While you might head to the salon armed with an abundance of reference photos saved to your camera roll, you might want to come armed with questions about your hair and scalp health as well. Yes, your trusty hairstylist can also help with matters outside of the aesthetics! Next time, ask your hairstylist the following questions so you can leave with a fresh new cut and knowledge that will keep your tresses shining and strong.
1. What is the overall health of my hair and scalp?
Can you think of another part of your body that’s as hard to see for yourself (maybe besides the back of your neck)? Take this grand opportunity for a professional to take a close look and provide some feedback. NYC-based stylist, Dana Cashetta, tells Byrdie to have your hairdresser rate your hair and scalp on a scale of 1 to 5. “This gives your stylist a comfortable way to broach the subject of hair health with you,” she says. Then you can learn if your scalp is healthy and whether your hair is too dry, brittle, oily, or just right.
2. How often should I be washing my hair?
Generally speaking, curly or coarse hair could extend the length between shampoo sessions longer than those with fine hair. But just because your hair is similar to another’s doesn’t mean you’ll have the same sudsing schedule. Should you be washing every day, every other day, or once per week? Let your hairstylist help you out. They can determine your frequency based on its texture and other factors such as the amount of product you use.
3. What hair products will you be using today?
You have every right to know what products are being put on your hair. You also have the right to know if these products include ingredients that you’re unfamiliar with, don’t support, or could possibly be allergic to. This is a very important question to ask your stylist, not only because of the risks, but also if you turn out to be a fan of whatever they’re using. If you do like the products, you might benefit from adding them to your at-home routine.
4. How can I minimize damage?
“Between shampooing, straightening, and blow-drying, you have to add nutrition back into the hair from torturing it at home," celebrity colorist Rita Hazan tells Marie Claire. “A weekly moisturizing mask is important. You're only at the salon every two months, so you have to maintain your hair at home,” she adds. The same goes for which styling tools you should use at home as well as the frequency. Heat damage is a big culprit and can result in dry, brittle strands, so your hairdresser can tell you how often you should use your heat tools and when to stay away. Either way, they’ll point you in the right direction for maintaining healthy tresses until you can pay them your next visit.
5. Where do you see breakage? What could be causing it?
Hair breakage is extremely common, but it’s not always something we can identify -- and it’s often confused with hair loss. During your next salon trip, have your stylist take a close look at every section of your hair. You can have breakage along the roots, at our ends, and throughout random sections. One of the most common causes of breakage is over-brushing, according to Holly Ivey, master stylist at Alibi SoHo salon, who told Real Simple: “Excess brushing stretches the hair and breaks weak ends.”
We know, your new shag or lob or bang trim is front of mind, but ask these not-as-fun questions to get the most out of your investment. Your hair will look amazing for longer if you do!