I have literally seen clients of my long-time stylist in NJ grow their hair from their perpetual shoulder length status to APL, which most would agree for the general “off-line” Black population is considered long.
• Share your goals and gauge your stylist’s reaction. If they become excited about helping you reach your health and most importantly length goals, they may be a keeper! However, if they display skepticism or doubt – dismiss them immediately! A person who doesn’t believe in or share your goals for your hair is not the person that can best help you achieve them.
• Explain your “home” hair regimen. Do this for a few reasons, one so that they can offer their expert advice. There is a lot of information online, and we can become self-experts, but nothing (in my opinion) can replace the knowledge and experience of a GOOD hair care professional. Secondly, if they understand fully how much time, energy and effort you are putting into your own hair – they are more likely to be careful to not do anything to cause a setback.
For example, you may have been a person who liked to bleach and relax your hair, sometimes within a week of each other. In the past, your stylist may have taken the attitude of “the customer is always right” and proceeded as you requested. Now, he or she may caution you about the potential dangers of double processing and take the time to fully educate you on the process to make sure it is something you really want to do.
I do not ascribe to the belief that all hairdressers are bad, will cut your hair out of hate and jealousy, that they take advantage of people or that they do not know what they are doing. Just like with any other profession, hairdressers are not all created equally but once you find one who is knowledgeable and in whom you can trust – he or she is worth their weight in gold!