Finding a good stylist can be like searching for your next girlfriend. Ask around and find out which stylist or salon your friends use, or you can ask someone whose hair you admire. Perhaps you have seen a salon around town that looks cool and you’ve been wanting to give it a try.
In this case I would call them up and ask if they specialize in a certain types of haircuts or styles. Would they consider themselves to be modern or classic in their attitude toward style? Edgy or conservative?
You might want to call or drop in a salon and ask if the stylists will give a free consultation before you make an appointment. Find out what their style is and the kind of cuts they are particularly good at cutting. Maybe they are better at certain types of styles than others or maybe they typically do women’s hair. It’s good to find these things out before they start whacking at your hair.
Let your stylist know how much time you spend on your hair. Maybe you aren’t fussy with your hair, or perhaps you only allow a certain amount of time for hair during your morning routine. Are you proficient with a blow-dryer, or do you prefer the natural route? What kinds of styling aids are you used to using?
It’s also important for them to know what your lifestyle is like. Do you work in a conservative environment? Are you a man about town and fashion forward? Ultimately your stylist needs to know how comfortable you are wearing your hair. And make sure you're both on the same page when you get down to details. For example, your stylist may interpret "shaggy” or “shorter on the sides" much differently than you do.
Make sure your stylist shows you how to best style your hair. Do they use the hairdryer in a particular way? What kind of products did they use in your hair? If your stylist doesn't explain what he/she is doing, don't hesitate to ask for an explanation of a technique or term they use. Understanding the language or terminology is key.
A picture is worth a thousand words and a great way to start the conversation. The stylist I have interviewed say that more and more male clients are bringing in photos from magazines and such. With photos your stylist will be able to assess how suitable the cut you like is for your hair, your face shape and lifestyle. They can also suggest alternatives if it's not the perfect cut for you.
Tip appropriately or you may not want your stylist to have a pair scissors near your face the next time you drop in. A Proper tip is 15% to 20% for your stylist & $5 for the person who washes your hair, if someone other than your stylist is doing so.