Any hairdresser could tell you horror stories of rude or inappropriate customers. While it’s true that a visit to the salon makes for some much sought-after “me” time, sitting down in the hairdressers’ chair is not an excuse to forget niceties or your manners — come on ladies, you’re still in public and with relative strangers. Apart from karma and common decency — how can you expect them to make you look pretty if they don’t even like you?
We asked celebrity stylist Anthony Nader to fill us in on what really grinds hairstylists’ gears to come up with these five sentences you really shouldn’t say to your hairdresser (but are likely to), and one that you should. Take our advice and be blessed with haircuts you love for the rest of your life.
“Make me look like Beyoncé.”
“My first question is, ‘Beyoncé on what day?'” says Anthony. “Celebrities have a team of hairdressers with them every day, they can have a shaved head one day and long pink tresses the next.” If you’re inspired by a certain celeb look, talk to your hairdresser about what exactly you like about a certain look. Think about the maintenance of a celeb style and whether it’s something you’ll be able to handle day-to-day, and cost-wise.
“Cut it like my last hairdresser did.”
If you’re a bit of a control freak and tempted to tell a hairdresser how to cut and style your hair, stop yourself before you grab the hairbrush out of their hand. In general, touching the hairdresser’s tools is a big no-no, and actually just rude. You wouldn’t grab a dentist’s drill and start drilling your own teeth, would you? If you want to replicate something you’ve had before with a different hairdresser, tell the stylist what you’d like the end result to be, not how you’d like them to get there. “Let the hairdresser do their work,” says Anthony, “that’s why they have the scissors and you’re in the chair. Just relax and enjoy the experience.”
“I don’t care.”
So you’re cool with a buzz cut dyed green? No? So you do care. “While I love clients that say, ‘Do whatever,’ they need to know that it opens an Encyclopedia of options to the hairdresser. It gives them the green light to try the latest cutting technique or colour craze.” If you’re up for it, great! But if you’re not, go into your consultation with at least three points about what you want: length, colour, look, and ask your hairdresser what they think would work on you.
“I just want 3 centimetres off.”
Rather than saying a measured length that you want off, talk about where you want your hair to fall. You may think three centimetres is going to give you the lob you’re so after, but without saying you want your cut to finish just below your shoulders, it might not happen.
“I love it!” When you really don’t.
It really is best to be honest if you’re unhappy with your cut or colour, especially if you’re likely to leave and call back later. Your stylist can probably tell if you like it or not, but it’s up to you to tell them. They want you to love your new hair and won’t be offended if you ask them to make some adjustments.
And one thing you should say, “I liked my hair when it was like this.”
“I love when clients bring in personal references of times they liked their hair,” says Anthony. Bringing in photos of haircuts and colours you want to revisit is a great reference point for your stylist. So when you say, “I want to go back to red,” they can see what kind of red you’re talking about, and how it looked on you.