If you’re looking for an afro hair salon in Montreal, you have some great choices. Maybe you’re looking for a change, are new to town or just visiting. So how do you choose the right person to care for your hair?

• Get recommendations – not just from friends and family; if you see someone walking down the street with really, really fabulous hair, you could always ask! You might find that there’s a variety of skills within a certain salon so if you can get the name of a stylist as well as the salon that can be really useful. The internet can be a great resource for reviews and recommendations too, though sometimes these need to be taken with a pinch of salt; reviewers can focus on the strangest things.

• Get a consultation – Everyone’s hair is different in length, texture, thickness, moisture, and it can be really helpful to get an initial short consultation, especially if you’re ultimately wanting something complex or time-consuming. This is in the salon’s interests as well as your own because they can make more of an educated guess at how long the treatment will take. Misjudging this can push waiting times right up and get the Montreal Afro Hair Salon bad reviews, which can be a killer for the small business. A consultation is essential if you’re looking to color your hair too, as your hair’s colorant needs can vary depending on factors like the condition of your hair, what treatments it’s already had, and how far you want to go with colors – if you want it really stripped to go bright or light then you need expert treatment to keep your hair looking healthy.

• Visit the salon – it’s important that the place seems right, and you can get a feel for the friendliness, cleanliness, and general ambiance if you pop in for an initial consultation, or just to arrange an appointment. A salon that does great hair but where you feel unwelcome isn’t going to cut it (pun intended) in the long run, although a salon where you feel like you could be everyone’s best friend but where you go away unsatisfied with your appearance is no good either. It’s great if you can meet your personal hairdresser too; your style might take a while so you need to feel comfortable spending that much time with them, and they should be able to accommodate you and make you feel at ease whether you like to chat non-stop about your holidays or just want to sit quietly throughout your appointment.

• Ask about their specialties – there are so many ways you can go with black hair so you need to find a stylist who’s really good at exactly what you want, whatever your tastes. Ask if there’s a specific stylist who really specializes in relaxing, braids, maintaining healthy natural afro hair or whatever it is you fancy. If you’re looking for hair extensions or weaves there’s a huge variety, both in the material used and in the method of fixing. Ask about the brands they use and their individual recommendations. If you’re not totally sure what you want then doing some research on the internet first can help you to make an informed choice about the best way to add length to your hair.

• Be prepared to wait – the stylists with the best reputations can get booked up fast, so if you really have your heart set on a certain place or person, you might have to wait a while for an appointment. Not just for the appointment day, actually… we’ve all been in the queue behind the micro-braid woman! Actually, not accurately assessing the time it’ll take for complex styles is a big turn-off at the salon… but more on this later.

• See who they appeal to – it’s a personal preference, really; some people prefer salons that cater to men or women specifically, but as Afro-Caribbean hair styling in Montreal is something of a specialty in itself, a salon that can cater to everyone with black and textured hair and where they are experienced in working with children has a real advantage. Teaching our kids to look after their black natural hair is part of their heritage; education and empowerment are the greatest gifts we can give our children, especially when those children can stand out in their community.

When you visit the salon, it’s really important to know what you want. Stylists are experts and they can be real artists. They can also give great advice. Ultimately though, it’s your hair and if you don’t give them an idea of what you want, well, they are not mind readers. Pictures can be really helpful, and the more precise you can be, the more likely you are to get what you want. Be realistic, too. If you already know how your hair responds to certain treatments then you need to take that into account – all hair is different and you know your own hair better than anyone.

Most salons offer a range of products that they use in-house. You don’t have to buy them, and you definitely shouldn’t feel pressured if they seem expensive. They might be great though, and if you come away feeling like your hair’s never been healthier, taking professional advice and going with the products your salon has used on your hair and scalp might be money well spent.

At your appointment, you should get advice on how often to see your stylist. Trimming away split ends is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Healthy hair can grow longer so if you’re looking to let your hair grow out it’s important to get those ends trimmed. Some styles and coloring can take more maintenance than others, so your stylist might recommend you see them fairly frequently. They can also give you advice on how to look after your style in between sessions.

Long or short, big or small, straight, loose, tight, you have so much choice in how your hair looks and feels. Choose the right salon and stylist, enjoy being pampered, and come out looking and feeling absolutely fabulous.