Making your aesthetician's job more difficult—or worse yet, annoying them—probably isn’t a wise idea. To help keep you on their good side, we asked some of our favorite local hairstylists, colorists, waxers, nail technicians, makeup artists and facialists what clients should know to keep them happy—from tipping to tanning. Some even spoke off the record in order to reveal the truth.
We started our research with Paulo Davis, a senior stylist at 7 Salon in Miami Beach. Davis is quick to point out his biggest pet peeve: “People who color their own hair at home. Most of the time, it’s not easy to fix,” he explains. He also says that clients showing up for a color service with wet hair throw off his entire schedule. And how do stylists feel about clients who come in with a magazine clipping, saying they want to look like Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber? “Be open-minded,” encourages Danielle Crocker, a cutting pro at Sloane Square Barbers & Shoppe on Alton Road. “Listen to your stylist. Lots of times, you’d look better in something else.” She also notes that men with thinning hair are the most reluctant to brush their hair forward, but that’s the style that puts the least amount of strain on the hairline and prevents it from receding. Myth: Hair loss treatments never work. Truth: Propecia actually does work, as long as clients begin using it in the early stages of hair loss.
We cornered an artist who has spent the last 15 years working with a brand known for its celebrity following. She and her coworkers report that the faux pas they most often encounter is sunburned bodies. She also waves a finger at clients who pick at pimples and blackheads, which makes her job more challenging. Freelance makeup artist Fernella Armoogam has another top annoyance: If your eyebrows are prickly or your upper lip fuzzy, skip the wax. “The worst thing they can do is get waxed, because makeup doesn’t stick,” she explains. “Show up with a freshly cleansed, moisturized face and put on some lip conditioner.” Another makeup artist recommends talking with a manager before making an appointment. Tell him or her what your style is and describe the occasion so you’ll be matched with the right artist. Myth: Line fillers work. Truth: They don’t.
“Heading straight from the beach to get a wax is a big no-no,” says Miller Gonzalez, owner of Miller’s Hair Studio in Coral Gables. “In Miami it’s by far the biggest cause of breakouts. Avoid the gym and don’t get sweaty for a few hours both before and after a wax.” Frequency is also an issue: “If the hair is too long, like more than a quarter-inch, it can be painful,” he adds. Exfoliation is part of a good routine on larger body parts. He recommends scrubbing only once or twice a month, and otherwise using an anti-ingrown-hair topical product. Myth: Drinking alcohol before waxing lessens the pain. Truth: Alcohol consumption actually makes your skin more sensitive.
Shaves and Facials
Many barbershops give men a clean shave with a straight razor, but some (like Sloane Square) offer mini facials, too. Gents are encouraged to tell their barber or aesthetician if they’re using Retin-A, as it leaves skin prone to irritation. And make sure to mention any scent allergies. Before a mini facial, Crocker recommends that customers “arrive cleanshaven, and don’t come in with a sunburn because then [their] skin is already irritated.” Myth: A deep tan helps clear up acne. Truth: Excessive tanning only serves to damage skin and promote cancer.
Most of the aestheticians interviewed say that 15 percent is the right amount to tip for any service performed in a salon, but if a service doesn’t cost much and was done with care, throwing in a few extra bucks is always a good idea. Hair assistants should also receive $3 to $5, but only if they give you a head massage during a shampoo or race to fetch you a beverage. If you’re in for a gloss or any additional treatment, $5 to $7 is more reasonable. Our makeup sources say a $10 tip is nice for a makeup application in a salon or boutique, but associates at a mall counter shouldn’t be able to accept your tip. And remember, you never have to hand a few extra dollars to the owner. One last piece of advice that applies to all of us getting any service at any salon: Arrive on time. “Showing up 15 minutes late for a half-hour appointment,” one stylist says, “is Miami’s biggest problem.”