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Locks and loaded


Avoid hairy situations with salon etiquette.

Malena Lott March 14th, 2012

As Martin Luther once said, “The hair is the richest ornament of women,” and — with the amount of time and money we spend on it — he was right.

While Oklahoma’s windy clime can leave a girl to think, “Why bother?” it’s helpful to have our hair IQ in order before we succumb to a life of ponytails and knit caps.

Is the reason so many folks keep the hairstyle they wore in high school because they are trying to recapture their youth, or because they simply don’t know what to do with it?

That’s where a great stylist comes in. Straight or curly, here’s the 411 so you can confidently de-stress about your tresses.

All the angles
Jennifer Bass, co-owner and stylist at Salon W, 7304 N. Western, advised that you get a good consultation before that first snip.

“I like first to do an analysis of their characteristics, hair texture, eye and skin color, as well as their natural hair color, to help determine what color profile to place them in,” she said. “Face shape, lifestyle and personality help us decide what type of shape will work out best.”

Envious of that celeb’s new ’do in a magazine? Bring it along. Bass said communicating with pictures is often the best way for clients to point out what they like.

“It helps us determine what is achievable and realistic,” she said.

right Jennifer Bass at Salon W

Tammy Cox, co-owner and stylist at Trichology Salon, 14101 N. May, agreed that a thorough consultation is in order.

“I like to ask questions like, ‘What do you like about your hair?’ and, ‘What don’t you like? How do you feel about your current length?’” she said.

Cox also likes to find out how much time the client likes to spend on his or her hair and the client’s style and personality.

“Those things tell you a lot,” she said, adding that her favorite client is one with an open mind.

Showin’ the money
Both Cox and Bass reported that most of their clients tip well, at least 15 percent to 20 percent of the amount for services rendered. Local etiquette expert Hilarie Blaney recommended tipping at least that amount, adding that those who don’t tip sometimes opt for a larger gratuity at the end of the year.

The oopsie
It happens to the best of us: Whether it’s a bold move on our part or just a bad cut or color decision on the part of the stylist, a hair faux pas is inevitable in the life story of our mane.

Should you speak to the stylist — if the look of horror on your face isn’t enough — or do you go to management? Do you literally “sleep on it” and see if you like it better the next day?

“I think it’s great to speak to the stylist if [you] feel comfortable doing so,” said Cox. “Management would be the next step in correcting the situation. Whatever makes the client feel comfortable at the end of the day is the best way.”

Talk it out
To get feedback, Trichology has a policy to call all new clients to make sure they like their hair.

Salon W’s Bass seconded the importance of communication.

“The stylist first has the opportunity to make it right if the guest isn’t happy with the outcome,” she said. “If the stylist isn’t comfortable with correcting the issue, then a senior stylist or manager will consult with the guest to find the best conclusion.”

She said if a guest leaves without telling the stylist or management his or her concern, the cilent should call within two weeks to arrange a redo.

“A refund is the last resort,” Bass said.

Agreed Blaney, “Honest and open communication is the best policy. They would prefer that you tell the truth rather than leave.”

Glad we straightened that out.

Photo by Mark Hancock

 
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