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The luxury of a visit to the salon is one of my favorite pleasures. The head massage, the luscious products, the perfect blowout, is pampering at its best, if it all goes well. But an award haircut, not-quite-right color, or ill-suited style are just as unpleasant as a great appointment is luxurious. It may feel like the end result is solely in the hands of your stylist, but you have more control over what happens behind the chair than you think. With a few simple tips, you can take your salon time to the next level and leave every appointment feeling fabulous. Learn how in the notes. –– Laura Martin

#1: Wash your hair the day before. If you go to the salon straight from the shower or gym, your stylist will have a hard time assessing your regular style. Ditto if you go with strands that haven’t been washed in a week. Shampooing the day before provides a benchmark for your stylist to just your texture, curl pattern, and dryness.

#2: Come with your hair styled. It may seem silly to style your hair when you know your stylist is going to wash and redo it, but coming with your hair in its usual look is the best way for your hairdresser to see what you want, how much product you use, and what isn’t working.

#3: Bring photos, at least 3. You probably know that it’s a good idea to bring a picture to your appointment, but really one picture isn’t enough. Pictures can be deceiving, and your stylist is much more likely to understand what you want if you provide a few variations on your desired result. It’s a also a good idea to bring pictures of what you don’t want

#4: Show up a few minutes early. If your stylist or colorist feels rushed, they’re more likely to hurry through the consultation or cut corners (pun intended) when shaping your strands. If you are at your appointment a little early you’ll maximize the time you get with your stylist and minimize his/her stress.

#5: Book your appointment correctly. If you’re doing something new, book a consultation to discuss it, so your stylist can be sure to schedule enough time to accomplish your vision. A new service will often take more time than you realize. It’s also best to avoid the last appointment of a busy weekend day, or to ask to be “squeezed in.” You want your stylist to be fresh and full of energy, not dragging at the end of a long week.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle


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