Talking to your Stylist

As a hairstylist of 25 years I can’t count how many times my clients have told me they love the way I style their hair but they can’t seem to do it themselves. They tell me they get overwhelmed and frankly lost when it comes to trying to style their hair in a new way. 

“I hate my hair. I love my stylist but I can’t do my hair like she can. Do I need a new stylist or a new haircut or shave my head and buy a wig?” ????

If this sounds familiar to you I have great news! Today I’m going to help you know the right questions to ask your stylist for help, and give you a few pro tips that I give my own clients that have transformed the way they style their own hair. 

Are you ready to be confident in styling your own hair?

The first thing you need to know is the right questions to ask your stylist. I’m going to be referring to your stylist in this post as she/her/hers just because I’m a woman and this is the advice I give my own clients. If your stylist is a male then simply adjust this to he/him/his.

1. Tools & Techniques

The tools and techniques your stylist uses are VERY important. These tools are part of your craft. A good curling iron or flat iron will have the correct heat settings for your hair type and will ensure the iron is not too hot but also hot enough. They also have the correct metal, ceramic, or tile that will get you the best results. Many of my clients are astounded at how much LESS time it takes to do their hair with the right tools. Here are some questions you can ask your stylist that can help you create your style on your own. 

How is she holding the curling iron or flat iron? Placement is KEY!

What Blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron does she recommend and why? 

What brushes does she recommend and why?

2. Products

Again, the products you use on your hair matter. I know they’re more expensive than what you can find at your local drug store, Walmart, or Target but there’s a really good reason for that. Using salon approved products is going to be a huge game changer in you being able to create the style you desire on your own. And these products last longer in the long run because they’re more concentrated and you don’t need to use as much.  

What styling products is she using and why does she recommend them for YOUR hair type? 

What shampoo and conditioner does she recommend for your YOUR hair type? Products actually matter in getting your hair to look the way you want it to look.

3. Sectioning/Visual

Sectioning your hair correctly is a game changer! This concept alone has changed many of my clients’ lives! Here’s why. When you are in the chair watching her do your hair it looks effortless, right? It is. Because she’s doing it in sections. Your hair is made up of 4 quadrants, or sections. Then these 4 sections can be divided in half or fourths to accomplish your desired result. As she styles your hair these sections are a key player in her mind. Knowing these sections and how to style each section will change your experience completely when you’re learning a new style. If you have naturally curly hair and you are trying to wear it straight, sectioning is the key to your success. Here are some questions to ask your stylist about sectioning. 

How big are the sections she’s taking to curl or flat iron?

Which direction are the curls going? Forward or back? 

Do the front sections come forward or back? 

How to get lift or volume on the crown?

Photos, photos, and more photos

You know how it is, when you can SEE something you can create it. This is a tool I’ve used for years with my clients since everyone has a camera in their purse all the time! It’s brilliant! 

Have her take some photos while she’s styling your hair so you can go home and recreate it exactly the way she did.  

Find photos and/or videos on instagram or Pinterest that you like and try to mimic them with your own hair.

Take before and after photos of your hair the way you style it and the way she styles it so you can see where your problem areas are.

This is super helpful and such an easy fix to the overwhelm when it’s time to style your hair. It’s almost like a hair styling roadmap that you can use over and over until it becomes automatic for you. I even do this when I’m trying something new on my own hair. I pull up a photo or videos on my phone and set it up on the counter in my bathroom. As I style my hair I just reference the photo as I go. There’s tons of tutorials on youtube to help you do fun styles. Trying one every few days will strengthen your hair styling muscle and pretty soon you’ll be a pro!

Practice & Patience

I know it’s frustrating and overwhelming to learn a new hairstyle. I also know that some people just aren’t good with hair, or haven’t had much practice in this area, or just simply don’t know what to do. That’s OK! You can learn anything you want to learn with the right tools and some practice & patience.


Give yourself an extra 30 min each day to practice your new style. Make sure you have that extra 30 min to practice. Don’t try to style your hair in this new style on Sunday morning before church. Sunday mornings are inherently crazy and needing an extra 30 min to practice on your hair is not a productive use of your time. Look for days when your schedule isn’t packed and set aside an extra 30 min in your getting ready time to practice. Don’t feel like you need to focus time and energy on your new hairstyle everyday. Just find a few days each week to practice. Your hair isn’t going anywhere, don’t stress.


Be patient with yourself as you learn new techniques that you may not know already. You know the saying “ Practice makes perfect”? Often we just hear the perfect part and expect ourselves to learn quicker, but that isn’t the way it goes. My clients who are patient with the learning process are far more successful in liking their hair than those who are not willing to take the time and be patient with themselves. Plan on this being hard. Anything worth having is usually hard to get. Keep reminding yourself that you want to like your hair and this is the process to achieve that. It’s ok that it’s hard, you have the tools, now go use them!

Alright friends, first we got a better idea of the right questions to ask your stylist so she can help you style your hair the way you like it. Then we talked about the tools and techniques and the products you’ll need to make it easier for you to style your hair. I gave you some pro tips in sectioning and using photos and video to help you achieve your desired hairstyle. Finally, it’s all about practice & patience to get across the finish line. I promise that if you’ll use any of these tips you’ll find that styling your hair really isn’t that hard and having a hairstyle you love can be effortless!