Modern day consumers and clients are more educated about matters of the hair thanks to this site and other entities that intentionally educate women on their hair and beauty. Therefore, the salon is perceived to be a personal beauty partner rather than a be-all, do-all beauty center. This is still new to certain stylists and salons, especially those that are not as in touch with "the movement" as we know it. This apprehension could leave the consumer unsure of how to approach a stylist or salon about their personal preferences. Most women say nothing at all or take the risk of saying something. I always say that it is better to say anything than nothing at all. However, it is in our best interest to approach a stylist or any personal care professional in the most respectful manner to prevent any miscommunication or confrontation.   Here are some helpful way to successfully communicate your needs and desire with your stylist.

Schedule a consultation prior to service

The consultation is a time for you to comfortably convey your desires to the stylist. In turn, they should tell you whether or not your goals are realistic, and whether or not they can perform them. You, the consumer, and the stylist will be most open to hearing one another in this low-risk, non-threatening environment.

Steven Stewart, professional hair designer at Pura Vida Salon and Spa, explains why this is appropriate: "Whenever you have a special need or request it is best to get in contact with your stylist prior to making an appointment for the desired service. Different services take different amounts of time. Scheduling a consultation with your stylist will give you a chance to communicate your request and gives your stylist a chance to evaluate your hair and hear your desired outcome. Then, your stylist can provide professional feedback, and will also know the appropriate amount of time to schedule your service so that you can receive optimal results."

Gently interrupt the service at the onset of your concern

Preparation is always the key when approaching a delicate situation. However, there are times that you may need to interrupt the service to voice your immediate concerns. Perhaps they are handling your hair too soft or too harsh, your scalp is tender, or maybe you have a change of heart. Speak quickly and intentionally, as it is harder to communicate in a time-crunch, so be proactive.

Stewart advises, “Don't be afraid to voice your opinions. As stylists, we are here to create a look for you that you will be happy with. We can't know that you have a concern unless you tell us. When voicing concerns, be willing to listen with an open ear to what your stylist has to say. Sometimes, creating your desired look is a process that takes more than one appointment. Also, there can sometimes be limitations on time, or your hair type. As a stylist, it is our job to be educated, and to protect the integrity of your hair. Be willing to have an open conversation with us, and trust the feedback we give you. If you don't feel that your stylist is trustworthy or educated enough, then maybe it's time to find someone else.”

The Good News

The good news is that you are not bound to anything or anyone, so exercise your right to select your stylist the services you want to receive. Let this give you peace and put you in an emotionally neutral, comfortable state to communicate politely and effectively. You also know your wants and desires better than anyone, which makes the confidence in what you are saying evident. With confidence and comfort, you are sure to have a successful exchange with your stylist.

Have you ever had anxiety when communicating with your hairstylist?