Hairstylist Secrets: Behind-the-Chair Tips for Loving Your Hair

By Ashley Smith

Red HairAt a time when the fashion industry is still on the move, and everything from clothing to hairstyles is changing on a daily basis, it seems hard to keep up. You feel better when you look better, but which trends should you follow to do just that? What Hollywood style should you buy into?

Whether it’s the Posh bob, or Gisele’s luscious beach waves, there are looks a-plenty to choose from. How can you determine what will work, and what might turn into a mighty hair disaster? It all begins with you and your stylist. Check out these “behind the chair” tips to get you on track to a style that belongs to you, and locks that you love love love!

Share The Love With Your Stylist!

Ask yourself this: Are you comfortable with your stylist? I mean really comfortable? Can you tell them when you absolutely love what they did to your hair? Maybe even when you hate it?

It’s important to think of your stylist not only as a consultant, but also as a friend. Open up about your past hair experiences by sharing the good AND the bad. This will help to build good communication, and will also eliminate the possibility for a repeat “bad experience.” No one wants to re-live a past bad hairstyle, especially not your stylist. Be open and communicate!

celebrityhairBe Decisive!

While some people may believe that all hairstylists are psychic, I’m sorry to divulge that we aren’t. We can be the best listeners, interpreters, and friends, but we definitely can’t read minds. We will be ready with an arsenal of ideas and suggestions that WE feel would be great for you, but it’s up to you to help make the final “cut.” Share your thoughts and opinions about your hair. Help to make this a shared experience, and not just one for your stylist.

Note: Visual aids are always helpful in this part, but be selective with your inspiration. Don’t try for a Penelope Cruz cut if you’re more of a Cameron Diaz.

Do Your Homework (And Take Care of That Hair!)

Remember how great your hair looked when you left the salon? How simple it seemed when your stylist applied that product with ease, and gave you a perfect blow dry without breaking a sweat? Then when you get home, and attempt the same feat, you are left with a mess on your hands?!

Well fear not, it’s really as simple as 1 2 3…

 •1.  Ask your stylist how they do it:

If you aren’t confident you can mimic what they are doing, or ask that they try another style that better suits your needs.

•2. Practice makes perfect:

As a stylist of 6 years, I did not obtain all of my skills in a week, or even a month. Practice made perfect, and that goes for you too. Have patience! Your hair will thank you!

•3. Products Products Products:

As you may have noticed, stylists LOVE  products. There is a reason for this: They have a job to do. Ask your stylist to explain the products they are using, and HOW to use them. This will help you achieve the same look at home!

Your hair is your canvas, so keep an open mind. Be confident, communicate, and start loving your hair again.

Ashley hails from San Francisco, and is the current Art Director for Oxenrose Salon. To check out her salon, go to  

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