Essential Haircut Do's and Don'ts

For achieving the style of your dreams

Everyone knows the fastest way to update your look is to get a haircut. But do you know how? Answer these three questions as honestly as you can. Keep in mind, though, that if you answer yes to any one of them, you may be suffering from a common condition known as ignoramus clienteles. (Don't worry, it's easily treatable!)

  • Did you cry after your last haircut?
  • Are you sporting a mullet when all you wanted were long layers?
  • Were you wondering why your hairstylist didn't exactly seem delighted to see you?

Welcome, ignoramuses! Don't worry '- who hasn't been wronged at least once in the hairstylist's chair? Happily, there's a remedy, and like most things in life, communication is the key. So before you make that next appointment, check out this guide of dos and don'ts, and get ready for the haircut of your dreams!


Don't get your hair cut during a crisis:

If your romance just went bust, you got fired or you've had a fight with your best friend, it's probably not the best time for a haircut because your emotions may interfere with your decision-making, and you might go for an "impulse cut" you'll regret later.


Don't expect your stylist to be a mind reader:

Your stylist can't tell you what you want. If you truly have no idea, make an appointment for a consultation, not a cut. During a consultation you can look through images together and discuss your needs, likes and options.


Don't expect a cut to dramatically change your hair:

An excellent cut will flatter your features, while making the most of your hair's natural texture and length, and will suit your lifestyle and personality. But it won't change your hair texture, your face or your life!


Don't get caught up in the details of how the stylist cuts your hair:

Even if you wear your hair parted in the middle and you've informed your stylist of this, it doesn't mean she should begin from the middle. Trust your stylist, and remember that after you've communicated your desired cut, it's up to her to carry it out.


Don't show up late for your appointment:

Damien Miano of Miano Viél Salon explains how it can mess up your stylist's schedule: "If you're 10 minutes late, and it takes you another 10 minutes to change into your gown, have a sip of coffee and go to the ladies room, it does nothing but stress out the stylist who's left with half the time he should have to give you an excellent cut."


Don't bring your posse:

This is your haircut, not your friends', says hairstylist Pancho Soekoro, owner of Pasha Salon in New York City. "If friends are hanging out when the stylist is trying to work, the synergy is disrupted." Also, it puts the stylist in the position of not only trying to please you, but your entourage as well, which really isn't fair.


Do maintain a relaxed state of mind:

It's paramount that you feel composed, comfortable, and relatively stress-free for your haircut so that you're communicating well and clearly with your stylist. Also, when you're calm you're more receptive to any and all cutting alternatives.


Do bring a photo:

Every stylist we spoke to agreed that bringing photos is the best way to explain the cut you have in mind. Soekoro recommends you bring pictures of what you don't like as well. This way you're illustrating even more clearly what you're taste is, what you're about and what you'd like to achieve.


Do have reasonable expectations:

A good stylist can replicate virtually any look you want in the salon, but if your hair texture and length aren't consenting, you'll never be able to duplicate it at home. Say, for example, you have thin, straight hair, and you want a cut that'll give you a wildly curly look '- this is where a reality check comes in handy!


Do make arrangements to meet friends after your haircut:

This way you can show off, and they can "ooh" and "aah," touch your hair and even muss it up a bit, all without having disrupted your appointment or frazzled your stylist.


Do have hair cut from its natural part:

Mark DeVincenzo, hair designer at Frederic Fekkai, emphasizes how important it is to cut hair from its natural parting place so it lays to best advantage, giving it swing and pleasing movement.


Do show up on time or a few minutes early:

Not only will you be demonstrating to the stylist that you honor his time, but you'll also be receiving a full session in which to get undivided attention and the cut of your dreams!

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