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A Guide To Finding Your Dream Hairstylist

Finding a new hair salon to test out in your area might make whatever plans you have for a cut, color change, or even simply a trim much more difficult. Finding a new hairstylist can be a challenging task no matter why you're starting over. Especially since you can’t exactly ask for a trial run—once it's chopped, it's chopped. But relax, friends, since we've done the research and developed a checklist to assist you in separating the real experts from the novices.

An excellent hairdresser is one who takes the time to hear you out and listens to what you want. You do, however, need the combination of a good hairdresser and a good salon. What we mean by this, is that a good salon owner is key. The salon owner determines the quality of work, customer service, etc. Good hairdressers are easier to come by, but the salon needs to be set up such that the stylists have the time they need with each customer. This can't be rushed to simply get as many clients as possible through the door. You deserve to find the best hairstylist that fits your vibe, price point, availability and so much more.

Keep reading to find the best hair salon and your dream stylist near you…

1. Ask around for some recommendations

The importance of word of mouth may seem obvious, but a recommendation from a friend or simply someone with fantastic hair is always an excellent place to start. If you see someone that has a hairstyle you love, just simply ask who did it. One of the greatest methods to find a professional stylist is by word of mouth, which will increase your trust in their skills. Ask a friend where they have their hair done and give the stylist a call if you find yourself always loving their cut or color. There are several salons that run referral programs, so don't forget to mention their name.

2. Instagram is your bestie when searching for a stylist

Similar to a word-of-mouth referral, Instagram offers an overload of hair inspiration, especially when you can find out who did the cut, color, or styling with a simple tap. If you like someone's hair on Instagram, you should DM them so they can recommend their own hairstylist to you. Instagram is a great tool for searching, just put in “Denver hairstylist” for example, and you can scroll through the accounts of salons in your area, or check if a particular hairdresser has the aesthetic that you're looking for.

3. Always request a consultation

Are you prepared to commit to bangs? How about getting a stylish haircut? Use the consultation as a form of interview to evaluate your stylist; it's essential for expressing what you want. Pay close attention while you discuss and listen closely. Whether it's for a color, cut, or hair extensions, every visit should begin with a thorough consultation.

A strand test is also strongly advised before any major transformative color session. A skilled stylist will take into account your face shape, lifestyle habits, search for odd growth patterns, and analyze how your hair appears in its natural state during a consultation. Additionally, they have to put your hair's health first and provide you with options if the cut or color you want isn't safely possible for your particular hair type. They should also go through aftercare and maintenance with you and avoid making things seem very "technical" because clients need to know what the end result will actually look like.


When you go to a new salon or meet with a new stylist for the first time, try to refrain from asking for any kind of major makeover. For instance, if you want a cut, choose a trim rather than a significant length adjustment. When it comes to color, start by experimenting with a color that is comparable to your natural tone. Avoid colors that would be total transformations. Think of it as wine tasting for your new stylist.

4. Yelp is always a great help

When it comes to searching for hot local spots in your area, there are dozens of apps you can use to help.. Our favorite to use is Yelp. You can search for salons in your area and read (often brutally honest) customer reviews before you book. This platform seeks to make it simple to locate local hair professionals with honest reviews.


Further Advice:

Beware of social media:

As you know, social media can be extremely deceiving. While the use of social platforms is a great place to find inspiration, keep in mind, there are heavily edited and falsified photos. Stylists will want to pull inspiration from the images you bring, so study your inspiration photos carefully. Make sure the thing you’re loving about the photo is the hair, not the model's face or outfit. Make sure you’re imagining that hair on yourself, do you still love it? Pay attention to lighting in the photo, even if an image is not modified, lighting plays a significant role in color reflection. For example, on social media posts, dazzling white walls can reflect light, and reflectors used by photographers can make hair appear exceptionally shiny or even slightly alter the color. In person, the human eye would not perceive this.

No One Likes To Talk Finances, But It Is Necessary:

Time, product, education and expertise all play a factor into a stylists pricing. A portion of the cost includes paying for the hours it takes to get the ideal hair color. The product is another element! It costs more than you anticipate! A skilled stylist utilizes high-quality materials that last longer, and will combine various colors and products to produce a custom shade particularly for you. Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist how long they’ve been a stylist, or what type of continuing education they attend. After all…that’s part of what you’re paying for. If you simply can’t afford their pricing, your stylist should be able to recommend different options for the service that is more cost effective or another stylist in the salon that will fit your budget.

What Happens If You Are Unhappy:

The best thing to do is to talk to your stylist. If you had a good consultation, you should be able to completely avoid this. However, it's certain for stylists, even if a color or cut turns out precisely as you expected, the customer may still not like it. Keep in mind that the hair typically requires two weeks to recover after coloring. Additionally, if the change is significant, it may take some time to adjust. Being unhappy with your results happens, but if you’re unhappy- say something! Most stylists and salon owners will be more than happy to offer a free correction if the color didn't turn out as you had hoped.

The bottom line? Get researching and reading reviews. Remember that Instagram and Pinterest may give you inspiration, but the hair in the photos may not be what it seems.

Are you looking to find a Sierra & Sage Certified Stylist? If so, use our hairstylist locator map to find a certified stylist in your area. Each stylist listed on our map has gone through our extension training and is certified in either ALL 3 of our methods or just our most requested method, The Seamless Method. Follow the link below to start working with S&S…

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