How to get the best haircut from your hairdresser

Just a trim please…

A trip to the hairdressers should be a great experience: laying back and being pampered and preened until, an hour or two later, you leave looking like a goddess. Sadly, it doesn’t always work like that. We’ve all had a horror haircut that leaves us crying in the corner of the bathroom, unwilling to leave the house. But what is it that can cause the salon experience to go so drastically wrong? Well, we put it down to a breakdown in communication. Describing that perfect haircut to your stylist can be difficult. So we’ve compiled some top tips to help you explain exactly what you want.

1. Visual aids

One of the best things you can do is to take a picture, or better still, a few pictures of the style you’re after. If you can’t find the perfect snap take a few that represent different components of your dream do: “A fringe like this, graduated like this and this colour,” is far more welcome to your stylist than a vague attempt to describe a complicated haircut without any pictures to show exactly what you mean.

2. Be realistic

This is a common stumbling block that can lead to a disastrous do. If you want hair like Beyonce when yours is fine and flat, let’s face it, you’re going to be disappointed! Be realistic about your hair type, your face shape and also about the time you have to style your hair. If you end up with a style that takes an hour to perfect every morning, you may fall out of love with it pretty quickly! We all have hair envy from time to time but it’s better to make the most of what you’ve got than to try to achieve the unattainable.

3. Learn the lingo

If you’re wanting something a bit more involved than a straightforward trim, it’s well worth brushing up on your hairdressing terms or simply giving some thought as to what you are going to say. Be absolutely specific in every instruction you give. Telling your stylist that your hair “needs a good trim” might mean 2cm to you but 6cm to them: give an exact amount of hair that you want cutting off. Saying you’d “like to try a fringe” could result in something very different to “a blunt fringe that rests on my eyebrows”. Never be embarrassed or shy at the hairdressers, this is the style you will have to live with for the next few months! Be as clear and direct as possible.

4. Take charge

Us Brits aren’t very good at making a fuss but if you’re sitting in the stylists chair and things aren’t being done as you would like, you must say something. If you’re nervous before a new do, say so, and your hairdresser will take it slowly and talk you through what they are about to do. If you aren’t happy with your final cut, calmly explain this to your hairdresser. They will do everything they can to make sure you leave the salon with a do you are happy with.