Salon Etiquette 101: How to Always Have a Great Haircut

For women, hair is a sensitive subject. The wrong cut or color—or even the right one—can be life changing. And, achieving the look you want all starts in the hair salon. From talking on your phone during an appointment to changing hairstylists, these are the dos and don'ts to follow when visiting the salon.
  1. During Your Consultation
    1. When calling to make an appointment, tell the receptionist what you're looking to have done so that you can get the hairstylist that’s best suited for the job. 2. Style your hair normally for the appointment so that your hairstylist can see your hair in its truest state. 3. Be honest about your hair history, especially if you are looking to have it colored/chemically treated—even if you've "cheated" on your hairstylist and had it done elsewhere so that you can be sure it's treated properly.
  2. The Rules of Conversation
    Don't confuse your hairstylist with your therapist. When it comes to talking, here's what to chat about and what to avoid: 1. Steer clear of overly personal topics. Relationship details and touchy topics, like religion, politics, and sex are a no-go. 2. Keep the conversation pleasant, light, and general. It's fine to ask your stylist questions about your hair and any challenges you face when trying to style it. Those kinds of questions are relevant to the appointment.
  3. What If You Don't Like Your Cut or Color?
    As a rule of thumb, when you realize you don't like your style, "speak now or forever hold your peace" should be your mantra. Usually, they can fix the problem right then and there—if it's an easy fix. Otherwise, they may have you come back later to resolve the problem. Either way, there is hope for the problem to be remedied and your stylist would rather you leave feeling satisfied with your hairstyle.
  4. If You Need To Use Your Cell Phone
    First things first, avoid having phone conversations while getting your hair done—unless it's an emergency. This is because not only does your hairstylist likely find it rude that you are on the phone while they are trying to do their job, but the other clients in the vicinity may want a quieter, more relaxed salon experience. When it comes to texting, hairstylist Louise O'Connor says that is fine. Just be sure to have your ringer on silent so that your phone isn't sounding constantly.
  5. Breaking Up With Your Stylist or Colorist
    When your hairstyle starts to feel subpar, it may be time to move on from your current stylist. But, we understand that switching stylists can lead to a guilty conscience and an uncomfortable situation. Rita Hazan Salon Stylist Cristina B recommends telling your stylist why you are unhappy and, if you still don't feel optimistic, to go ahead and make the switch. And when switching to a stylist within the same salon, continue to be polite and friendly when seeing your old stylist during visits.
  6. Don't Forget: Bring Along #HairInspo
    From the cutest pixie cuts to the latest lobs, we have hundreds of photos to inspire you at InStyle.com. Visit http://bit.ly/1hr4pZn and save your favorite to show your stylist.