Stylists agree hands down that establishing clear communication with their clients is the most important step to a successful haircut. “The consultation is the best and most important part of the cut,” says Nick Berardi of Manhattan’s Vidal Sassoon Uptown Salon. “It’s where ideas and creativity happen, where I see the hair before it’s masked by shampoo and water
It’s also where you and your stylist develop a common language. A length that you call “short hair” might be seen by your stylist as “mid-length.” Your notion of “jet black” or “strawberry blond” colors might be considered “darkest brown” or “carroty red” by your stylist. Learning to speak each other’s language and establishing a common ground for communication is crucial.
The problem is, it’s very hard to describe to a stylist what you want, especially if you want something nonstandard like not having bangs flopping down on your face. “Please cut it short, go with the natural flow of the curls and waves, and don’t leave bangs falling in my eyes” doesn’t seem to register.
Ask what your stylist suggests. It’s always good to open a dialog by asking their professional opinion. She’ll take into consideration your face shape, complexion and body type when she suggests a style that she thinks works well with the whole package.
To help you establish a solid relationship with your stylist, here are some dos and don’ts to guide you through the whole process.
Make sure you feel comfortable in the salon and with its staff. Use a salon with a “personality” compatible with your needs. Some women like a warm, friendly, personal atmosphere; others prefer a more formal, professional, businesslike approach. Either way, the “feel” of the salon can indicate how you’ll be treated as a client, and it’s your job to choose a salon accordingly.
Keep your eyes on the scissors
You should carefully watch what your hair stylist is doing whether or not you would rather like to relax after a hard day. Speak up as soon as you feel uneasy about something and well in time for your hair stylist to still change gear. A good hair stylist will show a positive reaction to your participation and will ask for your wishes. You do have some recourse in the event that he or she reacts inappropriately or even stroppy and you really feel uncomfortable.
Check It Out
People-watch clients and staff. Several factors — location, word-of-mouth recommendations, costs — cause salons generally to service particular populations. If you don’t fit with a salon’s usual clientele, you might not get the kind of service you need. Similarly, if the stylists haven’t changed their own hairstyles in years and you follow the newest trends, or if they wear multi-colored, avant-garde styles and you enjoy conservative looks, you’re probably in the wrong place.
Enter the salon looking as you typically do. Wear your hair, clothes, makeup, and jewelry exactly as you normally do, to avoid misrepresenting your aesthetic, and to help you and your stylist to find hairstyles that match the rest of you.
Ask your hair stylist about hair care products. She or he can put a collection of products together, which fit your hair structure and your desired style. Of course, you can also talk with your hair stylist about your favourite products and how they are best applied.
Pictures open the dialogue between client and stylist, providing an education for both. Even if the photo shows a style that’s impossible for your hair type, discussing it allows you to zero in on the specific aspects of the style that appeal to you. Bringing a picture is a great way to get your ideas across, but don’t expect an exact replica. “It’s great when clients bring in photos because it gives me an idea of the kind of shape and styling they’re looking for,” expert says. “But bear in mind that you’ll never get exactly what’s on the page. It’s our job to customize that picture for you.
Be Open and Honest
Remain flexible and willing to listen, especially if you’re trying something different. Be realistic and honest with yourself about upkeep. Avoid high-maintenance, labor-intensive styles if you’ve never successfully kept one up before.Make a list of the problems you had with your last haircut and also all the styling problems you are having with your hair. List color or chemical problems and others.They’re trained for a reason! Unless there’s a major miscommunication, sit back and relax in the chair. Know that your stylist is schooled in making a cut (or color!) work for your skin, shape, and age based on the parameters you give them.
Don’t Second Guess Yourself
Don’t use a salon that seems mismanaged, overbooked, or poorly organized. If you feel dismissed, like you’re not being heard, go elsewhere.
Don’t Come Unprepared
Expecting the stylist to read your mind or choose for you could be a disaster waiting to happen. Prepare yourself and know what you want to say.
Don’t Be Ridiculous!
You can’t disregard the texture, length, style, and condition of your hair as it stands right now. Your long-term styling goals sometimes require intermediate styling stages that move toward that goal while remaining consistent with your hair’s current possibilities and limits.
Don’t Skip The Basics
Beware of a salon where you’re given a robe and whisked to the shampoo sinks before consulting with a stylist. And never forego the consultation because your stylist knows you and has done your hair dozens of times before. Your styling needs change and need to be addressed every single time.
Keep your options open
Stylists know their own limits; they all have different techniques, strengths and weaknesses. They would rather suggest colleagues within the salon who might be better suited to your style than lose your patronage altogether.
Don’t Leave It All to “The Expert”
Never abdicate all responsibility and decision-making to your stylist. You alone will live with the consequences of errors in judgement. Don’t be bullied into something you don’t want either; just because your stylist thinks it’s time for you to cut off all your hair doesn’t mean you should.Make sure your hairstylist sees and touches your hair before he picks up the scissors.so get specific about what you want—your stylist won’t mind if it takes you a few different tries to say exactly what you mean.
Be clear about color. Highlights, low-lights and full head rinses are all well and good, but if you don’t have the interest or money, make sure your stylist is aware of this from the start. Similarly, make sure you agree on the method–you don’t want to sit there with foils in your hair, furious, because all you wanted was a simple rinse.
No matter how embarrassing it might be, tell your stylist your hair history, like previous hennas, home-colorings, cuts by amateur friends, and home-perms. It’s essential they know what they’re dealing with when it comes to the condition of your hair.
Articulate. Be clear about how much time you can devote to hair styling each day. If you only have time enough to shampoo and condition, a style that requires flat ironing is not for you. Similarly, if you have the time to use products and tools, let the stylist know this. She can create a style that varies depending on the tools and products needed or she can suggest a style that requires minimal care on your part.
Don’t Leave Wet
Don’t leave with wet hair. Only when you’ve examined your dried hair can you be sure that you’re satisfied with the cut and color. Listen to your instincts; express them aloud. You might feel awkward or shy for a few minutes if you articulate your concerns and ask your stylist to remedy them, but remember, you’ll have to live with and look at your hair every day for months and weeks to follow.
Berardi reminds us: “If you spend five or ten minutes putting together your game plan in a consultation, you’ll prevent weeks and months of tears and heartache.”
If you decide to see who else is out there, always leave on a positive note. As a show of goodwill, try writing a positive review of the salon or the stylist online on social networks like Facebook, Yelp or Twitter. If you would rather keep it general, emphasize details such as the welcoming atmosphere, the free parking, the quality of their products or the great location.
Check the below links-
- ANGLED BOB Who it works for: This cut thins out round faces. If you have narrower features, you may want to rethink this. It will only make your face appear longer. Though it works on most hair types, it's the easies to style if your hair is fine and straight. Tell your hairstylist: To Use a razor on the ends. It texturizes the hair leaving the back soft and not so harsh. Maintenance: If your hair is a bit on the thick side, weigh it down with a shine or straightening product. Get it trimmed every six to eight weeks.
- BALAYAGE The French use this method to achieve more lightening on the ends of the hair (It is more natural this way as hair should always be darker on the base of the hair shaft or the root area) and less on the roots as with traditional highlights in America. Bleach or a lightening product is painted on without using foils. Instead a brush and paddle are used in a sweeping motion giving the hair colorist a bit more room to play and less methodical streaks. This method can be used to accent facial features. It brings out the eyes by adding bolder pieces of color at eye level. Balayage is more carefree than highlights, and because the streak isn't as define, it looks edgier and more artsy. Maintenance: Touch up every 3-4 months
- BLUNT BOB Who it works for: Nothing makes fine hair look thicker than a power bob. Unless you straighten it every day, this hairstyle doesn't work for curly hair Tell your hairstylist: Ask for a blunt line, a shaggy one emphasizes thin hair. Get bangs above the brow. A more severe fringe gives this hairstyle its sharpness Maintenance: Trim every six weeks to keep the shape. Blow it straight to style and finish with a flatiron
- CURLY BOB Who it works for: A round face should have hair longer than the chin and a bit longer on the neck to balance this style. Obviously, you'll need curls but if yours are in spiral be careful not to cut it too short Tell your hairstylist: To keep the length at your cheekbones as curls retract at least an inch. Cutting individual curls will create some choppiness and avoid bulkiness. Maintenance: This cut already has shape, so you don't need tons of products. Trim every six weeks.
- HIGHLIGHTS Highlights blend two or three shades of color for a hand-of-nature effect. Or, for a more significant statement it is applied using a bleach or lightening product. They add warmth to skin and give the hair texture and depth. It's like what a surfer's hair would look like, natural and funky. Maintenance: They should be updated every 4-6 weeks if you've lightened your hair color a lot (a heavy weave). If you have natural-looking highlights then 3-6 months is good. At homes kits are really bad to achieve this effect, as they don't lighten enough unless you are a natural blonde.
- LONG AND NATURAL Who it works for: Either extremely curly or African American hair with lots of length. If you don't have longhair, get a weave, which lasts 3 months. Tell your hairstylist: No Razors! Only Scissors should be used to cut this style otherwise you risk frizz. Hot rollers make the best loose but volumey ringlets Maintenance: Make curls last by tying on a silk scarf at bedtime then you only need to wash them weekly.
- LONG CURLS Who it works for: Long curls are incredibly sexy as long as you have patience to style them. Hair must be naturally curly and at least a few inches past the shoulders. Tell your hairstylist: Always cut hair dry with the shortest layers at the lip. Thin the hair a bit throughout to create separation and make it looser and easier to style. Maintenance: Style when it's damp, after that no touching! Since ends are not that noticeable you don't have to trim so often.
- LONG LAYERS Who it works for: Those who love the look of long, Gisele-like hair, but want volume and versatility. Tell your hairstylist: Layers should start at about an inch below chin length. If it's too short and you'll end up with "The Rachel." Layer the back as well so you get movement and a nice curve throughout the hair. Maintenance: To avoid straggly ends, get a trim every 3 months and don't over-wash your hair. Long layers actually look better a few days after washing.
- LONG SHAG Who it works for: People who want rock star texture and style, but without the fuss. A little product and air-drying is all you need to style. This cut adds texture to fine hair and lightens thick hair. Tell your hairstylist: The shortest layers should hit the bottom of your ears. Use scissors not a razor to leave ends feathery. Maintenance: Cut every 3 or 4 months though you may go about 7 months without ill effects.
- THE LONG AND SHORT Who it works for: Oval shaped faces look terrific with this style. It adds amazing body and life to fine, straight hair. For waves, it has a rocker vibe Tell your hairstylist: Keep layers long in back and choppy all around. This cut is all about movement. Add heavy, uneven bangs. They can be tucked behind ears or left in front of face. Maintenance: To keep it fresh, get it cut every two months
- NO-BLEACH ALTERNATIVES Rinse or Glaze: They both do not contain bleach or ammonia. A rinse is a semi-permanent hair color. It stains only the cuticle that fades away in 6-8 shampoos. There is no mixing and should be used straight out of the bottle. A glaze is a demi-permanent hair color that does not lift or lighten. It penetrates the cuticle and deposits hair color into the cortex. Demi-permanent hair color works with very low peroxide that won't damage the hair. It deepens hair color throughout the whole head of hair. It's good for toning down bleached-out, brassy, end-of-summer highlights and enhancing your natural hair color. It can also be used as a tint back to natural hair color or on sensitive overly damaged hair. Plus, it seals the cuticle, making hair color ultra glossy. Maintenance: It takes 10-15 minutes for a glaze or rinse. If you have the demi-permanent hair color there could be a bit of a line if you started out with lighter hair color. So, return every few months for a tone down.
- LONG STRAIGHT Who it works for: With the exception of baby-fine hair, which will look limp, this popular look works on most types of hair. But since long straight hair has nowhere to hide it should be in tip-top shape. Tell your hairstylist: Be firm! Hairstylists always want to give a hair a "cut" but don't be intimidated. Slight layering on the ends will help the cut grow out. Maintenance: A minimal trim every 4-6 weeks is great for getting rid of split ends.
- LONG WITH BANGS Who it works for: This cut emphasizes eyes and cheeks. Long faces need bangs to cover the eyebrows; round faces look best with choppier bangs. Tell your hairstylist: Start with long bangs they are the most flexible. Curve the fringe so the pieces on the sides are longer it's more flattering than dead straight across. Maintenance: Get a trim every 10 weeks or so.
- MEDIUM SHAG Who it works for: Most people, except those with very curly or frizzy hair. Because the layers are adjusted to suit your face shape, it's easy to pull off. Tell your hairstylist: Ask for choppy, uneven, tapered ends. There should be layers in the front and back. Maintenance: Thanks to the uneven, broken-up layers, this hair still looks good when it's grown out, but to keep the look, have it cut every six to eight weeks.
- PANELING Who it works for: This cut works beautifully on fine hair. It's a short, edgier twist on layers that give you more volume. Hair that's too thick ends up looking like a mullet. Tell your hairstylist: Instead of cutting on top of the hair, pull up the top layer and cut shorter, more angular pieces underneath. Maintenance: Don't wash your hair everyday unless it's really oily. This style looks very "Bad Girl" when it's a little dirty.
- BANGS Bangs are really hot right now. Everyone wants them. Whether they are short and choppy or long and shaggy, bangs suit nearly every type of hair except extremely curly. Even if your hair is curly you can now do spot thermal reconditioning on bangs (around $100-$250) and in an hour even the curliest hair can have straight, glossy fringe. Ask your hair stylist to use scissors for a soft, blunt look, and a razor for textured, fringy bangs. Maintenance: Light style spray keeps bangs smooth and cowlick-free. If you cut bangs yourself (at your own risk), you must, must cut them dry. They'll look longer when wet, and be shorter than you realized when they're dry. Texture: Straighteners and Perms
- HAIRCUTS: Short, fresh, sexy and all out confident THE PIXIE Who it works for: Your face is front and center with this cut, so you've got to feel good about your skin and your features if You're going to try it Tell your hairstylist: You'll need short, different length bangs. Avoiding blunt, even pieces. Part of the fun of this style is the choppy, unabashedly messy look of your hair Maintenance: Keep it looking fresh with a monthly trim. Style it by slicking bangs down a la Twiggy, or pushing them to the side for a sweet, girly effect
- ROMANTIC BOB Who it works for: This works best on wavy medium to fine hair. Thick hair will end up too poufy. Tell your hairstylist: This cut should fall to about the middle of your neck. Long layers will give it that dreamy, whimsical feel. Maintenance: Keep it springy and pretty by blow-drying it with a diffuser and by visiting your stylist about every six to eight weeks for a trim.
- SHORT BOB Who it works for: Looks fabulous on oval or square faces. If your face is very round, go for a longer version. Hair has to be poker straight Tell your hairstylist: The longest piece of hair should fall an inch above the chin, so you get that face hugging effect Maintenance: If you want to keep this really polished, you'll be in the salon monthly
- SHORT SHAG Who it works for: this cut suits most hair types except super thick and super fine hair. It looks amazing on delicate faces with small features. Tell your hairstylist: The longest hair should be at the crown. Ashley Judd style, rather than at the back of the head Mullet style Maintenance: Get a trim every four to six weeks, short hair grows fast. Styling this hair cut is easy. Pump up damp roots with a volumizer take the sides and blow-dry them while tousling. Finish by kicking the ends out with your fingers
- THE NATURAL AFRO Who it works for: A chic, low maintenance style for very curly Or African American hair. Tailor it to look funky or minimal. Either way, styling it is easy Tell your hairstylist: Your hair should be an inch long at most, but if you want a style with more height, leave it just under three inches Maintenance: Keep the shape by picking your hair out and tying a silk scarf over it, patting the hair until it's even. Get it reshaped every two to four weeks
- THE SKUNK Though getting an oversize stripe of color seems like it'd be simple, it's not! You need to be the type of person who takes care of their hair, someone who wears the makeup and dresses the part. Stacking foils very tightly to create a streak at least on inch wide creates the look. Or, 1 inch panels close to the scalp about 1 inch apart is also another method. Contrary to the name, you don't have to go for high-contrast hair color. A lighter red on redheads, or a honey streak on brunettes. Maintenance: it takes only 15-20 minutes, but you have to retouch the roots once a month.
- WAVY SHAG Who it works for: Those who want a sexy, messy-on-purpose style. Very fine hair might look too sparse with this look. Tell your hairstylist: Keep the layers long. Because the hair is wavy, too many choppy pieces will be prone to frizz. If hair is naturally wavy the razor should be used sparingly as it could cause frizz. If hair is straight and fine then the razor is key for adding some texture. Maintenance: Add some waves to straight hair or amp up natural curl with a curling iron.
- AFRICAN AMERICAN HAIR COLOR African-American hair is incredibly fragile, and it's already undergone chemical processes like straightening or perming, It's even more vulnerable to damage. It's important to use hair color that's not too harsh or your hair will just end up fried. For golden skin I suggest doing a few golden highlights, honey looks great with darker hair, either way, use a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
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