Is turning up with that picture of Jennifer Aniston actually helpful? What should you really be doing to protect your hair between cuts? Hairdressers confess all.
Knowing a few insider secrets will help you get the most out of every salon visit – we’ve asked hairdressers the hard questions so you don’t have to…
1. Leave your phone in your bag
“If you’re trying to cut someone’s hair while they’re on their phone, it’s kind of a nightmare,” says celebrity hairdresser Enzo. “Instead, keep still and allow the hairdresser to manipulate your head so they can cut the desired look – which is not always possible if you’re looking down.”
2. Take care of your hair in-between visits
“Buy the right haircare products for your hair type, not just the ones on sale,” says hairdresser Carlos.
Top tip: Using a nourishing shampoo and conditioner between salon visits will make it easier to achieve the look you want.
3. Arrive on time
“The maximum you should be is 15 minutes late because it has an impact on the service we can give you, plus it has a knock-on effect to other appointments. Always ring or text ahead as soon you know you won’t be there on time,” says stylist Sheila.
4. Protect your new style
“You can recreate that salon look at home with the right tools and products. For example, always apply at least one product before blow-drying. This protects the hair from heat and will make it easier and faster to dry and style when you’re at home,” says stylist Neil.
5. Be realistic
“Not all looks can be achieved in one sitting. Someone could come in with a black home-dye colour and want to go platinum blonde in less than two hours, within a certain budget – sadly it’s just not possible! In reality, a service like that might take multiple sittings and a bigger budget than you originally thought, so be prepared to have an open discussion with your hairdresser,” explains stylist Veronica.
Top tip: If you want a drastic change, book a consultation with your hairdresser in advance to discuss the options and likely costs.
6. It’s good to bring pictures
“When it comes to finding the right hairstyle, being armed with images is great,” says Neil. “And if you can’t find what you like, find pics of what you don’t like. Both ends of the spectrum give your stylist a good idea of your own personal style. Many salons gown you in the reception area, so when your stylist meets you, all they see is a one-size-fits-all tent. But keep in mind, that model/celebrity in the image will have had a ‘Glam Squad’ to look like that. Prep could have taken a few hours even for something that looks simple!”
7. It’s good to talk…
“Communication is key to understanding. We have to learn very quickly about a person and what their style and personality is, and therefore what their hairstyle says about them. We’re great analysts, but we’re not magicians!” says Enzo.
8. … Even about your holiday!
“You are not just a face or a name in my book. I like you, and enjoying getting to know all of your quirks,” says stylist Carly Meldrum. “When you open up to your hairdresser, we can carry your emotions with us for days – even weeks.”
9. Be brave
“Sometimes clients say to me, ‘I want a complete change but I don’t want anything off the length’. If you just want a basic trim, that’s fine – but be realistic that you won’t look that different,” says hairdresser Petros. “Often people will say they only want an inch off their hair, and then wait until I’ve nearly finished blow-drying before feeling daring and saying, ‘You can take more off if you like!’”
10. Trust us
“We train for a minimum of 3 years – generally more – before we’re let loose on a full-paying customer. More seasoned stylists will have seen it all, so do take their advice,” says Neil. “If you don’t like what they say, ask for another opinion from a stylist at that salon.”