6 Tips to Get Exactly What You Want from Your Stylist

When you sit in a stylist’s chair, and you are planning a big change or even just trying to grow your hair out and need a trim there are a few tricks to getting exactly what you want.

1. Get a stylist who matches you

If you are going for a long blonde look, you should steer clear of a stylist sporting a short pink pixie cut. Your personalities may match and they may be the nicest person, but obviously your styles don’t match.  The same for the opposite way, if you are going for a more edgy look, someone with natural hair worn without a real style won’t probably get you where you are headed.

 2. Style your hair before you go

As a stylist, I am amazed how much this trick will help us get you what you want. It’s like you give us a glimpse into what you do everyday.  If you like to style your hair with very little work and fuss, a high maintenance style isn’t for you, and seeing how you style your hair helps me to know that.  It also helps me to see what you like about your hair, and what you want to show off. 

 3.Tell me what you like about your hair

If I ask someone what they don’t like about their hair they can give me a laundry list of things, but when asked what they like there is usually only a few.  This helps me know what not to mess with. If you love the way your bangs fall in your eyes, I won’t mess with them, even though that may really bother me.  So tell me what you love.


This may be the single most important thing you can do.  Bring in pictures of the color and cut you want.  Then as a stylist I can tell if it will look good, or how we can tweak what you are going for into something that will actually work for you.  Even if you bring in a picture of how you want the bangs and a different picture for the back, I can blend the two.  Your ability to explain what you want without a picture may not get through to me, and I just may not understand what you are trying to say. The same goes for color, I have a client who sees red in EVERYTHING, where all I see is a warmer blonde.  It really helps when she has a picture so I can see the exact color she wants.

5. Ask Your Stylist Questions

Ask your stylist questions after you have explained what you want, to make sure she gets it.  When you say to take off an inch, her inch may be bigger than the inch you envisioned so have her show you.  Ask questions to make sure they understand, but the trick is to not make them feel like you are questioning their ability. So say things like “Do you think layers in the front will look good…. where should they start?”, “Are straight bangs going to look good on my face shape?”, “How short should my layers be?” This will help get them talking and then you can insert your opinion and end up with exactly what you want.

6. Avoid saying, “Do whatever you want!”

Avoid saying “Do whatever you want.”  I hate that as a stylist, I never have to wear you hair, I may be more willing to put in more work with my hair, so what I want, and what you need are two separate things. Instead look through magazines while you are waiting and ask questions about what they think would look good on you.  Ask “What would you do with my hair?” if you have no ideas at all, and use that as a jumping off point for more discussion.

By following these tips you help open up talking with your stylist, and if these don’t help maybe you need to find a new stylist. You are not meshing as well as you may hope.  Don’t worry about hurting feelings or making someone mad, a good stylist knows that they can’t please everyone, and he or she should be happy that someone can help you get your dream hair. Nobody wants to go in hoping to look like Rachel from Friends and leave looking like Ross.

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9 thoughts on “6 Tips to Get Exactly What You Want from Your Stylist

  1. Melissa

    Number one listed tip is way off base. A good stylist can and will listen to their client and make suggestions in regards to the new look. A stylists look has no regard to their styling abilities. Good post other than that though. 🙂 good tips. I enjoy the site.

  2. Rosa

    Number 1 is complete bs! I know I’m a simple stylist that does every type of creativity on my clients. There are also celebrity hairstylist that have the simplest hair with the craziest hair style setting trends.

  3. angeljoy

    I firmly disagree with number 1.
    I have the edgiest hair style in my salon, yet I am the one who has the most “once a week styling” ladies.
    I have a very diverse clientele, from professionals, to artists, families, college students, and the aforementioned “little old ladies” .
    I epitomize the old saying: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

  4. Colleen

    Most of the tips are really good advise. Tip # 1, in my opinion, doesn’t help the client or the hair stylist. The number one most important thing a stylist can do is listen to their client. If you don’t feel heard then you should try another stylist. I always advise clients that are moving to find people with great hair that is similar to their own or what they want and ask that person “Who does your hair?”!
    As to tip #6, “do whatever you want” does not have to be a bad thing. The stylist just needs to follow your other tips to a good consultation and have fun with it!

  5. Daphna

    I think number one is important if you have curly hair. If not, then it may not matter as much. Probably, if you do match up and it’s just a coincidence, I bet it won’t hurt.

  6. abby

    I too disagree with #1 any outstanding Hair Designer can do any and all styling and design, they wear what they love and don’t need to clone themselves in everyone of their clients. other than that you pretty much hit the mark.

  7. Jessica Hale

    I beg to differ on the “avoid saying do whatever you want.” As a master designer for over 25yrs, I have done some of my best work, with the happiest cluents, when they listened to my opinion, I listened to what they thought they wanted, well they ended up telling me do whatever you want! Don’t get me wrong now, consultation is everything. You HAVE to listen to your client first and foremost!


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