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All things beauty and then some. Andrea Claire has been a hairstylist and makeup artist for 23 years now. A Canadian based in Singapore since 2007, she has appeared on Asia's Next Top Model, Yahoo Asia, Canadian Idol, So Chic and more.

Hair Speak: Getting the most out of your salon visit

By Andrea Claire · June 28, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Hairstylists and clients have had decades of communication issues. If it was a marriage, you and your spouse would seek counseling to help you with your communication skills which are key to any successful relationship. The stylist/client relationship is no different.  While it may be hard to drag your hairstylist to a couch, hopefully you can find some solace as you read on – Andrea Claire can help you have GORGEOUS hair!

Sharon Blain, 2009 Hair Expo Australian Educator of the Year, notices that clients are definitely becoming savvier. “I do think they need to be informed and hairdressers must learn to communicate better with their clients. It is no longer acceptable to ‘pull the wool over their eyes’ but in saying that, there are still some people who don’t care about words and just want their hair done; it’s a double-edged sword.”

Mini Glossary of Hair Terms

Baliage – the hand painting of hair colour to specific areas, a resurfaced 80s trend, popular for the ‘grown out’ beach hair colour look.
Beveled – a cutting technique promoting hair to roll under
Blunt cut – hair sections are cut straight across which creates weight. Layers can be blunt or you can have a blunt style, this tends to be a severe, sophisticated look
Bricklaying – a freehand chunky texturizing, technique that promotes sexy voluminous hair 
Chignon- a low-riding bun shape that sits in the nape of your neck
Clipper cut – traditionally a barbering technique, used in current trendy haircuts, think Rihanna’s hair with the buzzed sides
Demi-Permanent – semi-permanent (stain) hair colour that gradually washes out with no demarcation that you get with permanent colour
Foils – a controlled way to highlight hair enabling the stylist to use more than one colour
Freehand – a haircutting style that is not so technical, working with the clients own movement and texture, resulting in looser, sexier shapes
Fringe – a border of hair that covers the forehead
Graduation- a wedge shape stacked around the exterior of a cut, think Victoria Beckham’s bob
Highlights – lightening of the hair generally to look naturally sun-kissed with your natural hair colour shining through; trendy colours can be used for a more contemporary look
Interior – pertaining to the ‘inside’ shape of the hair
Inverted – a reverse cut where the hair is longer on the outside than the inside, a common example is the classic inverted bob, think Katie Holmes
Layering – multiple lengths of hair is created within the interior of the haircut, layering can also be found around the face for framing
Lowlights – darkening of the hair to create depth with your natural hair colour shining through – a great technique for growing out too light of an artificial hair colour
Nape – the area at the back of your head below your occipital bone
Occipital bone – find by running your hand down the back of your head, the bone ‘bump’ sticking out in the middle of your head? That’s your occipital. A ponytail naturally looks best when tied at your occipital.
Perming – chemically restructuring of the hair to create curls, proceed with caution as it can be a very dated look
Point cutting – best for curly hair as blunt cuts fight with the curls natural movement or to create softness to any haircut
Precision cutting – extremely technical style of cutting using equal tension for each hair section
Rebonding – chemically restructuring the hair to create long-lasting straight hair
Razor cutting – a sharp blade is used to cut the hair creating uneven textures and wispy ends
*The stylist’s razor must be sharp or hair will fray and split, this technique is NOT for curly hair.
Slide cutting or Slithering – scissors literally slide through the hair taking out weight and adding softness to the ends
Texturizing/Thinning Sheers – this technique is great for removing weight from the hair or adding in a shaggy, tousled texture, if done too close to the scalp it will create spiky hairs
Undercut - shortening layers underneath the hair in order to have the hair lay flatter and therefore create sculpted styles, commonly used for shorter hairstyles
Updo – hair piled up in a fancy way, as in for the Red Carpet to accept your Mother of the Year Award
*The key to a gorgeous updo is not seeing the hairpins!

Issac Ng, Salon Director at The Heeren, explains that for first time visitors at the TONI&GUY Heeren salon, it is imperative to allow a 30 minute window for a hair consultation. This allows the stylist to get to know the client as well as understand his or her hair needs and expectations short and long-term. Building a rapport with your client is a crucial element and serves as the foundation for a loyal and happy clientele.
*Seeing your regular stylist but want a change? Ask for a longer appointment to allow time for the discussion.

What makes an Uber-Stylist a cut above the rest?

A Star Stylist has the ability to decipher clients’ desires and translate them into a hairstyle that not only appeals to their wishes but also their hair type and lifestyle. Bringing in a picture can show your stylist exactly what you are hoping for and your Uber-Stylist can work with you explaining what about your hair works towards your desired style and/or what doesn’t work, therefore offering alternatives.

Hair Do’s

• Do comb thru your conditioner with a wide tooth comb prior to rinsing it out
• Do take care in the tropics, summer time is the most damaging time for your hair and as we have this season all year round it is imperative to care for your hair in order to keep it healthy. To prevent long-term damage you need to prepare your hair so that it is in an optimum condition and TONI&GUY has the ultimate tool with the System Professional (SP) Diagnosis System, professionally analyses your hair and scalp condition in close detail, so that your hairdresser can then recommend the ideal SP treatment for your specific needs.
• Do ask any hair questions no matter how trivial they may seem as the more educated you become about your hair and its care, the better
• Do keep in mind that celebrities have a GLAM SQUAD to keep them looking hot when in front of  the lens, some styles may be high maintenance for you to care for at home

Hair Don’ts

• Don’t put elastics in your hair when its wet, this can result in breakage as hair shrinks as it dries and if secured in a hair tie with nowhere to shrink, it will just snap.
• Don’t expect miracles. If your stylist suggests a long term program for your hair it’s probably with good reason; i.e., fast tracking chemical services could result in damaged hair.
• Don’t try any major hair colour changes at home

It has been said the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is 2+ weeks – with the right communication you may never get a bad haircut again.

**Andrea Claire has been a licensed hairstylist for 20+ years, most of this info is gathered by her own training; excluding the lovely Ms Blain and Mr Ng's contributions.

***A version of this article by Andrea Claire was originally printed in Motherhood magazine.

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