1. Research Local Salons & Stylists
One of the best and most authentic ways to source a stylist these days can be through social media.
There are so many platforms of social sharing that finding a stylist through Instagram may be the answer to our heart – whoops, I mean hair. The top two social platforms used by stylists and salons to post their work are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Log into your account and search and scroll different hashtags to find stylists near you. Since hashtags group photos by key word, it collects and curates everyone that has had a conversation about a specific topic. Some examples of hashtags to search may look like this: #matrixhair #houstonstylist #dallashair #sandiegosalon – they could also be more general like #balayage #pixiecut #hairgoals etc.
As you scroll through hundreds of images that flood your feed (thanks to your new BFF the hashtag), select pictures that catch your eye. If you think, “Hey that looks nice,” click on it. It will take you to the stylist’s profile or bio page where you have a close look of their portfolio. From here, read the comments section for reviews.
Not all in search of a new stylist are into the whole social media craze. Ever met someone who feels like Snapchat is just the government’s way to spy on us? Ok, maybe that’s a little far out, but hey, that’s why search engines like Google, Yelp and StyleSeat are great resources. Check reviews and browse pictures of passionate stylists.
Social media may be considered “the new word of mouth” but don’t forget there’s still the original word of mouth which is perfect for those that aren’t big on technology. Chatting with friends and coworkers happens naturally and you never know what great resources or ideas they may have.Also, if you see hair that speaks to your #hairgoals, stop the girl or guy, compliment them, and ask what salon they go to! Trust me, people are honored to give out their stylist’s information. People want their hair to look flawless, but it’s more than the hair itself. Over the years, people form a bond and close relationship with their stylist – a compliment to their hair speaks volume of their stylist and they want nothing more than to promote their friend and hair guru.
2. Ask the Right Questions When You Decide on a New Stylist
Years of experience isn’t everything. We see credentials and accolades hanging on the wall at a doctor’s office – seeing professional credentials can grant a sense of peace and comfort. However, this mentality doesn’t necessarily translate in the stylist world. Your first thought might be to ask, “How many years have you been cutting hair?” While this is a very valid question, the years alone aren’t everything. Years behind the chair don’t add up a PHD in haircoloring, cutting, styling or weaving. While experience aids in wisdom and knowledge, a stylist should also be continuing their education on new technologies and techniques to keep up on the ever-changing trends of hairstyling.
A true stylist needs to continue their education in order to provide their clients with the latest trends in hair. Ask about the stylist’s educational background, how often the stylist enrolls in educational experiences, courses or events. My rule of thumb is the more the better. If the stylist you’re visiting cares about you as their client, their career, and their industry, it is in their own best interest to be “in the know” of all new innovative trends and technology…..you want dream hair …not dated hair!
3. Take the First Step & Consult with A New Hair Stylist
Once you’ve done all your homework and research, what do you do with the information? How do you know if this stylist is still going to be right fit for you?
Make an appointment at the new salon for a conditioning treatment or blow out. This step allows you to personally meet the stylist and see his or her skills without breaking the bank (or potentially snipping off way too much). Use this time to ask the questions about their expertise and accomplishments. And most importantly, get a feel of their personality to see if it fits with yours. Education, accomplishments, years of experience and portfolio play key roles but a stylist’s personality will either make or break the deal.
4. Now Just Tie the Knot
The last step is to formally establish a stylist-client relationship. The best relationships are formed when each party’s personality compliments each other. As for me, I’m blunt, funny, outspoken, honest and to-the-point. I’m an entertainer type. Sometimes, I randomly bust out singing. I love to laugh and make others laugh. I’m also confident in my skills and knowledgeable in my craft. In comparison, my colleague stationed next to me is super sweet, soft-spoken and loving. She loves her craft and is extremely knowledgeable and talented too. Although her clients may compliment my work, they are not likely to be sitting in my chair because our personalities are so different. They are more comfortable with their stylist’s personality type and the same goes with my clients. The reason people stay twenty years with a stylist is because they like how their stylist makes them feel. If I’m ever away and a colleague takes care of my client in my absence, I can trust them to do a great job. However, when I return, my clients always say things like, “I loved him! They did a great job but he’s just not……YOU!”I hope this helps in finding your perfect hairstylist. Do your research, find your hair inspiration via social media, the web or the grocery store. Make a relatively inexpensive “test” appointment. Hold out for the personality that fits yours like a glove and you and your “hairapist” can conquer the world.
Matrix can help you find your perfect stylist – check out the Salon Finder tool to search a salon in your area: http://www.matrix.com/salonfinder
Lauren Green-Vega believes passion and education are the keys to the industry. Best known for her color and technical cutting skills, Vega brings over a decade of experience. As a Matrix Educator and certified Color Master, she empowers stylists to create and learn to their fullest ability. Her color, dress work and fashion forward styles can be found in magazines like: ‘Sophisticate’ and ‘Hot Hair.’