Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to figure out how to get the haircut you want. Telling your stylist you want Jessica Alba's new lob is simply not enough. I hate to break it to you, but if your haircuts are resulting in something totally different than what you wanted, it's not 100% your hairdresser's fault. They are just working with the limited tools we give them. It's their job to cut our hair and make us look like a super star, but it's our job to tell (and show) them which super star our hair is supposed to resemble. If we describe Miley Cyrus—but in our heart we want Blake Lively—we are going to have a serious problem.
Don't be sad, this isn't your fault. You haven't had the opportunity to learn. No one offers How to Talk to Your Hairdresser 101 as a college course. Getting the haircut you want should be a requirement of any savvy gal's money management. We spend an insane amount of money getting done up every couple months, so let's make sure we get what we really want!
Here's how to ensure that the next time you walk out of the salon, you love your new hairdo. Fix these six mistakes you're likely making when talking to your hairdresser.
1. You Don't Know What You Want
Maybe none of us really know what we want in life, but if you walk in clueless, there's a good chance you won't like what you get. A cut and color at most salons are upwards of $200. Invest some time in your investment! Set a reminder on your smartphone for a 30 minute research session a week before your appointment. Save celeb photos on your phone and, voila, you have a portfolio in your purse.
2. You Use Vague Descriptions
Get descriptive. Instead of just saying "bangs," say "full, eyebrow-length, straight bangs." Express what you want, but also what your problem is. Instead of offering your stylist the solution ("I need fuller layers"), why not let them know the problem ("I'm worried about how thin my hair is"). Using adjectives to paint a clear picture and letting them know the problem(s) you want them to fix helps them be the hair expert they are!
3. You Forget a Sample Photo For Color
Please bring a photo that demonstrates the color you want. Your idea of caramel blonde may be completely different than your stylist's. And reds. Oh sweet Lord, reds. The spectrum is wild here. You may say copper thinking Julianne Moore, and your colorist hears copper and thinks Carrot Top. Also be sure to inform your hair colorist how often you wash your hair, what products you use, and if you are fighting any sneaky grays.
4. You Aren't Completely Honest About Your Hair Routine
We may want to think we do our bangs each day, but honestly there's a ballet bun in effect most mornings. Or we claim to moisturize regularly, but overwash our hair with the crappy gym shampoo. None of these things are bad, but being honest about how apt we are to fix our hair and what products we use will impact the cut we get. Don't claim to be a pageant queen when you're really a wash-and-go kind of girl.
5. You Keep Quiet Even If You're worried
Speak up, girl! This is your prized hair! If you don't communicate your concerns then she or he will never know. Although generally blessed with fabulous vision, stylists aren't clairvoyant. If you don't want a short haircut, you better speak up if things start looking a little pixie-ish around your chair. Staying off the smartphone is an easy way to keep track of what is happening. And DON'T be worried about being rude. A polite, "Can you tell me what is happening now?" will pause the work, open up the conversation, and allow you to become engaged. Be friendly, but be clear, "I'm worried there is too much length coming off," is one example that might occur.
6. You Pretend It's Okay When It's Not
You wanted long bangs and instead you got Bettie Page. You brought in a picture of Lindsay Lohan's color circa Mean Girls and you got Pink. Women often avoid speaking up because they don't want to be disliked. Honey, it's okay to be honest if you're kind. Improving communication can be simple and painless. If you're not happy, try saying, "Wow, I know you put in a lot of time and effort, but this is not what we talked about. Is there anything we can do to fix it?" You are a hairdresser's walking advertisement. They want you to love your hair. More often than not, they offer a free solution. And it feels better to say what you need and give them an opportunity to fix it than just writing a snarky Yelp review.
Images: Getty (1), Giphy (6)