We all get haircuts. It may be once a month, at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, every 6 months, once a year, or whenever you can get it scheduled, but whenever that happens, for some, it’s a pretty big deal. It can go so far as to even dictate our day (bad hair day anyone?!). I often hear complaints from friends and coworkers about the hair and what went wrong with their haircut. And based on these scary tales and my own personnel experience a lot can go wrong. Take my worst haircut ever, circa 1990-something, when I was sporting a short cropped do. Basically it was a short bowl cut that basically made me look like a mushroom, but hey, what can I say, it was popular. But then I decided to get a pixie cut and told my stylist as such. I even referenced Winona Ryder as an example. I thought we were in agreement and both knew exactly what I wanted – quickly I learned that wasn’t the case. The gal shaved up the back, which was norm for most of my cuts, but then she proceed to shave up the side of my head, in a vertical stroke that went in front of my ears to the top of my head. I was rendered speechless from shock. I was paralyzed by the progression of my haircut, and clearly there was nothing I could say that could bring back the hair that was now laying on the floor. She then asked if I wanted to keep my bangs. I willed out a “yes” as I needed my short bags – that’s pretty much the only hair I had left! Of course, this travesty happened right before I was to meet quite a bit of my now husband’s family at a wedding, and I was pms-ing… Oh, and did I mention the giant zit that appeared within days of said haircut?! I was on the brink of an emotional breakdown! Looking back at this instance and the other various haircuts I’ve had since then I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to get a good haircut and avoid utter disappointment.
- Choose the Right Stylist – Select your stylist based on their strengths and skillset. What kind of hair do you have and what sort of cut are you going towards? Choose a stylist who excels at the look you want. Even a great stylist has their strengths. Someone that is great at cutting long hair may not be as good with short hair and vice versa. Someone who is terrific with straight hair, may be terrible at chopping curly hair. When looking for a stylist ask what their strengths are or what cuts they do the most often. See someone whose hair you like? Ask them who their stylist is!
- Get Rid Of Your Current Stylist If They Suck – Let’s face it, it is hard to find a stylist. Once you have one you want to keep them and are willing to deal with the frustrations… don’t! Yes, even a great stylist can get it wrong every once in awhile, it bounds to happen, but when glaring errors and unprofessionalism happen repeatedly it is time for a change. Getting your haircut is supposed to be a pampering and relaxing experience, right?! And some haircuts cost a small mint, so demand the best!
- Know What You Want – I remember conversations with somone I used to work with that went something like this… Coworker – “I’m getting my haircut tonight.” Me – “Oh, what are you going to get?” Coworker – “Oh, I don’t know… maybe X, maybe Y… I’m not sure.” And she would come in the next day and while she wasn’t utterly disappointed with her hair, she clearly wasn’t thrilled either… And every 6 weeks we replayed this scenario. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOUR STYLIST WON’T KNOW EITHER. If you have an amazing sylist, you can certainly ask their opinion on the best cut for you, and a good stylist will proceed to ask tons of questions and pick what they think will best suit you, but it still might not be what your looking for, so know or have a good idea before you go! Consider the type of hair you have, how short you want to go, how long you want to spend styling your hair each morning, how often you have to get it cut, etc. And where to get ideas…
- Bring a Picture – If a picture is worth a thousand words it is especially true when trying to communicate a hairstyle. Do you want it layered, thinned, razored, shaped, notched, texturized, bobbed, angled, disconnected, undercut… the terms are endless. It can be difficult to completely describe a haircut to a stylist, but if you have a picture, even if you don’t know all the terminology, you can give him or her a good idea of what you want. Even if the picture isn’t exactly what you want, you can provide it as a reference, noting where your idea differs… (I want it a little longer in back, I want it shorter on the sides, etc.). Where to find a picture? There are tons of magazines whose sole purpose is to provide pictures of hairstyles, and then there is the web… (hello Pinterest!).
- Remember… It’s Only a Cut – Remember my horror story at the beginning? Well, even though I was devastated, it was just a haircut and my hair would grow back… eventually. So I saved some money for those 8 months that I could just use my husband’s beard trimmer for a quick trim since I had very little hair, I figured out what my next real haircut would be, and I found the right stylist to do it.
So, use my horrible hair catastrophe as a cautionary tale of what not to do, and take the necessary steps to make your next cut top notch!
Until next time…