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7 Tips to Prep for Your Natural Hair Salon Visit

Maryland natural hair salons like Zamora can be exciting places of transformation, or calming and relaxing environments for renewal--or even both! Hair stylists can certainly boost your mood and self image and leave you with a fun new look. However, we sometimes get the idea that our stylist has sole responsibility for the appearance and health of our hair. As the natural hair community grows, many of us are learning how to take better control of our hair care and ensure we get the results we want. This entails certain responsibilities that will maximize the health of our hair and ensure we get our money’s worth at the natural hair salon. Follow these seven tips to prep for your next visit to the stylist’s chair.

Schedule a consultation. This seems obvious but, if you are going to do a major hair change-- i.e. extensions or colour changes-- you will need to discuss the look with your stylist first. This ensures your stylist is aware of your lifestyle, sensitivities, and aesthetic preferences so you can collaborate on a look that is best suited for your day-to-day or that special occasion. You can get an idea of prepping your hair, maintaining it while in the style, and additional costs not included (example blowouts or cost of extensions). Zamora Natural hair salon requires a consultation before installing any extensions on the hair. At the very least, you need to give the stylist time to source the best quality extensions for your hair.

Know what you want.Consultations can be helpful in this instance, but are not always necessary. Many clients, new and old, come to Zamora without any idea of the look they want and say “just surprise me.” Surprises can be fun, but it’s best not to play Russian Roulette in this instance. It is good to be flexible; you may decide that a certain look doesn’t make sense for you or give you your desired effect. However, it is best to get a general idea of a look, which you can do from magazines, on Zamora’s Pinterest board or in the Zamora Hair Gallery

Address hair and scalp conditions. Obviously if you have fresh stitches on your scalp you may not want to apply chemicals to it. But there are many other hair and scalp conditions you might take for granted that can affect your health and the look of your hair. Especially if you are putting in extensions and won’t be exposing your natural hair and scalp for some weeks, it’s a good idea to make sure your hair is in its healthiest state. If you have an old dye job in or have had a weave in your hair within the last week, this can affect your hair’s readiness for a new style.

If you suffer from a medical condition such as dandruff, psoriasis, or hair loss, speaking to a dermatologist is important. (Dermatologists specialize in hair, skin and nail conditions). Personally, I’ve started taking prescription Ketoconazole to help control the yeast that lives on my skin and scalp and causes buildup.

Prep your hair. Many stylists will recommend using a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup, or a deep conditioning or protein treatment before installing extensions or making a colour change while some stylists may include those steps in your next visit. During your hair consultation, ask your stylist what to do before the appointment.

Talk about trims. Many styles come with a complimentary trim. A good stylist will ask about trimming your hair and see that you feel comfortable before taking a scissors to your ends. Discuss the number of inches or centimetres you are willing to lose. It may be that you have a lot of damage to your ends and your stylist will want to do some serious work. In the end it is your choice, but there is no point in holding onto length that is just going to cause breakage in the long term. In my opinion, it’s best to listen to the pro.

Be realistic. Hair stylists are not magicians. The look you imagined may not always be achievable or work for you. Be ready to adapt when it isn’t.

Know what to bring. Bring pictures of the look you want. Especially with elaborate updo’s, make sure you wear a button-down shirt. Do not wear anything you have to pull over your head to remove. Ask about payment and be prepared to bring cash if your salon is cash-only or if you can only tip in cash. Most importantly, know if you can/ should bring your own products. Some salons are fine with clients bringing their own shampoos or conditioners, some are not. Ask what products and ingredients your salon uses and, if you are unsure about the quality of their products, ask if you can bring your preferred shampoos and conditioners.

Remember that hair styling is a collaboration between stylist and client. Your stylist wants you to leave the shop happy. Knowing how to prep is a key part of your natural hair styling success.

How do you prep for your salon visits? Leave a comment below and, as always, don’t forget to check out our natural hair Youtube videos.

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