1. I Have Time To Style My Hair
If you’re a wash-and-go girl, you don’t need a cut that involves multiple heat styling tools. Those styles that look effortless can often take lots of work, so your stylist needs to know that you’re up for it.
2. I Have Product Like That at Home
“Great hairstyles aren’t made with talent alone,” Mims says. “A good stylist will discuss the tools as well as the techniques for recreating the look at home.” So, you may feel like you’re getting a hard sell, but the intent is usually to help you find the right products for your hair. “Part of maintaining the cut at home and ultimately being satisfied with my work is knowing which products to use and how to style the hair,” says Louise O’Connor, owner of OC61 Salon in New York City. “I need to find out which products she’ll use to make sure she’s happy with her style.”
3. It Just Grew This Way
Too often, women decide to take on a DIY job, and things go awry, says Gregory Patterson, a celebrity stylist. He reports seeing people who cut their own hair between appointments and swear the style grew out that way. “When a client comes back to me six weeks later with bangs that are too short or cut too far outside her face, I know she watched a YouTube video and tried to do it herself, and I have to clean up the mess,” he says. “I’ll talk someone through how to do a trim at home because once she cuts outside the lines of my cut, it won’t be suited for her face, and I’ll have to do damage control,” Patterson explains. Don’t take the scissors into your own hands. Book the appointment, or risk a more serious chop.
4. This is My Natural Color/Texture
“Women love to swear I’m seeing their virgin hair color when I can clearly see artificial color on the hair fiber,” says Patterson. “I can’t make your color happen unless I know how to deal with what’s already on your hair.” Share any process you’ve undergone that alters color — whether it’s a gloss, box color, or two-year-old head of highlights. “I need to adapt my strategy for lifting and/or depositing color based on what has happened to the hair,” Patterson says. And, worst-case scenario, some box colors contain metals that can actually melt your hair when combined with bleach. This is when over-sharing is the best policy. The same goes for keratin treatments, says O’Connor. “Any chemical process can interact with another chemical process — even if you had it done six months ago — because you’ve altered the structure of the hair,” she explains. “You can’t always see if hair is over-processed, so you need the client to tell you what she’s done.”
5. I’m Naturally Blonde
Blondes deserve their own category for hair perjury, White says. “Another common lie is that she is naturally blonde — I think it’s part lie and part denial,” he says. “It’s crazy to me when you can clearly see an inch of dark hair before the sun-bleached ends.” Whether your locks are bleached by the sun, lemon juice, or peroxide, the chemical process is the same, and your colorist needs to get a sense of how you’ve damaged your hair so they can avoid piling on stress. Confess to your true level of blondeness to prevent unnecessary damage or having to undergo repeated bleaching processes to get to the shade you’re looking for.
6. I Didn’t See Anyone Else
Sure, it’s uncomfortable to confess that you’ve cheated on your stylist or colorist, but you can’t repair the damage without talking it through. “Clients try to get their hair done for less money or closer to home and come back to have it fixed,” White says. “No one ever admits to doing it, but I can spot my own work from the moon. “ Be honest about why you strayed, and you might be able to work out a plan to stretch the time between appointments or make scheduling easier. And, you need to give full disclosure about what happened in the other chair — especially if you had a chemical process.
7. Do Whatever You Want
“I learned a long time ago that ‘Do whatever you want’ really means ‘Do whatever you want, as long as it’s exactly what I want,’” White says. “I have no idea why women feel compelled to say that when no one means it.” If you’re not prepared for a Miley-level transformation, don’t put all the decisions in your stylist’s hands. White probes his clients to discover their limits. “I try to find out if this is an impulsive decision — maybe due to a breakup — and get a sense of her lifestyle,” he says. “If she’s a lawyer, I need to keep her conservative, or if she’s in a band, she needs to look good on stage.” So, if your hair consultation feels more like a therapy appointment, that’s because it is. White explains that part of his job is to sort through what a client divulges so he can find out the difference between what she thinks she wants and what she really wants. The goal is to make sure you walk out the door without regrets, so be honest with yourself and the person behind the chair.
8. I’ll Come In For Touch-Ups
Time and money are valid reasons why you might not keep up with appointments for root touch-ups or trims, but you need to say these may be issues up front so your cut and color can require less maintenance. “I offer free bang trims every three to four weeks because I’d rather maintain the shape than have you do it at home,” says Patterson. And, there’s a legitimate scientific explanation behind those root touch-ups. “If your colorist says you need to be coming in for touch-ups every three to four weeks it’s because of the science of color processing,” Mims says. “If your hair gets longer than that inch of root, no matter the color, the color processes differently,” she says. The reason is that the heat from your scalp helps to process the shade, and then the formula has to be adjusted the farther your hair grows from your scalp. “Scheduling touch-ups means much less work and time for both of you,” Mims says.