Having your hairstylist up and leave the salon you frequent can feel a lot like getting ghosted by your long-term boyfriend. You've invested so much time into building and cultivating the relationship, and thanks to the time spent in deep conversation while waiting for your double-process color to take effect, they know you in a way that no one else does. How do you deal and fill that void once they've left?
For starters, this is one instance where your online stalking skills aren't just acceptable—they're necessary. "In this day and age, most hairstylists should be on social media in some way that you can find them. I think it's really important for the stylist, and also for clients to be able to follow them on Instagram to know where they are," says Michelle Lee of Salon Eva Michelle in Boston. "A lot of hairstylists now are creating Facebook pages to show their work, sort of like a fanpage, but even putting a few keywords into your Google search should allow you to find them easily." If they don't have their new location listed on their profile, Lee thinks it's acceptable to send them a DM, especially if you've been a client for some time.
Of course, everyone goes through a phase where they need to "find themselves," and if your stylist happens to find themselves hopping on a plane to Tahiti with no return ticket, you'll either have to find a new steady at your current salon, or find a new one altogether. If you want to stick with your salon, ask to be paired with another stylist who can take care of your specific needs. "Normally when a stylist moves, they'll refer their client to someone they trust, but we can always set them up with someone to make the transition easier, because it is kind of like a breakup," says Lee. "Look around the room and see the work people are doing, and go from there."
Unless you have a salon in mind you've been eager to check out, you can also get a reference from your friends, or expand your horizons and ask a person whose hair you like where they get it done. "Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools," Lee tells us. "If you see someone's hair and you tell them 'I really like your hair, where do you get it done?,' it makes such a big difference, and it's important to open your eyes and look at everyday people rather than having a specific style in mind, but not knowing where to go with it."