This past week I was feeling frumpy and and in need of a change so I decided to book a hair cut. Mistake. Yes, it happened again—I went in with high expectations and walked out annoyed, with bangs I could have cut myself. The only difference being, that if I cut them myself I would have ended up with results closer to what I had in mind. I told my stylist I wanted a heavy, swingy fringe, and ended up with above the eye, geometric styled, little dutch boy bangs. Not even close.
Seriously what does it take to find a good stylist? And a stylist that 1) knows how to cut bangs and 2) Realizes that “bangs” could mean anything—there are so many different ways to cut bangs, so many different styles that you really need to communicate with your client to make absolutely sure you are both on the same page. And no, I do not cut hair for a living, but I am a graphic designer so I know of what I speak. Communication is key, and when I am working with a client the first thing I do is I give them an assignment—I tell them to go out and do some research and bring me examples of say for argument’s sake, logos that they like. But I also take it one step further and ask them to bring me examples of logos that they don’t like, and then I ask them what it is they don’t like about the logos, and I ask them what they do like about the examples that they prefer. I think all stylists would benefit from using this approach. To me there are three key things that make for a good stylist: [row_fluid][one_half]
I went in with high expectations and walked out annoyed, with bangs I could have cut myself
1) Technique—knowing how to cut hair effectively to get the best results. And knowing a variety of techniques. And not just the half a dozen, go-to styles and techniques to use on every client. 2) Aesthetic—and this is the hardest one to find. A stylist that not only has a good technique, but also “gets it”, is on trend, and knows what will look good on a client’s face. You would not give the same haircut to Christina Ricci that you would give to Sarah Jessica Parker. 3) Communication—Which I pretty much covered. But stylists need to make sure they are on the same page as their client, and this comes from listening and asking A LOT of questions. Something so many stylists do not do. They ask the basics and then just start cutting. So I have learned over the years to apply my own advice. I research images of looks that I like, and I take it one step further and research images of styles/examples of what I don’t like. Then, when I arrive at my appointment I have multiple examples of both, and do not have to rely on just a verbal explanation, which as we know, can go very wrong. Yes, you run the risk of being perceived as high maintenance but there is lower risk of walking out with a cut that you don’t want. [/one_half][one_half] [/one_half][/row_fluid]
However, that said, even when I have followed these cardinal rules, I have still walked out with a cut I did’t want. Really, it seems to me the secret is in finding that one stylist that meets the three criteria I mentioned. And this ladies, as I am sure we can all lament, is quite the feat. My only other piece of advice when feasible, is to try to book your appointment early when the stylist is fresh. You can also use online review services like Yelp, the only caveat being that the reviews are subjective. So one persons’s idea of a good cut may not be your idea of a good cut. And if you are not shy and see someone on the street that has a cut that you like, ask them where they go, and who cuts their hair. Or, you could learn to cut your hair/bangs yourself. You would think in a city like NY finding a good stylist would be easy, but alas, I regret to inform you it is not any easier of a task here, then in any other city. Perhaps I should start an online review service that exclusively covers hair stylists. Anyone have any seed money they want to part with? And if you have any advice please share, and for my NY readers if you know of any good stylists let me know. And for the time being, I will continue on my quest to find that allusive perfect stylist. Top Photo by Garane Dore of GaranceDore.com, source for second photo here.