Your hair is an important part of who you are. You’ve colored it, curled it, weaved it, straightened it, all in the hopes that you’ll look your best! Have you seen those hair commercials? With their effortless, “I woke up like this” hair? It’s probably a wig or even photo shopped, yet we still rush to our hairstylists with printouts of our hair aspirations. We then put our precious hair, future selfies and our self confidence, into the hands of our hairstylists. I don’t know about you but I have no clue what I’m doing so I’m literally at their mercy! And when I look in the mirror and my hair is amazing, I take a deep sigh of relief & thank the hair stylist gods!
During this process, have you ever wanted to ask your hairstylist a question or two? How to keep your hair healthy? What to do to prepare for your hair appointment? These are just a few of the questions I had the pleasure of asking Karla the creator and talent behind Hair By Karla!
1. Realistic inspiration
It’s a good idea to bring a picture of what you’d like your hair to look like so your hairstylist knows exactly what you want. With that said, hairstylists are not magicians! If your hair is dry & damaged & hasn’t been cut in two years – it will be difficult to keep your length and achieve a healthy platinum blonde balayage in one sitting.
Look for a haircut that suits your hair! Not everyone can pull off ‘The Rachel’ haircut.
A good hairstylist will let you know if the look you’ve chosen is doable on your strands and how many sessions it will take to achieve your vision. Please keep in mind that sometimes a picture from Pinterest is the result of multiple sessions. If you’ve box dyed your hair, had a red colour in the last few years or have black hair, these hair transformations can take longer and be more damaging.
Trust your hairstylist when they tell you that your hair requires a salon shampoo or treatment, a trim, or three sessions to get to your desired look.
2. Show up au naturel
I mean your hair!! ;)! This allows the hairstylist to assess your hair’s current state. For example, showing up with flat ironed hair can seal in and hide any hair damage. This can trick your hairstylist into thinking that your hair is chemically able to handle more than it actually can. Resulting in severely damaged hair.
3. Double check costs
It is good practice to call your salon to make sure that you are comfortable with the cost before you sit down with your stylist. You should also ask for the price after the initial consultation as things may have changed from the first quote. Every head of hair is different and it may require multiple sessions (with additional costs!) in order to get your desired look.
4. Be honest
Telling your hairstylist to go ahead and “do whatever you want” usually comes with restrictions. You know this & your hairstylist knows this. Try to give at least a few guidelines so your hairstylist can create a look you’ll love!
5. Disaster prevention
The most important way to prevent a hairstyle you don’t like, is to find a stylist that fits your vibe. Try using Instagram, Facebook or search hashtags in your city (ex. #Ottawahair) to find examples of popular hairstylists and their work. If you find a great hairstylist, and you’re still unhappy with your results, politely speak up, tell them what you’re unhappy with, and they should be able to fix it for you!
6. Colour your hair AND keep it healthy
Colouring and lightening your hair can be damaging over time and a good hair stylist will be mindful of this! It is also important that you try to take care of your hair at home by using the right hair products for your hair! If your hair stylist recommends a moisturizing shampoo/conditioner or a keratin mask, invest in it! Your hair and your hair stylist will thank you!
Flat ironing or curling your hair everyday? Get a heat protectant!
These products are out there to help you keep your hair healthy! If you’re unsure of what to buy, please ask your hairstylist!
7. Drugstore vs. Professional Hair Products
Drugstore shampoos/conditioners contain A) chemicals that strip your hair of its’ natural oils and B) fillers (like silicone) that add a waxy coating to your hair. Initially your hair may feel soft & healthy but overtime it creates “build up”. This makes your hair feel greasy, tangled, dirty AND harder to colour in the salon. Has this happened to you? Invest in a professional clarifying shampoo! This will strip off the buildup!
Some of Karla’s favourites professional hair brands: Redken, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble.
It is never a good idea to attempt to colour or cut your own hair. Hairstylists are trained to use these chemicals/tools and improper use can result in serious damage to your hair.
8. Split ends
Split ends are when the hair’s shaft splits or frays at the ends. Unfortunately, this can begin for various reasons. The best way to minimize them is to figure out the cause : chemical damage? (from over colouring or lightening), mechanical damage? (from overusing your heating tools), infrequent haircuts, improper brushing, etc.
A few tips from Karla:
- get frequent trims
- limit the use of heating tools
- use an old t-shirt to dry your hair by gently squeezing out the water
- detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb
- braid your hair while you sleep so friction doesn’t cause fraying
- invest in scrunchies or invisibobble hair elastics that don’t cause fraying
9. How often should I get my hair trimmed?
If you have a specific style, like a bob with bangs, then you will need a haircut every 4 to 6 weeks. You should book a trim at least three to four times a year if you have healthy hair. Karla colours her hair, so whenever she books her colouring service, she uses it as a reminder to also trim her hair.
10. How much should I tip?
The standard amount, if you’re happy with your service is between 15% and 20% of your service cost. With that said, use your judgement and tip what feels right for you!
Last timbits of advice!
- Haircuts ARE an important part of maintaining healthy hair.
- Always listen to your hairstylist when they tell you what your hair can or can’t chemically handle. Too many people ignore their hairstylists, go home and bleach their own hair or find another stylist who will, resulting in serious damage to your hair.
- Invest in a good hair regime! Ask your hairstylist which products you need to maintain healthy hair.
A special thanks again to Karla from Hair by Karla!
A little blurb about her : Karla has been a fully licensed hair stylist for 8 years! She’s always been interested in hair -from her days of styling her dolls, to inviting her girlfriends over to cut bangs with Bic razors in her parents’ bathroom. Hair is a way for her to express her creativity! The best part of her job?? Seeing a smile on her client’s face as she turns the chair to reveal to them their new look!
Please go to her Instagram to book your next hair upgrade or to see more photos of her work!
They could be featured in a follow up post!
All the best until next time!