Going to a new stylist can be trying. I previously posted While SHE is in Your Chair and Be Fair You’re in HER Chair with hopes that I could shed light on the equal responsibilities shared between a client and stylist. This post is along the lines of things to look for a new a stylist (from a clients’ perspective).

Moving to a new city was the most challenging for my hair. I left two awesome stylist and became overwhelmed with trying to find a stylist in the Big D. Luckily, I was able to connect with a stylist who had previously done my hair (thank God). I had in mind what I was looking for but wasn’t organized in my thoughts when I went in for my first appointment, and although it worked out (and she is still my go-to girl), I want to share a few questions that you should ask your potential new stylist.

What’s their schedule?
Scheduling is everything. I find that more seasoned stylist and hair professionals have a pretty tight schedule. They have a client base and stick to the times that work for them. I was a regular for 9 years at my old client and she worked me in (all the time), however, she was a bit reluctant to offer that same service to brand new clients because cancellations, etc. On the other hand, my friend and back up stylist was brand new and a born hustler. 10:00pm on a Friday night and she was willing to get you in her chair. Personally, I don’t think it’s a wrong way because hair stylist have lives too, it’s just good to know beforehand so that there are no conflicts in schedule later on.

How to ask this question, without offending the stylist: I typically get my hair done on “This day” in the “evenings,” are you mostly available during those times?

What’s your specialty?
This is a good question to ask and for you it’s a good way to understand, what are they most confident in? I stress this….just because they slay in cuts doesn’t mean that they are awful at color, it’s just means that they know their strengths. It’s something you keep in the back of your mind, but don’t hold it against them. Understanding their specialty helps you when you come in with outlandish hair requests and also helps you promote their work to your friends. Now, if you still don’t get a good vibe on their ability to do what you need them to then ask the question (tactfully)…Would you happen to have pictures of a short cut that you’ve done?

Most stylist are proud of their work and have pictures to show, if they don’t then allow them to talk and walk you through their experience.

These are the two questions that you should ask the potential stylist, however, it’s not the only things you should think about. Below are a few other things that you make a mental note of when qualifying your potential stylist.
• Are they in their own shop?
• Do they rent a booth?
• What’s the environment?
• How do they feel about natural hair?
• How do they feel about relaxed hair?
• How do they accept payments?
• What’s their policy on being late?
• How many regular clients to they have?
• What days are they busiest?
• Where do they see themselves in 5 years?

All of these questions may seem a little like you’re entering a new relationship, and that’s because you are. Believe it or not, your stylist (especially if they’re a good one) will become your friend before long. It’s good to have an understanding of their goals just as you want them to understand your hair goals. Go in with an open mind, get a good understanding and leave out feeling even more beautiful than you already are.

With sass and class.

-Lyssa

We want to hear from you. What question do you typically ask a new stylist?