I know so many of us have gone the DIY route, after realizing that stylists end up doing more harm than good to our tresses. I, for one, haven't had a salon relaxer since my last disastrous one. But for those of you who really can't spare the time and energy, and don't have the skill necessary to perform most of these major treatments and hair installations and what not, here's a guide on how to find a good stylist.
- Get recommendations from other ladies with healthy hair in your area. This is the most obvious tip of all. Anyone whose hair is healthy, and well maintained will have their stylist who they go to faithfully (except the DIY-ers who got their game locked down). These stylists will have a level of understanding of healthy hair practices and can help translate these practices to your hair.
- Check out the stylists own head. This is not a fail safe method, but its one I use a lot. If the stylist has hair that's well groomed, well maintained, healthy edges and ends, she is likely to know how to also take good care of her hair while you are in her chair.
- Make an appointment to talk to the stylist before hand. Make sure you go and see the stylist before whatever you want done to your hair and talk to her about your expectations from anyone who gets to lay a finger on your hair. Listen to her feedback, and see whether what she talks about makes sense as far as healthy hair practices are concerned. Find out if she is open to suggestions. Communication is always key. In 2011 when I went to a Nairobi salon for coloring, I talked to the stylist before to find out what she would do, and also listen to her recommendations on how to care for my hair after the color treatment
One more thing, once you think you've found a great stylist and you are sitting in her chair, always remember to speak up if you are worried about what she is doing, or if there's a step you think she's skipping. Yes, hair grows back, but the pain and misery of a setback, and the loss of your hard earned cash to a less than satisfactory salon experience is not worth it.