Don't Forget to Tip—and Don't Just Tip Your Stylist
"The standard tip is 20% to 25% of the service price, but tipping is up to the discretion of each client and how they feel," says Clint Wilson, cofounder of Salon SCK in New York City. "Just remember that the assistants and coat check are also anywhere from $5 to $10 depending on what they did for you."
Hesitation Isn't Helpful
To walk out of the salon with the look that you really want, you have to know what you really want. "It's always good to have a stylist that you can communicate openly with," says Wilson. "Remember that it's a conversation between two people. It's always a good idea to show pictures, but try to be realistic about what will work for you, keeping in mind your hair texture."
Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up
Ideally, you should communicate exactly what you want so your stylist knows how to cut and color your hair to perfection, and yet sometimes you end up leaving the salon feeling unsatisfied. You can prevent that. "If you don't like something, you should say it immediately," says Wilson. With color, though, give it a little more time. "Remember—color that's in a bowl and on your head is not the color that it's going to be. So it's best to wait until your hair is blow-dried before analyzing how your dye job came out." Either way, don't be shy.
Stop Compulsively Checking Your Phone
Is it rude to stay on your phone during your hair appointment? According to Wilson, it depends on your relationship with your stylist, but you don't want to seem like you're ignoring them. "As long as it's not distracting to the people around you and the person doing your service, then use at your discretion," he says. "But also keep in mind that sometimes it's nice to just relax and have your hair done."
Reading Is Fine but Hunching Over Is a No-No
You can use your hair appointment as an opportunity as a time to catch up on reading. "Some people find reading a book or a magazine very relaxing," says Wilson."It doesn't matter to the stylist, just as long as your body position isn't affecting the service being done. Try to keep your head still!"
Skip the Small Talk if You Don't Actually Enjoy It
So you want to avoid the salon chair small talk. No big deal! "Any good stylist should be able to read body language or know their audience," says Wilson. "There's nothing wrong with telling someone that you've had a really busy week and don't feel like chatting. Or just close your eyes! If your stylist has a problem with this, you should be seeing another stylist."
There's No Need for Walls
Treat your relationship with your stylist like your relationship with your significant other: you need to use your words to express yourself. "Be yourself and have open communication with your stylist, and you'll be set," says Wilson. "Being on time is also always a plus."