It is such a good feeling to leave the beauty shop with a banging new ‘do that makes you feel and look good. On the flip side, nothing can induce public tears quicker than the moment you turn around in that salon chair for the big reveal and see a cut, color, or style that you did not want.

Most times when our hair doesn’t come out exactly the way we expected we’re ready to go off on the stylist and threaten never to return but in some cases they’re not the only ones to blame. We’ve probably never gone in for a new style and told the beautician, “just do whatever,” but when we’re not specific enough about the exact look we’re going for, we might as well say that. We don’t want anymore of you to leave the shop with the disappointed ‘do look so here are a few tips to make sure you walk out of the salon with the hairstyle you came in for.

Tip #1: Research
It’s rare that people decide to go to a new beautician when they’re ready for a brand new look, but sometimes they have no choice if they’re in a new city, their beautician’s booked too far in advance, or they’re not happy with the service they’ve received before. If you’re in this position, it’s best to seek out recommendations from people you know. Sure, you can find reviews on just about anyone or anything online but the experiences vary so much and are so non-specific that there’s really no telling what you’re getting into. Friends, family, and coworkers can give you first-hand details on what their stylist is like so you can make a better decision about whether to pay them a visit. You also might want to go in for something standard like a wash and set first—who can mess that up—to see how you like their service, then let them do something more drastic next time.

Tip #2: Bring Evidence
If you have an idea about how you want your hair to look, it’s best to try to find photos to make the thought in your head more visual. Whether we’re talking about a particular color, cut, or style, photos are invaluable when it comes to a real-life example of what you’re going for. This should eliminate tons of confusion and guide the stylist immensely.

Tip #3: Be Realistic
At the same time that you want your hair to turn out exactly the way it looks in the photo you show the stylist, you have to be realistic about a number of things. For starters, almost all of the looks we see in magazines or on our favorite celebs of color are courtesy of weave, which means we’re not likely to have the exact same outcome if we’re trying the style with our real hair. It’s sad but it’s reality so we have to be real with ourselves about our own hair texture and health to manage our expectations. In terms of dye, the base shade of your locks has a huge effect on how the final color will turn out, so again, it may not look the same on someone from a photo shoot as it does on your hair, and that doesn’t mean the beautician did something wrong.

Tip #4: Be Specific
Unless you and your stylist are experts in measurements, coming in and saying chop off a few inches is likely not going to get you the cut you want. Use your hands to show exactly where you want your new hair length to fall after the cut. You may even want to go a bit longer, since we know stylist tend to get scissor happy once that start snipping away. When it comes to a new color, saying I want my hair blonde or red, isn’t going to cut it either. There are so many shades in each of those spectrums from strawberry and honey blondes to auburn, rust, and cinnamon dyes. Unless you’re picking a specific shade out of a color book or bringing in an example of your own, you’re tossing the dice with the color combo your stylist comes up with. And that means the odds of you leaving that chair with a pouty face increase dramatically.

How do you make sure your hair comes out exactly how you want at the shop?

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  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    5. look at the beautician’s hair. If it’s not done or it is a hot mess, think twice about sitting down and paying up.
    6. Ask to see pictures of the beautician’s past work. NOT magazines.
    7. Your beautician should speak English, or at least the same language that you speak. Point blank period.
    8. No means no. Don’t let a beautician bully you into a style.

    • twee

      5. look at the beautician’s hair. If it’s not done or it is a hot mess, think twice about sitting down and paying up.

      This one could mean the opposite, I worked at a salon where the top stylist was so busy she didn’t have the time to do her own hair. I always hated that however, put it in a neat bun at the very least…but nevertheless she stayed busy open to close and left late at night I guess since she had her clientele she wasn’t concerned.

  • Tash

    I always ask myself first can I maintain the style that I want and does my face fit the style that I want. I have been pretty blessed with the stylist that I have had over the years. One thing that I have learned from all my stylist is that if they cannot teach you how to maintain and take care of your hair and what products to use to have healthy hair(relaxed or natural). You may want to find another stylist.

  • mamareese

    Hm yeessaahh cause they sure will try to do it to you honey! Putting fingerwave in the front and a wavy mullet in the back and then having they coworkers cosign like it’s cute!!! That aint hot Gina….Shenaynay!!!

    • overseas_honeybee

      DEAD_______________________ lol! @mamareese

      It’s a time trying to find a good stylist overseas. They can be few and far between. The good ones know they’re in demand and will either show up when they feel like it or eventually return to the states to work. Rockin’ braids right now until I can audition a new chick.

  • Insight

    It NEVER DOES! I have had some horrible experiences…like horrible. Hair falling out (on only one side of my head), balding, bowl haircut. When I stopped going to the hair dressers and went natural my hair started to finally grow.

  • overseas_honeybee

    I look for nasty workstations and shampoo areas (open perm containers everywhere, leaky bottles, tools all over the place, 5,000 cigerette butts and food containers scattered around the shop, kids running around fighting while she trying to curl your hair. etc).

    and yes I’ve seen all these things …

    I know it can get busy but no excuse for clutter, excessive noise and filth.