Best Way to Find a Good Hairdresser while Traveling

by Stephanie Sanchez
[ Veteran Hair Coach and Stylists ]

So you are away from home. You thought you would be okay but now you are in real need of some hair help. Perhaps you need to  retouch your color, get a trim, a blow-out, or even an elegant updo. What do you do?

This is an inevitable burden especially if you are going to attend a special event like a wedding

Or you have a last-minute board meeting with the boss

Or your trip lasted longer than expected 

It is usually less unsettling for me if I’m in the states. The reason for me is that I know that they had similar training and may understand my hair type.  (You’ll never find a less trusting client than someone who is a hairdresser too, it’s unsettling for the hairdresser doing the work as well)

Best Way to Find a Good Hairdresser while Traveling

Use Available Tools

You can pretty much “Google” anything nowadays.

But here are some other resources you may not have thought of:

  1. The Glam App Currently, they can connect you to hairdressers in 22 major US cities and London. Including mobile Hairstylist and Makeup artists and Salons​.
  2.  Glamsquad Like the Glam App they connect you with qualified professionals. They have strict requirements to work through them. They state that only 1 out of 6 hairdressers are accepted. This means there is a GOOD chance to find a highly skilled specialist.​
  3. Yelp The app not only helps you find a salon or hairstylist you can also see the reviews of their service. This works nationally and internationally.​
  4. TripAdvisor works like yelp but I believe it may have more international reviews Instagram or Facebook​.
  5. Instagram or Facebook​

International Hairdressers

I went to school with a girl from the British Virgin Islands. However, when we had finished our schooling she didn’t sit for the board exams with the rest of us. She was able to go home and start practicing her arts right away.

Hairdressing standards overseas may not be as regulated as in the states,  that doesn't mean the local hairdressers are unqualified. For instance, I was an assistant to a Hairdresser originally from England. He explained that in England you have to do a minimum of two full years of apprenticeship, and then only when your mentor thought you were ready, you could go at it alone. Now the UK has a voluntary registration system to prove you are qualified and can also be accredited overseas.

Australia and South Africa also are trying to encourage credentials. City and Guilds are working worldwide to promote the development of vocational skills like Hairdressing.

There are also a lot of Expats working overseas as hairstylists. To find one search  enter the country, under beauty - hairdressers, then enter the city.

Use Local Talent

“Initially, I was planning to say that “you can’t find a hairdresser like you would find a good restaurant”.  But then I realized that there are two important similarities

  1. First rule: How many people are going there?  That helps you know that they have a good reputation and happy customers (In a restaurant that means you won’t get sick)                                                                                                          
  2. Second rule: “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. That’s NO LIE.  Cleanliness shows how much a Salon cares about the public. If they take the time to pick up, they are more likely to take health and safety precautions as well. (In a restaurant that means you won’t get sick)

Other Things To Do So You Can Get The Best Possible Outcome:​

  • Observe and Trust your instincts​
  • Be sure to bring a picture or pictures of your desired result. No hairdresser is a mind reader. ​
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up you know your hair better than anyone.​
  • Bring a sense of humor. Most hairstylists everywhere want to do a good job, they may be just as nervous as you are to do a good job. Especially if your hair type is uncommon in their country. It’s just hair it will grow back!​
  • Bring Your own products. I know that sounds absurd to the all-inclusive idea of a salon experience. But other countries may have an ala carte system. ​​

The first time I saw a girl walk into the salon and only pay for the use of the hooded hair dryer was a shock to me. She had already washed and set her hair, probably with the help of a friend. But since she didn’t have her own dryer she went to the local salon to sit under the dryer for 30-60min. And only paid a fraction of what it would have cost to do the whole service in the salon.  

Also, many people bring their own high-quality shampoo sets into the salon, it saves them on back bar charges. If it's not good stuff the hairdresser will let you know.

To find high-quality travel size products read “The Ultimate Guide to travel-size Hair Care

If You are Traveling Long Term

I had a client who lived on a sailboat and whenever she was in town she would make an appointment. But other scenarios maybe you are thinking of becoming an exchange student, join the Peace Corps, serving in the Military or maybe you just want to try a new way of living for a while.

  • Try to maintain a good relationship with your current hairstylist ​
  • He/She can give you tips on what to ask the next hairdresser.​
  • Ask for suggestions about your destination, who know they may have a fellow hairdressing friend at your new local.​
  • Ask them to teach you the lingo for your hairstyle so you can get the results you expect.​
  • And If you are a good client, they’ll most likely want your business when you return.​

Are you looking to become a mobile Hairdresser? Check out some tools you will need in “Hair Stylist rolling travel cases

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