Thoughts on Hair and Trust: Getting a New Stylist

First look
First look

Picking a new hair stylist is tricky business. Yes, hair grows back, but it’s also something you wear every day. A good relationship between a customer and a stylist is built on trust, and finding that person can be nerve-racking. In order to delay that process, I kept getting my hair cut back home in Pennsylvania. She’s half the price of most stylists in SF, and more importantly, I could always trust that she’d do a good job. Until that one snip.

Loving the layers
Loving the layers

When I went to get my hair cut with her last September, I asked for 2-3 inches off, and long layers – the same haircut that she usually gave me, with slight variations. I don’t blame her for what happened; I should have clarified exactly what I wanted. Long layers to me means within the final inch of the hair, but she cut a face-framing layer right above my chin. She could tell my reaction, but it was too far gone. “Look, it can be tucked behind your ear.” No, it couldn’t. There’s nothing like that drop-in-the-stomach feeling of realizing they took off too much.

Luckily, the haircut grew out pretty well, and I learned a good lesson: it’s always better to say too much than too little. What I loved about my stylist back home was that I felt safe in her hands. With the exception of the unfortunate haircut in 7th grade when I wanted to look like 1994 Kate Moss. I never styled my hair and looked like the incredibly awkward kid I was. The problem with trust is that it sometimes comes at the expense of communication.

The haircut I wanted in 7th grade. Looks eerily similar to Karlie Kloss' recent cut.
The haircut I wanted in 7th grade. Looks eerily similar to Karlie Kloss’ recent cut.

For my next haircut, I knew it was time to find a good stylist out west, someone I could stick with and explain exactly what I’m after. Here’s what I was looking for:

  • wash and dry (little to no styling)
  • emphasize my waves
  • grows out nicely (I get it cut every 3 months max)
  • 1 inch off
  • Long layers (not chin length!)
  • Longer toward the front than the back.

I booked an appointment with Liz Layne of Bijoux Salon. She had great Yelp reviews, and I liked that the salon is downtown. She was a funny, charming person, and I couldn’t be happier with the haircut. These pictures show it after she blow-dried my hair and straightened it, but I like it even better worn naturally, as I do every day.

Remember: communicate with your hairstylist! It’ll save you a lot of awkward growing out phases.

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