How to find a hairstylist



I’m sure you can understand why I’m picky about my hair. If you are new around here, my background is in doing hair, and the blog really started as a place for me to share video hair tutorials. So a lot of the last 10 or so years of my career life has been centered around hair.

And good hair days are kind of the best accessory, wouldn’t you agree?

For a long time I’ve been able to get by coloring and cutting my hair myself. I wouldn’t recommend this, but I did it for years anyway. But in the last year or so I decided to try and find someone to pass the torch onto. I tried a few different people, but it wasn’t until my last experience that I felt really sure about the fact that I had finally found someone.

I thought I’d share my experience in finding Jordan, and offer some tips if you are on the hunt as well.

I discovered him through Instagram. Either I found him first or my friend did, but at some point last year we began discussing this guy who does hair here that worked with Anh Co Tran out in LA. I had been following Anh on Instagram for awhile before this, and was always admiring his perfectly “lived in” haircuts.

So my friend Jordan, the photographer, decided to go check him out after I basically begged her to. I knew he would do a great job on her hair, and was excited to see the result. He did, she was so happy, and that was a big push forward in booking an appointment. In the meantime another friend had gone to him as well, through coincidence, and was very pleased with the result!

So I called and set up an appointment for the end of December, and I’m so glad I did. The salon was clean and professional and cool, and you could really tell that the stylists cared about the quality of work done at the salon. I’ve been to so many salons in the past that looked really run down and dated from the floor, and that affected what I thought of the quality of the work coming from the stylists.

I felt like every step of my service, from consult to blow out, was carefully paid attention to.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point.

So, if you are looking for a hairstylist, here are a few tips to consider!

  1. Search particular hashtags on Instagram. Things like [your city] + hair or hairstylist. For example: #austinhairstylist #austinsalon #austintexashair #austinhairartist etc. Likely if there is a salon in your area that is up on the trends, which should be what you want, they’ll have an active Instagram account. Or at the very least, their clients will tag them in things to help organically spread the word.
  2. Word of mouth is the best starting point. Ask around. Stop people on the street and ask who does their hair. That’s not only a great compliment for that person, but that gives you a perfect opportunity to talk to someone else about the experience at the salon, versus just walking in somewhere.
  3. Set up a consult before you commit to an appointment. If you are nervous about trying someone new, call the salon and see if you can set up a time to come in for a 10 minute consultation with the stylist. That gives you an opportunity to meet the person, talk about your hair goals, and then decide whether or not you want to return with zero pressure.

Finally, be honest about what sort of time and financial investment you are willing to give your hair. There’s nothing worse than walking out of a salon with a beautiful hairstyle that you know you’ll never be able to recreate.

Best of luck on your search!

More tips onΒ how to treat your hair betterΒ andΒ my favorite hair tutorials from 2016!

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Comments (61)

  1. Blair says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    This is coming at just the right time! My husband and I just moved to the Durham, NC area from out of state and I’ll admit I hate having to find a new stylist after finding one I loved in our old town. Thanks for the tips! πŸ™‚

    • Cathy Connor says
      Posted February 15, 2017


      I used to live in Durham and saw Nick Rhodes at Bottega Hair Salon for the 4+ years I live there, such a nice person and awesome with cuts and color! When I go visit friends, I make sure I plan my visit to see him!

  2. Susan says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Your hair is freaking amazing! The color is spot on! I may just have to drive to Raleigh!

    • Jennifer says
      Posted March 6, 2017

      Would you be willing to share your hair color with us? Wanting something different! I’ve always used the golden tones and thinking of trying something in the Ash blonde!?!

  3. Meghan says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    I actually have an appointment with Jordan this afternoon because of your recommendation! And Jordan (the photographer) is photographing my wedding this summer! So glad you have shared all your favorites. Thanks Kate πŸ’‡πŸ»

    • Kim says
      Posted January 26, 2017

      Can you share what salon he is at? I’d love to try him!

      • Kate says
        Posted January 27, 2017

        Douglas Carroll Salon

    • bea says
      Posted January 26, 2017

      Please share the salon name & city where we can find Jordan? I travel for work up & down the east coast so distance would not be an issue. I thank you in advance for your kindness & sharing.

      Believe me, my hair needs some serious styling!!!


  4. Posted January 26, 2017

    I love your hairstyles and i see that you are so good at doing your hair! I struggle to find my hair stylist so at the moment i am experimenting with myself at home!

  5. Beth says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    #copperpenny in Longview, WA. Rebecca is awesome! She works out of a studio in her home, so she is the only stylist, & my appointments are private. She discussed my goals with me when I first came to see her, & we are still working toward them. She won’t do anything that she thinks will damage my hair too much, & she patiently explains why the instagram photos I have brought in aren’t realistic…LOL.
    She’s awesome!

  6. Posted January 26, 2017

    I was so scared to try a new salon after Aveda totally screwed me over. I’ve been going to the same place since I was 12 but needed something closer to where I live now. Word of mouth + consult appointment were everything and I’m very happy now!
    x0x0 Caroline

  7. Trina Lynn Meyering says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    I’ve got a great hair stylist here. She cares about quality. She owns her salon and it’s sooo cute! She designed and decorated it by herself. I found her by word of mouth. I get compliments on my hair all the time.

  8. Sarah says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    My daughter is a hair stylist and I get stopped ALL. THE. TIME. asking who does my hair.

    nice tips, but though it was a little odd you would beg a friend to go to try a new stylist. It’s like saying it wont matter as much if YOU get a crappy cut.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 31, 2017

      You misinterpreted this. I was so sure he would be good, I encouraged her to go after she was already considering it.

  9. Stephanie says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    I need to find a stylist who uses a hair color line that doesn’t “pull gold/red”. I have medium ash blonde hair. I get periodic root touch-ups to cover the gray and a combo of high and low lights. The color looks great when I leave the salon but less than a week after my appointment, I’m regularly using purple shampoo to combat the brassy gold/red tones. My stylist keeps tweaking the color to prevent this but it doesn’t help. I’m spending too much money not to get the color I want. When my husband tells me he’s married to a “redhead”, I know it’s bad! Should I look for a salon that uses a specific brand of color? Any suggestions? Thanks. (BTW I live near your hometown of Naperville in case there’s a stylist you can recommend in the area.)

    • Kelly says
      Posted January 26, 2017

      I have the exact same problem! We’ve even tried to tone it with ash but it doesn’t hold. I would love to know whether I need to look for a salon that carries a specific brand or if I just need to rely on a purple shampoo. TIA!

  10. Katherine says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Great advice Kate. I’ve browsed through Jordan’s work and he is like an east coast Anh Co Tran!
    My hair is similar to yours, long and wavy with sideswept bang. I always struggle with how much layering to ask for, too much and my hair is thinned out and dreadful.
    Can you comment on how much layering your hair has?

    • Lourdes says
      Posted January 27, 2017

      Hi Kate! I’m wondering the same thing as Katherine. Please share how your hair is cut/how much layering your hair has. You give us all #hairgoals. Thanks!

      • Kate says
        Posted January 27, 2017

        It’s best to just a bring a picture, there isn’t a detailed enough explanation for it!

  11. Lori S says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Hi Kate, How do I know when it’s time to leave my current hair stylist? I’ve been seeing her for over 10 years. She does a great job and affordable but for the past 2 years she has been slow (as in it takes 3+ hours for a haircut and highlights), her hair looks awful (unclean & unstyled), she’s a bit argumentative in conversation. Should I talk to her about it or just find a new person?

    • Natalie Williams says
      Posted January 26, 2017

      That would be a helpful post Kate! Especially since you have been a stylist! Should you need to have an official ‘breakup’ conversation or just not ever make another appointment?!

  12. Erin says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Thanks for this post! After going to the same person for a decade, I left after getting one too many cuts I was disappointed with (I don’t expect to love them all, but when the bad ones outnumber the good ones, there’s a problem) at the same time her prices when up and her availability went down. Since then I’ve been bouncing around from stylist to stylist and I still haven’t found one that I’m comfortable with in my price range. I’m going to try the Instagram tip, because I’ll be honest, I don’t run across a lot of people who’s hair I really love.

    I think the issue I keep having with stylists is that I want it to be a conversation. I bring photos and talk to them about the general idea of what I like but I want them to come back and say, this would be better, or if we did this to your color, etc. I’m not the hair expert! I need help.

    Yours looks amazing by the way!

  13. Alisha says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Thanks for this, Kate! Any advice on breaking up with a stylist you’ve been seeing for a while? She’s become a friend and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Just wondering if you’ve had clients who handled this really well (though I can’t imagine anyone would be unhappy with you!) or any insight from the other side of the chair. Thanks!

    • Cathy says
      Posted January 26, 2017

      I can only comment because I just did this! At the time, I was going through a lot of personal changes. I let him know I wanted to find something closer to my work to ease my commute time and give me more time on the weekends (My appts. tend to be on the weekends) – but If I found one closer, I could do them during the week. Slight fib – but I didn’t want to burn bridges in case I was never able to find someone else I like. I loved his cuts, but we were not in sync any longer on the color – so I wanted to give someone else a try. I figured worst case, I go back. He totally understood and I know the door is open if something changes.

  14. Erin says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Oh, one more question. Most of the stylists I’ve seen lately (including, increasingly, the one I left) have really done a lackluster styling at the end of a cut. They blow dry it and maybe round brush it but there is no real styling. To the point where if I wanted to go out I’d have to go home and restyle my own hair. Is this common these days? If they are not going to really style my hair, I’d rather walk out with it wet and get a discount on my bill.

  15. Sydni says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    This is great! I’d love more tips on how to get the haircut/style I’m looking for when actually at the salon! (I had a bad experience last time where I guess I didn’t communicate well). How do I go from a picture I like to what that’s actually going to look like on my head? Thanks!! πŸ™‚

  16. Cathy says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Totally agree on the IG searching as that is how I found my current stylist in Boston and also found my sister her stylist in Scottsdale, AZ. – However, you are in NC and the person you chose is in NYC, so how feasible is that for someone to have them as their “regular” person? Given you have a huge following, I would want folks to also look at feasibility when looking at location of stylist. I don’t see myself going to NYC from Boston for a cut/color when I can find someone closer. Just my opinion, but I have found IG pretty awesome in finding not only a new stylist, but seeing other cuts/colors from other stylists all over the world.
    Anyhoo, just my opinion πŸ™‚

    PS. For anyone in the Boston area, I go to Shag and LOVE them. Happy to share who I go see and feel the prices are reasonable given the area…. Plus I found them via IG!

    • Tory says
      Posted February 9, 2017

      Please share who you go to. Do you use them for color too?

      • Cathy Connor says
        Posted February 15, 2017


        I see Sam Kane for my cut and Kristie Chirgwin for color at Shag Salon in South Boston.

        If you go on IG you’ll see their work… most (if not all) of ShagBoston is on IG, but to see the folks I know, their handles are ….


        My friend see’s Sam for her cut and Kelsey Rae for her color (she is doing the more gray/silver tones, seems like Kelsey likes the real out of the box colors from her IG account).

        Such a nice group of people without the pretentiousness of Newbury St.

  17. Erin says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    OK, one last comment (I promise). Can you tell us more about how your stylist achieved your color? It is fabulous.

  18. Hilary says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Can you tell me what color blonde you use? It’s beautiful!

  19. Sofia says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    I’m sooo picky with my hair! (Mainly because my locks are ridiculously tempermental). Hair cuts usually aren’t a problem, but finding a talented colorist can be a challenge. So I definitely scope Instagram tags for that!

    xo, Sofia

  20. Katie says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Such great tips, thank you Kate! I actually found my hairstylist on Instagram, and I LOVE her.
    { Katie Actually }

  21. Shannon says
    Posted January 26, 2017

    Great tips!! I always have a hard time finding a new hairstylist especially after a move. I recently relocated to a new town so I’ll be sure to use these tips to find my next stylist.

  22. Posted January 26, 2017

    Of all the tutorials I’ve watched I must say you’re the most beautiful, honest simple and professional I’ve seen, I have to congratulate you. Please continue doing a great job. Q: I want to dye my hair blonde, and love the colors you have, what color blondes do you use? Thank you ,

  23. Sarah says
    Posted January 27, 2017

    You really love your people named Jordan!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 27, 2017


  24. Posted January 27, 2017

    Never would have thought of these tips. Finding the right stylist is so difficult and I’m too concerned about hurting their feelings than worrying about myself!

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  25. Kate Taylor says
    Posted January 28, 2017

    You are just the best! I am in need of a new hairstylist and didn’t even know where to begin. You have all the tricks to life figured out. xoxo

  26. Mel says
    Posted January 29, 2017

    I’m on the hunt!! Thank you for the tips!!! I have been asking friends so referrals!

    Mel |

  27. Leah says
    Posted January 30, 2017

    I had the best hair stylist ever. She knew my hair and how to cut it. Then I tried contacting her after I got engaged (I moved away for a year and couldn’t use her consistently) and found out she had tragically passed in a motorcycle accident. I was heartbroken and shocked. That was 4 1/2 years ago and I’m still trying to find “the one”. I’ve tried dozens of other stylists but no one compares to her. πŸ™ I feel hopeless.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 30, 2017

      That’s so horrible! Sorry to hear that!

  28. Kellie says
    Posted January 31, 2017

    How hard would you say Jordan is to get an appointment with? Looking for a cut and colorist closer to Raleigh!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 31, 2017

      The only way to know is to call!

    • Cathy Connor says
      Posted February 15, 2017


      I used to live in Durham and saw Nick Rhodes at Bottega Hair Salon for the 4+ years I live there, such a nice person and awesome with cuts and color! When I go visit friends, I make sure I plan my visit to see him!

  29. C. C. says
    Posted January 31, 2017

    I just want to thank you for this post!! I’ve been stuck going to a stylist that’s really far away that I haven’t been totally happy with just because I haven’t been able to find someone locally. I used your hashtag tip and just set up an appointment with a local stylist based off of the great work on her insta page. I can’t wait!! Thanks for your advice on this!!

  30. Posted February 10, 2017

    I really like your tip about setting up a consult before you commit to an appointment. My husband and I just moved to a new town so I have been looking for a new stylist to go to. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind in our search. Hopefully, we can find a great person that will be able to give us the hair care that we need.

  31. Posted February 11, 2017

    I was so excited to see this post because I’ve had some reallllllly bad experiences in the last year or so. But I took your advice and searched on Instagram and found a salon! I’ve made an appointment so wish me luck!

  32. Posted February 23, 2017

    I agree that you would want to set up a consultation when you are looking for a hair salon. I would imagine that you would want to work with someone who has a style you like and a consultation would be a good way to find this out. My husband and I recently moved for work so when I find a new hair salon I’ll have to set up a consultation with them first.

  33. Heather says
    Posted March 14, 2017

    I love your hair color! What color do you call it or would I say to my stylist to get results similar to your color? Also, thanks for all of your makeup videos! They are a huge help, especially for everyday makeup!

  34. Posted March 29, 2017

    My wife is having a hard time taking care of her hair. I didn’t know that hair stylists could be so helpful! I’ll ask her to see what she thinks about seeing one. I’m sure she would love the break!

  35. Ashely says
    Posted June 13, 2017

    You Should take a look at for hair blowouts! They are amazing !

  36. Posted September 2, 2017

    Tons of hairstylist at oneblowdrybar

  37. Posted October 4, 2017

    People are very picky about their hair. So they look more for a hairstylist. Thank you for listing out the key points that are to be considered for the people who are looking for a hairstylist.

  38. Posted April 23, 2018

    I agree, word of mouth is a fantastic way to start looking for a new hair stylist. After all, if you want to make sure you find a stylist you can rely on then someone you trust recommending one is a great way to start. This can be especially helpful if the person you trust can go with you to the salon so they can recommend the right stylist.

  39. Posted April 30, 2018

    Thank you for all of this advice! I have been with the same stylist for years, and I am about to move. I am stressing about finding a hair and color specialist for my high-maintenance hair. I will definitely be using your tips.

  40. Posted June 18, 2018

    Nice post, Ya its right that good hair are kind of the best accessory. So taking care of hair we need a good hair stylist. Bellagia Salon and spa is also a best hair color salon in san diego, For more information visit here

  41. Posted June 20, 2018

    Thanks for this advice for finding a hair stylist. I’m glad you mentioned that you should try to ask around, especially from those who have hair styles you like. This seems like a great way to find someone who can give you a good hair service that you are looking for.

  42. Posted February 8, 2019

    Great, informative article for us.

  43. Posted February 13, 2019

    I have really curly hair that can be really difficult to style and work with, so I really appreciate your tips for finding a great hair stylist. Searching hashtags on Instagram sounds like a great way to find trending stylists, for sure, especially when you search by city as you said. Getting a consultation first sounds like a great idea as well, just to make sure that the stylist and I are on the same page for my hair.

  44. Posted May 30, 2019

    Great blog. I love your hairstyle.I had really need to find best hairstyle.I have got a great hairstyle here.Thank you for this post and i will share your post to other users.