Saturday, 26 January 2013

How To Find A High-Quality, Affordable Hair Salon You'll Love!

What To Look For When Selecting Salon Services

If you're tired of your old look and ready for something new, a bright new hair cut can be a wonderful remedy to get you feeling great, and smiling about your trendy new look. But what's the secret to finding a salon that will give you the make-over you're longing for, without damaging your pocket book.

Read on to discover what to look for when selecting your new salon!

Is The Salon Location Convenient And Affordable?

First, let's narrow things down. Do you usually like to get your hair done when you're at home (e.g. on the weekends or after work), or do you prefer to sneak out of work for a little pampering? This selection will drive your choice and significantly narrow your choices.

Even though a location near work may seem convenient, if you live in the suburbs you may be able to find a number of less-expensive salons. Out of the downtown city core, they won't be charging as much for rent and the salons may be able to pass the savings on to you.

How To Tell What The Cost Will Be (Before The Cut) And What To Look For When You Need To Save Money

The other big factor to consider is expense. For the cheapest hair cuts, you can usually go with a "quick cuts" type of hair cut franchise. They will squirt your hair with a water bottle, rather than give you a full shampoo. These are great for your son's crew cut, but not the first choice for most women I know.

For a little more service and care, at an affordable (cheap?) price, the independently owned strip-mall locations where older women tend to go for their weekly curler-roll are also usually pretty affordable. When it comes to a salon, you certainly do pay a price for the "high end" location, and the atmosphere. Additionally, if you go with a "brand name" that offers more well-known salons, you'll tend to pay more for that.

One little trick I like to use is to go to a professional salon, but ask for a newer or less-experienced stylist. Usually the barbers who haven't been working there as long will charge less per hour. As they gain experience and a client base, they tend to raise their rates over time.

If you want a really "budget" hair cut, you can go to a "beauty school" or "cosmetology school" where they are training new stylists to cut hair. I have gotten some really good hair cuts here, too. (I got free coupons that were left at my Grandma's nursing home... YES! I am a bargain hunter!) Usually the haircuts cost about $10.

However, let me warn you! These haircuts can take a really long time. Since the stylists are less familiar with what they're doing, they have to check-in every step of the way, with their teacher. They have to diagram out how they are going to do the haircut, and if they don't do things quite right, the teacher will come and show them how to fix things up toward the end. There can be a lot of hemming-and-hawing, so be prepared to spend an hour or more, rather than a half hour, for your normal haircut. They also do nail polish, and hair color and perms and these places. So the savings can really add up on the more expensive services.

Also, remember to include the tip in your budgeting. Many stylists expect a 10 - 20% tip!

Do You Need An Experienced Stylist?

When it comes to experience, you typically get what you pay for, but depending on how much time and attention you normally give your hair, this may not be a big issue.

I'm the type of person who goes into the salon twice a year and says "Give me something new! Make me beautiful!" Then I get my haircut (looks pretty similar to before... ) and I tend to just put my hair up in a pony tail anyway... If you're the wash-and-wear type, you probably don't need to pay extra for someone who's especially experienced.

However, people DO judge you by your looks... so if you're in a client-facing role, in sales, on TV or video, etc., then making the investment in getting the best hair stylist is probably a good idea.

If you get the same thing every time you go, you may not need to stick with someone who's too expensive, it's not as hard to maintain a hairstyle as it is to select it and perfect it the first time around. However, if you're going with something a little "fancier" like a perm, or hair color, be safe and go with someone who knows what she's doing!

Are You Looking For That Pampered "Spa" Type Of Experience At Your Salon? How To Rate Customer Satisfaction

One of my favorite ways to find a hairstylist is to ask women who have really "great hair" where they get their hair done. Now, it may turn out that they are just born with thick, richly colored hair, in which case there's not much you can do to imitate them, but on the other hand, you may find out the name of their guru-level stylist. If it's someone you can afford and in a location you can afford, it might be worth trying.

Another way to gauge customer satisfaction is through the salon's website. Do they feature client testimonials or photos of their work? Will the stylist let you call or talk with other clients to see what they think of the level of care available at the salon you're considering?

And finally, you can learn a lot about a salon, just by spending some time in the waiting room. Is the salon busy? Do clients look happy and leave with great haircuts? Does the staff offer tea, water or coffee? Is the place clean? What is the ambiance of the place - is it a "too cool for school" type of vibe, or is the atmosphere more "down home"... is it a place you would feel comfortable?

You can also review social media sites like to see whether others have reviewed the business, good or bad. Bear in mind that unless the company has a dedicated social-media manager, clients are much more likely to write a review if they've had a bad service, than a good one.

Remember Cleanliness & Safety

Before you decide on any salon or spa for your beauty treatments, it's important to look at the cleanliness of the facility. If it's hair cuts, you want to make sure they're sweeping up the hair off the floor, so it doesn't stick to your clothes, or make you trip.

For other services, like manicured or waxing, cleanliness issues are even more important. Beyond the "gross" factor, there are health concerns to consider. Most states have regulations dictating how to clean manicure equipment between clients, for example, so as not to pass along fungus or disease. Likewise for creating a sterile environment during hair removal, where bleeding sometimes occurs.

To feel safe, you should comfortably question any salon owner or stylist about their cleanliness practices, certifications, and business licenses.

So, now you know what I look for when choosing a great hair salon. If you're lucky enough to live in the Mesa, Arizona area, I can strongly recommend this salon for a great cut and color, as well as additional spa services.

If you tell them you found them online, they will offer you a 10% discount on your first appointment, so to try a great new haircut place in Mesa, AZ, just click here!

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