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How do I Choose the Best Stylist?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Choosing the best stylist for your business or image is a task that should be given some thought. A good way to start the process is to first be sure you have a clear understanding of what you want as the end result of hiring a trained stylist. For instance, wanting a personal makeover in order to look more professional in your career is a clear goal with which to approach stylists. If your main objective is to select a personal shopper to choose stylized gifts for your clients, be sure to communicate your expectations clearly during the interviews with different stylists.

One creative person's idea of "elegant" could be something entirely different from that of another style professional. Ask questions about their ideas for your business needs when interviewing different stylists. This approach can also help you see how well they communicate their ideas to you. Communication is a key requirement in choosing a stylist; otherwise you may not get the end creative result you expected.

Hair styling products.
Hair styling products.

Once you've narrowed down your choice of stylists, ask for references and samples of their work. A resume plus photographs of their past work should give you enough material with which to base your choice. You could also visit their workplaces and make further observations. Something that you shouldn't do when choosing the best stylist is ask for free work. The professional way to hire another business person is to respect his or her time and professionalism just as you'd be likely to prefer if the situation was reversed.

A fashion stylist coordinates accessories with clothing to assemble attractive outfits.
A fashion stylist coordinates accessories with clothing to assemble attractive outfits.

Telephoning or emailing one or several of a stylist's past clients for references is an option to consider after the candidate gives you his or her resume. After checking references and observing past work, don't forget to consider your potential stylist's appearance and attitude. A person who presents himself or herself as a career stylist should have a pulled together, polished appearance as well as a confident, yet professional, attitude.

Stylists can help a bride get ready on her wedding day.
Stylists can help a bride get ready on her wedding day.

Image consultants and personal shoppers should listen carefully to your project requirements and offer sensible, successful suggestions. To avoid wasting your own time as well as the stylist's, mention your budget before settling on a professional style consultant for your project. A creative person who is experienced in the task you need accomplished and will keep your specific business requirements in mind is likely to be the best choice for your style based project.

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Discussion Comments


If you are looking for the best stylist for yourself, you may have to try several different ones before you are able to decide which one works best for you.

By having some comparisons to make, you will be able to make a better decision. The best stylist for one person may not be the best for someone else. When you find a stylist that works best for you, they will be willing to listen to what your personal preferences are and work with those.

I think it is important for them to take your opinions in to consideration, and not just do what they think is best for you.


@JessicaLynn – Honey, don’t feel bad about that at all. I think most regular people are on the same boat and heading in the same direction that you are.

I actually cut everyone in my little household’s hair myself; well except my own. There are four of us all totaled, and to go to even an inexpensive salon once a month would be hard on us.

I do go to the bargain salon myself, because my husband’s idea of cutting someone’s hair is getting the buzz cutters out and whacking it all off. But if I could do it well, I would.

I actually have a sister who goes to a very high dollar salon once monthly, and so does her husband and son. When they go, they do it all; cut, highlights, dye jobs – you name it.

If they were actually paying that price tag themselves they would be looking at about a four hundred to five hundred dollar a month bill.

I don’t know how people who are like me can afford that kind of tab for hair care.


@starrynight - I think hiring someone who really knows what they're doing is a big help in any endeavor.

I definitely don't have enough money to hire a personal stylist myself. In fact, I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I always go to the bargain places to get my hair cut. My hair usually turns out looking OK and you can't beat the $13 price tag!


A friend of my mother hired a person stylist to redo her entire wardrobe a few years ago. She was going through a really rough time in her life and wasn't feeling very confident.

I noticed a big difference after she hired the stylist. The stylist came with excellent recommendations and really listened to what my mom's friend wanted. She ended up with a whole new wardrobe that was flattering and fit her tastes exactly.


@amysamp - I do know what you mean! I live in a little downtown area where there seem to be salons every other step (they are like Starbucks in other places). But I found the same thing, the hair cut and style was always forty to fifty dollars!

But... I am now one of those people. I think of it this way. It is one accessory that keeps on giving. You may wear a necklace a few times a week, but you wear your hair ever day! And the biggest thing was that I could tell the difference between a ten to twenty dollar cut and a fifty dollar cut.

I may just be drinking the kool-aid when it comes to the conforming to what everyone else is doing, but I am frugal in most areas but not when it comes to my hair!


@bluespirit - It does sound like fun, doesn't it? But I wonder if, like any job, what the down side would be? Would you have uppety clients that might put down your choices constantly, making you spend more time that you were thinking you would need to spend shopping?

I have no idea, but I would try a store that offers that service like @lonelygod was describing would offer that job. But the question would be, do they hire on a part time basis, and do they hire just for that position or do you need to work in the store first and work your way up?

My stylist question has to do with hair. My friends have started getting their hair cut and styled at the whopping price of $40 to $50 dollars! This seems outrageous to me! Has anyone else found this is common?


I have the summers off as a school employee and I have found myself being a personal shopper a few times for my husband, and it is incredibly fun.

He has to go on appointments to meet with people and discuss how he can help them, so we thought it would be best to help him dress the part.

I do not know if it has actually helped him in gaining any new clients, but his co-workers have definitely had fun ribbing him about his stylish and sleek style! Which I, of course, have endlessly enjoyed; because that means I picked out clothes that were different enough from what he was wearing to be noticed.

I wonder if you can be a personal shopper on a part-time basis?


@lonelygod - Actually personal shopping services and stylists are available to those who don't have access to deep pockets. During Christmas time a lot of stores will offer free sessions with a stylist or an 'elf' to pick up gifts for you if you are short on time.

This is a really great promotional tools for stores because so many people hate shopping during the holiday season. Being able to drop off your list, or have a stylist pick clothes for your loved one based on a photo of them is amazingly helpful. I suggest that everyone check out what services become available during the holidays. While they may not all be free, they are definitely affordable.


For those in business or that are wealthy, it is possible to have a personal shopper work for you free of charge. A lot of higher end stores offer a personal shopping free of charge when you spend a minimum amount. It is a bit of a courtesy for those customers with deeper pockets.

Basically if you just want personal shopping done with a store that offers a service like this you can tell them who you are buying for and they will have a professional choose or pick up gifts as requested. This can be a huge time saver for busy businessmen and for those that have to place large orders.

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    • Hair styling products.
      By: kornienko
      Hair styling products.
    • A fashion stylist coordinates accessories with clothing to assemble attractive outfits.
      By: PhotoSG
      A fashion stylist coordinates accessories with clothing to assemble attractive outfits.
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      By: tomas del amo
      Stylists can help a bride get ready on her wedding day.
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      Stylists can help a person choose a new hairstyle to fit their personality.
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