38 Secrets Your Hair Stylist Won’t Tell You

Hair salons share their secrets for saving money, getting a great hair cut, and more.

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The clients I dread the most are those who say things like “Do whatever you want”


Or: "I’m pretty easy to work with." Nine times out of ten, it’s not true.

We know you hate the word bleach


So we use words like lightener and decolorizer. But no matter how we prettify the language, if we’re lifting a dark color out of your hair, we’re using bleach. If you're not sure exactly how much lighter your hair should be, here's how to find the best hair color for your skin tone.

Yes, I keep notes about you on your client card, and they can get pretty personal


I may note that you don’t tip well or that you talked loudly about how drunk you were last night. I may also write down that you’re going through a divorce or that you’re into tennis so I can remember to ask you about those things next time.

After you’ve been late a few times, I ask our receptionist to say your appointment is at 2

iStock/Michal Krakowiak

But really it's at 2:30.

If there’s one rule to live by, it’s this


Don’t make your first appointment with me on a Saturday. That’s our busiest day, and I won’t be able to give you the time and attention you want and deserve. And definitely make sure you're familiar with these hairstyle terms everyone should know before their next appointment.

Find out whether your salon offers a discount if you get a cut and a color together

iStock/petek arici

Ask for one if it doesn’t. Doing both together eliminates some steps and should save you about 20 percent.

It’s fine to use Groupon or another social media site to save money on your hairstyling


But be wary of salons that offer deals all the time. That’s not a good sign.

Thin hair doesn’t have to be worn short


I had a client who wore her super-thin hair short for years because she thought she had to. I finally talked her into growing it out into a stacked bob, and everyone now says she looks incredible. These are the 8 rules to keep thin hair healthy.

Always dry your hair completely before using a hot tool like a curling iron or a flat iron

iStock/Milan Markovic

If your hair still contains moisture, the iron will damage it. These are the safest ways to use heat on your hair.

Sometimes when I don’t have a client’s color—either because we’re out of it or because I forgot to write it down last time—I don’t say anything and just mix something new


If you think I’m applying what you had before, you’re much less likely to complain.

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