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Stylist or Salon?

Most of us have had that moment – when you casually walk into your regular hair salon to find that your stylist is gone! This has to be one of the most stressful moments, when you ask where they have moved to and do a quick mental evaluation of how convenient or cute the new location might be (because breaking into a new salon is an entire spiritual experience I tell you). At this point, you’ve probably looked around your surroundings and asked yourself if you really have to break up with this place you grew to know as home. You’ve also probably given all the other stylists a quick head to toe glance as you toy with the idea of staying in this sacred space, and bidding farewell to your hair’s guardian angel. Before you have a mental breakdown, you have options! Here are the things you need to consider and how to handle them:

1.     Salon Savvy
You will first need to understand whether the salon is a “chair rental” – meaning that the stylists each pay for their own seat and products and so are a business unto themselves. Non-chair rental salons tend to have a higher staff turnover as stylists get poached and move on easily. On the flip side, these salons also have a stronger desire to maintain a certain quality standard as their income depends on it.
Be sure if the quality of service is determined by the management, or by the stylist.
2.     The Ambience Auntie
So here’s the thing with this, you need to decide what your priorities are; is it the experience and ambience? Do you need to be offered a cup of tea or water, magazines and maybe some good music while you get your hair done? Then you better stay put because these services are very unique in every place.
Ask one of the other stylists to do a simple wash and steam treatment – this is a really risk free way to establish if any of the other stylists can deliver what you like.

3.     Detailed Daisy
If you know that your edges need to be laid a certain way, or that your hair needs to be blow dried from a certain angle then you better save yourself a bucket load of frustration and be ready to follow your stylist to the ends of the Earth.
Possibly consider investing in everything you need at home, so you can have your stylist of choice do a home service for you. It will definitely cost you a lot more money, but hopefully your stylist values you as much as you do them and you can work something out.


4.     Product Princess
Most salons invest in specific products that may be hard to get, or expensive to own. Unfortunately those addicted to their products may have to suck it up and invest in them, or kiss their stylist good bye. Alternatively, you can engage your powers of persuasion to convince the stylist’s new salon to invest in these products.
Hey girl, shoot your shot!
5.     Schooled Stylist
Lets face it, more often than not in Africa stylists are self trained. However, if you find someone who is well trained and really understands the science behind your hair and has helped you achieve your hair goals – that’s a good cue to exit stage left and follow your hair leader.
If you have a unique hair type, follow the person who gets it. If its not broken, there’s no need to fix it

In a nutshell, it’s going to be a hard decision to make. But the truth is that as much as stylists are extremely talented – getting your hair done is about so much more than the actual hairstyle. Will you choose the salon experience or the stylist’s special magic? The top- bun is in your court. 

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