Dear Scott: I am moving to a new city. How do I find a new hairstylist, dentist, doctor, etc.?

Answer: Finding someone to help you with your hair is a lot easier than finding a doctor or a dentist. It’s not like you can go up to someone and tell them that you noticed how beautiful their teeth are and ask them where they bought them. With hair it’s another story. After you move or the next time you are visiting, people watch. At the grocery store, a department store, or just out having lunch somewhere is a perfect time to be on the lookout. When you see someone with hair that you like, get up some courage and ask them where they have it done. They will be flattered that you noticed. You might even make a new friend.

Dear Scott: If I pay more for a haircut will that guarantee that it will be a good haircut? Is there a way to find someone that can give me a good cheap haircut? I have tried many walk-in type places but haven’t had any luck so far.

Answer: Stylists that charge higher prices do so because of their experience and client demand. They usually possess the skills and foresight needed to design a cut, color, and style that works for an individual’s face and lifestyle. But I wouldn’t exactly say that paying more for a haircut will guarantee positive results. Your chances of being satisfied are going to be a little better, but don’t forget, the same hairdressers were once fresh out of beauty school too. Just because someone is new in the business and charges less money doesn’t mean that they aren’t any good at their profession. You are going to have to kiss a lot of frogs to find them though.

Dear Scott: Is there a difference between salon products and over-the-counter products? What kind of over-the-counter products do you recommend that I can get at the grocery store for color treated hair?

Answer: There is a big difference between the two. Most of the over-the-counter products are high in detergents and alcohol. They give all kinds of promises of soft, shiny, silky hair in the commercials. I can tell when someone has been using bad shampoo just by touching the hair when it’s wet. But, just because you buy something at a salon doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good either. Many salon products boast to be all-natural. Many of them claim to be safe for color treated hair and they aren’t. Some companies use plant derivatives that are as harsh as the chemicals they replace. It can get very confusing at times. That’s why I have my own hair care line. The last thing any client wants to have happen after spending money on hair coloring is to have it wash away after a few shampoos. Styling products can damage hair and remove hair color also. Too much alcohol will remove hair color and dry the hair with repeated use. Try this: take a piece of fabric and draw a line on it with a ball point ink pen. Take the hairspray you use on your hair and spray the line of ink. Try to get the ink out with a fresh cloth. If the ink comes out, so will your hair color with repeated use. The best thing for you to do is to ask your hairstylist what they recommend for your hair.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and master stylist. Scott can be reached at for questions and comments.