How to Find Your Personal Hair Guru

Oprah with her stylist, Andre Walker

To find the masterful stylist who will take care of your precious mane is a feat. Heed these tips to selecting the man or woman who you’ll entrust your coveted crown. 

1. Consider your needs

Are you natural, relaxed or in need of a weave expert? Are your tresses damaged and in need of tender loving care? Are you more concerned about the health or the style? These are the questions you should ask yourself before you begin searching for a hairstylist. Many stylists have a specialty and you should choose a professional based on your specific hair needs.

2. Ask a friend

Word of a good stylist travels fast. This one is a no brainer, but ask your friends – the ones with immaculate ‘dos – who styles their hair. Get the deets on prices, customer service, shop upkeep, location, salon products and the overall feel of the salon. 

3. Schedule a consultation

Any reputable stylist should offer a preliminary consultation to potential new clients. During this meeting, the stylist should give you a tour of the shop, introduce her co-workers and create your personal hair profile - a detailed sheet of your last relaxers, trim, color job, allergies, favorite products, ect. If applicable, ask to see their portfolio, which should include their best styles. Have a honest conversation about your personal hair goals. 

4. Go to a progressive shop

Sometimes, finding the right stylist is a matter of finding the right shop. Today’s modern salon employs a team of experts, including a colorist and a cutter, whom maintain an expertise in the latest color and cutting techniques. These shops are cutting edge and can usually execute any of your wildest hair dreams. 

5. Try out a simple style and investigate

For your first appointment with a new stylist, request a simple style, like a wash and set, to further determine their skills and shop aura. While you’re getting styled, analyze your surroundings. You should be able to see a client they’ve just finished or a client they’re getting ready to prep. How does the style look? You’ll also be able to experience their shampoo assistant and time management. Did you spend eight hours under a dryer or were you in and out? What kinds of clients frequent the shop? Is gossip running rampant? Use this time to truly figure out if this salon and stylist fits your lifestyle.  

6. Determine your stylist’s trustworthiness

This is incredibly important. For most, your stylist is your friend. They frequently ask about your kids and they know many of your dating blunders. You should have a sense of familiarity with your stylist, along with a bond of trust. Before you discuss the intimate details of your life, check their language. If you know too much about their other clients, chances are, they’re not too tight-lipped.