View Full Version : Help! Advise on hairdressers

September 25th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Hi there,this is my first post and got to say, what a great site! :cheer:

Well, its that time of the year again, getting my 6 monthly trim. Problem is, the last few times I have had my hair cut I have come away not so thrilled. Last time I went to the hairdresses I asked for a 1/2 " trim on my one lenght hair. Came out with it 3 inches shorter and with layers, and still can't get used to it! :( So, plan is to grow out layers and go back to one length. My hair is currently at waist so will probabily take a year or more as my hair is growing quite slow nowadays.

What I'm affraid of is the same thing happening again. Last couple of hair dressers haven't really listened to me so I have been moving around salons. Its the same story, "well, if you've not had your hair cut for 6 months then thats 3 inches that needs to come off to even it up" - what a load of rubbish! Before I had my last cut it looked good, once lenght and thick ends, now it looks kinda thin and scraggy at the ends because of the way its been cut.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on getting EXACTLY what you want at the salon. I sometimes feel a little intimidated because alot of the stylists seem to be a bit cocky, like "I'm a senior stylist in an expensive salon so I can do what I want with your hair". They also seem to treat my hair as if its an old rag, they are really rough with it and I really just wanted to cry last time :sad. I've thought about going to a not so high end salon but worried they will mess it up - did that once before and had to pay the price!

All I want is a half inch trim, no chopping into, no fancy layers. I know it might not be "high fashion" but its my hair and that's the way I like it!

Any tips are much appreciated! :cheese:

September 25th, 2008, 01:33 PM
Welcome to LHC!! :cheer:

I haven't been to a salon in over two years because of this, BFs mother trims my hair now :D My only advice is to be as insistant as you can, it's YOUR hair and they kinda have to do what you ask. If you say half inch and insist on that they should do it and if they leave you less than happy then they haven't done what you asked and you don't have to pay. good luck :)

ETA - I love your avatar!! I love purple :D

September 25th, 2008, 01:40 PM

Have you thought of trimming your hair yourself? Many members here use Feye's Self Trim method - I was skeptical, but it worked really well for me. If you're just wanting the ends done, then it could be for you.

If you decide to go for a salon and they ask you when you last had it cut, don't tell them how long it's been. If you must, say something like six weeks or so. Then they'll think that you (a) are already a good customer and don't need to be won over and (b) take 'better' care of your hair.

Be really, really specific about what you want. Take a ruler with you if necessary! You could also see if anywhere will let you wash your hair at home and go in with it wet/freshly washed, rather than having them wash it. Oh, and see if you can take your own combs and stuff too or detangle your own hair; that might help as well.

Good luck!

September 25th, 2008, 01:47 PM
I'll second using Feye's self trim and have been very happy with the results. (Salons always used to like giving me unwanted layers too...well no money for them!)

September 25th, 2008, 01:59 PM
I'll third the 'do it yourself' advice.

I've gained more length since trimming it myself than I would ever have believed possible.

Do get some good quality haircutting shears, they're definitely worth it.

(I can't claim that cutting my hair myself saves money, because I love new hairtoys so very much, but it's true that I HAVE saved myself the cost of paying someone else to trim my hair. My good shears cost about $40, but they're SO much better than the cheaper ones I tried at first.)

September 25th, 2008, 02:04 PM
Be an eagle over the stylist, ask to se the first cut, bring a ruler, tell them that you are growing it out etc. If you want one inch off, say half an inch, you want two inches off? Say one. You don't have to be really honest about when your last cut was.
Tell them to treat you hair like old lace, and bring your own products (esp. things like combs) If they do something wrong, and this is crucial, don't be afraid to speak up! If they mess it up, don't pay.

Lady Jane
September 25th, 2008, 02:22 PM
I just got my hair trimmed yesterday. She said she was going to charge me 5 bucks extra because my hair is long. But it's just the ends that need trimming. So what's the difference? She brought out this big round scary brush and I almost shrieked! I know there are good stylists out there, but they are very hard to find, and who wants to chance it? I think I will get a good pair of scissors and teach DH how to trim.

Anyway, maybe you could trying going to someplace with that looks "less cool" if you know what I mean. Maybe the stylists won't be so self important and actually listen to you! You must be firm, and sometimes that is so hard to do with someone's smiling face right in front of you. Good luck!

September 25th, 2008, 02:40 PM
I fourth...fifth? the self trimming advice. The straight across trim is SUPER easy, you can find the directions here: http://community.livejournal.com/feyeselftrim/2389.html#cutid1 That way, you only take off exactly how much you want off. No worries about layers or people yanking a comb through your hair like they're trying to damage it. Self trimming seems pretty intimidating to some people at first, but it's really empowering and fun once you get used to it.

September 25th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Thanks for your replies!

I've thought about self trimming, and think this may be the way forward. But think I need to go to the hairdressers this time, only because when I got home from my last cut, I kinda messed about with the front layers and well, didn't do a very good job :o

Will have to walk in there with some confidence me thinks, in the past I've always thought that these guys know best, so will leave it in their 'expert' hands but as my hair as got longer (and since discovering this site!) i've realised that that isn't the case. I don't think alot of stylists know how to cater for very long hair, so will have to teach them a lesson :p Will definately not let them comb out my hair if not happy with what they are doing. Last time the junior tried detangling my hair with a brush, starting at the roots :blueeek: i was about to grab the brush off her when she just about gave up and let the stylist do it with a comb :crazyq:

September 25th, 2008, 05:41 PM
I've found that the less expensive places tend to be better about listening and doing exactly what you want. I go to Great Clips, never spend more than $12 (there's one gal that will only charge me as if it were a bangs trim - $5), and I've never had them argue with me.

September 25th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Do you have any long-haired friends IRL? Maybe one of them could recommend a stylist.

Just throwing out another option:D.

September 26th, 2008, 09:01 AM
I just got my hair trimmed yesterday. She said she was going to charge me 5 bucks extra because my hair is long.

Did you ask her if she charges people any less if their hair is short?
(Ok, enough of the sarcasam)

I will vouch for Feye's trimming method too

heidi w.
September 26th, 2008, 09:24 AM
Interview, interview, interview. If they say, well, then, this is supposed to happen that is in contrast to your request, move on.

In your interview ask if you can come in with pre-washed, dry, detangled hair, and can they just trim X amount, and hold up that amount. Tell them no matter what you don't want more taken off.

Tell them you'll wear a striped shirt (stripes parallel to floor) so they have a kind of visual guide of what line not to cut beyond.....

Ask them how much it'll cost.

Ask them if they have any long haired clients.

Ask them if they themselves have ever had long hair and how did they feel about it?

Look for a stylist that is much older and been in the biz a long time. They have less investment, usually, in doing their ideas on you.

Surprisingly I have had good luck at those quickie cut places.

Do not rule out a Barber Shop!

Make it clear you're not looking for a style: your length choice is the style, and eventually you want those layers out, so no excess trimming of it.

Take a friend with you day of, particularly a male friend, to help watch.

If the dresser you chose is out for the day, a last minute cancellation, do not sit in someone elses chair. Reschedule the appointment. NO MATTER WHAT!

Be prepared to tip well.

If the dresser is tending to 2 other folks under dryers, or someone in the hair wash bin...that is tending to too many clients to pay attention to you that day, that moment.....then don't sit in the chair. Reschedule.

Ask to stand instead of sit for the trim. (If you sit, they can't see the strip or zonage of your body for reference) They pull the hair over the chair back then.

Ask to hold a mirror while they're doing the trimming so that the back of your hair can be seen in mirrors by You. You want to demonstrate you intend to have what you asked for.

If the reply about yes I'll do what you ask seems somehow wobbly, whether lack of interest or commitment in you as a client, or they start touching your hair and saying, "Well, we really should be doing.... It would look better" that kind of language -- THIS IS DURING THE INTERVIEW process -- then go elsewhere.

Think about all replies on your own time after an interview. Listen to your gut instinct. NEVER SIT IN THE CHAIR THAT MOMENT.

Do not interview with friends around.

Better to interview in person -- try to pick a time when you think the salon/stylists aren't that busy (like don't do it a Sat morning, they don't have time for you...go some blah Tuesday at 4 when it's slow...or whatever like that) IF you must, you can initiate interviewing over the phone.

Tell them you're looking for a person who will support you in your desire for longer hair and even though you don't come a lot you want to develop a rapport and will always return if they only take off what you request. Then BE SURE TO TIP WELL...I never tip less than $10, EVER. I've often enough tipped in the amount that the service cost....this way they're more inclined to be happy with my intermittent showing up. When I had my service for a trim and braided updo done at the GM salon in NY (this is a salon committed to long hair care), the service was around $80, and I paid $25 in tip. It's NY, Manhattan to be precise and this is a very upscale salon with a reputation. I wanted to ensure my ability to come back, if I can ever afford to do so again.

There are long hair salons. There's one in Ohio (maybe 2), NY, Beverly Hills....the one in Texas I'm not sure of anymore. These are George Michael salons.

If your hair is uber long consider bringing a stool so they don't have to sit on the floor to trim your hair.

The way you handle your hair when in their presence during the interview helps to convey how much your hair means to you and sends a coded message don't cut it off!!!

When you interview, do it with hair down so they can see what they're dealing with. They will likely want to touch it to examine texture. If they draw their long fingernails through it, to me this is a sign of insensitivity and I never go back. I say nothing and thank them for their time, and just don't go back. I might actually tell them this. I might even indicate that I will detangle my hair for them, and if they need to do so further PLEASE DO IT FROM THE BOTTOM. (Many do not know this. They're used to shorter hair where you can get away with starting at the top.)

Bring a tape measure to the appointment and begin with measuring hair, then say exactly the amount to take off, and measure afterwards. This keeps people really honest! Don't wing it, don't say vaguely TRIM please..... (warn them you're bringing a tape measure!)

Tools for appointment
mirror to hold so you can watch your hair trimming being conducted
striped shirt
tape measure
your own detangling tool(s) (you will need to detangle more than finger combing gets if you normally finger comb)

remember, curly/wavy hair coils up and can LOOK like more was removed than was when weight is removed. Curly hair should be trimmed dry, not wet. Wet hair stretches and there's no predictability how it'll coil up/spring up once dry. Curly hair can look REALLY a lot shorter if trimmed wet and then dry later.

heidi w.

September 26th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Wow, I had never thought of the striped shirt thing. I will have to remember that for when I start getting my layers cut out.

Lady Jane
September 26th, 2008, 01:27 PM
Oooo! I like the advice about not interviewing with friends around! Maybe you'll feel more compelled to be nice? There's no room for nice! This is hair we're talkin'!

September 26th, 2008, 01:41 PM
I'd definitely go with either a cheap place or somewhere that specializes in long hair. Call ahead and ask them. See if there's someone in the salon who regularly cuts hair that is waist and longer. If not, say thanks and hang up.

Cheap places are great, too, because the people working in them usually don't have a big ego. Also, usually the men and women who work at less expensive salons aren't the ones who have just graduated from Paul Mitchell and want to give you a really trendy razored layer cut. (I've had that happen twice--they say, "You will like razor. You will see." Not true. Simply not true. Razor=evil.)

September 26th, 2008, 01:56 PM
You have more than enough advice, looks like, but I'll add some more: Be VERY specific. Think you're being rude? Continue with it. If you feel you have to, tell them straight out that you are paying them for a blunt cut (insert details here) and you expect to get a blunt cut (insert details here). You can say something like, there are things I want done and not done to my hair, so I want to hear everything before you do it. If they suggest something you don't want, such as more layering, razoring, excessive use of product etc, say no. Don't explain yourself. Just say no, I don't want that. Please do as I asked in the first place, and repeat that.

Oh, and you probably want to be quiet about your routine and stuff like that. Most hair dressers, along with most people, will think you're weird. Being hair specialists (not to us, maybe, but to most people) they may want to help you realize the error of your ways. Don't let them go there!

September 26th, 2008, 02:01 PM
First, You tell them exactly how much you want cut off.

Then you SHOW them exactly how much you want cut off.

Then you Put THEM UNDER PREASSURE by telling them how picky you are about getting a hair cut, and how So-and-So cut too much off.

September 26th, 2008, 02:47 PM
There's some great advice here already, just wanted to quickly add..

If you want say, half an inch off ask them to show you how much they think half an inch is - most get it wrong. Take a ruler with you.

I go for around 1/4 inch trims, I tell them I don't want to be able to see any hair on the floor once they're done.

I would strongly recommend getting a dry trim.

I see you're from Manchester - if you do ever happen to come to London, there is a George Michael salon here (they specialise in cutting/trimming/dressing/haircare for exceptionally long hair and those aiming for it)

Good luck

Nes x

heidi w.
September 26th, 2008, 03:27 PM
My hair guru, a professional hair stylist, told me this about the word TRIM

He said if you just say, "I want a trim please" that many stylists are trained to then remove hair where they perceive your splits begin. Stylists believe a trim is about removing 'damage' i.e., splits. So then they decide where the splits begin.

In long hair, splits are something you live with up to a point. We manage splits that occur throughout all the length, not just the ends, other ways such as dusting (or what folks her call S&D).

So you never want to say, "Trim please" and leave it at that.

In fact, I would personally never use that word in the discussion.

Including in this sample conversation:

Me: I would like to have 1/4 inch cut off my hair. Let's measure.
Stylist: OH! you want a trim!
Me: No, I want 1/4 inch only removed.

Get it?

Point: BE SPECIFIC ABOUT THE PRECISE MEASUREMENT YOU WANT REMOVED. VERY SPECIFIC. You may also need to be specific about the shape of the hemline, straight across, or curve or deep V....Most people's hair grows a bit in a kind of u shape, a soft smile. So if you aren't specific you may have the longer bits cut at 1 inch and the outer edge bits at 1/4 inch to 'even it up'. Another phrase I would never use!

heidi w.

heidi w.
September 26th, 2008, 03:29 PM
FYI, quite a number of folks on LHC have learned from LHC how to self trim!

Just a thought
heidi w.

September 26th, 2008, 04:18 PM
WOW! you guys know your stuff! I love you all!

Feel alot more confident about it all now, I actually feel empowered to go in there and tell them straight :hollie: and any signs of the dreaded " 3 inches off" conversation I will be out that door! its happened so many times now and i've sat there terrified in the chair because I've been a bit too shy. Well if you guys can do it so can I!

Oooh, I have a friend who is moving to London soon so may have to check out the George Michael salon, thanks Nes.

September 26th, 2008, 08:18 PM
One more thought about interviewing stylists: I think the most important thing you can do is verify that they really do intend to follow your instructions whether or not they agree with your opinions.

Some stylists are so accustomed to having regular customers trust them that they forget to pay attention to what the customer is really asking for. Don't get me wrong, when I wore my hair short I loved being able to find a stylist who knew my head and hair well enough that they could just do whatever they pleased and it would always look stylish. On the other hand, some of them tended to take that trust a bit too much for granted.

I do understand that stylists have strong opinions about what styles will suit someone, and what won't, but their actual job involves finding out what the client wants, and then doing what their client asks for.

I've been reluctant to return to my old stylist (who does a great job with short hair) mostly because I'm not convinced that she's capable of understanding that I have long term goals where growing my hair is concerned. I appreciate her artistry, but I don't have any particular use for it just now and I don't want to argue with her about whether or not I want what I want.

Stick up for yourself, and protect your hair from other people's shears. Long term, it's worth it.

September 26th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Either bring a ruler, or cut your hair yourself. :twocents:

I started cutting my own hair at about BSL, and it's a lot easier than I thought. We have the same hairtype, which I've found is very forgiving, but is easy to cut.