1. Do Your Research
One of the simplest ways to guarantee a great haircut is to speak to your friends – look for people with beautifully styled hair that’s similar to yours and ask them where they go and their stylist’s name.
However, if there’s a salon you’re insistent on using, chat to the receptionist and ask them to recommend someone who regularly works with your hair type, texture and colour. If in doubt, book in for a consultation beforehand, ideally a couple of weeks before, which will give you time to digest the ideas and advice proposed, and find an alternative stylist if necessary.
2. Senior Or Junior?
Unsure what level of stylist to choose? Ultimately, it depends on how drastic an overhaul you want. If you have challenging hair that’s been subjected to disasters in the past – whether that’s colour or cut – and are thinking a major restyle, then it’s essential to choose someone experienced as they’ll know what’s suitable for you and your hair type. However, for more routine appointments such as a quick trim or blow-dry, book in with a junior stylist.
3. Act It Out
When you’re talking to your hairdresser, avoid talking in terms of inches. Measurements might be scientific, but they’re subjective when no-one is pulling out a ruler. If you have hair to your collarbone and want to cut it to shoulder length, pull your hair up to that exact point.
4. Show More Than Tell
Stylists are visual people, so showing a photo or a magazine picture of the look you want is a sure-fire way to love your cut. However, it’s essential that you try and choose images of hair similar to your own in thickness, texture and movement.
5. Be Honest
Like a doctor who needs to know your medical history to treat you properly, stylists need to know your daily grooming habits to determine the best cut and colour for you. Everything from whether you blow dry your hair or straighten it, as well as your job and how you style it during the day will have an impact on your final cut. So when asked if you blow-dry every day, tell the truth – the cut you want may be high maintenance and in all reality not right for you.
6. Be Realistic
Be open to advice. If your stylist suggests a slightly longer or shorter look, or more or less layers than you had your heart set on, remember they’re the expert. While it’s important for you to discuss everything with your stylist until you’re 100% satisfied, it’s crucial to remember your stylist knows the best cuts and styles that will work with your hair texture, thickness, movement and face shape, so be open to their suggestions.
7. Don’t Discard Layers
Cutting layers can be great for adding texture and movement to the hair, which can be particularly useful if you have very thick hair. However, how the layers are cut is crucial and must be carefully added with lots of consideration to your hair type and what shape the layers will create. Too many layers can leave the hair wispy and shapeless so always chat this through with your stylist if this is something you really want.
8. Pay Attention
By all means sit back and read a magazine, but keep an eye on your stylist while they’re working – don’t be afraid to ask questions, make suggestions and ask what products they’re using. One of the easiest ways to maintain your look at home is to copy what your stylist is doing – from products to simple techniques.
9. Make It Work
Back home, there’s no reason why your new cut shouldn’t look as good as when you left the salon. Keep these golden rules in mind for flawless hair, every time:
When washing your hair, only apply conditioner to the ends and rinse thoroughly – excess amounts of conditioner can weigh the hair down, leaving it lifeless and greasy.
If using styling products, make sure the hair is 70% dry before applying – if the hair is any wetter, you risk diluting the product and stopping it from being so effective.
When blow-drying, never overwork the hair as this can make strands frizzy, static and give less flexibility.
Try to direct the hairdryer along the hair shafts as opposed to straight on to the hair, this make the hairs cuticles smoother giving more shine.
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