Finding a Great Hairstylist You’re Happy With: What To Look For

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I’ve spent years of trying out different hair stylists from San Francisco to Singapore. As a result, I’ve gotten many… let’s say, interpretations of my request for ‘layered’ hair. The worst resulting in me looking like an Asian Jennifer Aniston – you know, the ‘Friends’ haircut. Okay, so it could have been worse, but what really stuck with me was how differently a look could come across, given the person working with your hair.

There are two variables. The first is a stylist’s talent. You can do some investigating about that via their online portfolio, customer reviews, etc. You can also get a good sense of their abilities by the manner and detail that they describe their thought process and techniques. Which brings me to the second barometer of their capabilities. Communication.

Unsurprisingly, just like any other relationship you have, the better communication between the two of you, the better chance that you have a shared understanding, and ultimately, vision. And this is key to getting a hairstyle that you’re ultimately thrilled with.

So, with the points listed in my video above, I hope you have some great ammunition of how to identify your stylist soulmate. ;)

After years of searching (and dragging my poor hair through it all), I’ve finally found my stylist soulmate. Based in downtown San Francisco, meet Nikko of Nikko Cuts You. He is absolutely fabulous, both in personality and his ability to create the vision I was hoping for my hair, but didn’t even know how to fully express. Together, we create expectations for a look, and what we’re going to do to get there (and what’s needed to maintain it). In my journey of going blonde (I’m three steps in the multi-step process to get there!), he has been my guide and friend. Thank you, Nikko!

NikkoCutsYou, San Francisco hairstylist (color and cut)

NikkoCutsYou, San Francisco hairstylist (color and cut)

How do you approach your relationship with your hair stylist? Is there anything in particular that you look for, or enjoy, in your relationship?



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  • Camesha

    I HATE searching for a hair stylist! It can be so stressful. Your hair looks really good. Love the color!

  • Ayana Pitterson

    This post hits home. Unfortunately for me, I travel with my job every three years, so every three years I get to begin the insanity of finding a hairdresser over and over again. Glad you found your hair soulmate. It’s a relationship one should not be taken so lightly, or for granted.

    Thrifting Diva

  • Jessica Angeles

    I have to admit, I don’t have a go to hairdresser since I rarely cut my hair and I’ve never colored it. I’m toying with the idea though so I’ll have to think of all of this soon!!

  • Erica

    I’m a creature of habit and when I find a good one, I don’t leave them unless I absolutely have to! It gives me anxiety thinking of having to find a new stylist!

  • Jessa

    I have had multiple conversations about this with my hairdresser and I agree, you have to find someone who is in tune to you and understands your lifestyle.

  • Fatima B.

    I totally agree with you. I had such a hard time finding a good hair stylist but found one who I absolutely love!

  • Lindsay

    I really need to get my hair done! I have been going to my stylist for about 2 years now :)

  • Erica Bodker

    This is a hard one for me. But you look great.

  • Ruthy T.

    this is perfect…i’m looking to switch stylists…the problem is my current hairdresser is a friend…any tips on “breaking up?”

  • Shipra Taneja

    You have the most beautiful hair, and looks like you sure do treat it right! Great tips to finding the hairstylist for you! <3

  • charmedmom

    You are right, it takes one to do it right. I have one reliable stylist in the Philippines and when I left I haven’t found anyone yet that could replace her. IN fact when I went home early this year, I had my hair styled and cut by her again.

  • Katie

    Your hair is gorgeous! I’ve been going to the same hairdresser since I was little as I’m scared someone else will completely mess it up!

    Katie <3

  • Brenda Lawrence

    Ability to convey what I’m thinking. Like I say it and she totally gets the idea I have in my head and a willingness to start off with a few snips and work your way from there where she’ll do less upfront so that I always have the option of saying that’s enough.

  • Mia Myrabev

    For me it’s hard to find ‘good’ enough stylists for african hair and certain styles that I want unless I head to london where they charge an arm and a leg but I have a couple here my parents who come to the house they do the job otherwise i have to do it when I heard to zambia on holiday

  • Karissa Ancell

    I don’t have a favorite hairstylist. I don’t get my hair done that often.

  • ClaireC.

    I love my hair stylist – she’s one of my best friends! Found her through a mutual friend!

  • French Robin Designs

    I agree finding a great stylist is important… and frustrating. But once you find the right person it is a relationship for life! Your hair is beautiful!

  • Megan

    I have actually never found a hair stylist that I love! I always end up hating it lol!

  • Amanda Love

    I haven’t had my hair done in forever but I have a stylist that just “knows” me.

  • Lani // Life Anchored

    I recently switched and it was a disaster!

  • Rhoelyn

    I just got a cut / highlight for the first time in two years. (Okay, I’m a hair slacker.) It was definitely not quite the vetting process you espouse, and while she did an okay job, I won’t be going back. So I’m going to take your hints and see if I can’t find a better match, next time!

  • Laurie Barrie

    You know you’ve found a good one when you say ‘just make me look beautiful’ and she/he does!

  • Nancy

    I recently moved to the Bay Area (well, it’s almost been a year) and I am dreading looking for a new stylist. I went to one here back in July and she dyed my hair an all over demi colour, and it washed out within 2 months, completely. I was left with reddish hair (I hate red hair on me). So I’ve taken it upon myself to do at home hair dye, and hair cuts (by my husband). Ugh it sucks. I miss my hair stylist in Canada, but I don’t want to be paying an arm and a leg for one either. I was so spoiled.

  • Popofstyle

    Great tips I need one so these are a good start!

  • Angelic @

    I’m one of those people who out of every 4 salon visits, I’m only happy 1 visit. I’ve tried so many hair stylists and I they would always mess my hair up! One lady cut my hair 2 more inches than I wanted and I had to have a bob for a year! Now I just do my own hair. One day I’ll be brave enough to try again but since my hair talks a long time to grow, I’m just nervous <3