How to find a great hairdresser and what to do when it goes wrong

When a Northern Beaches Mum recently reached out for a great stylist after receiving a bad hair treatment, local stylist Catherine Sheppard stepped in to save the day.  Catherine has now shared her insights into the importance of finding a good hairdresser with us…

Nearly every woman knows the importance of finding a good hairdresser who can be trusted to create lovely hairstyles that are manageable, fashionable, maintainable and keeping the condition of the hair. It takes 7 seconds to make an opinion of someones hair….

So how do you find a great hairdresser?

  • Referrals  – If you hear friends talking about how great their hair is, ask them where they had it done. If you see someone at the shops and think, wow I love her hair, go up and ask her, she will think its a great compliment and will be happy to share with you.  Keep an eye on your social media pages, people will often ask for referrals, and this can be a great way to see what salons are the most popular in your local area.


  • Avoid budget salons and deals on Groupon – In my experience these salons often use apprentices to do the hair, this way they can keep their internal costs down whilst generating income. Make sure if you do visit a budget salon that the person doing your hair is qualified to do so. You really do get what you pay for, a stylist goes through several years of training and should be paid accordingly. 


  • Shop around – no one forces you to return to a salon so if you are not happy then go elsewhere. Never feel obligated to return to a salon if you don’t feel comfortable. You need to build rapport with the stylist and also the salon team. It should be a happy friendly environment where you feel comfortable.  Have a look at their work on Facebook and Instagram. We only put up pictures of our own work, not random photos found on google. Ours usually say which stylist did the hair and have before and after photos. Ours can be found at www.facebook.com/moochbycatherine and also www.instagram.com/the_mooch_room


  • Rewards – Does the salon reward you for your loyalty? In our salon we have a loyalty card and offer the 6th cut and blow dry for free as a thank you. Its about building a relationship with your hairdresser, as a stylist we have to get to know your hair too. From your stylist you should expect a professional and informative salon experience. Feel free to ask what experience they have and what they specialise in.

  • Consultations are a MUST – If your stylist does not have a chat with you before the service is started then this is a huge warning sign.  On our website www.themoochroom.com.au the option to book in for a free consultation, this way you can come in and discuss what you want (under other on services menu).

We must know if you wash your hair and style it daily, do you use a dryer, or just tie it up?

What you do for a living? (ie: if in a corporate job its highly unlikely that you will be wanting a hot fashion colour such as rainbow roots)

If you are time poor in the morning you will be after a low maintenance style

What your budget is as we need to determine if you will be coming every 6 weeks for a colour refresh, or is it more likely every 3 months?

Facial shape… we know what will suit your face and take that into account when discussing styles

What the colour history is on the hair…eg: if you have put a home colour on and previously it was blonde, we need to know this as it will tell us the colour outcome and we can manage your expectations

  • Expectations – We ask our clients to bring in photos of colours and styles that they like. We can then discuss if the results
    are achievable and how long it will take to get there. For example we all see the Kardashians going from Black to Blonde in a day, but what you don’t see is the 9 or 10 hours in the chair, the extensions put into the hair to get the results, the costs involved and the overall condition the hair is left in!

You wouldn’t walk into a gym a size 16 and show the personal trainer a photo of a size 10 and expect them to make you that size in a couple of hours! Its the same in the salon, we are not magicians and wave a magic wand. It takes time, dedication and good home care to get the results. Do not spend $250 on your hair and then use Pantene at home. 

  • Products  – Use the salon products to maintain the colour at home. The products we use are paraben, sulphate, gluten free and vegan. They are highly concentrated so a bottle will last you till your next appointment. Ours range from $29.95 – $32.50 so they are not expensive, and you will use less product than a supermarket shampoo. Make sure that you are not being forced to buying products, as many salons offer stylists commission to sell.

Not happy with the results?

The first thing you should do if you are not happy is calmly ring the salon and ask to speak to the stylist. Explain what it is that is not working for you and if they are professional they will invite you back in for a chat and a chance to see the hair for themselves,  ideally you should call within a week of your service.

 A good salon will offer the chance to rectify the problem free of charge. If they do not offer the chance to fix it, ask for a refund. Do not name and shame a salon if they offer to do this, they have then done all they can. 

Happy with the results?

Leave a review on their social media pages, tell people what you liked about the experience. Everyone loves to see honest reviews, and the stylist will be super happy to hear how much you enjoyed their expertise, advice and work. Share with your friends how much you love your hair.

Catherine Sheppard is a Northern Beaches Mum and the owner of The Mooch Room, Mona Vale.  With over 30 years experience, Catherine’s hair styling career has taken her all across the globe.  She has attended training seminars with many of the top salon owners including the Vidal Sassoon Training Team, Mahogany, Goldwell, L’Oreal, Wella just to name a few.

The Mooch Room is located at 1/1757 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale.  Telephone 9999 4898.

Author: Laurice Klaire

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