Choosing a new hair salon can be rough.

After all, if you’re going to put your head in a stranger’s hands — and spend good money to do so — you don’t want to cry when you see the results.

Here are few ‘hair raising’ signs to look for

  1. There’s hardly any information on the website

The biggest window into a business is its website.

When a new client phones the salon, the first question your reception will ask is: ‘Have you had a look at our website?’ If they say no, strongly suggest they do go and look at the website.

“Thus you can look at the services they have on offer and pick out the stylist to match your budget and work with you.”

The first thing to do is check out the virtual window and social media of stylists in the salon. Social media has become a window into businesses … Check it out, look at where you’re going.

  1. They discount their services

It’s a red flag if a salon offers discounts on their services.

A successful salon cannot discount their services and maintain consistency in the customer service experience they give you because the team members that are delivering it are doing a job. They need to be rewarded for giving their expertise.

Price can be a sign of a good salon!

You will find that in most respectable salons they charge accordingly to the service that they are delivering, within reason.

  1. They don’t respond to negative feedback

You can gain a lot of business because you take the time to respond to good or bad reviews … As a business owner if you do something wrong or something in your experience doesn’t live up to expectation, you want to do everything in your power to change that … if it’s an action of your team member or something didn’t flow with an appointment, it’s something you can actively change.

Ultimately, how the manager of a salon or the person answering the reviews responds will be the difference for you, that they know their stuff, they’re interested and engaged.

  1. The receptionist doesn’t ask questions when you book

The reception team you book with should be asking all the right questions.

If you’re a new client going to a salon and you’re phoning up and they’re just booking you in with the first person they mention, that’s a massive red flag. What you want to know is: Did they ask how I take care of my hair? Did they ask how often I get my hair done? Did they ask if I want high maintenance or low maintenance? Did they ask if I want to whisper, scream, or shout my end results? They’re all clues telling me about the client.

  1. Are you getting that warm welcoming feeling?

You should feel welcome in the reception, they should be informative, make the service menu available, it may trigger a thought there’s something else you’d like to add on to your service while you’re there. The reception should make you feel like you’re at home — it should be a place of relaxation.

Reception needs to keep in mind that coming into a salon can be intimidating for a perspective new client, so they need to appreciate each one when they arrive.

  1. No consultation? That’s a problem

If you as a client go into a salon environment and you don’t sit down for a consultation to figure out what is going to be taking place, do not proceed to the shampoo area. You can’t deliver a service if you haven’t talked about it first? If there is anything that is crucial as a client, be sure that that takes place. It’s the most important part of your visit.

First things first, let’s talk about your hair before we start talking about other personal matters. It’s in this time we create rapport and fully comprehend what the client wants. We have a variety of experience extending different techniques we adapt to each client differently.

Some salons are often trained in one way and thus everyone leaves with exactly the same haircut despite whatever you’ve explained you’ve wanted which is why so many people have had terrible experiences with hairdressers. Remember you are stylists, it’s your passion and art, not just a job.

  1. How clean is the salon?

Are the shampoo bowls clean? Are the products dusted? Always look for cleanliness. Are they cleaning out the hair shafts? Is there colour on the side of the bowl?

It’s a bonus if you’re asked to smell the shampoo or products. After all you will smell that all day long. The smell of things can either super positively or negatively affect your experience.

  1. You don’t get a scalp massage

Your alarm bells should start ringing if you don’t get a head massage during your shampoo.

A scalp massage should be standard practice in salons and those that don’t offer it is surprising, as it’s not just a ‘nice to have’ but also stimulates blood circulation to the hair and promotes healthy growth as well as helping with hair loss.

  1. The have a dysfunctional team

The cool thing about a salon is it can be a family, [so] look for the way the team interacts, and look for awareness — are you sitting there with a coffee cup wandering around and nobody is stopping to help you? Have you been sitting on the front sofa for 10 minutes and nobody has checked on you? It’s usually about communication amongst team members/lack of awareness among people that we’re servicing.

  1. No follow up with the results

When you’re paying your bill, it’s a good time for reception team to ask, ‘Was everything alright with your experience today? How could we have done anything better?’

The checkout is one of the most important parts of the experience.  This is an opportunity to find out what if anything was cause for concern.

You may have gotten the best haircut of your life but you’re still not going to come back if you’re rushed, people are rude, etc.  Good salons know that they are not actually in the beauty business they’re in the relationship business.

  1. The price is ‘not right’

When you come in for a consultation the technician should explain the costs. This is going to cost you x, if we do a treatment it will cost you x. You don’t want any surprises at the desk, and if you head down to pay and say ‘no one said about x, then it should be taken off your bill without question.

Price should all be agreed in the consultation.

You as a customer should make sure that you understand at the end of the consultation exactly what the service is going to be and exactly what the price is going to be. Sometimes a conditioning treatment may be necessary, you may talk about it, but money may not come up. You want to make sure you address that at this stage so that at the end of the appointment you’re not shocked.

It should not be a ‘hard sell’ when the staff offers you the products that were used on your hair.

Give them a well informed knowledgeable advice and they can make that decision.

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