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How to: get a Good Haircut

How To May 8, 2012

I love shoes, handbags and statement jewelery as much as the next girl, but the reality is that your best accessory is your hair. Getting that perfect chop may seem fairly straightforward, but all too often I’ve come out of hairdressers close to tears unable to believe what it is that’s been done to my hair. Have you had an experience like this? Chances are you have. And what of these women who seem, no matter what, to get the best haircuts around? This, this and this lady spring to mind. I’ve worked out that they don’t just go into random hairdressers with no idea of what they want and sit back, giving no direction. Getting a good haircut is an art, for the stylist as much as for you. Here are some success tips (learnt purely through trial and a lot of error!) to take with you next time you visit the salon – and hopefully help you to leave smiling and flicking your new do.
1. Choose a good hairdresser
In the case of hair – you get what you pay for. My $10 haircuts here in Hong Kong were rarely any goodand more often than not left me looking like an 11 year old Korean school girl (‘bowl’ springs to mind).So shop around for a good stylist – ask friends, family and people on the street who they recommend. On a budget? Some of the best stylists I’ve been to have left good salons and cut from home, so research online who you could use in your local area. And try to build a relationship with your hairdresser, rather than going to someone different every time – then you can plan together a strategy for how your hair will look.
2. Know (kind of) what you want
Unless you really trust your stylist don’t just plant yourself in the seat at the salon and expect the stylist to know exactly what you want, or say ‘do whatever you want’. This rarely works out (my friend once told her stylist that and she came out with a bob and a shaved sideburn on one side…). Take pics of what you like and talk through what you’ve had and liked in the past.  Be specific if there are things you don’t like.
3. Go au natural
Don’t straighten/curl your hair prior to going to the salon, you want the stylist to see your hair in it’s natural state so they can make an informed decision about what will look best.
4. Be specific about length
If you’ve ever been close to tears when leaving the salon it’s most likely because your hair was a completely different length to what you wanted – ‘short’ can mean different things to different people so make sure you get the stylist to indicate exactly what length they are going for – and of course remember it will be even shorter once dry.
5. Don’t be afraid to be honest
Absolutely hate it? Often my first thought is to get out of the salon asap (even if that means having to go out a window) but in reality this doesn’t help anyone. Don’t just sit there with your toes clenched, be honest (but tactful) in your thoughts. The person cutting your hair is a professional and should be ok with criticism – you never know, perhaps a few tweaks will have you feeling much better about it.
In need of some inspiration for your next salon visit? I tracked down some of my favorite styles off Vanessa Jackman‘s website – her ability to capture naturally beautiful women means the best hair inspiration!

More perfect haircuts after the jump!

Do you recommend anyone in your local area who blows you away? Leave a comment to let other readers know – often the hardest thing is finding someone worth going to a second time. For ladies in Hong Kong, I’ve been going to John Mouzakis at Private I QG Salon, he’s a super cool hipster dude and seems to be the only person in this city able to cut my hair properly.
Images via Vanessa Jackman
Tags Beauty Instructionals

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