Weekly Beauty Tip #7 – Picking a Good Salon

You’re visiting or move to a new city and need a new hair or nail salon or risk  starting Hair-mageddon or Nail-pocalyse. You get a suggestion from someone and try it out only to end up in a horror story. How many times has this happened to you?


Being a semi-retired cosmetologist, this rarely has happened to me. But earlier this month I failed to follow my own rules for picking a good salon and ending up paying the price in more ways than one.  So as a reminder to self and to help the loyal ECV Talks readers, this week’s beauty tip consists of those rules.

1. Do your research.

So you get the referral from a well-meaning coworker or a new acquaintance who has had a good experience in the past. First ask them questions to find out about the bad experiences (if any) or the things that they didn’t like. You know your standards and can go in to the salon better prepared to walk out happy.

woman_computerNext, check to see that the salon is properly licensed with the state and doesn’t have any current complaints or inspection issues. Most states have this information posted online with the government agency regulating the Board of Cosmetology.

Last, check online with your favorite search engine or a salon directory (Naturally Curly, Urban Hair Salon and Spafinder for example) and read the reviews. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt.

2. Call before you go.

You can tell a lot about the professionalism of a salon by calling. A few things to look for:woman_phone

  • Does the person who answer identify themselves and, if not calling the stylist directly, the name of the salon?
  • Do they ask questions to get all the important information to set your appointment (i.e., your name, call back number, hair/skin type, desired services, etc.)?
  • Do they suggest a pre-appointment consultation? This is a very important one if you’re getting any type of chemical service done. No stylist should have you sit in their chair for the first time and immediately put a chemical on your hair without first consulting you about your hair history. That is unless you like losing hair and they don’t mind a complaint being filed with the State Board.
3. Read the writing on the wall.

No really, read their license that should be hanging on the wall or posted visibly on their station. Make sure that it’s current. Also look for a Barbicide jar with bright blue disinfectant in it. If it’s light or cloudy with particles floating in it, the writing on the wall is screaming at you to run for the door.

About the Barbicide, there are other disinfectant systems out there. I personally like Ultronics Ultracare disinfectant systems because the jars are much easier to get brushes in and out of.

4. Trust your gut.

If they pass all of the other steps, you still need to trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right after you sit in that chair, speak up immediately. After all it’s your hair, skin, and nails on the line.

Here’s to a satisfying salon visit!

ECVtalkbubbleHow do you pick a good salon? Talk back to us in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Weekly Beauty Tip #7 – Picking a Good Salon”

  1. Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your site is useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love it! Just the right amount of advice for proper info and help in searching out an excellent salon. Thanks!

  3. Love this. Hair is important and if a person does not have good experience with hair (like me I cant style very well lol) they must def research! I love my hairdresser now and wont go to anyone else.

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