How do you choose a new hair stylist?

Posted: November 24th, 2015 | Expert Advice | 13 Comments

By Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

Many of you have probably been faced with the challenge of finding a hairdresser. Maybe you, or your current stylist, have moved to another city, they no longer work at the salon you love, or you have made the decision to not return for any number of reasons. The dreaded day comes; your hair and you are in need of service. But how do you go about choosing the right person in which to place your trust?

Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC

Maybe you have a friend that is a stylist, or “does hair” in their off time. The challenge is what happens if something goes wrong? Will it jeopardize your friendship? You’ve thought about just running by the nearest quick hair shop for a “trim.” But that is simply a necessity, you want to build a relationship that will last, and find a stylist you can count on every time. It is a daunting task. Not only will they need to have the skill and expertise, but you want someone who stays current with today’s ever-changing looks, and you need to hit it off instantly, or your search continues.

Don’t lose hope. With so much information available online, it’s easier than ever to find a new stylist, and once you find someone, with the right questions, you can be sure the relationship will be a great match.

Search engines

Using search engines like Google will return a wealth of stylists from which to choose. A good hairdresser, and/or salon, will continually update their website with content and pictures, so make sure to include specific search terms to get the best match. For example, if you have curly hair, your search term should be “best curly hair stylist San Diego” (or specific city). If you have short hair, or want a new short cut, search for “best short hair” stylists, and so on. This way, you will find a professional who specializes in what you need and what you’re looking for.


A personal referral is hands down the best way to find a new stylist. When your friends, your neighbors, and your colleagues recommend you go to visit their stylists, or rave about how wonderful they are, it is a clear indication of a great experience. And bonus if you already love your friend’s hair! Or, if you see cute hair pictures from friends and colleagues on social media and love their style, ask them who they see. Chances are they’ll rave about them (they must love it if they take the time to show off their style on Instagram!) and you will already love the stylist before you ever meet. And the stylist may even have a referral program that will benefit you and your friends!

Review Sites

Turning to sites like Yelp and Angie’s List is one of the best options to search for your new hairdresser, or find more information once you have found a candidate, such as their hours, website information, rates, and most importantly, what others are saying about them. It’s important to read as many reviews as possible; don’t forget to check the reviews not recommended as well: look for a link near the bottom of the page that says “other reviews that are currently not recommended.” Of course you want a 5-star stylist, but if you read carefully, you will get a good idea overall. If every reviewer has the same problem, chances are it is true. Same goes for the good stuff, if they’re raving about the same great things, it’s probably safe to place your trust in them. But if there are a few bad reviews, don’t let that sway you…Keep reading and look for the pattern. And when searching in Yelp, use the same specific search terms to find your perfect match.

Facebook & Instagram

Maybe you started with social media, or have found a hairdresser on Yelp or through Google and want to know more about them. Checking their business Facebook and Instagram pages will give you a current, visual representation of their work and personality. It will also allow you to see more reviews, and most importantly, if they are interacting with their clients online. Sometimes salons will even offer specials on their Facebook page. Tip: be wary of salons that do not keep their business social media accounts active and up to date. Their level of social interaction, or inaction, could be indicative of how committed they are to their craft.

Salon website

Checking their website for stylist biographies, hours, pricing, pictures, community events, online scheduling, and just all around information is critical. Is the website mobile and user-friendly? Can you access the phone number or address quickly? If they do not care enough to ensure their information is easily found, will they care about your hair? All of these are important in making sure you find a salon and stylist that care about all the little details, because it means they will take the same care when providing you service.

Things to consider

  • Location

Is the salon near your home or business? Or maybe it’s easily accessible from the freeway.

  • Parking

Does the salon have secure parking, or metered street parking? Is it in a busy area where parking can be hard to find?

  • Accessibility

Does the salon have wheelchair access, if needed; is it easy to access, well lit for night appointments?

Before committing to a hair cut or color service, do your research. And once you arrive to the salon, ask for a tour, they should be proud to show you their space and engage with you!

The scheduling process

  • Make sure to call at least one week before your desired appointment date.
  • Did they return your call or text in timely manner, or were you able to book online?
  • How was the salon environment?
  • Were you greeted right away?
  • What conversations were happening in the salon? Were you comfortable?
  • Did they offer any complimentary value added services, like a neck massage or extended scalp massage at the shampoo bowl?
  • Did they inform you of other services offered at the salon? For example; waxing, massage services, or skin care?

Ask about their salon background; What do they love most-cut, color, or both, what do they enjoy about their salon? By engaging with them about their profession, you can determine if they are right for you. Plus, you want someone who is just as excited about giving you the best style, as you are about getting!

At the end of the appointment, you should feel exhilarated and happy! If you didn’t receive the style or look you were hoping for, or are unhappy, make sure to communicate with the stylist right away. Often, they want to ensure your happiness and will work to that goal.

Last, but definitely not least, pay attention to your instincts and vibe. Your stylist is someone who you should feel a bond. You don’t have to become best friends, but if you don’t feel safe enough to talk openly and assertively about what you want, they may not be the right match. By going in with an open mind and asking a few questions, I am sure you will find a stylist that you rave about to your friends and colleagues.

Co-written by Kim Creekmore and Juliette Riddle

If you are looking for someone to listen to your hair needs and challenges and create a look to fall in love with, contact Kim Creekmore at, or visit Instagram @HairLoveDesign

5 Star business on Yelp!


  1. […] Just because stylists are required to attend beauty school doesn’t mean they actually have the knowledge to help. They may even make it worse or cause irreparable damage. See my article on choosing a new stylist to get some great tips on finding a new stylist >>> […]

  2. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to get personal referrals when looking for a hair stylist. My husband and I recently moved into a new area, and I need to find a good salon to get my hair styled at. I’ve made friends with a few of my neighbors, so I’ll definitely ask them where they get theirs done, and I’ll start my search there. Thanks for the great post!

  3. Kate Hansen says:

    Finding a new hair salon to go to is very stressful for me because I want to have the best hair stylist. I like how you point out that when finding a new stylist or salon, you should pay attention to your instincts and vibes. I’ve become really good friends with hair stylists I’ve had in the past, and having a bond with my current and new stylist is something I look for. So thanks for the advice!

  4. Jeff Carbine says:

    I agree with your first tip on how to find a new hair stylist. I think search engines are the best way—second to a friend’s opinion you respect—to find a new hair salon. The reason why is because they have to work hard to be first on Google’s page results, and they also will probably provide pictures of their haircuts.

    • Kim says:

      I agree Jeff. We all go to the internet. Even if we do get that personal referral. I know I need to see someones website and social media for a secondary reference.

  5. Deedee Lewis says:

    I agree with your tip about checking a hair salon’s social media pages to find out more about their business etiquette. It would help even more if the hair salon had photos of work they have done so that you can gauge if they would be the right fit for you or not. I am always in search of a reputable hair salon and will be saving these tips for my next search.

  6. I agree that a beauty salon’s website would be a good way to ensure they are experienced and modern. I would imagine that if it is user-friendly and easy to navigate it would show that they are a professional establishment. My husband and I moved recently so I should start looking for a new hair salon by checking their websites.

  7. I like your advice to review sites. If they are good hair stylist, they will likely have something like a portfolio. You can see their experience and be able to tell if they have the ability to actually give you a haircut. Do you have any other tips about getting a new haircut?

  8. I like your idea on how you should use google and other search engines to find a hair salon near you. It would seem that if you use the internet you could find out things like their areas of expertise as well. I moved recently and am looking for a new hair stylist so I’ll have to go online to start my search.

  9. Max Sayer says:

    Great advice at looking for the website and social media pages. My wife is looking for a new salon since we moved and wants to get her hair done soon. I’ll have to share this with her.

  10. Thank you for the post on how to choose a new hair stylist. I like the idea to get referrals from family or friends. You can even ask specifically the friends that have a similar hair type to yours or have a hairstyle you want.

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