A Guide to your Hair Consultation

Having a consultation with your hairstylist is a very important part of every hair appointment, not just when you’re looking for a change. It allows you to play a vital role in the outcome of your hair. Arm yourself with the knowledge of what should be discussed during your consultation to minimize the chance of any misunderstanding.

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Styling Time

Decide how much time you are willing and able to spend fixing your hair each morning and ask your hairstylist to help you select a style that can be achieved within that time frame. If you only have 5 minutes in the morning to work with your hair, don’t choose a style that needs to be blown out, flat ironed, teased and sprayed.

Must NOT Haves

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Let your hairstylist know what you want to see in your style, but more importantly what you do not want to see. More often than not, people have an “off limits” list when it comes to their hair. Based on past experiences, think about what you may have on this list and share it with your hairstylist. Explain the reasons you don’t want to see these particular features in your hair so your stylist has a better understanding.

Chemical History

Disclose past chemical treatments done on your hair. This includes any color service, be it professional or over-the-counter, as well as perms and relaxers. Even if you think it has grown or washed out of your hair, mention it anyway. Since these chemicals, especially color, react differently when applied to virgin hair versus chemically treated hair, not being forthcoming with this information can drastically change the outcome.


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A picture is worth a thousand words! Do some research before you go to your appointment, especially if you’re looking for a change. Even if you can’t find the exact style you want, look for a few pictures that showcase your favorite elements. Having a visual to show your stylist leaves less room for misinterpretation, but do keep in mind your hair will never turn out exactly like the picture. Your stylist will let you know if the style you select is achievable based on your hair.


Ask your stylist how often you’ll need to return to maintain your desired haircut or color. If you don’t want to or can’t afford to be on an every 4-6 week schedule, opt for something that allows more time between appointments. Below is a list of examples, which will vary based on a hair type, chemicals used, and a number of other factors.

  • haircut: 4-6 weeks
  • full color: 4-6 weeks
  • highlights/lowlights: 6-12 weeks
  • perm: 3-6 months
  • relaxers: 3-6 months

Professional Opinion

Last, but certainly not least, ask for your stylist’s opinion and take it into consideration. They have been trained in the field and regularly attend classes and trade shows that feature the latest trends. If anyone knows what would suit you, it would be your stylist. That being said, don’t allow yourself to feel pressured into anything you’re not comfortable with. At the end of the day, it is your hair and you have to live with it on a daily basis.

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After you and your hairstylist develop a relationship and she becomes familiar with you, your hair and your likes/dislikes, the consultation process will change. Until then, use this list as your guide.



Photo credit: CeceLynn Design



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Corinne is a part time hairstylist and a full time wife and mom from Pennsylvania. When she's not at work or chasing after her wild-child, she's busy tackling her latest craft or sewing project. She loves inspiring people to tap into their right-brain creativity. You can check out her girls' clothing at CeceLynn Design.


  1. This is a great article with lots of helpful hints !! Women’s hair is sooo important to them. It is nice to know how to help our hairstylists create the look we want ! Corinne’s clothing is very adorable and unique too !!

  2. Loved your article!! I especially liked the “must not haves”. I never thought about mentioning not haves. That is a great idea! Thanks!
    P.S. Love your hair–may use your picture next time I go!!!!!

  3. A very helpful article! I never thought of having a “must not haves” list, but will do that from now on. I find that when I go looking for a change, I say a lot of things and that my stylist can only guess which things I find a priority. For your next article, it would be good to know the kinds of terms that easily get confused when making cut and color requests. I am sure I use descriptive words that might not yield me the results I intended. You are right, if I can bring a picture, it would illustrate better and take away some of the potential for misunderstanding.

  4. Jodee, I’m glad you found the article helpful. It’s easy to feel rushed at the salon, but it’s very important to make sure you and your stylist are on the same page. Also, keep an eye open for an upcoming post covering the most common terms you hear thrown around the salon. :]

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