16 Professional Tips From Hairstylists

Going to a hair salon is one of those things that most of us do a few times a year, but there are some things you should know before you go.

I interviewed two hairstylists, Holly, the owner of Tangles of Corunna, and Vanessa, a stylist at JC's Hair Design, and there's a lot they really want you to know before your next visit.

1. These are the lovely and talented hair stylists I interviewed, Holly and Vanessa.

Diply | Diply

First of all, they want you to know that they don't mind the silence.

If you're chatty, great!

If not, then you don't have to make awkward small talk with them if you don't want to.

2. Oh, and they really want you to know that it's perfectly okay to relax during your appointment.

Instagram | @magically_hairlicious

Seriously, please, close your eyes when getting shampooed. It's really uncomfortable when you're staring up at them.

While you relax, please remember to sit still during your haircut!

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If you need to move or fidget, try and let your stylist know so they'll get those scissors away from your face.

3. If you're going to be late to your appointment, call ahead to see if you can still come.

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Salons often have other appointments scheduled after yours, and if you show up late, it puts everyone else behind.

Oh, and don't you dare show up with a cup of coffee if you're running late.

Seriously, it's just a huge sign of disrespect for your stylist's time and their other clients.

4. It's cool if you bring a photograph to show your stylist what kind of look you want, but be realistic.

Instagram | @valeriodoncaster

Keep in mind that if the haircut you want is styled in the picture, you'll have to style it daily to get it looking the same.

If commitment scares you, maybe think twice about the style.

Also, to avoid disappointment, find a style that will work with your hair type.

If you're looking to get Beyoncé-level curls and volume, but your hair type is actually fine and straight like Jennifer Aniston's, you're just going to leave unhappy.

Finally, make sure you ask your stylist how to style your new 'do at home.

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Watch them while they work on your hair and ask questions! That way you can look salon-fresh every day.

5. Please STOP asking for things like "three layers," it doesn't work like that.

Rebrn | Rebrn

To quote Holly, "If you want three layers, you would end up with three lines in your hair, it's just stupid."

6. Trimming your ends doesn't make your hair grow any faster.

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It does, however, keep your hair healthy and free of nasty split ends.

That being said, trims are an important part of hair maintenance.

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You should still get frequent trims because your stylist will have to take off less length than if you wait over a year to get it cut.

7. Having long hair doesn't look good if your ends are split and dry.

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"I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to pull out my scissors and cut somebody's long hair because the ends are so bad," Holly explained.

8. Lather, rinse, repeat is legit.

You'll notice on your second lather that you only need a tiny amount of shampoo to get a lot of suds, and you'll be able to see the difference in your hair after it's dry.

9. Color doesn't lift color.

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So, if you have colored hair, you can't lighten it with another color unless you strip it with bleach first.

Still confused? This explanation should clear it up.

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Think of a brown crayon. Coloring over top with a yellow crayon wouldn't work, and the same logic goes for hair dye.

10. Additionally, you can't expect to go from black hair to blonde in a matter of hours.

Instagram | @hairandbeautybysophie

In fact, there's a good chance that won't even happen in just one appointment.

In the end, though, this lengthy process is for the best.

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"It's a process. Hairstylists want nothing but to keep the integrity of your hair," says Vanessa.

11. It's insulting to show up to your salon asking them to fix your botched at-home dye job when you should have just had it professionally done in the first place.

Instagram | @hairnail_california

(Don't worry, they'll still fix it for you. Just don't be cheap next time.)

12. Going to a high-end salon does't guarantee you'll get a better haircut than if you went to a less expensive salon.


You're paying big dollars for the experience that the salon provides, but there's no promise that your haircut is going to be any better.

The best way to score a great deal is to ask friends and family for recommendations.

Unsplash | Guilherme Petri

Alternatively, you can search online for reviews of local stylists in your area.

This way, you'll get a sense of prices and the stylist's skill-level before you book an appointment.

Also, be sure to check out a stylist's Instagram page. It's a great way to see evidence of their work.

13. Tipping your stylist is important. 

Instagram | @beautyyyyyskindeep

If you pay $150 for your cut and color, know that the stylist definitely isn't pocketing anywhere near close to that for their work.

With that said, only tip what you think it's worth.

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If they didn't do a fantastic job, don't feel obliged to tip as much.

I think it goes without saying not to complain about the price when you go to pay either.

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Can you imagine how awkward this is for your stylist, especially if they aren't even the ones setting the prices?

14. If you don't like your hair after it's done, speak up!

You won't hurt their feelings, they promise.

Stylists want to make sure you leave the salon happy and they'll do what they can to fix it.

Flickr | impressionbeautyclinicpunenew

Just be descriptive with what you don't like. The more details, the better!

If you choose not to speak up, then don't badmouth your stylist afterwards.

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If you are unhappy with your look but choose not to address it, then please don't write a negative review.

This can hurt your stylist's business when they would have been happy to fix the issue if you just told them.

Stylists often rely on word of mouth, so the bottom line is, say something if you aren't happy!

15. The products you use on your hair do make a difference, even if they seem expensive.

Using the correct products will maintain your look and save you money in the long-run.

For example, red hair dye is quick to fade.

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So you have to make sure you're using a color-safe shampoo, and something with a proper PH balance to really make it last.

16. Parents — make sure you're shampooing your kids' hair after they go swimming because being in the pool doesn't clean it.

Instagram | @adrinicole7

Stylists can immediately tell when there's a chemical buildup, which is really hard to get rid of if you wait too long.

Make sure you share these salon tips with your friends before their next visit!

Your stylist will thank you!