Rebecca Johansen, with over 10 years industry experience, gives the pros and the cons of salon and mobile hairdressing experiences.
The Salon Experience
Do you love being pampered and want to get some time to yourself away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life?
If your answer is ‘Yes,’ then visiting a salon could be just what the doctor ordered. Most professional salons will provide a relaxing atmosphere, a nice cuppa and some time to switch off. You can get that little bit of me time whilst the stylist can work their magic and make you look and feel great. Salons have the added benefit of having a full range of professional products at their disposal. You can easily discuss what you would like with the stylist during your consultation when you arrive and the salon can provide a service to suit your needs. The exception being if you are new to colour, even if you’ve coloured before with a different brand, you must allow 24-48 hours prior to your appointment for the stylist to perform a skin test to make sure you are not allergic to colouring products they would use on you. It’s also advisable that if you are expecting a big colour change to book a consultation with the stylist ahead of your appointment to make sure that the stylist books enough time with you.
One of the biggest drawbacks for salons is timing. Most salons run to a strict schedule in order to make the most efficient use of time and often have another client booked in between chemical service development times. You are unlikely to get your stylists undivided attention for the whole duration of a chemical service and this can often lead to stylists running slightly behind, however this does open up that opportunity to switch off with no distraction from every day life, especially if you love a book or an online magazine to read!
For me however, there’s nothing like having your hair washed for you over a professional basin so this is another big benefit of visiting the salon. It’s so much nicer than leaning over the bath, and there is no mess for you to clear up at the end.
The Home Stylist experience.
Whilst the salon experience can be desirable to some, many people often prefer the comfort and convenience of having their hair done at home. No faff of having to find somewhere to park, or strict salon opening hours to factor in to your diary. If you have young children to think about, having your hair done at home is much more flexible for families with children. Most children are more relaxed at home so can completely take the stress out of taking children to a busy salon or having to wait forever in a barbers. Many home stylists offer unisex services so why not book the whole family in at your convenience at home. My experience from mobile hairdressing is that it’s a much more personal service. I love that I can book out however long I need and can provide my clients with 1 to 1 undivided attention for the duration of their whole appointment. Many people can feel intimidated by busy salons, so having a stylist at home can make the process much more comfortable.
How does it work having a colour service at home is a question I frequently get asked. In a nutshell, it is just as easily done at home, as it is in a salon. Any well equipped mobile hairdresser will bring everything required with them and clean up any mess. The only downside is you often need to be more organised regarding what you would like to have done and let your stylist know in advance to your service so they can make sure they have what they need in stock and have time to perform a skin test if required. Unlike salons, it’s impractical and inefficient for a mobile stylist to carry a full range of colours. A little bit of forward planning however completely solves this.
From the hairdresser’s point of view, there’s no denying that it’s easier, more pleasant and less back-breaking to wash hair over a basin rather than over a bath. Many clients prefer to just wash their hair themselves so it’s already wet when the stylist arrives, but the stylist should happily help you with this if preferred.
What’s better value for money?
Most salons will work out more expensive than a mobile stylist. Salons have many more overhead costs than freelance stylists so unfortunately this cost will be passed down to you. In some big chain salons you are also paying for the name and the experience. My advice is to do your research on your stylist and find out costing up front so that you have no nasty surprises. Experienced stylists are more expensive, but you often get what you pay for, and it’s worth paying for the right stylist who is a good fit for you and what you would like to have done.
Mobile stylists are generally a bit cheaper as they are using your water and electricity and can be great value. Whether you’re a salon visitor or a have a mobile stylist, the experience should be comfortable and enjoyable. Finding the right stylist for you is important to make sure you achieve the results your hoping for.
The main thing is that after your new hair do you look and feel great.