Styled Out: How to get the haircut you want

As a style writer who doubles as a hairdresser, you can imagine that sometimes it gets pretty cray up in here what with all kind of wardrobe and hair advice inquiries. So it’s fortunate that I enjoy chit chatting about those subjects all the livelong day. This week, I was asked how to get a really good conversation going with that person standing behind you with the comb and the shears, in order to best convey what you’re looking to get out of your haircut.

Your stylist should be asking you a lot of questions if it’s the first time you’re seeing him or her, but if they’re not, here are a few key things to bring up and/or be ready to talk about:

1. Your daily routine. 
Do you shampoo everyday, use heat every time you style it, or just rinse and condition?

2. What products do you use?
 Be open to your hairdresser’s recommendations, and know that the exact style that you leave with isn’t necessarily possible to completely replicate if you don’t have the same stuff at home.

3. If you’re looking for a big change, discuss what you are willing (and not willing) to do to accomplish a style.
 How much work will it take?

4. What are some things you liked about your favorite haircut?
 How about your least favorite experience?

5. What do you do for a living?
 Trust me, this matters.

Pictures are extremely helpful reference points for your hairdresser. Most of us are visual people and, let’s face it; your idea of “long” and ours might be completely different. Even if the photos you bring aren’t exact replicas of the cut you’re looking to achieve but you’re able to point to a thing or two in each that exemplify what you do or don’t like, awesome! That is 1,000 times more helpful.

The common misunderstanding is that you’re going to get an exact copy of the cut in the referenced photo. We will do our best to make it as close as possible, but you’ll appreciate the fact that we’ll customize an element or two to make it the most flattering and catered to you. Besides, we’re not going to be able to use some kind of magical conditioner to turn you into Tegan Quin, so, relax and trust that we know what’s best for you.

Googling “lesbian haircut” produces little to no realistic results (as tried by my fiancée) but I really like Hairport’s photo stream, Hairstyles on the Street and Curly Nikki. I like Hairport’s variety and I really enjoy Curly Nikki because she has an entire celebrity section as well as “real” folks and great DIY tips.

Every great haircut begins with an equally awesome conversation. If it doesn’t, you better have been seeing your girl for years. We’re not mind readers but we’re generally pretty social and want to make you happy, so speak up!

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