'm not willing to take the risk. I'm going to give my current stylist a call as the advice rbb, curlypearl, and you gave me has convinced me :-)
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
 
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I would say bring your own products. I do it all the time because I don't like the line my stylist carries (although it is CG friendly). She has never been bothered by me bringing my own. Also she does knows I have serious sensitivity to a lot of things so that is always a good reason too. Even if you don't have sensitivities, that could be a comfortable reason to say why you need to use your own stuff. I use that reason a lot even if I know that certain things don't bother me as much. Sometimes its just easier to blame the allergies since people tend to be more understanding of that.

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:50 AM   #8
 
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I just made an appointment for upcoming Tuesday and asked them if I could bring my own products. They checked and were definitely okay with it! Although I guess bringing my homemade FSG would be kind of awkward :-P

What do you guys do with styling? Usually she adds product to my wet, freshly cut hair and then puts me in some sort of dryer thing that blows air like airconditioning, but warm air. Should I ask her not to do that or...? Or should I just let her do that stuff, go home and follow my usual routine?
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:32 AM   #9
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i almost always leave with my hair wet. and have for years! unless it is bitterly cold out, and/or i have immediate plans afterwards.
my stylist puts in the products and styles my hair, it air dries on the car ride home. i then have the option of leaving it as it usually turns out really well, or rinsing and starting over. depends on how hair looks and plans for that day.
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styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. trying ufdcm. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:04 AM   #10
 
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It varies. She sticks me in the hood dryer sometimes and sometimes she diffuses part way for me (I never totally dry even when I do it myself). I prefer the hood dryer because it sets my curl better and is closer to what I get on my own at home. Then I just air dry the remainder.

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Old 05-31-2013, 06:40 PM   #11
 
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One thing I've learned is that we are the customers and we get to ask for what we want. After you decide whether or not you want your hair left wet or dry, tell your stylist. Each head of curls likes different approaches and there is no one right way.

Not sure how it is in the Netherlands, but in the US, stylists aren't generally trained (yet) to do work with curly haired clients, as sad as that is - except to straighten it. So expecting them to be educated about curls can lead to bitter disappointment. I'm guessing that your country's lack of curly-centric salons reflects the same lack of education/interest in curly hair.

The remedy for now IMO is to closely observe what your particular hair likes, loves, is neutral about or hates. And do your own research on curly hair in general. This site is great for that. Then you can walk into salons armed w/knowledge instead of relying on them. It's a little upsetting that we can't rely on them, considering they're supposed to know about hair in general
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:27 AM   #12
 
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Korkscrew, there's a massive lack of interest and education about curls. It's a shame, but I guess I'll have to accept it. It feels weird to "educate" my stylist about everything I learn here. We also lack curly and natural hair products. People assume that being healthy and natural is a big thing here in Europe, but that certainly does not apply to the Netherlands. It's gaining popularity but not in the beauty area so we have very few companies who supply natural products. I sometimes envy the product availability in the US!

Anyway, I'm very grateful for all your answers. As for now, I will bring my own products and ask her to use them. While she works on my hair I will talk about curls so I can drop the fact that I always air dry and see what she does with that. If my hair is too dry/poofy/whatever, I will just do my usual routine when I get home. Usually I wouldn't bother and would wait until the next day, but I'm going to a concert and I always prefer looking nice when going out.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #13
 
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Laura, that is disheartening. I hope your country, the US and many others, will get their @*$* straight one day soon and cater to those of us with curls!

I know what you mean about stylists not seeming to know how to style curly hair after the cut. I've only found one out of maybe a thousand stylists who knows how to style it right afterward.

Last thing: don't be too surprised if you get some resistance to using your own product. Often they'll act like it's perfectly okay until it gets time to washing your hair, then they try and push product anyway so they can make money off you. Just need to stand your ground if that happens

Best of luck to you.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
 
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Korkscrew, it is, especially if you come to think of it: we know much more about curly hair and curl care than the people who got an education to cut and care for hair! It's not like we're rocket scientists. We're normal people with access to the internet and a good variety of sources (though not extensive enough yet if you ask me. Barely anyone in the Netherlands has written about it so I'm working on a blog series about curls to get the word out, even though my blog isn't really big), and we understand a lot and figure it out. I kind of expect the same from hair stylists all over the world :P

Thanks for your advice. My stylist knows I'm very conscious of the ingredients in their products so it shouldn't come as a surprise to her (I hope). I'll let you know how it went and I'll take picture before and after if I don't forget to do so.

Enjoy the weekend!
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
 
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No problem! I think your blog is a terrific idea. I think many people can benefit from what you learn that way. So you're offering an excellent public service I've just started a blog too, but haven't had a chance to really develop it much. Anyway, yes, please let us know what happens. You already are ahead of the game since you already know she is capable of at least cutting your hair well. Mazel tov.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:37 AM   #16
 
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So. Hair stylist day today.

She had absolutely no problems with me bringing my own products, so that's good. A student hair dresser washed my hair. I always love their massages. She used my CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo and Aubrey Organics GPB. After applying my conditioner, she took this really hot towel, wrapped it around my hair for two minutes, then took it off and rinsed.

As usual, my hair stylist (so not the student) cut it wet, trimmed the ends and cut some layers. No thinning, because I don't like that. Then she put me beneath this drying bonnet thing because she wants to check what my hair looks like when it's dry (I can tell you, it doesn't look anything like it when it has air dried). Anyway, after that she did some diffusing and cut the weird pieces that were sticking out.

Below is a picture of yesterday, which was a not-so-great-hair day for me, but you do get a sense of how few layers were left and how long it had gotten. I also have a front and side picture of what my hair looked like when I came home from the hair dresser (literally thirty minutes ago).

Yesterday


Today


Obviously I'm not going to walk around like this. I have zero curls because of the heat she used and it's a giant fluffy something that looks dry even though it isn't (it was really soft actually, even after all the heat). I immediately used the shower head to wet my hair and guess what?! There were soap and bubbles going down the drain. Apparently, the apprentice didn't rinse that properly at all! That explains the softness. Anyway, after rinsing I applied FSG as usual. Scrunching, however, didn't give me the usual curls so I'm not sure what's going to happen. Plopping now. Will update with a picture of fully air dried hair. Might come tomorrow because I'm going to a concert today, but it's coming

Ugh. I hope my curls will come back because this is stupid.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:45 AM   #17
 
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oh I always have that after I've been to the hair dresser...
I think your hair is just a bit stressed probably
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:15 AM   #18
 
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It usually looks worse because she used sulfates and cones, so bringing my own products definitely helped, but the heat is terrible for my hair, which leaves it even more stressed out than I am during exam weeks
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #19
 
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Well, glad to hear the stylist easily accepted the use of your own products. And it sounds like you're happy w/your cut. The way I see it: better to come out w/only a little product or styling shock, than come out w/a bad hair cut.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:16 AM   #20
 
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Korkscrew, you're right. I must admit that I really have to get used to how short it is. It actually freaks me out!

This is four hours after I applied my usual styling routine. Hair is still not dry. No SOTCing because of that.

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