Communicating With Your Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

As a New York make-up artist, hairstylist, and former model, I can’t express how imperative it is to communicate and express your opinion when having your make-up and hair done for a photoshoot, an event, make-over, or your frequent trip for your cut and color. Do not worry about being offensive or that “this is not your expertise so you’ll leave it up to them.” Regardless of whether you are up to date in fashion, you should have an opinion of what works for you and what doesn’t.

Make sure the person you’ve hired is listening and doesn’t take it upon themselves to try out that new do that they visualize on you and ignores your instructions.
I once trusted a hair colorist who came to my apartment with a pair of scissors which cost me months of misery. As I listen to my clients I assumed I would be granted the same consideration. As a matter of fact, I had recently had a hair cut; however, this lady knew how to sell her product. “I am even better at cutting than color and what I have in mind will be more fashionable, bring out your features, and make you look younger.” Ah hah, the look younger won me over and as a fashionista, I thought that I might have been missing out on something. Sold! I agreed to put my locks in her so-called talented hands and took the gamble. This had been her second visit to do my color and as I was thrilled with the results, believed that the cut would be super as well. I opted for the bathroom which hosts a mirror but she felt it would be too cramped for her to work so we set up in the living room. Most New York bathrooms don’t provide much space. I made it VERY clear that she was not to cut more than an inch off of the length and that I wanted to keep the front shorter than the back. I trusted her and unfortunately learned an invaluable lesson. I even began to relax as I listened to her reiterate over and over as to how amazing I was going to look. When it was over and my hand instinctively ran through my hair, I was shocked to find it extending no further than the bottom of my neck. Perhaps she was deaf, wanted to sabotage my appearance, or had an ego so big that it overshadowed her exorbitant prices but I was missing a good four inches AND the front was actually longer in something that emulated a bob. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement and as a matter of fact, she was lucky to have gotten out of my apartment in one piece. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME I SHRIEKED? She replied that I looked so much better and my hair looked so much healthier. Not only did I wind up with a short hair cut but a very conservative one which was not what I consider fashionable and regarding age, it might have suited my grandmother. After years in front of the camera, it is a fact that I do not look good with shorter hair. Need I say more?


This wouldn’t be the first time a hairdresser became scissor happy nor will it be the last. She had been highly recommended as a hair colorist but I had no reference to her hair cuts. I highly suggest you check out your technician’s ability to take instruction regardless of how talented they may be. In my opinion, she should be fined for owning scissors.
What did she have to gain? I wish I had an answer to that. She overcharged me for the worst hair cut of my life but lost a client who could have directed a lot of business her way, so I haven’t a clue. She must have realized that after the fact as numerous phone messages were left which I never acknowledged.

I’ve shared this story to give an example of what can happen in extreme situations. Until you’ve established a relationship with a technician, don’t let your guard down. Never allow a person you’ve hired to intimidate you and lead you to believe that you aren’t the expert; therefore, you need to listen to them. It is you who has to live with it and you who has to work with it. You are also doing them an injustice by not speaking up as if you are not happy with the results. They will be losing your business. Remember, most stylists want to please their client and it is a team effort.

 

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