There is nothing quite like walking out of a salon feeling like a million bucks. On the other hand, a bad salon experience, say, where you did not get the haircut you wanted, etc., can deflate your confidence and may cause you to put off haircuts for a long time after.

So what’s the secret to a salon experience that has you joyfully writing a 5-star review? We break it down!

Ask for recommendations

Know of someone who shows up to work with her hair always the right length and elegantly styled? Or a friend or sibling with gorgeous nails all the time? Guess what? That level of polish didn’t happen on its own. Ask your colleague or friend what salon they frequent and if they can recommend a stylist to you. 

Going off others’ recommendations will alleviate a lot of the guesswork and the stress of looking for the salon that will deliver a stellar job every time.

Ambience and cleanliness matter more than you might think

A salon experience should be a solid pampering session that leaves you feeling relaxed and looking your best. What it shouldn’t be? A trip into a chaotic, dirty dive. Even if you don’t mind a little dirt, what you want to avoid is being subjected to un-sanitized and unhygienic tools and treatments.

If possible, take a walk-through of the salon before booking your appointment. If you can’t physically look in on the cleanliness aspect due to time or travel constraints, read reviews with an eye out for this specifically. This aspect might not play a role in how you look at the end of your session but can downgrade your enjoyment of the experience considerably.

Know what you want

Whether you are getting a hair color, a haircut, a manicure, or whatever else is on offer, good salons will have style references and magazines that can help you with your selection.

Just remember that doing your research at home helps to prevent you from settling for a subpar selection, simply because someone is waiting for you to pick and choose. Don’t get talked into something you might not want. Increase your chances of getting what you want out of your salon trip by taking time beforehand to research on your own.

Browse Pinterest and create a board with the look you are shooting for, and then whittle it down to your top 2 picks. Bring your top selection to the salon and then ask for your stylist’s opinion on what goes best with your hair type, hair shape, etc.

Penny-pinch elsewhere, not when it comes your salon experience

You go to the salon because you want to look and feelyour best. And while it is okay to find good deals and avoid places with obviously inflated prices, investing in a good salon experience can boost your confidence, your self-image, and serve as a pick-me-up or a treat after a long week or during a trying time.

Haggling over prices can sour the entire experience and devalue the experience and your enjoyment of it.

Establish a rapport with your stylist

The best relationships are ones where the feelings are mutual. That means not only should your hair stylists show you respect and courtesy, but you need to offer the same in return. A stylist who can work magic on your hair should be treasured. But if you are an unpleasant client, that talented stylist might ask for someone else to serve you.

Show your appreciation. And, if your culture allows, gifts on special occasions would not be amiss.

—Emma Jean

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