Safe to say, we’ve learned our lesson when it comes to walking into any hair appointment blindly. Whether it’s the time two inches turned into three (plus bangs) or golden lowlights turned into frosted tips, it’s been a learning curve of splendid highs and tragic lows on the road to discovering the rulebook for pre-cut and color proceedings. Aside from the core tenets of salon etiquette—arrive on time, tip appropriately, keep off the phone—there are a few guidelines of utmost importance that don’t fall under the basics. Getting down to the nitty gritty, here are three essential tips to keep in mind the day of your hair appointment.
Lay off the products.
It’s never a good idea to show up with heavy product build-up from styling your hair the day of your appointment, especially if you're getting a dry cut or color. It can cause hair color to go on unevenly, and it can also affect how your hair stylist evaluates your pre-cut hair type and texture.
Leza Duncan, stylist at Salon U in Birmingham, Alabama, gave a welcome exception: “It’s fine to use products you normally use for your everyday blowdry, but stay away from a lot of hairspray.”
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it until the cows come home. Always bring tangible inspiration that details your vision clearly and objectively. We can’t always describe what type of layers or which shade of color we’re looking for, and a picture is worth a thousand words.
Leza Duncan, stylist at Salon U in Birmingham, Alabama, added: “Be prepared to really communicate with your stylist about what does and does not work for your hair. Start with a length you want, and find pictures of looks that you could see yourself loving.”
Come clean—at least, clean-ish.
We gasped when we heard that many clients will show up with hair that hasn’t been washed in almost a week. Though it might seem fine if you’re heading straight to the washing basin, it's really not good form. If you’re getting your hair colored, clean hair helps the hair color be applied evenly and thoroughly; if you’re getting a haircut, dirty hair can be bogged down with product and dry shampoo, as well as look a tad too greasy to get a good pre-wash consultation. (Washing your hair the day before is completely fine for both of these instances.) A good rule of thumb: if you’re a little grossed out by your hair when touching it, odds are your hair stylist feels the exact same way.
WATCH: Are You Washing Your Hair The Right Way?
As etiquette enthusiasts, we’re always looking for the proper protocol for every occasion, from everyday tasks like getting our hair done to formal events like attending a wedding. We’ll be locking these snippets of advice in our head as we get ready for our next trip to the salon.