IN THE KNOW | SALON ETIQUETTE
Do you know how much you should tip at your hair appointment? Can you get away with not tipping if the stylist did a poor job? Should you wash your hair before an appointment, or let the stylist do it for you?
There are plenty of do’s and don’ts during your salon visit - most salon etiquette happen prior to you ever sitting down on the chair! Being prepared for your appointment is just as important as the appointment itself. Here are some tips to get you on your way to making the most of your time with your stylist!
Unless salons encourage walk-ins explicitly, try to book your appointment in advance. Stylists, especially if they’re popular in demand, can be a little tricky to book on the same day or even the same week you’re calling. So, call a week or two weeks in advance.
If you’re needing an appointment around prom or holiday season, call at least a month ahead of time. Salons are absolutely hectic during those (wonderful) times of the year. Don't forget to set an appointment so you can be ready to show off your new hairdo at the Christmas party or prom night!
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It happens, the dreadful running late to your appointment scenario. Typically, 15 minutes is usually late but it’s also the limit. Don't forget, with a long delay, your appointment can suffer and let’s not forget about the gal that comes after you. (Show a little love). If you are running late, it’s a courtesy that you give a call to the salon and let them know. It helps all the people involved: the stylist, receptionist, the next client, and you.
If your stylist is running late with a previous appointment, give them the benefit of the doubt. They want to stay on time too, and will do what they can to give you what you need, even if you get a late start.
Note: Try to give your appointment a little wiggle room, just incase the timing of your haircut and color application takes a little longer than expected. Timing isn’t an exact art, and every stylist uses different techniques for different hair types. Try to plan accordingly!
Do you want to make drastic changes to your look - yet, you’re unsure if those beautiful, colored strands match your aesthetic or going with a modish short is the best path to take? Set up a consultation with your stylist. The consultation usually takes less than 10 minutes, and allows the two of you to work out the perfect plan for your style.
Bring pictures and references to show what is inspiring you. While you might have something in mind - going two shades lighter or a slight trim - your stylist could have a completely different perspective. Having a photo for reference helps the stylist tremendously.
Sorry ladies, but try to not come as you are to your salon appointment. Many assume since you’ll be getting lather, rinse, and repeat prior to getting your hair done, it’s fine to come in with your strands a tad dirty. It actually makes the consultation process harder.
While speaking about the future of your hair, the stylist has to look at it first - not styled, but clean. Of course, second or third-day hair is completely fine, but the recommendation is not going over a week, easing up on the product before coming in, and brushing through any stubborn tangles.
The same rule applies when it comes to getting your color done. Color is a chemical treatment so it’s important to have a good balance of washed and unwashed hair. (Two or three-day hair is usually the way to go!)
Not sure what to do when you’re sitting in the chair? Chatting with your stylist is a good start. Depending on your personal preference, it’s all up to you. Usually, stylists would love to get to know their client, but if you feel like zoning out and not talking - that’s not a problem! The salon experience is different for everybody.
Stylists understand that most gals just want to sit back, and relax while getting their hair pampered. But if you enjoy having a conversation, try to keep it light, hearty and friendly. Deeper and intimate topics can be discussed, depending on the comfort of the stylist and yourself, but don’t forget to keep it at a good-natured level.
Note: Texting or flipping through a magazine is a good alternative if you're not up for a little chit chat. However, be aware of your body position. Sit up and face forward - try to avoid hunching over.
Tipping can be a little tricky to some. Not sure what to tip? The standard practice - start from 20 percent and go up from there depending on the service you received. If you genuinely enjoyed your stylist and experience, then a generous tip should be given. Always tip - even if you're not entirely happy with your cut, color, or style.
Don’t be afraid to speak up! Stylists are there for you. They want to give you the best experience and comfort. Try to immediately pinpoint the problem so the issue can be resolved. You should never leave the salon unhappy.
The stylist may reschedule you for another appoint to fix the issue - you need not tip at this follow up.
Stylists appreciate the thanks and recognition - especially during the holidays and other busy times of the year. Bring a little joy - a cute, simple card works wonders to bring a smile on someone’s darling face. Write a note, and don’t forget to put your name on it!
/ PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRTUE SALON
Here are a few salons nationwide that do wonders to your hair & boast cruelty-free products, with an eco-friendly approach to practices.
Know of any others? Share them with us in the comments below!
Sweet 185 is s sugaring studio and organic boutique in Charleston SC providing organic sugaring (gentle hair remival) spa treatments and nails. The store offers natural and organic face and body products too. They’ve become well known throughout the south east over the past 10 years.
Thanks for the listing of Cruelty Free hair salon’s?
Rev Billy’s Chop Shop and Black Hearts Hair House in Chicago both offer cruelty-free services and products as well!