Six ways to make your hair appointment even better

You’ve checked their social media page, you’ve listened to the rave reviews and, finally, you’ve got round to making yourself a hair appointment. Job done. Right? Well… not necessarily! What if I told you there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of every minute you spend in the salon?

You’ve heard the phrase ‘time is money’ – well that shaded block in the hairdresser’s column is YOUR time and it’s your hard earned cash that will be handed over when you’re leaving! Here are my six insider tips to making your appointment worth every penny.

1. Arrive early

As stylists in a busy salon, we are constantly on the go. It’s usually one client after another… we might manage a bite of a sandwich in between if we are lucky. I think it was the summer of 1999, back when I was an assistant, when I last had a full lunch break… but now we are getting off track and you are all trying to work out what age I am!
At Houston Hair we want to create an environment where you can come in, enjoy a coffee while you check out some hair magazines for ideas. More importantly, we want you to relax and enjoy some well needed time out from your busy schedule of work, school runs, studying or even shopping. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we know time is precious and we want you to enjoy your visit and to give you the full amount of time you are paying for. We don’t want to do a rushed job or make you feel that we haven’t taken care of you properly… so please don’t get offended if you arrive 15 mins late for an appointment at your hair salon and you are asked to re-schedule. Your stylist probably has another client due in and she/he wants to give everyone the time they are paying for and deserve…. so arrive early and do the above…. or do what I love to do best, ‘people watch!’


2. Bring pictures

I think there is a myth that hair stylists don’t like clients to bring pictures – NOT TRUE! We actually LOVE them. When you collaborate with your stylist you get the best result. Pictures help us to get a visual idea of what you want to achieve and, most importantly, if it will look good on you. Okay, so here’s my top tip…. bring a picture of someone with a similar hair colour, hair type and face shape as you! “Why?” you ask…. well, firstly different hair colours and colouring techniques make hair cuts appear different – yeah, that’s right! Blonde and dark coloured hair – even if it’s cut exactly the same – will look different! Dark hair looks much shinier, smoother and solid; while lighter hair looks less shiny, more textured and softer! Thick hair and finer hair will look completely different with the same hair cut too – they will both need different cutting techniques and lengths to make them work for you…. and lastly, a hair cut on the wrong face shape, no matter how perfect that cut is, can be disastrous!



So now ladies and gents, not only are you looking for hair inpso when you are googling ideas…. you’re gonna have to look and see if you and your favourite celeb are twinning in the face shape / hair type area too!

3. Be honest

OK so we can all remember wanting something so bad that you would do everything and anything to get it…. even tell a little white lie to get what you want? Just me then?! During your colour consultation when your stylist is asking questions like…. “have you coloured your hair yourself?”; “have you ever had red colour in your hair?” or “have you been blonde in the last 6 months?”… don’t be afraid to fess up! We ask these questions to build a picture of how we can achieve the best results without compromising on the condition. I always tell my staff when they are deciding the best colour treatment for a client “it’s always condition over colour!” This means that getting the colour you absolutely love is sometimes a process, not an instant result. It’s a bit like the difference between a microwave meal from the Spar and a slow cooked roast Sunday dinner… ok so now I’m hungry! Back to hair…. all in all, when your stylist is interrogating you for info on your hair history…. be honest! If you tell porkies, it could end up a disaster! I’m talking breakage, blonde roots and pink ends and, a personal favourite of mine, ‘the head shave!!’ Just joking! Thankfully we have never had to do that in Houston Hair. All good hair stylists will carry out a strand test if they aren’t quite sure about your colour history, or if you have been honest and told us about that box colour you put in 6 months ago because you were so busy and couldn’t visit the salon! It may mean you having to reschedule your appointment, but I am sure we can all agree that not many of us are fortunate enough to have the bone structure to rock the Demi Moore G.I Jane look circa 1997….

4. Posture

Anyone who has sat in my chair can vouch for this – I am militant about uncrossing legs, arms, and sitting straight! I am making myself sound like some kind of army sergeant! I promise I’m lovely…. ask my children or staff…. well 95% of the time!!! Why should you make sure your posture is on point when sitting for a haircut? Because a straight line cut on a tilted body becomes a diagonal line… and the only way to fix it is to go shorter…. and if you are only in for a trim, you could leave with a little more off than you bargained for. So… sit at peace, uncross everything and no one gets hurt!!


5. Avoid using hairdressing terminology

Unless I was cutting another hairdressers hair, I wouldn’t want to risk doing exactly what a client asked me to do if they were using words like graduate, layer, line, disconnection etc. To anyone that has used these words, or others like them, do you really know what they mean or what their end result is? I am not going to bore you with the definition in hairdressing terms of what they all mean, but I would encourage you to follow tip 2 above… that way, we can have a visual on how you would like your hair to look and work back from that to create a new and fabulous you. I can still remember once being asked to give someone three layers!! Inside, I was visualising that Christmas tree I had drawn on front of my card in arts and crafts in Primary 3….



6. Aftercare


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a hard sell kinda guy. I don’t believe in selling products just to get the till ringing. What I do believe in, is recommending a product that I trust or that I think that my client’s hair would benefit from. Ok, so you have spent 80 quid getting your hair coloured and the best part of your day off sitting in the hairdresser’s getting pampered. You go out to your car, check yourself out in the rear view mirror, get out your phone and take your ‘new hair selfie’. Standard! (And by the way you’re slayin!) So, let’s fast forward two days when you have to wash your hair yourself. You reach for your bargain shampoo and conditioner, which you use in generous quantities. After all, it was cheap and it takes quite a bit to get it lathered up…. Cheaper chemist hair care ranges are mass produced, with loads of chemicals to give a longer shelf life. These chemicals remove colour and damage the hair. “But my hair feels so good after I use it,” I hear you say? They are full of silicones which coat the hair shaft and, yeah, that makes your hair feel sooooo good, but the truth is, your poor hair can’t breathe! It can also cause chemical reactions when you go to have your hair coloured again. But more frequently, they are just stripping your colour out and your hard earned money is going down the plug hole with your cheap shampoo. So the next time you are in the salon ask your stylist “what products would you recommend for my hair?” Don’t feel obliged to buy, but take a note of what they are and make sure you are confident that they are the right ones for your hair before you purchase them.  If you find yourself walking to the car like Julia Roberts in that scene from Pretty Woman when she’s just been shopping and is carrying all the bags, chances are you have been a victim of someone’s sales target!



I am proud to say that we have a policy in the salon: If you buy a product and don’t like it, we will swap it out for another one… we can use the open one in the salon. Another top tip – always use sparingly! Salon products are super concentrated and should last 4/5 times longer than supermarket brands. So if you do the maths… in the long run they are actually cheaper! That’s if you can keep them hidden from your 13 year old daughter who doesn’t understand the word sparingly!!! Ahem!!



Simon x

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