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Spring tresses: Getting the best results from your hair salon and stylist

Let’s face it — having someone play with our hair is intimate. It feels good. Who could forget Warren Beatty’s portrayal of a free-wheeling hair dresser in the mid-70s sex farce Shampoo? Despite how great it can be when everything at the hair salon goes right, almost all women have an inordinate amount of angst about their hair. Find out how to feel at ease at the salon and choose the right hairstyle.

When the magic just doesn’t happen

Something happens between the “reel” moment when we fall in love with a celebrity’s new hair style and eagerly rip their photo from a magazine and the real moment of truth when we look at ourselves at the end of a three-hour session in the hair salon. Why does the end result often fall short of our giddy anticipation?

“Sometimes a style doesn’t work on you. It’s hard to realize when you see something new and you want it,” says Jerome Lourdet, a top stylist at Pierre Michel Salon in New York who has worked on actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Simpson.

Artur Kirsh, who has styled Celine Dion’s hair and the Victoria’s Secret Angels, confides, “I tell women with fine and thin hair that they should look at it as having one of the finer things in life. Women should always take into consideration how appealing and beautiful they are because of who they are.” So why is it so hard, even for women with the best self-esteem, to remember this at the salon?

Hair is about a feeling

When famed hair colorist Robert Craig went on his first job interview in New York, he found the reception area so intimidating that he turned down the offer. He knew that if he felt that way, so would his clients. Robert told me, “I tended to draw clients who didn’t like pretentious large salons, and found that an intimate low key setting was what they were looking for. People are looking for a ‘feeling,’ a ‘comfort zone.'”

After spending over half a decade going to an exclusive hair salon, I have to agree. I loved my former hair stylist, but always felt a bit overwhelmed by the noisy din, erratic customer service and hectic pace of double booked clients. When the cashier snapped her gum, took my money, and never bothered to say thank you for the second appointment in a row, I moved on to a low-key hair salon called Krome.

Owned by seasoned hair pro Scott David, Krome creates the relaxed feeling of a home. There are no walk-in appointments — instead, clients are buzzed upstairs. Scott answers the phone himself and usually books appointments for his clients when his other stylists aren’t working. The atmosphere is consciously kept free from yelling and stylists work on one client at at time, start to finish. Choosing a salon where you feel comfortable is often an overlooked detail, but it will take stress out of your hair appointments.

Next: Get smart tips on hair trends and colors >>

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