The Dreaded Search

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I recently learned of some very sad news. My Raleigh colorist is moving. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! She’s been coloring my hair for a few months now and I adore her. And, more importantly, I trust her. And that is very important when it comes to doing my hair. 
As a stylist myself, I now have experienced the sad feeling of knowing that I have to start the search over for a new colorist. Since I work in a private studio, and have limited connections with stylists here in Raleigh, I need to begin my search like most people. And that starts with Google.
Here are some tips in case you ever need to start your search for a new stylist and recommendations for the consultation!
1. Find out what color line, or product line, you previous stylist was using. This really matters. Color lines can vary quite dramatically so it is important to stay within the same line when you try a new stylist to make sure you can arrive at the closest result possible to what you are used to.
2. (I’m going to use Redken color as an example since it’s what I use and, well, it’s the best.) Search “Redken color salons” and your city in google.
3. Start at the top and work your way down. Read Bio’s, read Press about them, read about their recent education and specializations.
4. Begin to filter. Always go for the stylist/salon that is focused on education. They will be better than a salon that almost never talks about what they learned recently. Hair trends are always changing and your stylist needs to know what the newest thing is.
5. Narrow down by stylist and call to check their prices. If you chosen the most highly educated stylist in the salon it’s likely that his or her prices will be higher than what is listed on the website. Ask if it includes a blow dry. Ask if there is an assistant (and if there is, you should tip her).
6. Make your appointment, smile, and then google photos of color/cuts you are looking for. Stylists, that are talented, are artists and artists are visual. Bring photos of styles you like so you can easily communicate with him or her about what you are going for. He or she should be receptive and interested in the photos. They may say things to you like “Okay, well this won’t work with your texture” or “You’re face shape is different, so we can adjust it to work for you”. These are both helpful statements because they are understanding your vision.
7.  If they recommend a product, buy it. Products absolutely transform hair. They are necessary.

Hopefully, you will leave happy and with a new style!
Please comment with any questions and I will try to answer them!


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lauraleigh80 says · 09.04.11

Do you know what color your stylist uses on you? I love your color and I’m overdue for some highlights.

Anonymous says · 09.05.11

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Karen says · 09.05.11

Yes, what Redken color(s) do you use? Your hair is awesome & I love your tutorials!! Karen

Hi, I'm Kate says · 09.05.11

Karen & Laura: I’m working on a post with those details! It’s coming soon!

lauraleigh80 says · 09.06.11

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing it!! 🙂 I would totally come to you as my hair stylist if I lived near you…but, I live in Texas. 🙁

Anonymous says · 09.23.11

Could you give a recommendation on how to tip a stylist? My stylist (who is normally AWESOME) messed up my color. I tipped her 20% at the time of the service. Later the color washed off of my few grays (the only reason I had my hair colored). So she colored it again for free. I didn’t know what to do, so I bought some product and gave her a $20 tip. I didn’t want to insult her by not tipping her for the free service…Fast forward to 2 1/2 weeks later, the color is once again washing off of the grays……I guess I will have to ask her once again about this botched color issue. Should I continue tipping her so generously when I am not getting the desired results? I have never had another complaint about her services and know several other people who also go to her salon and LOVE her. Advice?

Hi, I'm Kate says · 09.25.11

Anonymous: tips usually mean “thanks for the great service, heres a little extra”. So based on this situation, I don’t see any need for you to continue to tip her. And you absolutely need to contact her to fix your color. For free, hopefully.

Ask if she’s doing something different. Or, are you doing anything different? New shampoo? New medication?

There’s got to be a reason to explain the new color issues.

Hope you figure that out. That’s frustrating.

Melissa, The Happier Homemaker says · 10.12.11

I have curly hair and I also check for stylist recommendations whenever we move and I need to find a new one (which is often as a military family). I find that many stylists don’t like/don’t want to “deal” with curly hair like mine so its better than taking a chance.

Jessica says · 01.26.12

Hi Kate, I really like your blog, but I do have to say one thing- I’m a little offended by your advice to seek out a blonde stylist if you yourself are blonde because a brunette one might not know the difference in tones. I myself am a brunette stylist and know the difference between a honey blonde and an icy blonde. Any stylist worth their salt would, regardless of their own haircolor 🙂 Besides, alot of us brunettes do really fabulous blonde work because we have blonde envy!

Hi, I'm Kate says · 01.26.12

Jessica: I’m sorry you are offended. I did not say that this was a right or wrong way to find a new stylist, it was just my suggestions. In my experience, I’ve enjoyed going to a blonde stylist because we already have something in common. I’m not discrediting brunette stylists by any means.

sarah says · 01.30.12

I really love your style advice!! My stylist moved about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been playing Russian roulette to find a new one. I had course, curly, long red hair that I wore in the barely styled/bedhead look. My former stylist knew I wanted to stay with reds and that I love darker tones. So every time she colored, I got copper highlights and dark auburn lowlights. I loved it!! Recently, I chopped 14 inches off and now have a chic bob. New stylist and I thought we’d be perfect as she did exactly as I asked and kept it chic – no bangs and very few layers. So I went back and had her highlight. She talked me out of darker and didn’t even use reds. Now, I’m a strawberry blonde and want to cry. The highlights are very blonde, and while I love blonde on a blonde, I’m a redheaded who colors for dimension only! Now I’m on the hunt for a new stylist – and a naturally redheaded stylist is hard to find. 🙁

Kristen @ The Chronicles of Dutch says · 02.02.12

I’m going on Saturday to a new colorist. I haven’t colored my hair in a couple of years so I’m really excited. My hair is naturally a mousy brown color, my goal is a richer tone. I never seem to be able to adequately express what I want though – any tips?

Steve and Cristie says · 04.27.12

Ok so I have a dilema and could use your help! I have naturally dark brown hair and for years I had been highlighting and before my wedding was just as blonde as you. I decided to go back to my roots for the big day and I loved it! However, after having 2 little boys, currently ages 1 and 2, I am noticing a ton of gray in my bangs and it drives me crazy that I have to color it every 4-5 weeks. I am ready to go back to being blonde. I noticed that you had very dark roots and I was wondering what your natural color is and how you got to the look you have today. I love the different color dimensions you have going on! Please help!!!