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It’s been a straight-haired world for so long. Within the past ten years, our curls have been the center of attention. As more stylists participate in continuing education seminars and certification courses to gain more experience with textured hair, how can you find the right natural hair stylist for you? Domonique Mo, from Curly Q&A, wants to know more about what curly customers expect at the salon. 

Question

What questions [should I] ask during a consultation? My last perm was two years ago. I've done everything dealing [with] my hair, between my big chop to trims all [on] my own. I want a haircut... to give it a shape and maybe some color (without damaging my fine hair), but I don't know where to even start.

Answer

While many stylists may want to jump on the curly girl bandwagon to expand their clientele, experience is essential. Textured hair is too fragile to leave to the novice. Too often we've allowed our stylists to do what they pleased, expecting them to not only be professional but educate us as well. I cringe at how misinformed I was about the chemicals and treatments used on my curls, and I refuse to ever be that naïve again.

6 Questions to Ask During a Consultation

1. What type of training have you received?

Make sure he or she is a licensed professional with experience in styling, coloring, and cutting your texture.

2. Do you have a preferred cutting technique?

There are quite a few out there like the Deva Cut, RI CI technique, or Ouidad Carve and Slice. Knowing what technique the stylist uses will allow you to determine what type of styles they may be able to achieve and their approach.

3. Do you have pictures of hairstyles or cuts you have performed?

Bring photos of someone with your texture and the style you want to achieve. Texture is important because everyone’s hair doesn't behave the same way and the maintenance may be different.

4. What products do you use?

It's a good idea to know what products the stylist uses. This way, you can express whether or not you have a preference. Curly haired clients rarely asked in the past. Now that we're savvier natural hair care product consumers, we know what we do and don’t like.

5. Is the style I want a true possibility with the current state of my hair’s color, texture, and overall health?

Let’s not fool ourselves. Sometimes we want something that is not good for our curls. It's okay to want the world. However, you need a stylist who will be honest and guide you to the best options that complement your face, skin tone, and lifestyle. Be open to the the stylist's suggestions, as well.

Remember to consider the current state of your hair. If your curls are damaged, then permanent color may not be the best option; getting a haircut may be the only way to save your curls. This is why consultations and open, honest communication with a potential stylist is so important.

6. Do you prices vary based on length and texture?

Never skip this question. Stylists should not charge more for longer hair or tighter textures.

Be Upfront and Clear About What You Want

There's nothing wrong with being assertive. If you absolutely want your hair cut on dry hair and your stylist is uncomfortable or inexperienced doing that, then you need to find another stylist. I am not saying you or I know more than the professionals, but you should never feel like you don't have a say in your service. Be upfront with what you want. Feel free to ask as many questions as needed in order to to determine if this styling session and salon is a good fit for you.

If You Get a Bad Vibe, Leave!

Go with your gut, or first mind. If you feel uncomfortable or that the stylist is not for you, keep it moving.

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