How to Shop for a New Hair Salon for the Stylist and Client

We have all been there, you are new to the area or you simply need a change in your life. I recently moved to the Calgary area from Edmonton as I needed a change in my lifestyle. I’m a hairstylist of 8 years who found it hard to find “the salon” to work at. I have to admit finding a new salon (especially after moving to a new area) can be even trickier than finding a great apartment! I shopped around for a good 2 months before I found my fit at Salon Re:fresh. I have a stronger motivation to be in a place I want to go to rather than a place I dread getting ready to go to. I am sure many of you can relate.

Sometimes we just need a change, and maybe a change not as extreme as mine, like moving to a new city; it could be something as simple as a change in your hair salon experience. New hair cut a new colour: A new image can completely change the way you look, revealing a new you. The right hair cut can make you, change your mood. Can a haircut change your life? Not really…but it can make you feel fantastic.

What makes a salon a good experience for a stylist is the personality matches, the atmosphere, the location and last but not least the products retailed. I know as a stylist I am very particular about the people I work with as like my mom says you are who you associate yourself with. So now when it comes to a patron choosing the right salon you want to be in a place you feel welcome and excited to talk about with those you come in contact with. You also want to go to someone who is proud of what they do and proud of the place they work at.

Some people love the hairdressing experience, the pampering, the head massage, and the endless fashion magazines. It’s a mini-retreat from everyday life. So you want it to be a good experience.
I wanted to work in a place I could call home, yet still know my clients would enjoy the same experience as I do every day when I come to work.

As a stylist you are a Day maker, you want your client leaving feeling good about themselves; so as a stylist it is important to be in an environment that makes you happy.

How do you find a good hair salon? Ask someone (even a stranger) who has a hair style that you admire. You will be surprised at how appreciative they are for you asking. You are really paying them a great compliment. Every person is a walking advertisement for a hair salon.

So when looking for a new salon keep the most important things to you in mind:

•Does the Location work for you and does the atmosphere make you happy to come to?

•First impressions are powerful and generally correct.

•Does the salon look relatively clean: hairstylists’ stations should be free of clutter and the styling tools and products you see should look clean and new.

•How does the hair stylist present herself/himself? What you see is what you get.

•What does her/his hair style look like? Believe me, this is a big clue. If they don’t care enough, or know enough about keeping their own hair healthy, why should they care about yours?

•Choose a salon with reasonable prices that you can afford. While a great deal is always tempting, hair salons with cheap prices may be setting them so low because they can’t compete with other nearby salons in either skill or service. On the other hand, high prices don’t necessarily mean high quality – the salon may be inflating their rates to create the look of prestige.

•Did they ask enough questions to be able to assess your best possibilities? On this visit a good hair stylist should get your hair styling history, past chemical treatments. They should get to know about your lifestyle and how much time you are willing to spend on styling your hair.

•Customer Service: The most telling sign of salon quality is how much their employees seem to care. This applies not only to your hairstylist, but the other stylists and employees as well.

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