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Reflections

You need a haircut, I mean you REALLY need one! You have a picture in your head of how you want it to turn out, but how to get your stylist to know what that is? We have all had the experience when we leave the salon with something very different from our original idea. Over the past 20 years working as a stylist, I have been on both sides of this frustrating moment. These are my best tips for ensuring that the next time you sit in the salon chair with a new style idea, you and your stylist can be in sync.

reflections

Be Realistic – As with everything else in life, your hair has certain limitations. Your hair’s texture, density, and length can be altered by services and products, but only to a certain degree. If your hair more closely resembles the tufts on a Muppet, you probably won’t leave the salon looking like Charlize Theron. Make certain that the target style you are aiming for is at least possible for your particular hair type.

Use Your Words, and Pictures, and Examples, and…. – Good communication is the key. Pictures from magazines, celebrities, Pinterest, etc. are great for your stylist to see what you mean by “sweeping bangs” or “long layers”. Be honest, if a stylist recommends something or shows you an idea that you don’t like, tell them the truth. They can tweak it to make it more to your liking, so speak up. Also, tell them how you plan to style and maintain your hair. Daily styling time, tools, and maintenance make a huge difference in choosing the cut that’s right for you and your lifestyle.

Be Ready To Learn! – A great stylist is excited to teach you a few tricks. They should offer you tips on how to maintain your look. If not, it may be up to you to ask questions. “What products should I use?” “Do I need a flat iron for this look?” “How should I blow dry to get more volume?” If this is the first time you’ve seen this stylist, give them some information on what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. He/She may need a couple visits with you to interpret how your hair may react to all their techniques. After 2-3 visits, you should both be on the same page and you will have a feeling of confidence that your hair is beginning to or has already transformed into exactly what you had dreamed it would. If not, it could be time to try another stylist, one size does not fit all and you may need to shop around a little. Look for people with hair like yours or like your desired style and ask them for a referral, this is the best way to find a new stylist anywhere, especially if you’ve just moved to a new area.

Cutting hairHave a Little Trust – When your guru of style offers ideas and suggestions on how to get the results you want with your hair, please don’t nonchalantly wave off their recommendations. Make an effort to at least “try on” their suggestions. Whether it means buying a product or trying a new style technique, your stylist cannot do your hair without the aid of products, tools, and techniques, so why do would you assume you can do it with water and air drying? Most salons have a generous satisfaction guarantee on any purchases if you decide you don’t like what you’ve bought. So don’t worry about that $20 styling product being too pricey. It could just be the answer to all your problems, and I’d say that’s money well spent!

Finally, the basic recipe to a great haircut, every time, and a wonderful salon experience is…  an enthusiastic stylist that loves what they do; a client that either knows what they want or at least what they don’t, and is willing to try new things to get it; and lastly but most importantly, amazing communication between the two of you. (a great cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either!)

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