#1 Go to a good stylist and usually a great salon. The best way to find a good stylist is to ask someone with great hair where they go. I find great salons usually have the best stylists because they can afford to be choosy. The one I go to now is Inspire Salon in Cottleville, MO. Lots of perks.
#2 Show a picture during the consultation. You know when you first go back and sit in the stylist chair before you get washed and you talk at your mutual reflections in the mirror about your hair… that’s prime time to get the cut you want.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and hair lingo varies. If you sit down and say, “I’d like my longest layer here and have them go out from there,” you may end up with a super short cut instead of the pretty shape the popular girls had and begin your Freshmen year of high school with a nickname “Mario.” Just sayin’
Having learned my lesson, I pick up my phone and show my stylist a picture I’ve saved of what I like and then she talks me through what she’d do to my hair to make that work. The last time I heard, “Hers is thinner than yours, so I think we’ll do more than those layers and face framing.” That brings me to my next point…
#3 Pick a picture of a hairstyle that you can actually have. My stylist in Wisconsin had a sign in her salon that said, “I’m a Stylist not a Miracle Worker.” My rule for myself is no pictures of blondes. I have auburn brown hair. Blondes can pull off any haircut and look awesome. The cute choppy stuff I like on you doesn’t show up on my hair, it hides.
#4 Use Pinterest or the internet for today’s looks. Remember those hair style books every beauty shop used to have. Ha! The 80’s and the up-dos! Love it! Medium length was way up for interpretation too. My go-to for finding a cut I like is Pinterest. When I find a style picture I love I pin it to “My Personal Style” board. Before I go for a haircut I choose my favorite picture and save it on my phone. My favorite celebrity hair for trying on myself has changed over time. I had Zoey Deschanel bangs for a little while; she does them better. Now my haircut is styled after Maria Menunos. It’s timeless and I can do a ton with it. Plus she has thick hair like mine. Go Marias!
#5 Always get washed. This is a total preference as part of the enjoyment of the appointment. I love having my hair washed. I go where it’s part of the appointment. Places that charge separately drive me nuts because I’m cheap and I’d opt out and miss my favorite part. I’ve asked for my hair to be cut dry before. This is tough on the stylist, and the cut didn’t come out anyway. I did this because my hair gets wavy when wet and I wanted a cut that looked perfect when straight. Instead…
#6 Always get styled. Another bonus of going to a good salon is included styling. Places where it’s a separate fee again drive me nuts because I’d opt out. Now when I get styled there is usually some extra trimming that happens to get the cut just right when straight or curled or whatever. If you love what they’re doing, ask questions. Get a hair styling lesson while you’re at it. I learned how to curl with a flat iron from my stylist. Just ask!
#7 Don’t Cross Your Legs! Keep both flat on the footrest or you’re going to have an asymmetrical cut.
#8 Fix your hair before you go. Sounds weird, but I’ve heard that it’s good for your stylist to see how you normally fix your hair and what your ability is with hair before they give you something out of your manageable range.
#9 Go regularly. I’ve been totally guilty of only getting my hair cut once a year. It saves money, but I don’t like my hair as much. Some people go every 6 weeks. My budget isn’t okay with that. My stylist recommended every 12 weeks for me since I wear it long. That’s only 4 times a year, and I can afford that. When you get cut regularly, you can maintain a style and you’ll have less damaged ends. I love setting up my next cut at each visit, then it’s on my calendar and then I’m sure to get the stylist I want and I get first dibs on appointment times.
If you want the full pampered experience, then a salon with all the perks is for you. When I walk in I’m offered a beverage. Before getting my hair washed I’m offered a complimentary shoulder and scalp massage with an essential oil of my choice. It’s almost as great as getting a full massage. It is so relaxing. My stylist in Wisconsin did a neck massage while she washed your hair and it relieves all of your tension. I miss her and her great skills, but I can’t drive 5 hours to get my hair done.
PS –I have some $20 off coupons for new customers for my stylist that I’d love to give to you if you live near here. Yes, I get credit in my account for referring (full disclosure) and you can too. Seriously, this salon has fantastic perks.
How about you? Do you have a tip I missed for getting a great hair cut?