The secret to a superior salon experience

The difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary experience at the salon lies in the way you carry yourself

Painting of a woman at salon

Often, when we go to a salon, we form opinions about the ambience, the hygiene, the skill of the therapist, pricing and many other things. But we seldom think about the impression we leave behind. A much-neglected aspect, adhering to basic dos and don’ts at a salon, can go a long way in ensuring that you do not embarrass your therapist, other guests and most of all, yourself. Here are some lessons in carrying yourself at a salon…

Before the visit

  • Make an appointment. Even if you are a regular client at a salon, never drop in without an appointment. The salon staff has to reschedule and juggle several appointments—which is uncomfortable and unwelcome as it means losing the goodwill of another customer.
  • When you call to fix your appointment, if you are choosy about which professional attends you, specify the name or ask which therapist will be allotted to you. If you’ve had a not-so-good experience with someone in the past, request for another person. It ensures that you get the treatment you have in mind, and avoids disappointments.
  • Before leaving for the salon, confirm the appointment. While a time slot has been blocked for you and most reputed salons would call if the same has to be deferred, it doesn’t hurt to make that one call just in case your designated therapist is running late. By doing this, you will save your time [waiting for your therapist to get free] and the risk of losing your temper in front of the salon staff and other guests.
  • Discuss beforehand the time required for the service to avoid your salon time from affecting other commitments. It also puts you in the correct frame of mind for the service.
  • Double check the payment mode accepted at the salon to avoid embarrassment.
  • Shower before you go. Most people deem salon visits as a time to freshen themselves up. While this is true, salon professionals are happier servicing you when you come in fresh and clean and not straight out of the bed.

During the visit

  • Arrive on time. Turning up 'fashionably' late doesn’t impress anyone at the salon. If you arrive late, be prepared for a cancellation as there are other clients with an appointment too.
  • If you’ve had to rush to arrive on time, request for a 5 – 10 minute ‘get my breath back’ time. No point rushing into the treatment.
  • Instead of blindly following the lead, spend enough time with your therapist/ stylist to convey the style you want and to hear her out on what may work best. A mutual agreement is always the best way forward.
  • It’s best not to bring friends/family/children along unless they are getting a treatment too. If you do get them, ask them to wait in the visitors lounge. Getting them to your chair crowds the area and distracts the therapist.
  • Avoid the temptation to fidget with your cell phone; nothing irritates a stylist more than a client who keeps checking her phone every now and then or worse, who talks endlessly during a service.
  • Respect another client’s privacy and peace of mind by speaking softly. You might be the talking type, but there are those who love to close their eyes and simply enjoy the sensations.
  • People like their space, so apart from a simple ‘hello’, avoid lengthy discussions with other clients unless it’s mutually agreeable.
  • Respect the therapist’s schedule and time by not pressing for another service that is not part of your appointment; chances are she already has an appointment soon after yours. If you feel like going for another service, check the therapist’s availability.
  • Before your therapist starts, make sure that s/he understands what you are expecting. Always take time to give your feedback—what you liked and what you didn’t. When you give feedback, do keep in mind to do it with the objective of creating a positive realm for the technician even though her/his service may not have lived up to your expectations and not to merely criticise.
  • Write down your experiences in the visitors’ book or fill the feedback forms. This ensures the salon is always a happy place for you to go to. If you’ve had a really bad experience, write to the management citing where things could have been better. Again, the motive here is to bring the standard up and not to demotivate and hence, use polite language.

Following these suggestions will ensure that you’re on the preferred client list.

This was first published in April 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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Anuradha Ch
Anuradha Ch is a trained cosmetologist with a degree from the Christine Valmy Beauty School, New York. She is also the director of Anoo's a chain of salons in South India. Anuradha's hobbies include watching movies and sports like cricket, cooking and reading books. She lives in Hyderabad.

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