(Topic discussed: Relaxer practices and styling warnings) So you narrowed down a new salon to go to? It could have been based on a print ad . . . or just a referral . . .
Here are 5 things to discuss on your first salon visit with a new hairstylist:
1) Request that no new products will be tested on you. You only want products that are in his/her regular rotation. Strange request right? As a new customer, you really do not know what is normal or not.
Example: I went to a hairstylist that put a half of bottle of hair spritz in my hair at the finish of the style. I called her a few days later because I was curious why she uses so much "wet Spritz" in her styling, and she told me that honestly that she barely used any spritz with her clients. So I was curious why I got almost the whole bottle sprayed on my head?????? She claimed since I was shampooing every week that it did not matter, and that maybe she as a hairstylist was not a good fit for me. Great! I felt that she did not even care to keep my hair healthy.
2)Request synergy in the relaxer service components. You do not want brand name relaxer applied and "off brand" neutralizing shampoo used.
Example: I received an Affirm relaxer, but the stylist used a Fiberguard Affirm conditioner. Both the Affirm and Fiberguard Affirm classes teach not to interchange the two lines. Use all Affirm components for Affirm relaxer; Use all Fiberguard Affirm components for the Fiberguard Affirm relaxer. In addition, if you see an "off brand" generic neutralizing shampoo to be used for every relaxer to save the stylist money - RUN!!!!
3)Request no mixing for relaxers and request no mixing for haircolor at relaxer time.
Relaxers that require mixing are typically "no lye" or sensitive scalp relaxers, and they are not healthy for the scalp for long term use. In addition, any haircolor that requires an activating lotion is considered a demi-permanent color. Some looser hair types can withstand the demi-permanent color on the same day as relaxer, but it is best not to risk it!
4) Request the stylist's proficiency level in the styling procedures that you want completed.
Example: If they are round brush styling once every few months then they are not going to be as efficient as someone who is always round brushing on a daily/weekly basis. Same thing with "press and curls" and barbering. If the stylist does not straighten nor cut kinky hair on a regular basis, then the final results may not meet client expectations.
5) Request the disposal procedures for leftover relaxer. Do they dump it back into the main relaxer bucket (contaminating it) or do they trash it? God forbid they apply relaxer straight from the main relaxer bucket. Double dipping over and over again. This unsanitary practice can spread disease.
If you are paying cheap prices for relaxer services, then you may assume that the stylist may be conservative with the amount of relaxer used or that the stylist is re-depositing the leftover relaxer back in the larger tub.
There are plenty of other questions that you may typically ask such as What is the salon grade? Do they have an active License versus a "permit?" How about specific certifications? Are they good with long hair or short hair?
Please feel free to keep the questions coming!