WARNING! Don’t see another hairdresser until you read this!
Not all hairdressers are created equal and, unfortunately, many of us learn this lesson the hard way. At Next International Hair Salons on the Gold Coast, we’ve heard our fair share of hairdressing horror stories. From botched colour to the worst haircut ever and, of course, the snip-happy stylist who can’t tell the difference between 2 inches and 12, we’ve heard every bad experience there is to tell.
Finding the right hairdresser can seem like a never-ending chore involving salon-hopping and searching through the archives of online reviews to determine if this salon will turn your hair green, like the last one did. So how can you avoid making mistakes make when choosing or visiting a hairdresser?
Well, from where we stand (behind the chair, fixing bad hair jobs and listening to tragic tales of past horrors), you need industry insider know-how to sort through the nonsense, sniff out a bad hairdresser and find the hair salon that’s right for YOU. As hair experts ourselves, we can help with that and give you the tools you need.
So without further ado, learn the tell-tale signs of a bad hairdresser, the questions you should ask to avoid getting ripped off and learn the insider knowledge you need to find out if a salon is the right choice for YOU!
3 mistakes people make when choosing a hair salon and how to make an informed decision on the right salon for you.
Mistake #1: Choosing a salon based on prices alone
If it sounds too good to be true… you know the drill.
If a deal appears so magical that it almost has the words ‘unicorn’ and ‘fairy princess’ in the title, then you’re probably not going to get the high quality salon experience you’re seeking, O Deal-Seeking Salon-Wanderer.
It is nigh impossible for any business in any industry to offer the cheapest price and provide the highest quality service, all at the same time. Usually, you get one or the other and, while top dollar doesn’t always equal top service, salons that do offer high quality service usually aren’t found on Groupon.
Here’s why: just as you want a good experience with your hair salon, top quality salons want to provide the best service to their clients that they can. This requires highly skilled, expert staff who have the opportunity to upskill and stay on top of best practices and new technology, not to mention using and providing top quality products and latest treatments. A good salon does not undercut their service prices at the expense of quality, especially to attract clients who probably won’t stay once the discount has run out and the next one at another salon has popped up.
The bottom line: when investigating a salon, you must consider more than just the price. Do they have highly skilled qualified staff with a proven track record? Do they upskill and keep up-to-date with the latest styles, practices and technology? Have they got consistent, good reviews of their staff online detailing factors other than price? You must read reviews looking for the right information to determine if the quality of the salon is what people are reviewing, and how the salon stacks up in those reviews. Price is a pain-point for many people, but it’s definitely not the only factor in determining if a salon is right for you. Look for quality and value in a salon that invests in its staff and its clients.
MISTAKE #2: PICKING A SALON BASED ON SOCIAL MEDIA HYPE
Say it with me, ‘More followers does not equal higher quality’.
We’ve all jumped on Facebook or Instagram and seen salons (or anyone, really) with a huge following, and likely thought, “With this many people following them, they must be great.” Conversely, you’ve probably also seen a salon with a much more realistic modest following and assumed the worst.
According to a Forbes Magazine study, 57% of you out there are checking out a business on social media before you buy from them. That’s an important part of the research process, and definitely not a bad thing. The problem with social media hype is firstly, many people stop there, and don’t do any further research into a brand once they’ve seen a ‘good looking’ social media account, and secondly, hype (likes and comments) can be bought. Though it can seem like everyone and their insta-famous dog are following a particular salon, that doesn’t necessarily mean the salon or hairdressers are top quality and remember, that’s what you’re trying to find out.
Here’s why: Followers come and go; followers can be bought but followers are not a realistic reflection of the quality of the salon, it’s hairstylists or their work. A good salon will be posting regularly, showcasing their work and demonstrating a wide range of cuts, colours and styles to show that they can cater to your needs. They will be real people, and while not every cut, colour or style will suit or appeal to you, you should be able to find a picture of their work that shows that they can do what you’re looking for.
The bottom line: There are many important questions to consider when checking out a salon’s social media profile, and the very least important question is ‘how many followers do they have?’ Is the salon posting actual photos of their work? Do you like what you see? Are the styles varied according to different people and their face shape? Are they updating their page regularly with real-life situations (not just nice quotes, model shots or reposts of other businesses – these are fine but shouldn’t be all you see). Have you followed up the salon by checking their website to see what they offer? Have any real clients posted anything about then on social media? (Search hashtags or ‘photos of’ pages to find out)
Mistake #3: Choosing a cookie-cutter salon
Have you seen the movie Notting Hill? There’s a line at the start where Will (Hugh Grant, remember him?) points out a hairdresser where everyone comes out with the same haircut and colour (in that particular case, a bright blue) “whether they want to or not”. Not ideal, right? Sure, it’s just a movie, but the fact is, while not as drastic as “looking like cookie monster”, many hairdressers are guilty of churning out generic, one-size-fits-all hair styles every day. The fact is, one size does not fit all when it comes to hairstyles.
Here’s why: The shape of your head and face, your skin colour and complexion, your body shape, your age, your hair type, condition and thickness, texture, length, style and colour can all affect how a particular hairstyle will look on you. That’s a lot of information to factor into something that started out with just ‘going to get a haircut’. What looks good on a celebrity, may not suit you at all. What looks good on you may not suit your friend, and so on.
As hairdressers, we’ve all had clients come in asking for a hairstyle they saw in a magazine, and not been able to convince them that their thin hair just won’t look like Selena Gomez’s luscious locks, or that their thick hair just won’t suit Cameron Diaz’s short style. As clients, it’s equally true that you might have gone into a salon and asked for one style only to get something else instead, or to find that style didn’t suit you after all, or that the stylist never cared to discuss it with you in the first place.
The bottom line: Everybody’s needs are individual and, as such, need to be treated and tailored according to the factors mentioned above. An expert hairstylist should be able to have an honest, open consultation with you BEFORE YOU BEGIN your appointment about what styles you like, what styles would suit you best and how they can help you achieve the look that makes you feel most beautiful. Your hairstyle should compliment YOU and your hair, your body and all the aforementioned factors.
Does the salon consult with you beforehand? Do they offer ideas or advice on your choices? Do you they have a satisfaction or money back guarantee? A good salon will always consult with you before your haircut about what styles you like. A great salon will also offer suggestions and advice based on their knowledge and understanding of what styles, colours and cuts would suit you and your individual look/needs.
You’re ready to go!
So now you’ve got the tools you need to find your perfect match! The perfect hairdresser for you, that is. Remember that no salon is perfect but now you know the right questions to be asking, you’re sure to be able to find the right salon for you.
Now might be a good time to mention that Next International Hair Salons on the Gold Coast do tick all the right boxes! If you’re in the area and suddenly feeling panicky about finding the right hair stylist, look no further! We’re here to help and you’re in good hands.
We offer a free, no obligation consultation to all our customers to help you answer any questions you have, identify your hair type and ideal style, find the right colour and cut for you and have you feeling like a star in no time.