For my first official blog post, I thought I'd start at the very beginning and describe for a guest what they could expect at an appointment at a reputable hair salon. It may sound a little...basic...but you'd be surprised how many guests (and service providers) don't know the ins-and-outs of a proper appointment! Now, of course, I've set myself up for some interesting comments, as I'm sure to have forgotten some important detail. Ah well...I said I'd keep it real, and that's all part of the adventure! Carry on, intrepid reader!
When you arrive at an establishment (hair, nail, spa, whatever....it applies to all!), you should be greeted by someone and checked in for your service. Depending on the salon, that could be in an appointment book or electronically. You can expect to be asked for some contact information (if this wasn't already collected when you made your appointment) that could include things like your full name, your mailing address, an email address, a mobile phone number that's capable of receiving texts, your date of birth, allergies, etc. This information, which may seem slightly intrusive or unnecessary, allows the salon to keep their schedule on track, and may even help automate some salon practices such as appointment confirmations, health and safety records, or even valuable and exclusive offers.
Next, if you've arrived 10-15 minutes early (which, as a service provider...THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing, as it allows me to keep on schedule for the other guests who've also reserved my time), you'll be directed to a private area where you can change into a smock or robe. This is important. We use chemicals and tools that can damage your belongings, and this is the only way to protect them. Accidents happen, and salons can't be held responsible for your safety if you choose to not wear a smock, robe, or cape.
After you change, you should be escorted to a waiting area where you may be offered a beverage and perhaps a magazine, while your service provider is notified you're ready. A nice salon will be clean, comfortable, well lit, and display all the proper certificates and licenses each state requires be posted in view of the public. You may even see a recent evaluation from the state! Check all this out, to make sure your salon and technician are properly licensed to safely give you the service you are paying for.
Once your service provider collects you, a thorough consultation is given to the client. Again, this may seem unnecessary or time consuming, but it's the only way for the service provider to ensure that you were booked for the correct service and that enough time has been allotted. Since I do hair, I'll speak from my point of view, and say that some things you may be asked about could include: confirm what service you booked for, why you are seeking that particular service, what your skill level is at achieving a similar look at home, what products and tools you use or are willing to use, what your hair care budget is, what your schedule allows for with regards to maintenance, what your job is, what hobbies or activities you participate in, if you take certain medications, if you've ever had an adverse reaction to a hair service, what you like about your current hair, and even what you don't like about your current hair. Gosh, the list seems endless, and it really could be! So much information is needed to get a sense of a client, what their likes/dislikes are, what their personality is, etc. It all helps inform a hairstylist as to which direction to head, what is safely achievable, and what will fit in with a guests’ lifestyle and budget.
Next, your service provider will perform the service you've agreed on. They will have described what the service procedure will be like, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. While your service provider is working, they may discuss options for future appointments, information on what products they use and why they use it in your instance, and may even tell you about the techniques they are using. Most service providers will also try to engage you in conversation, just to get to know you a little more as a person. Sometimes a service is particularly complicated, and they may get very focused on the actual service being performed. Even still, you should always feel comfortable and confident in asking questions about what they are doing and why. You should never feel shy about speaking up and engaging your service provider, even if they seem really focused on your service. Trust me, we WANT you to love your service.... your return to us (and referrals to us) are the lifeblood of our business! We invest a lot of time and money into our education every single year, and our prices reflect that, but we want you to feel as though you have received an excellent value for your service. Something extra you could pay attention to is the level of sanitation your service provider maintains. Nothing that touches a client can be used on another client without being properly sanitized first. This includes smocks and robes, combs, clips, brushes...even the seat you sit on! If you notice an issue, this may not be a place you should spend your money. There are health risks associated with patronizing businesses that don't meet the state requirements for sanitation. Most states mandate a list of those requirements be posted within view of guests, if you should want to see a more complete list.
At the end of your service, your service provider should always show you their work, and demonstrate to you the tools and products used so that you can duplicate the look at home. It doesn't make sense to give someone a look that they can't duplicate at home, so please ask any questions you have! After your approval has been received, they will escort you to change back into your clothes and deliver you to the front desk to finalize payment for your services (or, in some cases, handle receipt of payment directly). You should always receive recommendations on products from today's visit, a receipt for services rendered today, as well as an option to schedule your next service in the time frame suggested by your service provider. This helps to maintain your look at its best.
That's about it! Every salon is a little different, and these are just some things you can look for to make sure you are in a quality salon, worthy of your patronage! I hope this helps you find your salon home, and you have many years of bliss with your service provider!