Getting a good hair cut
If your Nan gets out the basin and scissors, run away to a salon smartish, but make sure you're well armed.
What do you want?
Most people like to play safe with their hair, so it's a good idea to have some idea of you want, or at least what you like before you go. Look through magazines and cut out photos of styles you'd like. Think about how much you are prepared to have cut off and whether you want a classic neat cut (bob, crop, long and layered etc) or a modern, choppy cut. Take the pictures to the salon with you. If you want a 'celebrity hairstyle' find a recent picture of them, otherwise you may end up with a Beckham Mohican rather than a Beckham crop, or they may not know who you are talking about.
There is no point getting a high maintenance cut if you hate spending hours on your hair each morning, instead go for a versatile look that can be styled into a fantastic look, but which won't look too bad unkempt on those overslept Monday mornings.
Where to get it done
Try to go somewhere that has been recommended by a friend, but only if you like their hair! You could also try asking people with haircuts you like where they got it done. Go along and have a consultation, and if you don't like what they say, don't get it done there.
Always have a consultation
Even if you're going to that fiver-a-cut place, always sit and talk to the stylist before you have your haircut. Any good hairdresser will take the time to discuss your look with you, saying when they don't think a look will suit you, and suggesting alternatives or new innovations you may wish to try. Show them those style pics and flick through their style directories. Ask them to point out pictures of what they are thinking of doing. Say what you hate about your hair and previous haircuts, and if it is a new stylist say if your hair is naturally wavy/ kinky, so that they can allow for this when they cut.
Learn to say 'no'
If your stylist suggests something you do not want then say so. If you allow yourself to get talked into something you really don't want you won't be happy with the end result, even if it looks stunning to others. Having said this, when you have found a hairdresser you trust, allow yourself to take a few risks with your hair, they may give you a style you'd never have dreamed of trying that suits you perfectly.
Want to keep that salon look? Then ask what products they used on your hair, and what they would recommend you use yourself. If you can't afford their products ask what to look for in a cheaper product. Also ask for tips on recreating the look by yourself.
Brave and/ or poor people should give model cuts real consideration. They are free, and overseen by a senior stylist to prevent it all going horribly wrong. If you don't have five hours to spare go to an advance academy who'll take half the time and have a much wider range of cuts they can do. Beginner's classes will tend to do the cut they've learnt that week and if you don't want to look like everyone else avoid them. Look for adverts in papers, magazines and salon windows.
If you still get a bad haircut (were you reading this properly?) wear a hat/ wig and rest easy in the knowledge that it will grow back, eventually.
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