Hair Stylist

For many men and women, a hair stylist fills the role of style coach, close friend and fashion consultant. It’s nearly impossible to end up with gorgeous hair when working with a hair stylist you either don’t know or don’t trust, and the bonds formed between hair stylist and client often last longer than boyfriends, pets and family members.

If you’re new to your area or are simply on the hunt for a new best hair salon, we’ve built a quick how-to on finding the best hair stylist for you:

Step One: What do You Want from Your Hair Stylist?
 Are you looking for the hottest new hair stylist in town, or for something a little more casual? Do you need a young, passionate hair stylist or someone who is more professional and experienced? As a rule, the personality of your hair stylist should be a close match to your own—after all, you’ll spend a fair amount of time sitting in their chair and conversing. Of course, if you’re a corporate professional and you find a hair stylist you love at a little indie salon, there’s no reason to keep looking. Figure out what you want before you start your search and work on finding the best hair salon for you. Every city has its own selection of top-notch beauty salons or “best” hair salons with top hair stylists, hairdressers, or hair colorists, but a stylist is only good if you enjoy their company in addition to their work.

Step Two: What’s Your Personal Style?
 Your hair is as much a part of your personal style as the shoes you wear and the jeans you buy. And different hair stylists will have different levels of expertise in creating looks that fall within your general style template. If you’re the type of person that drifts through life without a clear sense of personal style, you’re going to have a rough time finding a hair stylist. Lock down your personal style and you’ll find the hunt much, much easier. The best hair salons and stylists are the ones that sync with your internal sense of style. Don’t forget that hair stylists have a speciality; some focus on men hair cuts, some on woman hair cuts, some on coloring, and others on salon hair treatments like blow outs, Keratin treatment, or highlights.

Step Three: What Can You Afford?
 It’s no secret: Hair stylists, especially the good ones, aren’t cheap. That being said, there’s always some wiggle room in terms of your style budget and what you can end up getting for any given price. Spend some time researching the best local hair salons and don’t be afraid to talk directly with stylists to see if they offer sliding scale rates or any other sort of special discount. Remember: It’s often better to spend a little more and get your hair done less than to settle for a low-cost solution that could turn into an expensive disaster.

When you have a better understanding of who you are in terms of style, what you can afford in a hair stylist and what you expect your stylist to do, you’ll find that tracking down the hair stylist that suits you best is a much simpler task. Anything that helps you narrow down your search in the beginning is useful—if you’re planning to visit every salon in the city until you find the best hair salon for you, you’re not going to have much time (or money) to do anything else.

Spend some time focusing on your personal view of hair and researching the types of salons in your city. It’s a lot like dating; you’ll want to find a hair stylist that matches your style, your life and your way of thinking about the world.

He or she is out there. You just have to track them down.