If you've ever raced out of a salon with tears stinging your eyes, you might already know that sometimes it's hard to explain to a stylist exactly what you're hoping to get. Don't worry: There are ways to make sure you get the haircut you want, and all it takes is patience and an open dialogue.
It takes a little more explanation than just pulling up a picture on your phone, and you can't be shy to have a bit of a back and forth to make sure the two of you are on the same page. After all, no matter how good your hairdresser is, they still aren't mind readers.
Curious to see how to best communicate with the person behind your chair, Bustle contacted a Beverly Hills stylist to see what they appreciate the most and what helps when it comes to making the vision in your head become the reality on your hair. No professional intentionally wants to give you a tear-inducing cut, so they need your guidance and openness to make sure everyone is pleased by the time the hair smock is whipped off. From doing some recon on Instagram before booking an appointment, to pointing out things like your hair texture and daily level of maintenance, these tips will help you get the haircut you want — minus all the anxiety.
1. Do Your Research
Rather than just taking a recommendation from a friend, do some recon before climbing into the salon chair and choose a stylist that specifically creates looks that you're after. And since almost everyone has a smart phone tucked into their back pocket, use that tool to find the person that's made their career out of creating the kind of wispy bangs or pixie cuts you want.
"Find a stylist who suits your needs and who you love their work. We live in an Instagram world so it's easy to find a stylist online and view a comprehensive look at their portfolio," Meredith Morris, stylist, colorist, and owner of MAVEN Beverly Hill, shares in an email interview with Bustle.
2. Try Setting A Consultation
If you've been burned once or twice before, don't be afraid to set a consultation with a stylist before you go underneath the chopping block. "Most stylists offer a complimentary consultation — go to the salon and meet the stylist. Make sure you are comfortable and you are on the same page about your hair," Morris suggests.
3. Bring More Than One Photo
Rather than just bringing in one picture, bring in a couple and point out specifically what you like. Your stylist might not pick up on the fact that you like the bangs choppy instead of blunt, or that you like those two face framing layers. Instead, try to illustrate what you want as precisely as possible.
"Bring imagery to your appointment. Not just one photo, multiple photos. This will allow the stylist to take from the photos inspiration and customize the perfect look to suit your request," Morris says.
4. Talk About Your Daily Hair Routine
If you're the type of person that loves giving herself a blowout every other day, wonderful. But if you like to air dry your hair and run out the door, definitely voice that before they start chopping.
"Tell the stylist exactly how much time you spend when styling your hair. This will have a direct impact on your happiness if you want a high maintenance cut you have to be honest with yourself and your stylist about the work your committed into doing to create that look," Morris explains.
5. Trust The Stylist's Suggestions
"Most stylists want you to feel your best and most confident — they're not in the business of making people unhappy," Morris explains. "A hair stylist might see a problem with the haircut you desire and more often than not they are right, so trust the stylist. For example, if you have a short forehead you cannot have bangs no matter how much you want them."
6. Ask Them Specifically About Your Hair Texture
Whether you have pin straight hair, tight curls, or all manner of waves, ask your stylist if your cut will work with your texture or if alterations need to be made.
"This is another reason to find a trusted stylist. The stylist can advise you on the best version of the cut you like that matches and works with the texture of your hair," Morris advises. This way you'll walk out with a look that will look beautiful even when you don't have a pro blowing out your hair in the morning.
7. Take A Breath, And Let The Fear Go
While it can be annoying having a look you don't 100 percent love, don't put so much weight on the appointment. All that pressure might throw your stylist off in the end.
"Don't be scared. At the end of the day it is hair, constantly growing and changing," Morris says. "Be brave in the salon chair. Being apprehensive can cause your stylist to be nervous, and an anxious stylist cannot do their best work. Try and relax and have faith in the talent of your trusted stylist."
Follow these tips and the next time you head to a salon, you'll have absolutely no reason to fear the shears.
Image: @chrisjoelcampbell/ Unsplash