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Salon Etiquette Part 3

There is no better feeling than coming out from the salon with a new look. The whole experience should leave you feeling relaxed, pampered and happy.

I have spoken about our responsibilities as a service provider, but have you ever thought of what we need from you to help you leave happy? In my first post, Plan Your Style, I spoke a little about what we, as stylists, experience when clients come in with unrealistic expectations about what we can accomplish during your appointment time.

Your first contact with us should be through our front desk. We are all trained to answer the phone AND any questions you have about your service. Lets address a few questions that YOU should be asking when booking.

1) "How long will my appointment take?"- One of the most common problems we find is when a client sits in our chair and says..." I need to be out by..." and mentions a time that will not allow for the service they have booked for. We have to tell them whether we can do their service in the time they have given us. When we can't, they get upset because they have no idea how long their service usually takes.

2) "How much experience does my stylist/technician have?" If you have a particular hair type, color service, or just want a stylist or nail tech experienced in the service you want, ask the person answering the phone. We are all differently skilled. Some of us have years of experience but may not have the knowledge to do the particular service you want. Specialization has become the norm and a way for stylists/ nail techs to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Ask so we can give you the service provider you need.

3) "Do you do men's hair?" It seems like an given, but in my experience, newer stylists aren't fully trained to cut men's hair in school. That accounts for the rise in barber shops and the resurgence in barber training.

4) "Should my hair be washed before I come in?" This one is predominantly for clients having a updo service. It happens like clockwork every grad and bride season... the client comes in with very dirty hair saying that "someone" told them that the updo would "work better" on dirty hair. No it doesn't! One day dirty is fine but not recommended. We use products to give hair the hold and texture that is needed.

Or worse, clients assume a shampoo and blowdry is included in the time allotted for an updo. For most salons it is not. So if that is part of the service that you want or need, tell us so we can book accordingly.

5) "Are children welcome?" This is a question that is never asked and is the source of debate in salons. Some salons really don't welcome children and some salons do. A good rule of thumb is if you are having a quick service like a haircut then we don't mind. Problems usually arise when you book in for a longer service like a color. Salons are dangerous places for children. Chemicals, hot tools, electric cords and sharp implements make it a very dangerous place for unattended or impatient/tired children. I want our salon to be a family friendly place so our guidelines for parents is know your own child's tolerance and please prepare them by explaining to them what to expect.

6) " Are pets welcome?" Unless they are a service dog, no they are not. There are strict health bylaws in place that prohibit dogs, cats, snakes ( yes, I've had a client bring in her pet snakes) or any other animal that you call a member of your family.

One last thing...Please tell us about any allergies, medical conditions or disabilities that will affect your service. For example, if you are getting your nails done, we need to know if you are diabetic because we need to approach the service differently. Our shop is wheelchair friendly but we cannot shampoo you because of the way our sinks are constructed. If you think your child may have head lice, please do not bring them in, as we cannot take them.

Bottom line... if you are unsure about anything please ask when you call to schedule your appointment. We welcome questions about any concern you might have.

Viv is an award winning stylist with 30 years experience, constant training and a passion for style and service!

Viv is an award winning stylist with 30 years experience, constant training and a passion for style and service!

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