Getting a great hair-do isn’t as simple as walking into a beauty shop, pushing a few hundred naira bills into the waiting hands of your ‘hungry’ hairstylist, grabbing a can of coke, sipping on it and browsing through the latest edition of Genevieve Magazine or even dozing off on her ‘boring’ conversation while she goes about her ‘dirty’ business of styling your hair.
Hell no! It takes a lot more than that. Mutual respect and understanding between you and your hairstylist would go a long way to get you that look many a man would fall for. Here are some secret truths about your hairstylist that s/he will not share with you but which would set you off to a good start for a good hair day. Enjoy!
S/he is a stylist, not God and you are probably Negroid not Caucasian. So, if you want a long, blonde mane cascading over your shoulders and wind-blown like Beyonce’s in ‘Crazy in Love’, get yourself a Yaki or Expression weave-on, colour 33 precisely, because no matter what chemicals or creams your hairstylist prescribes, you’d NEVER be a natural blonde and you will continually get frustrated over nothing.
S/he is a beautician not a magician. S/he can give you Toni Braxton’s ‘Breathe Again’ hair cut or Rihanna’s ‘Take a Bow’ hair-do but s/he can’t give you their faces and their looks. Nothing bad in trying out somebody else’s hairstyle but while you are at it, appreciate your individuality – the size of your head and the shape of your face.
Show him or her some basic respect – Call ahead to let them know you are coming and if you are gonna be late for an appointment, call to let them know so they can do something else in that time. Greet them when you walk into their shop. Say ‘Thank you’ when they are done with your hair. It don’t matter that you paid for their service. Have you ever stopped to think how rough, untidy and ugly everyone would look, if we had no stylists? Be patient with them; correct them politely or courteously when you think they are getting the style wrong.
S/he does not have super-sonic speed so come at least two hours earlier if you’ve got to go somewhere with that new look because if you don’t , s/he would be rushed and you might end up looking like a scarecrow – no fault of theirs. Don’t ask to be squeezed in when s/he’s already booked. S/he’d be taking time and effort from other clients and it’s not good for his or her business.
S/he doesn’t just have a comb, s/he’s also got an opinion. Don’t just pick on a style and insist on it. Ask their opinion and listen to it. They are in the best position to tell you the hairstyle suitable for your round, oval or long face.
S/he is a professional, not a beggar and a hair trim isn’t like a paper trim. It requires their expertise, skill, knowledge and time. Would you say to your dentist, “it’s just a tooth” or to your doctor “it’s just a leg”? No. So, why would you say to your hairstylist “it’s just a hair trim”. That single bill you stuff into the shampoo person’s hand isn’t doing them any favours. With the global economic depression, two or three hundred naira bills doesn’t buy much anymore. You owe them at least 500 bucks for each touch up, more if your hair is a virgin one.
S/he doesn’t have a computerized memory. Some clients would say “Fix my hair just like you did it the other time”. That always baffles me. The average time women wear their hair is between three to four weeks and your hairstylist probably has hundreds of clients. How, in God’s name are they supposed to remember when your last time was and exactly how they fixed your hair the last time? If you want a carbon copy of a style you loved, take a picture of it, bring it along and show it to them whenever you want a repeat of the style. Is that too much to ask?
S/he is human, not super-human. Standing all day, using scissors, combs and a blow-dryer takes its toll on them. Job hazards of hairstylists include arthritis in their fingers from all the holding, combing and stretching, calcium deposits in their wrists from handling all those hair creams and relaxers and ten percent less hearing from the constant noise of the blow-dryer. Most hairstylists retire daily as physical wrecks so you should bear with them when they are tired. Your hair would be turn out better if you give them a little break, say twenty minutes to regain their lost energy.
S/he is not the problem, you are. Bodies and hair react as hormones change so if your hair is dry, listless or brittle, or if it’s not holding colour or style like it used to, don’t be quick to blame them, see a doctor. If your hair isn’t over-processed (too relaxed and therefore weak), it could mean you are pregnant or even menopausal (surprised?).
Kids should pay more. Why do you think a child’s haircut or hair-do should cost less than yours? Kids don’t sit still. They whine and kick. It’s usually a harrowing experience for your hairstylist.
S/he is not only your hairstylist; s/he is also your friend. Apart from immediate family members and intimate friends, they are the only other people who see you at your worst – when your hair is wet, when you have foils or rollers on your hair, when you don’t have make-up or jewellery on. There’s really nothing left for them to see. You can trust them with things. The truth is they are not just interested in your hair and your money but also in you. So, if you ever need a friend to confide in, your hairstylist can be one. If you are guessing I am a hairstylist, you need to have a re-guess cause that was the wrongest guess you ever made. I am outta here.
Written By Lovina Osaigbovo