A Cut Above: What Makes Your Hair Stylist Great?

Stylist 300x205 A Cut Above: What Makes Your Hair Stylist Great?“Life is too short to ever have a bad haircut,” my mom said one day after we both came back disappointed from our regular salon. Inspired by this new mantra and a friend’s glowing review, we booked our next appointments with Mark Taylor—then at The Gates in San Marino, Calif.—and we were so glad we did!

Taylor is an artist. In just one session, he shaped my limp locks into a dynamic bob with wonderful movement and layers. For the first time, people actually stopped to ask me who cut my hair. During the next decade, Taylor’s precision cuts were an essential ritual before every big occasion, making me feel beautiful for my graduations, job interviews, and, of course, my wedding day.

Taylor is so wonderful that I didn’t hesitate to follow him when he went over to Ecco Salon in South Pasadena. And, for the first couple of years after I moved across town, I gladly commuted the 30 miles in L.A. traffic for his expertise.

A great stylist inspires that kind of loyalty. Earlier this week on Facebook, we asked you to share how long you’ve been seeing your hair stylist—and the overwhelming majority of you said you’ve been going to the same person for years, even decades. In Kim Darker Meldrum’s case, the tradition continues into the next generation: “I’ve been with Eddie for 16 years. He did my hair for my wedding and now cuts my daughter’s hair.”

Excellent results certainly bring us back to the same chair time after time—but, as you can see from Kim’s story, there’s more to it than that. It’s equally about the personal relationship. As Rachelle King points out, a good stylist also has to be a good listener: ”I love my hair stylist Robert G at the Robert G salon in NYC, he listens, and has a great sense of humor…been seeing him for three years and running!” A great stylist makes you feel both beautiful and valued.

The Trust Factor

For people like me who don’t have super hair skills, it’s a must to find a stylist we can trust—and often that trust goes even further than professional expertise. An hour sitting in a stylist’s chair is the opportunity to talk about everything under the sun, and many of us do. Not only do we trust our stylists with our hair, but we open up to them about our lives as well.

It’s no surprise, then, that so many of your Facebook responses included the words “friendship,” “trust,” and even “love.” Take this observation from Brittany Venuto: ”If it wasn’t for [Angie], I would have never tried new things. She had me trust her and to me that was a big deal. I can talk to her about anything and she has no judgment about me or anything I tell her.”

Trust—whether professional or personal—takes time to build. No wonder changing stylists can be so upsetting! Some of you mentioned you just haven’t had luck finding the right stylist yet—which leads me to the next question. For those of you happy clients out there, how did you find your current stylist? Sound off below, and have a great hair day!

One thought on “A Cut Above: What Makes Your Hair Stylist Great?

  • March 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

    When Barbara Bush was about to become First Lady, there was a wonderful article in a forgotten magazine, maybe Vogue? about women who let their hair turn white. The article featured stylish white haired women and stressed the importance of well cut white hair. I've now joined the white haired set, and as sang the Monkeys,"I'm a believer!"


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