The evidence (bad haircuts) doesn’t lie – for most people, finding a great hairdresser, let alone one of the best hairdressers is not a high priority.
At this present time of uncertainty and job loss, most people think that seeking out the best hairdresser would be out of their financial means. But that’s not entirely true.
Our view is this: getting your haircut by one of the best hairdressers in Sydney is an investment in you that keeps giving back. Because in our experience, when a customer says “That’s the best haircut I’ve ever had!” there is something significant about the haircut that continues to affect you beyond how it looks when you finish at the hair salon.
Best hairdresser is an accolade that is not achieved by hairdressing awards or glitzy professional images or filter-enhanced images Instagram. The whole best hairdresser thing is really two sided:
- What is a client looking for when seeking out best hairdresser Sydney and
- What does a hair salon or hairdresser experience look like if they were to identify with the accolade “best hairdresser Sydney”?
In essence the whole journey is about finding the right best hairdresser for you.
You should have a hairdresser who will give you expert and honest advice, have the technical skills to create and/or adapt the looks you are after, have an aesthetic that you gel with and make the experience and process enjoyable, amazing and stress-free.
In this detailed guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about finding the best hairdresser for you.
Let’s dive right in.
How do I find the right hairdresser?
As with any profession, the quality of service and skill you will get from hairdressers and hair salons will vary widely. There are a lot of hairdressers and hair salons out there providing a high quality service for their customers. But unfortunately there are many more salons and hairdressers who aren’t up to scratch.
You won’t find it hard to locate hairdressing horror stories on the internet about a bad experience. There are also loads of click-bait articles (the kind of article that makes money on serving you ads) with loads of images of really bad haircuts or celebrity hair horror stories.
For some reason, we just lap that hairdressing content up.
Unfortunately, some hairdressers don’t really have it in them to be any better than how they are now and it’s not always their fault. Sometimes they lack technical skill due to poor training and lack of experience and their employers may be pushing them to get that experience on paying customers.
Sometimes the salon owners might only make cheap inferior quality product available to their team because they don’t want to pay for it (to keep costs down and profits up) or, they simply can’t afford it.
In addition, if the hairdresser isn’t capable technically and isn’t completely present in your consultation (if you actually get one), they may miss the mark of what you wanted entirely, and you end up with a hairstyle or hair colour you didn’t want.
There’s only one way to sort out the superstars from the sub par – and that’s to do some due diligence on your hair salon and hairdresser so you can feel confident to a high degree that you’re making the right choice.
1. Why do you need to find The Best Hairdresser or Salon in Sydney.
Have you had a bad hairdressing experience?
Or are you fed up with your hair and need a hair transformation?
2. How to find the salons calling themselves Best Hairdresser in Sydney.
The five main ways are:
- Searches on search engines like Google
- Searches on social media like Instagram
- Walking by a salon and liking the look of what you see
- Word of mouth – friends who are into hair are often a good source of hairdresser info
- Stopping someone with fabulous hair at the supermarket to ask them where they go
3. Best Hairdresser Lists created by independent sources. There are two questions to ask in relation to this:
1. Who are the independent sources?
The people who author these best hairdresser lists are generally journalists or content writers who work for fashion and beauty websites. These websites build their entire business model on monetising “best of” lists and generating revenue from advertising.
2. How do the salons on Best Hairdresser lists actually get on them?
Typically the salons who feature on these lists pay a fee to be included in these “best of” lists. See this screen shot below showing that for $208 per month, you can buy your way onto a Best Hairdresser list.
4. What are the hairdresser’s online reviews in Sydney like? How do they respond to them?
Independent reviews on websites like search engines or social media are a good place to start to get some insight into the best hairdressers in Sydney.
All of these websites are independent and so spending a few minutes reading customer reviews of their hairdressing experience, especially the negative ones, will give you an idea on how these hairdressers value their customers and value their brand. And it will give you an idea on how they may have helped other customers in Sydney and further afield.
At Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup Darlinghurst Sydney and Lily Jackson Hairdressing in Potts Point Sydney, we are proud to have over 250+ Google reviews and 14 Facebook reviews from our satisfied customers.
We are also proud to say that in the cases where a customer has not been happy (and hand-on -our-heart this pains us as well), we have done everything possible to rectify any problems.
If you can be assured of technically brilliant hairdressers, then if there is a problem with colour for instance, it is normally a problem with the consultation.
Consultations are really important to the Lily Jackson Hairdressing team because we believe it’s the only way we can deliver the best hairdressing experience you’ve ever had.
5. How long has the salon been in business?
It is worth finding out how long the hair salon has been in business. It gives you a good sense of their background and if they have the staying power to continually deliver best hairdressing experiences to their customers.
Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup was founded by owner and director, Jules Peacocke over 22 years ago. We have been in Darlinghurst, Sydney for over 15 years and opened a second location literally down the road in Potts Point Sydney in 2018.
6.Find out about the hairdressing credentials – do they have bio’s on each stylist and their professional experience?
Any salon calling themselves the best hairdresser should have a clear way of determining how good each of the people they are bringing onto their team are.
Questions we ask at Lily Jackson Hairdressing centre around their skills and measurable performance in relation to the customer’s journey and satisfaction.
To establish if they have the level of skills that would qualify them to be one of the best hairdressers in Sydney, we conduct a thorough trade test of their abilities. We provide prospective candidates a list of hairdressing skills they need to demonstrate on models so we can evaluate their skills.
We ask for references as well as evaluate their presence on social media.
7. What kinds of products does the hair salon’s use? What brands of colour, keratin, at home hair care are they using and offering their clients?
The best hairdressers in Sydney have strong relationships with high end product companies. These product companies focus on providing us with high quality inputs such as high quality colour ranges, other ranges related to the best keratin smoothing treatments or the best permanent hair straightening treatments. They also tend to offer the best hairdressing technical support and training.
Does the hair salon you go to actively promote who their suppliers are?
Can they tell you why they chose those brands?
Do they buy everything from the one supplier or do they cherry pick products and ranges like us?
We use Wella colour because of its excellent performance, innovative and technically superior ranges and Wella makes the best bleaches for all sorts of blonde highlights and all over scalp bleaches. We stock a number of their hair care and treatment ranges.
But we also stock other hair care ranges such as Oribe and R+Co which are exceptionally fabulous and help create the best styling no matter what your hair type.
We also purchase our keratin smoothing treatment from another company and our permanent straightening solution from yet another company. This is because we have tried and tested these products and to be able to say we offer the best keratin treatment in Sydney [link] we want to make sure it is the best (even if we don’t like dealing with the product company!).
8. How accurate is the hairdressing salon in timing their appointments? Do they have a service standard?
The best hairdressers in Sydney always run on time or no more than 15 minutes late and generally, through no fault of their own. Furthermore, the best hairdressers are able to complete services in the right amount of time. If your haircut takes more than 45 minutes and you have a standard head of hair on your head, then that hairdresser is not honouring your time or their own. Of course there are some hair types that require longer haircut times, but generally, the best hairdressers only need 45 minutes to create a wonderful hairstyle for you.
As one of the best hairdressing salons in Sydney, we are proud to say that we run on time, according to schedule, 95% of the time. On the rare occasion we do run late, we have service standards to prevent other customers from being impacted.
The best hairdressers in Sydney will have policies [link to the boring bits] about client punctuality and their own service standards to running on time.
Lily Jackson Hairdressing commits to a service standard that if a stylist is running more than 15 minutes late, then we contact all the clients due to come in that day and we request that they come in later and/or we rearrange the stylists appointments to create a minimum of disruption to our clients.
We will already know if you have a deadline to leave the salon because we make notes on our appointments of important details like this.
The best hairdressers in Sydney are generally not walk-in types of businesses given that they already have a loyal clientele with pre-booked appointments. We understand that not everyone pre-plans their hairdressing appointments, but we highly recommend that you do try to preplan your appointment if you intend to visit a great hairdresser so that you can be assured of having an appointment that is mapped out appropriately for you.
At Lily Jackson Hairdressing, new clients are offered longer appointment times to ensure we are able to deliver what you were hoping for the first time. Read about our new client welcome process below.
9. What is the hair salon’s new client process?
At Lily Jackson Hairdressing we love welcoming new clients and know that new clients require extra care and attention so that we can understand all we possibly can about your needs before you even walk in our doors!
We have a dedicated reception team who have many years experience in the hairdressing industry. That means we will be able to ask you a number of relevant and important questions prior to your appointment so that we are able to schedule your appointment correctly.
10. Do they offer complimentary consultations?
The important thing about complimentary consultations, is not so much that they are complimentary, but that the best hairdressers in Sydney will schedule time to get to know you and what you’re looking for in a hair colour, hair cut or hair smoothing treatment for instance. They will ask you to collect inspiration hair images and help you navigate the best hair outcomes for your hair type, budget and lifestyle.
The best hairdressers in Sydney also want you to love their work so they get to see you again and again, each time building on and perfecting your last “best haircut you’ve ever had”.
11. Do their stylists colour and cut or specialise?
The industry is polarised on this one but we are not: you can’t call yourself the best hairdresser in Sydney if your hairdresser can’t offer you both a colour and a cut.
Before we share our opinion on this topic with you (and we bet you already know what we are going to say), let’s explore why the hair colouring part of hairdressing was divorced from the hair cutting part. It has everything to do with client retention and a fair bit to do with hairdressing education.
The client retention bit: the theory goes like this – if a salon’s client has colour with a colourist and a haircut with a separate haircutter, if one of these employees leaves, the hair salon is less likely to lose that client completely because 50% of the client’s hairdressing team is still employed. Ie there is a 50% chance the client will stay. That might work in the short term but if your life is anything like ours, who has the extra time to take separate trips to a hairdresser to co-ordinate the colour and cut process?
The other aspect of the colour and cut divorce story is that at some point, the student hairdresser decided that they didn’t like cutting or they didn’t like hair coloring. Maybe it was too hard for them or they couldn’t get their head around the technical aspects of both. In this case the quality of the hair education system and hairdressing educators has quite a bit to answer for.
It is our opinion that the best hairdressers in Sydney are able to both colour and cut because the hair design outcomes can only come from one person who create the colour to work with a haircut, one person who can visualise and execute the overall vision, that’s what the best hairdressing experiences are about.
12. How much do their hair services cost? Is cost a guarantee of quality?
The one thing customers complain about the most in hairdressing (apart from quality) is cost.
We won’t go into the systemic problems evident in the hairdressing industry but we will say, running an ethical business, in a sustainable manner, in Sydney, in the 2020’s is expensive. You just have to look at the cost of real estate to know that.
Add competitive salaries, cost of quality equipment, colour supplies and location costs and you have an expensive operation even before the first customer walks in the door!
Sometimes when comparing costs, the less costly option may be taking shortcuts to achieve a goal. Unfortunately in hairdressing this has disastrous outcomes.
While cost is not always a guarantee of quality, the best hairdressers in Sydney will have a quality guarantee for their work. We do.
13. Get a written quote from your stylist.
After the excellent consultation you should have received from your hairdresser, you should have an idea of two great hair journey ideas worth considering. So the very next thing they hair stylist should present you with is an itemised quote for the hair services they need to complete to create your new hairstyle.
Itemised quotes are important because they let you see all the different steps and processes required to create a look and make you aware that going from dark brown hair to a cool blonde for instance is an involved exercise that requires a high degree of technical ability, a lot of time and the best types of bleaches that don’t ruin your hair.
This is where a lot of people come unstuck when visiting any of the best hairdressers in Sydney: they go into bill-shock because they are used to seeing salons in shopping malls advertising $150 packages and think that’s what great hairdressing should cost.
But they are wrong.
Doing things safely and doing things beautifully takes time, skill and great quality products.
14. Do they have an established adjustment process if the outcome isn’t quite right?
Even the best hairdresser’s don’t always get it right 100% of the time and it’s not always their fault. More on that later.
Lily Jackson Hairdressing has a Happy Hair Guarantee.
It’s absolutely vital to us to know you love your hair. If you don’t, there’s a problem and we want to fix it.
But like all warranties, there are guidelines and limitations. For instance you need to return to us within 2 days for a colour adjustment and within 7 days of your original appointment for all other services.
While we prefer not to have to back because you are unhappy with the outcome, you should feel welcome and relaxed about contacting us if your hair isn’t what you were hoping for. We see these adjustments as critical learning opportunities for our team.
When even the best hairdresser’s don’t get it right.
Hairdressing is not simple even though hairdressers are often portrayed as simpletons in pop culture. Certainly it is a colourful industry full of colourful personalities but make no mistake about the work that is being done:
- Colouring hair is a science that takes thousands of hours to master
- Cutting hair is a precision skill that takes thousands of hours to master
- Services that alter the natural state of your hair like straightening also take many hours to master.
So if the best hair salons are hiring the best hairdressers by trade testing their staff before employing them, place a high importance on perfecting client consultations and they use the best quality products for the job, then why do problems still occur?
Sometimes things go wrong when client’s do not tell the truth about their hair history.
It is so important that you tell the hair stylist everything you have had done to your hair in the last two years as this can affect the outcome of the present treatment you are contemplating.
15. The best hair salons are the cleanest! (And have a Covid Safe Operating Plan)
There is an old saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” – seems very appropriate in these crazy times.
But cleanliness is the foundation of a “best hair salon experience”. The most obvious thing to look for is hair – are the floors clean and crevices free of other people’s hair? How often are they cleaning up the hair? Are the benchtops and surfaces sparkling? Are the staff well presented?
Do they electronic record keeping and do they have Covid Safe Plan?
16.How friendly and helpful is the person who answered the phone?
The best hairdressers in Sydney will invest in great front desk reception angels who are well versed in the craft of hairdressing without being hairdressers. So they know the right questions to ask, the right information to share and give you the time to ask questions and hear the answers.
17. Does your hair salon invest in a website that provides articles and resources that educate and inform you?
Fashion is constantly changing. It can be hard to stay on top of trends as a hairdresser, let alone as a client.
That’s why a good hair salon will have a wide array of information available for their customers to make sure they are as well-informed as possible. Check your hair salon’s website and other online channels (such as Facebook and YouTube) to see whether they offer detailed information and resources for their customers.
At Lily Jackson Hairdressing, we strongly believe in educating our customers. That’s why we have spent countless hours creating resources to help you to understand what you need to know about specific hairdressing services and achieve your hair goals. Here are links to some of the more popular articles featured on our blog:
Or search our Blog.
18. The best hairdresser’s in Sydney have defined what a superior customer service experience is for their business:
Here are some of examples from the Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup Customer Satisfaction Manifesto:
- It means being the best version of ourselves every day for our clients, our team mates and our business.
- It means educating ourselves to be great communicators, so we can better understand our clients and deliver an excellent outcome according to the client brief without compromising hair health.
- It means we seek to build authentic and enduring relationships with our customers to understand who they are and how we can help deliver the right hairstyle for them.
- It means creating seamless customer service journeys that makes having your hair done enjoyable, relaxing, engaging and at the end of the day you, the customer, feel amazing.
- It means we as a team practice discipline and awareness when working together to ensure our environment is safe, clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
- It means hours and years spent understanding all the chemical products we use and how to apply them so the end result for the customer is beautiful, lasting, safe and maintains hair health.
- It means listening to feedback from our customers and team members to grow and become better at what we do.
- It means our senior staff are trade tested to ensure they have the skills required to meet this position.
- It means working with our product companies and suppliers to ensure the hair products are the best we can find to use on our clients for the best benefit of our clients.
- It means understanding/educating ourselves about what is in the products to always ensure our customers and team are safe from any harmful chemicals.
- It means supporting the environment we work in by being sustainable and carbon neutral so we don’t pollute and everything that can be recycled, is.
- It means being financially sustainable so our team is paid fairly and legally and they can build themselves and their families a future, we can stay in business to service our customers and contribute to our community by paying tax.
- It means being accountable as a business, as a team member and as a human who contributes positively to our world. We do this by creating beautiful hair for every human who is drawn to us.