We've all been there, haven't we? Walked into a hair salon blindly, or after looking up a salon that was simply nearby, and walked out with the worst haircut ever (don't worry, you can always grow it out). How do you choose a hair dresser that won't make you wish you could hop in your DeLorean for a hair 'do re-do?
With the explosion of the internet, social media, reviews available at a click, and hairstylists reaching out to clients via the world-wide-web, finding a hairstylist that you can trust isn't as frustrating as it used to be. Whether you're looking for someone new because you're new to the area or you just fired your previous stylist, here are a few tips for choosing a hair dresser when you're ready for a new style:
Word of Mouth
I'm a firm believer that the best place to find a great hair stylist is from the people around you. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, or even strangers. The key is that you ask people whose hair you'd love to copy. People love to talk about their hair and if they love their stylist, they want to show her work off. Plus hair stylists love referrals (so when you visit your co-worker's hair girl, be sure to let her know who referred you).
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have changed the way we live in so many ways, and finding a referral for a hairstylist is one of them. In minutes you can reach hundreds of people in your area simply by asking the question to the people you connect with online. As I said previously, people like to talk about their hair and the stylist that gave them their style. If they love their hair dresser, they'll refer you. In moments you can have the name, phone number, web site, and fan page of a stylist. The same holds true if they went to someone that they wouldn't recommend.
If you're not getting what you're looking for from the people you know, or perhaps you're new to an area and don't know many people, check out websites that offer reviews. Cityvoter, Yelp, and Angie's List are a few great places to start. These sites offer information about each business, is organized by your city, and often include websites, phone numbers, and Facebook pages as well as reviews by people that have used the services of the hair salon or stylist.
Online Scheduling Websites
Another great resource for those that can't (or don't want to) ask people they know, is to check out the various online scheduling websites that hairstylists use. Online scheduling can be a great perk to choosing a new stylist. You won't have to make an awkward phone call and you can schedule your appointment at any time of the day or night. Not only can you search for a stylist in your area, many online scheduling programs feature reviews of the stylists' current clients, a portfolio of photos, and pricing is often available so you can make sure that the stylist you choose fits your budget. Check out sits like Schedulicity, Vagaro and StyleSeat to search for a stylist in your area.
Sometimes research is the way to go. Get online, hit up Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search engines, and search for the things you're looking for in a hairstylist. Are you looking for the best colorist, curly hair specialist, extensions expert, or a short hair guru? Search it. Don't forget to narrow your search by your city. For example, type "best hair color Cedar Rapids, Iowa" if you happened to live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and were looking for a great hair colorist.