4 Steps to the Perfect Haircut

No matter how much you pay, or how fancy the salon, sometimes you hate your new haircut. Every woman has a bad haircut story; it's either too short, you leave with bangs or layers you didn't really want or it's too high-maintenance. Sometimes you don't know why you don't like it '- it just doesn't feel like you.

Makeup artist and hairstylist Tyrone Traylor wants all women to leave hair salons happy. Here are his tips for a satisfying salon experience:

  • Bring a photo of the cut you love to your stylist. "You may have heard this advice before, but it works! Bring photos of movie stars, friends, fashion models -- anyone who has the cut you want. The single biggest problem in not getting the haircut you want is poor communication. People who cut hair are visual. When you bring photos of what you like it gives your stylist a clear idea, plus it's a good starting point to discuss what is perfect for you." See how you can try on different cuts and styles at home, and take a printout for your stylist to copy.
  • Trust yourself. "I find women always, always gravitate toward the colors, shapes and textures that are right for them. The problem is sometimes they don't speak up, or they don't trust their instincts. You need to feel comfortable with your haircut. You can get the best haircut in a technical sense, but if you don't feel comfortable with it, you won't carry it well."
  • Work with your natural hair. "You may not mind blow-drying your hair every morning, but if you skip a day, your hair should still look good. A good cut should fall into place with a minimum amount of work.

    And for African American women, contrary to popular sales pitches, I have never seen a weave or bonding technique that makes your hair grow in thicker. The reality is that the pulling from the cornrows or braiding is generally very tight, and sewing on extra hair actually pulls at hair roots and causes traction baldness. I always recommend women work with natural hair, but if you use a relaxer, always get touch-ups at a salon. You want to apply relaxer only to the regrowth and not overlap previously relaxed hair. Ninety percent of chemical-based breakage is due to overlapping product."
  • When you get a haircut you love, preserve it in pictures. "Your photos don't have to be fancy. Use a Polaroid or disposable camera. Take photos of the front, back and sides of your haircut. When it's time for a trim, show them to your stylist."
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