With time and money of the essence it's no longer a luxury to try out a wide range of stylists and salons until you find the best one for you, your hair and your budget.
Follow the haircut ideas below to get the very best hair cut for your hair type, texture and conditions at a price that keeps your accountant happy:
1. Do your research
In today's wired world it's essential that you search your way to salons convenient to your location, in your price range and with great on-line reviews. Narrow your search down to 5-10 salons and then narrow it down from there.
2. Tap into your personal network
Once you've isolated your search to one or two salons send out a great haircut SOS to your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Ask for feedback on your final selections. Word of mouth is key when it comes to finding a great new hairstylist.
Be sure to get as much feedback as possible about the stylist because if you don't make a great connection it will be challenging to communicate your true haircut desires.
3. Book an appointment at your target salons for an introductory wash and dry
This will give you an opportunity to check out the salon on a real time basis. Pay attention to all of the stylists and check out who seems to do the best cuts and styles.
4. Once you've determined the best one or two hairstylists you wish to try, go for a hairstyle consultation.
Bring large clear photos showcasing models with your desired haircut from all sides. Listen carefully to the stylist's feedback. The more information you provide the stylist, the better the outcome for you and your hair.
Remember that great hair cuts are versatile and look fabulous without a ton of styling. Avoid hairstyles that fight your hair's natural type and texture. Remember that a great cut can stand alone even before it's styled.
A great hairstylist will be honest with you about your dream cut. It if doesn't work with your natural texture they will tell you. Listen and let them suggest alternative styles.
5. Avoid impulse decisions.
After your initial consultation wait at least 24 hours before agreeing to the actual cut. This is especially true if you're going for a drastic hair change.
Be clear about your motivation for a new cut and make sure it's not to heal the emotional wounds of a bad break-up or a job loss.
If you're going with something really drastic compared to your current style consider first playing with wigs cut into the length and style you want.
6. Be true to yourself
When you go in for your actual haircut be sure to show your true self. Wear the same make-up, clothing and hairstyle you normally wear so your new hairstylist gets a sense of the real you.
7. Be serious about your appointment
When you go for your actual haircut be sure to be on time, keep your cell phone turned off and sit up straight. To get a precise and balanced cut it's important not to slump, fidget or cross your legs.
Avoid excessive chatter so your stylist can focus on the task at hand and do the best haircutting job possible.
If you're nervous the first time you visit a new stylist, bring a trusted friend or loved one to sooth your nerves and make sure the stylist is cutting your hair to the desired length.
8. Remain engaged during the entire haircutting session
Speak up immediately if you feel the stylist is going a different path with your hair than what you originally discussed or envisioned. Many of the top salons offer a no-charge redo service but it's best to love your cut before you leave the salon the first time.
9. Put your new cut about all other services
It's always best to start with a cut and make it the focus. If you wish to add other services such as color or chemicals schedule these for a follow-up appointment a week after your cut. Not only can you have your new cut tweeked if necessary, you will have gotten used to it before layering new hair treatments.
10. Show appreciation
If you've successfully located a great new haircutter, received a wonderful consultation and then a cut, be sure to show your appreciation with a generous tip. It's important to be sincere with your feedback and say thank you for a job well done.
If you're unsure what to tip call the salon before you arrive and ask the suggested amounts for your stylist and anyone else who provides direct services to you such as the shampoo person or an assistant.
Darker roots, known as rootage by some, has become popular over the past five years as a way to show a more natural color progression on hair.
Although some suggest you stop people you see with great haircuts it's not always a great idea. Some strangers may be put off by being approached by strangers and others may not wish to share the name of their stylist for a variety of reasons.
Of course it's always best when you follow your heart to find the hairstylist and haircut of your dreams.
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Original Publication Date: 10/25/10 - Revised Date: 04/23/11