If you’re anything like us, describing how we want our hair when in the salon can be a confusing affair for both parties.
We don’t always know what we want and we don’t know how to describe it, leaving the poor stylist with no chance to creating the ‘do’ of our dreams.
So we asked a couple of hair experts to explain what they really need from you while you’re in the hairdresser’s chair, so you and your stylist are on the same page with your tresses…
How to get the haircut you want
Step 1: Communicate
According to Viviscal’s brand ambassador Neil Moodie, adopt the ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen approach and don’t be afraid to say what you don’t like: “Communication with your hairstylist is key! Tell them things you didn’t like before, but also tell them things you had in the past that you liked too as this will help them to better know you.”
Step 2: Research
Although most hair stylists are masters in translating your hashed-together description of what you want, learning proper hairstyling terminology will leave little room for error. “Short layers, long layers, graduation, geometric, texturized are all good things to know and talk about so your hairdresser can get a better grasp of the conversation,” he advises.
Step 3: Measure
Remember that your version of short could be very different from your hairdressers. Neil explains: “Bizarrely most hairstylists talk in inches when it comes to cutting hair, even though the world is now metric.”
To avoid potential melt-down of losing too much of your hairs length, Neil recommends “indicating with the use of your hands to talk about length you want cut off is always good.”
How to get the hair colour you want
Step 1: Know your shades
Describing what hair colour you want can be a bit of a nightmare according to Viviscal’s colour expert Samantha Cusick, who explains: “With so many buzz words about like Balayage, Babylights, Ecaille etc it can be hard to know exactly what to ask for.”
And pictures really do speak a thousand words – arm yourself with a mood board of them for your appointment. “Images are always the best way to get across to your hairdresser exactly what you mean. I love it when clients bring images of what they want so there is no confusion in what we are aiming for.”
Step 2: Be realistic
Samantha explains: “One of the things I hear a lot, that to be honest is unavoidable, is when I have a client with dark hair who wants to go much lighter but tells me ‘when I tried to do this before my hair turned orange.”
“The undertones to all dark hair be it natural or coloured are red/orange and as we lift out the darker pigments it’s the undertones that are exposed so hair will inevitably pass through some undesirable stages on the way to the much coveted lighter look.”
“This doesn’t have to be so unbearable you immediately want to go back dark – a good colourist can counteract those unwanted brassy tones with toners to create a more suitable colour for you to wear in-between sessions.”
Step 3: Listen to your stylist
While we’re on the point of communicating with our hair stylists, a successful conversation is two-way where you have to give and take. Samantha explains why it is just as important to listen to your stylist as it is for them to listen to you:
“On the flip side, make sure you listen to what your hairdresser tells you in the consultation. It’s one thing for them to understand what you want but you also need to be aware of maintenance, styling, upkeep and so on, as this needs to be realistic and manageable for you. This is particularly important if you intend to go for a colour change or restyle. It might take you more than one session to get to your target colour or if you’ve always had long hair and go for a chop you’ll have to get use to styling your hair in a whole new way.”