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You did it. You finally booked an appointment with the curl expert you found on the NaturallyCurly Salon Finder and you are so excited and overjoyed that you forgot to ask what you should do to your hair before your appointment. Have no fear, your Master Curl Therapist is here to give you some tips for all your hair appointments to come.
How to prep for your consultation
Before your first cut with a stylist, the first step is to have a consultation. During the consultation, your stylist will want to analyze your hair. I always ask that my clients come in with freshly shampooed and conditioned hair, as well as apply a light leave in. For curl shaping appointments it is especially important not to come in with gucky, hazy-feeling hair. Your stylist will more than likely prefer one of the following:
Ask your stylist for product recommendations
Ask your stylist if they want you to come by or send your pictures ahead of time so they can make product recommendations. You can go by the salon and pick them up before your appointment. Great products will ensure your curl pattern really pops, allowing the stylist to create an amazing shape that you will be happy with.
Schedule extra time for shaping appointments
Be prepared for your first--and all--of your shaping appointments to take longer. This is because your stylist will have to shampoo, condition, and possibly stretch-dry you if you have a type 3b to 4c texture. Although I am going to shampoo you after your shaping, if necessary, I like the way products naturally dry. When your product naturally dries it gives you a true picture on day 2 of what second day hair should look like.
Refrain from using the following before any other type of appointment:
- anything heavy and tacky
For a color service
Shampoo & detangle before your appointment
If you are scheduled for a color service please shampoo and detangle your hair prior to your appointment. It is a misconception that dirty hair colors better. If the hair is not clean the color has to eat through all of the product build-up.
It is a misconception that dirty hair colors better.
Shampoo only--do not condition or apply product--and detangle your hair before your appointment.
The exception to the rule is when you are getting a highlight service: it is still recommended to remove all product build-up, however, you may add a light conditioner and leave in after you shampoo, MyHoneyChild Aloe Vera Leave-in is a great light leave-in.
Don't do a henna treatment before your appointment
Do not do a henna treatment unless you have discussed it with your stylist.
Remember not to scratch the scalp
Scratching the scalp before a color service can lead to major burning and open sores. Massage the scalp with your fingertips, focusing on product removal from the actual hair. Surface Purify is a great non stripping clarifying shampoo, and a little goes a very long way.
Do not try to correct your color at home
Please leave color correction to your stylist. It would be awesome if you would leave all color services in the hand of your stylist.
A couple more don'ts
Do not do your big chop at home
Do not attempt to do your big chop and then expect your stylist to fix it. It is hard to recover from bangs that shrink up to your hairline. The only solution is to grow them out.
Do not attempt to straighten your curly hair at home
Your hair smells like fire as soon as the water hits it…. That should be reason enough to not straighten your hair at home. The only exception to this rule is if you have been directed under proper guidance on how to straighten, temperature settings, and what oils are ok to use.
I hope these pre-appointment don’ts help make your salon visits more pleasurable. It will certainly make your stylist life easier, that's for sure! Your best bet would be to have a conversation with any new or prospective stylists so you know how to best prepare for your first appointment with them.
What did I miss?
Stylists, I want to hear from you.
This article has been updated.