How to Choose a Hairstylist – Part 1

Written by Carrie Robinson

A Hairstylist for over 20 years, Carrie is still extremely passionate about the industry and is the owner of CI Hair Studio in Woodstock, On.

February 18, 2020


About a year ago I wrote a free ebook about making the process of choosing a Hairstylist a little easier for clients. There were downloads of the book in it’s entirety but I really want to help more clients, regardless of the salon they choose, know the best things to check out before you decide.

So here we are! I’ve updated some info and can’t wait to share!  As there is a lot of information in each tip they will be shared in a series of blog posts so as not to info overload all at once.  Happy Reading!


If you’ve ever felt the pain of a haircut or hair colour that really wasn’t what you wanted, you already know why I’ve compiled these tips.  For those of you who haven’t experienced that (knocking on all surfaces of wood), here’s the deal…..

 So often new clients tell us how hard it has been for them to find a great Hairstylist that not only did amazing work, but really listened to what they were asking for. 

 As Stylists we know exactly what to look for before, during and after a consultation, and we also know a red flag when we see one. 

The problem is how are YOU, the most important person, supposed to know??? 

Now you will.  

So if this blog series prevents one more wonky haircut, one more damaging hair color and makes your life easier? Mission accomplished!

Think of the process of choosing a Stylist this way.

You are hiring a Hairstylist to complete a job for you.

How many applicants are hired without doing an interview? Without having to document their skills and education?  Without having to prove why they are the best person for the job? Without having references?

It doesn’t happen very often (if ever) and there’s a BIG reason for that. Hiring without doing some homework first simply doesn’t work.  What I’m suggesting, is that finding a Hairstylist shouldn’t be any different!

By working through these 5 Tips in the order I post them, you will know everything you need to watch for and do, to find the Hairstylist that’s the perfect match for you!

A little word before I finish this first post………

Yes, we are a hair salon full of Stylists who would be happy to help you but that’s not the point.  The point of this is for you to feel confident in choosing the right Stylist for YOU, no matter where they may work.

And since its all about you……. I have to honestly tell you that before you even think of choosing a Stylist you have to know what you want. Yes your Stylist should help you choose and yes your Stylist can help you gain clarity on what you’ll need, but I can tell you with 100% honestly that Stylists cannot provide a result you will love unless it is 1000% what you actually want.

We aren’t mind readers.  Oh how I wish we were, but we aren’t quite that magical 🙊

So here’s a bit of homework before the tips role out!

If you want to book with a new Stylist for a haircut, you need to bring two pictures with you.  One showing the front and another showing the back.  This shows us the exact shape you are wanting.  You will also need to know the answers to a couple of questions. What you are willing to do for styling your hair each day and how often you’re willing to visit the salon for maintenance.

If you want to book with a new Stylist for a haircolour, again you need to bring two pictures with you.  One that shows the actual colour you love (platinum, caramel, chestnut, hazelnut, etc, etc), and one that shows the placement or style that you love (ombre, colour melt, bold highlights, super natural highlights).  You don’t need to know what the techniques are actually called – you just need to know how you want the colour you love to actually look on your head!  Ditto on the questions above about daily styling and maintenance.

A word of warning.  If you have an entire Pinterest board pinned with 14 different cut and colour pictures you love, you might not be really sure what you want yet.  And that is totally ok! Sometimes we don’t know what we want.  Sometimes it takes a few weeks of looking at pictures and deciding yay or nay.

Ask any Hairstylist what their response would be to coworker who’s asked them to do their hair, then showed 12 photos of what they like. It will absolutely sound something like this:

“You have to narrow it down.  I can’t do it until you know for sure what you really want.”

Amen 🙏🏻

I understand that as a client, its not that simple and you do need help with the process!  That’s what we are here for and are happy to help you with.  Just have a look at the number of pictures you plan to show.  If it’s over 5 for cut and/or colour, you still need to narrow it down a little more.  Once you get to about 3 or 4 pictures max, that is an amazing time to book an appointment!

Ok – you know what you need to do! Get busy finding those pictures and narrowing things down and I’ll be back to turn the focus to exactly how to choose the right Hairstylist for you!


Thanks for listening,



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