[While I live in Montreal, the following points apply to men in women in any area.]


I have seriously fine hair. I’m not kidding: babies have more body in their hair than me. This means that I can put a ton of product in my hair and it still appears flat and lifeless after a few hours.


This also means that a good haircut is critical. Every imperfection clearly shows when you have fine hair. Which is why a good stylist is so critical. So when I moved from New York to Montreal, I knew I had to find a good hairdresser asap. But how? Where do you begin? Montreal has a ton of hair salons and I wasn’t sure where to start. So I made a little plan and got started.

How to Find the Best Hair Stylist In Montreal

Create a plan. Many have a misconceived idea about the “perfect” stylist. They think he/she will look at you and magically dream up the perfect cut and color. It doesn’t work that way. Hairstylists aren’t mind readers. One obvious method to guide your new stylist in the right direction: find photos of your dream cut. (I created a Pinterest board for mine.) That way, you’re not shooting in the dark when you sit in front of the stylist for the first time.


Revisit your past. Who cut your hair successfully in the past? What did you like about it? Do you look better with long or short layers? Fringe or no fringe? If you like your previous hair color, call your previous hair stylist and ask. Most are more than happy to share. It’s just a formula after all and can be easily replicated.


Play it safe the first time. This may seem obvious but don’t visit a stylist for the first time and undergo a radical, transformative cut. Go for a trim. Get a color that is similar to your existing color. Consider it a first date where you get to know your stylist and get a feel for his or her style. Live with the new style for a while then decide: do I want to return?


Take a magnifying glass to your new style/color. I can’t tell you how many stylists I’ve visited who have cut my hair unevenly. I only noticed it because I took the time to compare the lengths of sections of my hair when I got home. This is not cool and shows a lack of thoroughness and professionalism on the stylist’s behalf. Do not return.


The same holds true with color: what does it look like in the sunlight? What does it look like in the back? (Ask a friend if you can’t see it properly with a mirror.) Was it distributed evenly? How does the color hold up over time?


I’m not going to kid you: a good hair stylist is hard to find. I do see a better ratio of top-notch hair stylists in Montreal where the competition is stiff and the training better.


I chose Salon Deauville and visit several stylists there (because there are so many good ones to choose from and my schedule is erratic). Ultimately, go with your gut. But do your homework too. And play it safe the first visit. You’ll look amazing after that!