Month: May 2016

When Does Your Pet Need the Vet

When Does Your Pet Need the Vet

By Susan Paretts

Just like people need regular medical care to maintain their health, pets need to see the vet for regular checkups—especially if they’re under the weather. This gives your vet the opportunity to examine your pet, answer your questions, and provide any medications your furry friend needs to stay healthy and happy. There are several reasons your pet might need to visit the vet.

To Get Spayed or Neutered
Spaying or neutering your pet prevents unwanted puppies or kittens and protects against some health issues, too. Spayed and neutered pets have a decreased chance of developing certain infections and some types of cancer, according to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The pets also tend to behave better and are less likely to urine mark.

Your vet can perform this procedure to remove your pet’s reproductive organs, preferably when your pet is between two and nine months of age.

For a Checkup
Even if your pet seems perfectly healthy, she’ll need to see the vet at least once a year for a checkup. Ken Tudor, DVM, of the Well Dog Place in Claremont, California, recommends that most pets should see the vet twice a year, especially if they’re eight years old and up. Pets age more rapidly than humans and the difference of a few months can be the equivalent of several years between visits, he says.

“Your vet can give your pet a thorough physical from nose to toes so he can determine if she has any health problems,” Tudor says. This way, you can nip any health problems in the bud with proper treatment.

To Treat an Illness
When your pet gets sick, it’s time to see the vet. Any changes in your pet’s activity level or eating habits could be signs of illness. According to Dr. Tudor, increased water consumption and urine production may be a sign of a serious problem like kidney disease, diabetes, liver problems or a uterine infection in unspayed females. He said drinking and peeing more could signal thyroid issues, too—hyperthyroidism in cats or hypothyroidism in dogs.

“If you notice your pet licking or biting repeatedly at any areas of its body, it could mean that that spot itches or hurts,” Tudor says. This irritation could be caused by a physical injury, arthritis, an allergy or an infection. Also, he recommends that if the inside of your pet’s ears smell unpleasant, have your vet check them out.

Tummy troubles may require medical evaluation, too. While your pet may occasionally vomit or have diarrhea, if it happens several times in a row, see the vet.

To Get Medication or Special Food
Pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes carry diseases that can make your pet sick. These bugs are most active when the weather is warm, according to Darlene Richard, a licensed veterinary technician in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you find these pests on your pet’s coat when grooming her with a flea comb, like the one offered by ConairPRO Pet, head to the vet. Richards recommends getting some oral or topical preventative medications from your vet to keep fleas and ticks at bay.

If your pet has an ongoing medical issue, your vet can also provide you with the medication or therapeutic food needed to treat it. Prescription diets can help treat health conditions like crystals in the urine, stomach upset and kidney problems.

For a Dental Cleaning
To prevent periodontal disease, take your furry friend to the vet for regular dental cleanings. While your pet is under anesthesia, the vet uses special instruments to remove tartar and plaque buildup from the teeth, above and below the gum line. The cleaning will get rid of the bacteria that cause painful conditions like gingivitis, tooth loss and other health issues.

Unless you’ve noticed a problem between visits, normally your vet will examine your pet’s teeth and gums during regular checkups to determine whether it’s time for a dental cleaning.

The veterinarian plays an important role in keeping your pet healthy, so don’t hesitate to call the office with questions or make an appointment when needed. Your vet will provide care, advice and resources to help keep your furry buddy in tip-top shape for many years to come.


What to Look for When Picking a Groomer

What to Look for When Picking a Groomer

By Elizabeth Anderson Lopez

Unlike hair stylists, pet groomers aren’t required to be licensed, which can come as a surprise to some pet owners. The good news is there are several factors to consider to successfully choose the best groomer for you and your pet. Take these simple steps to ensure you’re getting the best care for your furry friend.

Get Recommendations
Before hiring a groomer, ask for the names of a few current clients that you can consult. You can also check the groomer’s website for reviews, and browse their Facebook page for client feedback. Your vet is another great resource for recommending a grooming salon.

When it comes to the prospective groomer and questions, you shouldn’t be the only one doing the asking. The groomer should inquire about your pet, asking its age, if it has allergies or other conditions, and if you have any specific concerns.

Assess the Groomer’s Training
As with any service, training and experience come into play. Ask the prospective groomer what training and certifications she’s received, or look for framed certificates on the walls of the salon. Those can indicate her ongoing commitment to the industry, since most organizations offer continuing education to help groomers stay current on industry trends and standards.

Some organizations to look for include the National Dog Groomers Association of America, International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, Animal Behavior College Certified Pet Groomer, International Pet Groomers, Professional Cat Groomers Association of America, and the National Cat Groomers Institute of America.

When it comes to experience, there’s no magic number for years of practice. If you like everything else about a fairly new groomer, he shouldn’t be ruled out just based on his time in business.

One aspect of experience is whether or not the groomer has processes in place for dealing with certain situations. For example, is there a system—and a relationship with a vet—in case a pet gets hurt? Or you may want to ask about experience with your pet’s specific issue, whether it’s a senior dog with mobility problems or breed-specific grooming requirements.

Take a “Tour de Salon”
“When determining who to select for pet care services, pet owners should not be afraid to schedule an appointment to tour and view the facilities,” says Pam Lauritzen, president of the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists. “During the tour, they should observe the cleanliness of the facility and the employees, how the animals are being handled and treated, and the quality of services being provided.”

Wear white shoes or socks during the tour, and if any fleas are present, you’ll see them jump on you. Lauritzen also recommends confirming that the tools and equipment are up-to-date, well-maintained and sanitized between uses. Make sure cages or crates are clean, and provide ample room for pets to stand up and turn around in comfort.

Ask Lots of Questions
If cage dryers are used, ask how the pets are monitored for their safety. For those times that you wash your dog at home, an easy way to dry is with the ConairPRO Dog™ Pet Dryer. It’s designed specifically for pets and includes a stand so you can keep your hands on your dog instead of holding the dryer.

Ask if the groomer will let you watch the procedure. Some experts feel it is important to allow this, while others have found dogs act up more when their owners are present, so they discourage it. Either way, you should be comfortable with the overall situation so both you and your pet aren’t anxious.

Having one go-to grooming shop can ease your pet’s stress level by providing familiar faces and an expected routine. Asking questions and doing a bit of research beforehand can help you choose someone that will meet your pet’s needs and provide reliable service. And finding a groomer you trust is a win-win for both you and your pet.


How Pets Provide Therapeutic Benefits to People of All Ages

How Pets Provide Therapeutic Benefits to People of All Ages

By Susan Paretts

Having a pet is not only a lot of fun, but your furry companion can provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, too. Research shows that pets can improve our health, make us more socially active and help us get the exercise we need to stay fit. Pets may even help prevent allergies in children and assist them with learning activities. There are myriad ways our four-legged friends help make our lives happier and healthier.

Furry Friends Make Us Feel Good
Being around your pet gives you a lift because it increases the amount of feel-good hormones in your body, such as oxytocin and serotonin. These are chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Along the same lines, spending time with your animal companion can help decrease stress hormones, such as cortisol, that our bodies produce when we’re anxious.

Rachel Eddins, a licensed professional counselor of the Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, Texas, recommends owning a pet as a healthy way to improve your mood. “Many people do not get enough pleasure in their lives and turn to food, TV, alcohol, etc. as their primary source of pleasure or entertainment,” Eddins explains. “This can lead to unhealthy behaviors as well as low mood, because the pleasure is short-lived. Pets can be highly therapeutic in this regard because they can be both—a source of pleasure and entertainment.”

Dogs and Cats are Good for Kids
Pets help teach children responsibility and may make them healthier adults. According to veterinarian Ken Tudor of the Well Dog Place in Claremont, California and the Hearthstone Homemade website, several studies have shown that children who grow up in households with dogs or cats don’t develop allergies or asthma later in life.

Dr. Tudor says that many studies show that children with pets have improved self-esteem, greater cognitive development and better social skills. The Purdue University Center for the Human-Animal Bond also asserts that children who own pets may even become more nurturing parents later in life. Our four-legged friends encourage empathy in children, and their presence helps kids achieve academically as well.

Pets Are Just What the Doctor Ordered
Forget an apple a day. Owning a pet is just what the doctor ordered to help you stay healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having a pet can help lower your blood pressure, as well as your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, an article published in medical journal the BMJ, or British Medical Journal, stated that pets may help people recover from major illnesses like a heart attack, stroke or cancer. Pets of all sizes also provide companionship to the elderly and ill, improving their overall health and well-being, according to Darlene Richards, a licensed veterinary technician in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Four-Legged Friends Help Break the Ice
Not only do pets provide you with much-needed companionship, they can help you make new friends. Having a pet along can be a starting point for a conversation with a potential friend or even a romantic partner. According to the BMJ, pets are great “social catalysts” for people of all ages, including the elderly and disabled.

Pets Keep Us Moving
“Pets can be a motivation to get out the door when you don’t feel like exercising or going to the gym,” Eddins says. As a result, having a pet can help you stay fit. Walking your dog or playing interactive games with your kitty indoors gives you both some exercise. And that physical activity causes your body to release of endorphins—chemicals that make you feel good and help reduce symptoms of depression.

Pets not only help relieve our stress, but they improve our physical and mental well-being. Return the favor to your furry friend by playing a game of catch or giving him a pet massage. He’ll enjoy being pampered, and the time together will make you both feel good.

What to Know as a Stylist’s Assistant

What to Know as a Stylist’s Assistant

By Chelle Neff

As an assistant in the salon industry, you’ll receive invaluable hands-on education while helping your stylist provide a satisfying guest experience for their clients. The relationship between a stylist and an assistant should be built on teamwork and mentor-ship. Instead of seeing yourself as a human hair clip, take a proactive approach by asking some key questions that will help you share your talents and skills more effectively.

Learn Your Stylist’s Service Standards
To become an irreplaceable member of the team, start with learning your stylist’s service standards. Ask them what your role will be during each service, like a haircut or a partial foil. Will you be finishing the services for all of the clients? If so, make sure you understand exactly what they need you to do, and which are the best tools to use.

Next, discuss how long it should take to complete each portion of every service. The goal is to work smarter, not harder. Time yourself while practicing or performing services to help you improve your speed.

Talk to Your Stylist About Their Goals
To find out what goals are most important to your stylist, just ask are they looking to increase their retail or add-on sales? Or do they want to grow their pre-booking percentage? Consistent communication will keep you and your stylist on the same page while working as a team.

Once you’ve identified specific goals, work with your stylist to achieve them. Here are some tips to achieve those goals:

1. If the goal is to upsell more add-on services, sit down with your stylist in the morning and pre-plan the day. Looking for windows of opportunity—a.k.a. “gaps” in your stylist’s schedule—where you can offer additional salon services such as waxing, glaze services, or treatments. Once you’ve designed your slate of offerings, follow through by telling clients about the services you and your stylist can provide in those time slots.

2. If the focus is on retail, ask the client what issues they are having with their hair, then recommend styling tips, products, or tools. For example, if a client says she wishes she could create a sleek blowout at home, educate her on the tools and products you use during the finishing service, and explain why they’re best for the job. If you help your stylist with checkouts, a simple question may complete the sale and boost those retail numbers: “Would you like to take home the BaBylissPRO Rapido™ dryer we spoke about to recreate that smooth blow dry on your own?”

3. If increasing pre-booking is a goal, talking to guests about maintenance is key. During the service, let the client know when your stylist will need them to return to maintain their new style. Give the guest a specific date, so by checkout, they have already had time to think about it. Tell the guest what times are available on the day you recommended, and ask which one works best for them. 

Make the Most of Being an Assistant
As an assistant, you’ll learn valuable skills and figure out what works to increase your sales, pre-booking, and timing. Your stylist can also share scripts for talking with each guest and give you sage advice to use on your own clients. Katie West, an assistant-turned-stylist at Urban Betty Salon says, “Being an assistant taught me to be thorough, how to be timely, and how to reach my goals as a stylist.” With a positive mindset and a little planning, you’ll be an asset to your stylist, by providing professional service to their guests and helping grow their clientele.

5 Tips To Keep Your Pet Healthy

5 Tips To Keep Your Pet Healthy

By Susan Paretts

Part of being a good pet owner is making sure your furry friend stays healthy. Regular checkups, daily grooming, exercise, and a proper diet will help ensure that your pet looks and feels good. These health-promoting strategies may even extend your pet’s life, ensuring you have years of good times together.

Visit the Vet Regularly
Preventative care is an important part of keeping your pet healthy, allowing you to catch any health issues early. Ken Tudor, DVM of the Well Dog Place in Claremont, California and the Hearthstone Homemade website recommends that pets visit the vet twice a year. A thorough physical exam is especially important for large dogs and older pets who are more prone to health issues than smaller and younger ones.

Keep Your Pet Active
Pets need plenty of exercise to maintain their muscle tone and to prevent mobility issues. For dogs, Dr. Tudor recommends playing interactive games like fetch. Cats prefer to play with dangling toys on a string and laser cat toys several times a day for about 10 minutes at a time.

Not only will exercise keep your pets in good shape, it will allow you to spend time with them. According to Dr. Tudor, pets enjoy the social interaction with their owners. Remember to bring along some fresh water when you’re outdoors with your fur babies because pets can quickly become dehydrated, especially in warmer temperatures.

Groom Your Pet Often
Brush your pet’s coat daily to keep it matt-free and to help distribute the natural oils. The grooming time will also allow you to check for parasites and any strange lumps or bumps.

Jme Thomas, executive director of the Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Seattle, Washington, recommends doing a sanitary groom often, especially if your pet has a longer coat. This involves trimming the hair around the hindquarters to prevent smelly, painful matts from developing due to urine and feces. Thomas says pets love being brushed with a rubber curry comb, such as the ConairPRO Dog™ Pet-It™ curry comb, which removes excess hair from the coat while giving a pleasant massage.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity in pets can cause major health problems. Dr. Tudor warns that if your pet is overweight, the extra fat produces inflammatory hormones. “These hormones can lead to a variety of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, and liver disease. There is nothing cute about extra weight on pets,” he explains.

While exercise will help keep your pet in shape, a proper diet is most important for weight control. Your vet can recommend the correct amount of food to serve your dog or cat each day. Or, you can follow the feeding recommendations printed on the food package.

When it comes to giving your pet treats, opt for healthy options like cauliflower, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, green beans, broccoli, and air-popped popcorn, recommends Dr. Tudor. These treats are not only tasty for your pet, but very low in calories, too.

Clean Your Pet’s Teeth
Dental care is important for pets because, unlike humans, they can’t brush their own teeth. Keep your pet’s pearly whites shiny by regularly brushing them. Dr. Tudor recommends that even using a damp washcloth to wipe away plaque can keep the teeth in good shape if your pet won’t tolerate teeth-brushing.

In addition, you’ll want to check with your vet to see when your pet needs a dental cleaning. This procedure, which is performed under anesthesia, removes any hardened tartar from the teeth to prevent gingivitis.

Keeping your pet healthy is a full-time job, but spending the extra time together can also be fun. With regular trips to the vet and a little TLC from you, your pet will enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Easy 5-Minute Hairstyles

Easy 5-Minute Hairstyles

By Kristle Jones

It’s easy to lose track of time in the morning, and occasionally you may only end up with a few minutes to style your hair before rushing out the door. Luckily, you only need five minutes to craft a beautiful hairstyle that’s perfect for work, a coffee date with a friend, or a day of running errands.


Side Braid
Let’s start with the simplest and most versatile of the styles: the side braid. Create a slightly undone version to wear for a workout or jazz it up a bit more for a casual workday look.

Step One: Gather all of your hair into a low side-ponytail and secure it with a clear elastic hair band. Note: If you want a dressier version of the side braid, curl sections of your hair with a large barrel curling iron before you begin.
Step Two: Braid your hair. You can keep it super simple with a traditional three-part braid or get a little fancier with variations like a fishtail braid.
Step Three: Secure the end of your braid with another elastic and cut away the top elastic to loosen the hair. Spray the entire style with a light-hold hairspray. Note: Don’t worry about pieces that fall out here or there, that’s part of the look. If you prefer a more glam version, curl any loose pieces with your large barrel curling iron.


Loose Waves
Loose waves are beautiful and take less time to style than you think. Here’s how you can get this full-bodied look using your BaBylissPRO  Nano Titanium curling iron:

Step One: Create a halo section of hair by taking a round selection of hair around the crown of your head, and pin it up and away.
Step Two: Spray a light veil of hairspray throughout the bottom section of your hair.
Step Three: Using your BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 1 ½”-barrel curling iron, curl large sections of hair with the iron directing hair away from your face, making sure to leave the very ends of your hair out of the iron. Note: You should have between four to five sections of hair to curl.
Step Four: Release the top portion of your hair and spray this section with a light veil of hairspray as well.
Step Five: Repeat step three, curling additional large sections of hair. Note: There will be fewer sections of hair to curl in this step, three at most.

Volumized Tresses
West Coast hairstylist Billie Rawak says that one of her favorite five-minute hairstyles is big, voluminous hair using her secret weapon: hot rollers. Here’s how to get some serious va-va-voom tresses.

Step One: Begin with freshly dried hair. “Always prep your hair when it’s damp with a styling foam or mousse, to help create lasting hold, shine and heat protection,” Rawak says.
Step Two: Take a section of hair and lightly mist with hairspray, and then wrap the section of hair around the roller. “Spraying the hair prior to using the roller will help with hold but won’t cause product build-up,” Rawak explains. Hair is able to set for a few minutes while you finish your makeup. Note: Rawak recommends spraying all of the rollers with a light mist of hairspray while they’re setting to help cool them faster.
Step Three: Remove rollers and rake your fingers through your hair to shape it.

Top Knot
The top knot is a chic, on-trend look that’s reminiscent of a beautiful ballerina bun. It shows off the neck and shoulders and looks upscale even though it’s simple to style. You can create different versions of the top knot, pulling all the hair up into the bun or only half of your hair at the crown of your head.

Step One: Gather hair into a very high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Note: Second-day hair is ideal for this style.
Step Two: Spray your ends lightly with dry shampoo and tease for added volume.
Step Three: Twist teased hair around your elastic and secure the ends with a bobby pin or two. Adjust any pieces that are sticking out.

These time-saving, step-by-step tutorials are perfect for looking fabulous in five minutes. Try one next time you’re in a pinch.


Tips to Grow Your Instagram Influence

Tips to Grow Your Instagram Influence

Hairstyling and Instagram are both forms of visual art, making the two a perfect pair. Instagram reported that they have over 400 million users and people are on it for an average of 20 minutes a day. That could mean immediate advertisement for yourself or your business. 

April Kayganich, a hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon in Austin, Texas, says, “I receive as many as 10 to 15 new clients every month from people seeing my work on Instagram. Social media has really been a game changer for my business.”

The two most important things to focus on when using Instagram are your content and your engagement. Posting content on Instagram and increasing your engagement with other users not only helps build your online presence but can also increase the client count in your chair.


Content—Show People Your Brand

Teach Others.  What can others learn from you? Share some of your quick tips for hairstyles or tricks for using hair care products and tools. If that sounds a little intimidating just show what you know. It can be as simple as sharing your love for your BaBylissPRO Rapido hair dryer. A photo of your Rapido with a caption about why you love it can educate and help someone.

Inspire Someone. Posting all of the amazing hairstyles you do can be inspirational, but quotes, fancy event photos, travel photos, and snaps from classes you’re attending can be motivating, too. Sometimes it can be as simple as a picture of pretty flowers in your garden. Don’t overthink it.

Show Your Personality. People love to get to know you. By taking behind-the-scenes photos you give them a glimpse into who you really are. Photos you post can be from a day in your life behind the chair.  Or they could include your family, your dogs, or simply what you ate for lunch that day. One thing to be careful of is posting too many selfies. Use them here and there if you want to include them, but be sure to make them relevant to your brand. Even the Kardashians, who have built their brand around themselves, only sprinkle in the selfies on their feed.

Deciding what to post is one of the most important things you can do. Your content should be focused and tell a story about your brand. As a hairstylist, your Instagram should reflect what you are most passionate about. A good rule of thumb to follow about posting is this: 85% should be about what you provide, 15% should be personal, and 100% should reflect your brand.


Engagement—Get Involved With the Community 

There are three basic steps to getting involved with your target community on Instagram:

Follow. You must follow people to get followers.

Like. “Like” lots of pics.

Comment. Tell them why you like their photos. 

If you “like” three of a user’s photos and comment on one, stats show that user is more likely to follow you. However, don’t “like” for no reason. You want to strategically “like” photos of people who are more likely to follow you, but you have to find them first.

Welcome to the wormhole that can be Instagram, also known as the “search” bar. Start your search with a hashtag you normally use on your photos such as #hairstyles. As you scroll through the photos, find a photo that strikes your fancy and “like” it. Now go to that person’s full page and “like” two more photos, then comment on at least one of them. This is the perfect amount of engagement, but not too much, because we all know that that can be creepy.

The three “likes” and one comment is just enough to pique a person’s interest so she wonders who you are and clicks on your profile. This is the important part, because if during this glance the person enjoys your content, you’ll generally gain a follower. The key is to get as many people to see your profile as you can, so you get more followers. Now repeat this action, three “likes” and one comment per page, for as long as you have the attention span to do so.

And last, but not least, have fun. Your followers want to see a real person underneath all of the hairspray. Authenticity is always a plus.


Determine the Right Heat Tools and Temps for Your Hair Type

Determine the Right Heat Tools and Temps for Your Hair Type

By Natalie Baker

Heated styling tools are some of our most-trusted assets when it comes to creating runway-ready waves or sleek, straight strands. But it’s no secret that too much heat is damaging. So how do you know whether you’re styling or scorching your hair? Here’s a look at some of the latest styling tools, along with the optimal temperatures to create the most effective results.

Flat Irons and Curling Irons
Most curling irons, straighteners, and waving wands offer variable heat settings. Adopt a minimalist approach and opt for a double-duty styling tool that straightens and curls. The BaBylissPRO PRIMA3000 comes with controllable heat settings from 300°F up to 465°F. For normal hair in good condition, 380°F is sufficient. If your hair is fine, stick to the lowest possible setting, and for very thick, coarse, and resistant hair, up to 465°F will create desired results.

“It is important not to set your styling tools too high because if it’s not the right setting for your hair, you can really affect its integrity,” advises professional Bay Area hairstylist Shelly Grover. “As a general rule of thumb, the coarser your hair, the higher the setting; however, that’s not always the case.”

The condition of your hair also plays a role in choosing a heat setting. When hair is a healthy balance of moisture and protein, it holds its style well and has little to no breakage. But if it’s dry, damaged, chemical or color-treated, too much heat is a quick route to frazzled ends.

“If you have fine hair, never put your tool to the highest setting because your hair can’t withstand it,” Grover says. “Coarser, thicker hair generally needs more heat because the hair cuticle is thicker. It essentially has more of a barrier, so it won’t be as compromised at a higher heat.”

For regular heat styling, investing in quality tools is a must. A professional product such as the BaBylissPRO PRIMA3000—which features a dual-ceramic heating system and titanium plates for effective and even heat distribution—adds smoothness and shine as it styles. The PRIMA3000eliminates the need for multiple tools, thanks to its ability to create sleek straight styles, loose waves, and tight curls.

BaBylissPRO Rapido Blow Dryer
Many hair dryers offer only the standard high and low heat settings, making it tricky to take control of the air temperature. But the BaBylissPRO Rapido dryer comes with six heat/ speed settings, allowing you to tailor the temperature and speed specifically to your hair type and condition.

To keep hair in the best condition, opt for a blow dryer with a powerful fan speed to dry hair quickly. Blow dryers that offer high heat but a low fan speed can cause split ends and breakages due to prolonged heat exposure.

The BaBylissPRO ion generator creates shiny, healthy-looking hair while the increased air power dries hair faster than high heat alone. In fact, it dries up to 50 percent faster compared* with a standard blow dryer, so hair is exposed to heat for a shorter period of time—which means less potential for damage.

No matter which tools you use, heat protectant is a must to maintain beautiful hair. While spray formulas are better suited to flat irons and curlers, a balm evenly distributed throughout damp hair should be your go-to ahead of blow drying.


5 Things Hairstylists Wish You Would Tell Them

5 Things Hairstylists Wish You Would Tell Them

By Kristle Jones

You talk to your hairstylist a lot. From divulging nitty gritty personal details to doling out relationship advice, nothing seems to be off limits when you sit in that salon chair. But exactly what personal details should you share with your hairstylist? We spoke to two leading West Coast stylists, Louise Noack and Billie Rawak, to see what five things hairstylists wish you would tell them.

1. Let me tell you the history of my hair.
According to West Coast color specialist Billie Rawak, hair history is crucial for stylists. “The consultation is a very important part of the hair service for successful results,” Rawak says. “What types of color products or chemicals have been used on your hair?” She says clients don’t always know what kind of color was used in the past—permanent, semi- or demi-permanent, or the brand name—which are all key components for your stylist to know. If a straightening product or perm was used, the brand and type is also good to know.

Why is this important? “It is to ensure optimal health to the hair and satisfaction with the end results of your chemical service,” according to Rawak. Overlapping chemical treatments can damage your hair, creating fried, broken ends. Make sure you go into your next appointment armed with as much information about your hair as possible.

2. I use mousse on my hair and blow dry daily.
A professional hairstylist is trained in a variety of brands and products. West Coast blow out specialist Louise Noack says, “I want to know what they really use on their hair and what their budget is. This way I can point them to the best possible products that are cost-effective for the client.”

In addition to your styling aids, tell your stylist what brand and type of styling tools you use. Are you a flat iron junkie who straightens your strands daily with your BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium flat iron or do you use hot rollers every morning to give your hair a boost?

3. Two years ago, I used box hair color from the supermarket.
It has been said that boxed hair color is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get. Noack explains that mentioning if and when you have used boxed hair color is a crucial component for her to know when she sees a client. Professional hair color is not only an art, it’s a science, and for the science to work properly, your stylist must know all of the elements that she is working with. It’s vital for the client to tell the stylist because a fairly inexpensive and routine color appointment can quickly turn into a highly expensive and lengthy color correction appointment instead.

4. I have a time crunch.
“I wish that clients would mention when they have a doctor’s appointment or other important appointments immediately after their hair appointment at the time of scheduling,” states Rawak. She recommends not scheduling anything else close to the time of your hair appointment. That way both the client and the stylist can relax and work together without feeling rushed.

That being said, rebooking your next appointment is a key detail to remember before leaving the salon. Scheduling your next appointment ensures that you will be able to get into the salon on a regular basis so that your color and cut stay looking fresh. It will also help you plan future obligations.

5. I brought a picture for you.
A picture is worth a thousand words and this is perhaps even truer at a salon. If you have trouble expressing what you want to achieve at the appointment, bringing a picture or two allows both parties to see the desired result. “Images of hairstyles speak volumes to the stylist’s eyes and ears, allowing you both to share in one visualization,” Rawak says. A good rule of thumb is to bring a few photos and explain what you like and don’t like about each one.

A good stylist will ask you many of these questions, and if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask them yourself. Remember, to help create the best outcome for your hair, give your stylist the full hair history.