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How to find a hair professional to suit your needs?

How to find a hair professional to suit your needs?


Stylist Dean Mooney has 28 years’ experience, international training and has been a salon owner for 17 years.

I’m not going to give you a list of colour and style dos and don’ts for the coming season – I know you wouldn’t have to look far and wide to find hints and tips contradicting these thoughts. There are so many people in the hair industry competing for your custom that it can get a little confusing.

We live in a wonderful time where just about anything goes. Through media our world has evolved to put nearly every choice in front of us. With styles ranging from the geometric verve of 1960s’ Vidal Sassoon, to the raw energy and texture of 1970s’ punk, the charm and sophistication of 1920s’ finger waves and curls, right through to the victory rolls and quiffs of the 1950s’ rockabilly pin-up. Never before have all of these styles competed in the same fashion market, and yet, here we are.

How do you find a stylist to suit your style? The single most important decision you can make is choosing the right hair professional to suit your taste, your expectations and your needs. Each stylist has a certain set of skills. Thinking all styles and all stylists are the same would be like expecting your local Indian restaurant to add a Spanish paella or Italian pasta dish to your order.

When considering a change I strongly advise asking someone whose hair you admire. The advice of friends and colleagues is fine, but remember they are advising on what makes them happy, and that may be different to what you want.

Be honest about your own hair requirements; daily maintenance required, products needed and budget for cutting and/or colouring work. All these things play an important part in choosing a stylist. It is often a good idea to arrange a consultation with a new stylist before embarking on a change.

The old saying “A picture says a thousand words” is hugely appropriate. Look for pictures that represent important details of the style you want (things like the outline, layers, length, fringe, colour, movement and texture). A good stylist will use their experience of face and body shapes, hair length, texture, density, pre-existing condition, your maintenance routine, your expectations and preferences to put together a recommendation.

Don’t be put off if a stylist enquires about products you use on your hair at home. These can seriously affect the quality of styling and especially chemical procedures. Most people wouldn’t dream of washing a delicate mohair jumper on a heavy-duty cycle in the washing machine, and yet undermine their investment in a colour and cut by using below-standard hair-care products.

My own style is to work as closely with how the hair grows and falls naturally, cutting to enhance its own qualities. When my client’s needs go beyond my specific set of skills, it is my responsibility to recommend another stylist to meet their needs, in-house or in another establishment.

Remember, it’s all about you.