Tips for the Hairdresser
Tips for the Hairdresser

This afternoon I'm going for a haircut... At a new salon with a new stylist. Eeep!

It's a stressful outing, especially for those of us who've been butchered before. Last year in Sydney I had a terrible salon experience when I communicated badly and got the kind of cut that took 8 months and 2 re-styles to fix. It was frustrating and expensive. Then I met Christina who writes the blog Hair Romance, and she set me up with a great hairdresser at her favourite salon. For my hair and I, it was love at first shampoo.

Now that I'm back in Brisbane I'm back at square one and taking a gamble on someone new. But the difference between now and then is that today I'm equipped with a few key tips for getting the cut I really want. Hopefully by sharing them here I'll reinforce the concepts... And if I play by my own rulebook I should come out feeling like a new (and improved) woman. Fingers crossed!

Tips for the Hairdresser

1. Bring a picture. It's important to know what you want, and since most of us aren't trained stylists and don't share their technical vocabularies, a picture really is the best way to start the conversation. Photos ripped from magazines are ok, but it's even better if you can bring a picture of yourself with a haircut you loved that suited you perfectly. (the photo at the beginning of the post is the one I'll be taking along today)

2. Explain exactly what you like about the picture. The stylist may not see exactly what you do in the same photo, so it's important to be very clear. For example, you might love the layers but want a different length... so talk every element through.

3. Listen to the hairdresser. They'll be able to give specific advice on how to make the cut you want work for your hair type and face shape. And they'll give you a realistic assessment of how much maintenance your chosen style is going to require, which may help you reconsider your plans. A glossy fringe, for instance, is hard work in summer humidity!

4. Don't be afraid to challenge the hairdresser. This is where I've fallen down in the past. If you want a blunt cut and the hairdresser starts talking about putting in layers, pipe up! If you feel the stylist simply isn't listening, don't be afraid to stop the process. Storming out of a consultation is awkward, but it's less awkward than 8 months of bad hair. There are SO MANY times I wish I'd followed this advice!

5. Ask the hairdresser to explain their process. When you get a cut you really love, ask the hairdresser exactly what they did. If you jot down the language they use to describe your cut you'll then be able to communicate more effectively with other hairdressers if you move or have to change salons in the future.