how to choose a hair stylist

There’s a sacred bond that exists between a woman and her hair stylist. A good stylist is worth her weight in gold, and just with any other soulmate, it can be hard to find The One. Hair is a huge part of a lot of people’s identities, and even apart from the emotional attachment, it’s right there on your head all day, every day. You want it to look the way you want it to.

If you’re looking for specialty services, like fantasy colors or vintage-specific styles, the difficulty level goes up another few notches.

How to choose a hair stylist

Find a salon

The first step to choosing a stylist is finding one. There are about a million sources online today to research salons and stylists, from Yelp to local business awards, and I definitely recommend taking those into consideration. But you also probably know someone who has awesome hair — ask them! As someone with distinctive hair, I can tell you that the number of times I’ve been annoyed by someone asking me about where I get my hair done is zero. Especially in the case of an elaborate color or well-maintained style, you already know this is someone who cares about their hair. More likely than not, they’ll be happy to talk about it!

The Vintage Updos for Modern Girls Facebook group is also an amazing resource. It’s a super helpful group in general and has extensive files with information about salons that specialize in vintage hair. You just might find one in your area!

do some stalking

Once you’ve found a salon that you’re interested in, it’s time to investigate! These days, it’s usually pretty easy to find websites, Facebook galleries, and Instagram accounts showcasing a stylist’s work. Obviously you don’t need to find a mirror image of exactly what you want, but it’s helpful to get an idea of whether or not you’re on the same page aesthetically. If you see page after page of lovely, natural colors, this may not be the stylist to give you the unicorn hair of your dreams.

Get a consult

Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve never gone in for a consult. I’ve always felt pretty confident in the salon and stylist I picked out. But if you’re still figuring things out, there’s a reason that most salons offer a free consult! Especially if you’re hoping to try something new, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your potential stylist are on the same page. You also want to be sure that they’re someone you can trust. That may sound kind of over the top, but it’s always been my position that if I’m going to pay someone to be the expert, I want to really feel confident in their expertise! The first time I went to Revolution Hair Studio and had my hair done by Kelly, she asked if I usually set my hair/if I realized that a middy cut really needs to be set to look right. Getting feedback from a stylist on your ideas/inspiration pics helps you know that they really care about giving you the best cut possible. I’m sure there are some people in the world who want their hair stylist to do whatever they ask, regardless of how it will turn out…but I’m not one of them!

Consider compatibility

Obviously, you want to go to someone with the chops to do the style you’re imagining, but this is also someone you’re going to see for potentially a long period of time (doing my hair generally takes about five hours) several times a year…ideally, you also want to get some enjoyment out of spending time together! You don’t have to be best buddies, but consider the basics: do you prefer chitchatting while you get your hair done? Do you like to zone out in silence without feeling guilty? Don’t forget the logistical concerns either! How well do your schedules match up? Do you like the product brands they use? Do you find hand massages during a hair appointment to be delightful and soothing or somewhat unsettling? These are the important things you need to consider when you’re choosing a hair stylist. It’s not all about the stylist either; if you’re going to be in a salon, there needs to be some level of compatibility there too. Some salons are super fancy, some are super chill. Everyone has their own preferences.

As you can tell, I definitely am happy with my choice. When I arrived at Revolution on Saturday, I told Kelly that I was kind of thinking of switching things up and adding some pink. She said she had an idea – and I said go for it! I’ve definitely been let down by mediocre hair appointments in the past, so I don’t take for granted how awesome it is to be on the same page with someone and know I can trust them with something so precious. I don’t take it for granted SO MUCH that I wrote a whole blog post about it!

Because look what my trust was rewarded with:

That’s right, y’all. The bitch is back. If you’re in the MIlwaukee area, I highly recommend Kelly Clemins/Skinbyrd Artist at The Revolution Hair Studio for all your fantasy vintage hair needs!

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