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SALON ETIQUETTE 101

Whether you’re there for a spot of pampering or some beauty maintenance, heading to the salon can be a psychological minefield.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent valuable chill time plagued by thoughts like, “Should have shaved my legs?”, “Do I really have to make small talk?” and “How do I say no to buying more products?”

Here, we chat to hair stylist Anthony Nader and an Ella Baché beauty therapist (who spoke anonymously) about the dos and don’ts of salon etiquette to help put your mind at ease.

Be on time

Hairdressers and beauty salons run on strict time schedules, so if you’re late, your treatment will often be shortened or compromised.

“If you know you’re not going to make it on time, call to notify the place as they can then sort something out, either by rescheduling or moving your appointment time,” says the beauty therapist.

Nader agrees, adding that if a client is booked in for a full head of highlights and they arrive 20 minutes late, he’ll often suggest a three quarter head of foils to avoid compromising results.

Maintenance basics

Doing some at-home ground work will ensure you’re properly relaxed during the treatment (no one likes to be worrying about their unshaven legs during a body scrub), but the end result will also be better.

It’s preferable to come to a facial with no make-up, says the beauty therapist.

Also be sure to shower before a Brazilian wax and avoid plucking between visits.

When it comes to spray tans, for a more even, long-lasting finish she recommends exfoliating beforehand and ensuring that your body is free from deodorant and lotions.

Hair-wise, don’t worry if you’ve gone a day or two without washing your locks, says Nader.

“The hairstylist is better able to see the natural movement and how it sits.”

It’s also about being a little courteous; pop a mint prior to facial treatments, avoid wearing those ‘smelly’ shoes on days you’re getting a pedi, and be sure to inform your beautician if it’s that time of the month when getting a Brazilian wax.

Avoid coming straight from the gym

The beauty therapist explains that coming to a waxing appointment after your workout is not only unhygienic, it also alters the results. Excess moisture from sweating prevents the wax from sticking properly and could cause irritation or breakouts.

You don’t have to become best friends with your therapist

Some people love to chat and some people don’t. It’s perfectly fine to opt for silence during a treatment.

“We don’t get offended,” says the beauty therapist. “We chat to make the client feel comfortable and to distract from painful waxing. During facials and massage, after initial consultation, we try to have minimal chat to aid relaxation.”

Nader says you also need to be aware that they are trying to do the best job possible, so “if you get the ‘no chatting’ vibe from your hairdresser, just let them do their thing and flick through a magazine or sip on your latte instead”.

Be honest

It’s your hair, skin and nails – so if you don’t like the direction the treatment is going, say something. Be it the nail colour your chose or too-warm wax, speaking up means you’ll be much happier with the results (and the salon).

On the flip side, Nader also says you need to have realistic expectations. “We aren’t God and we can’t create miracles, so keep that in mind when showing us references of Beyonce’s latest hairstyle.”

Also, don’t lie. If you have plucked between visits or got your hair cut at a different place, tell the truth. If beauty professionals know what they’re working with they’ll be able to do a better job.

Don’t feel pressured to buy products

When at a salon, you’re often given product suggestions for your hair and skin. This isn’t just a ploy for salons to make more money, it’s a way to educate customers on the type of products and ingredients that are going to help them achieve results.

“Are we offended? No. Are we disappointed that the client doesn’t want to invest in keeping the cut or colour perfect until their next visit? Yes,” says Nader.

“When a client does buy the product it’s rewarding to know that they’re going to get the results they desire,” adds the beauty therapist.

Remember, at the end of the day, they are trained professionals. The more information you can learn from them, the better.

By Eliza Cracknell for Honey, Ninemsn