How To Get Your Best Haircut Ever
Consultation is the key
A classic flat top and a precision graduated bob haircut are very different, yet similar. A barbershop and a hair salon both have the same mission. They both can be a great haircut. they both want to deliver great haircuts. There is more to a great haircut than a great haircut. A great haircut starts with a great haircut consultation. Great hair cutters are a dime a dozen. Great haircut consultations are, sadly, rare. Haircut consultation is more about listening than it is about a hair cutter telling you what is in style and what they think you should do with your hair. This web page will explore the major elements of a great haircut consultation and how your next salon or barbershop visit can result in your best haircut ever.
A great hair cutter will perk up their ears before they pick up a scissors. They will ask a lot of questions. many of those questions will be clearly about the specifics of your hair. Some of the questions will be about your lifestyle and past hair experiences.
In cosmetology and barber school they teach haircut consultation. The best piece of advice was... You have been gives 2 ears and one mouth, use them proportionally. There should be twice as much listening as talking by your hair cutter.
Read on for a solid understanding of the haircut consultation process and what you need to to to insure an awesome outcome.
Talk to your hair cutter
Here is the list of major topics a good consultation should cover. Read on through the page for details on each component of a good consultation.
- Your Hair Texture
- Your Hair Density
- Your hair Color
- Your Skill in Doing Your Hair
- Your Available Time For Hair Doing In The A.M.
- Your Use Of Pictures
- Road Testing A Hair Cutter
Your Hair Texture
First lets cover a few variables. What you bring to the party has a huge impact on what you can walk away with in the form of a finished look. Your hair texture will dictate what looks and shapes can work well with your hair.
Not everyone can have everything. Sometimes the answer to your request needs to be no. Not all hair cutters are comfortable saying no. Many will try to force a look or a shape into hair that would prefer not to play along. Not all textures can be pushed into all styles.
An important texture point to be addressed is weather they style you are seeking will be worn with your hair's natural texture or will that texture need to be altered? A perm can be used of your hair is too straight for the finished result. Chemical straightening can alter texture the other way. Chemical changes in texture bring with them their own set of benefits and challenges.
Daily alteration of texture, blowing curly or wavy hair out straight, or setting curl into straight hair are options, but ones that come with a price in the form of time and effort. They require skill and commitment.
Discuss texture to be sure you have a goal that is achievable with a commitment level in time, effort, cash and passion that you can live and work with.
Your Hair Density
How much hair you have will have an impact on the hairstyle you can have. Density is the measure of hairs per square inch of scalp. How much hair do you have?
Some styles require the bulk and density of a lot of hair to support the shape. Some bug and full styles are much easier leverages in thin and fine hair... heavy hair has more work to do to defy gravity.
There are cutting techniques to make fine hair look and feel like more. There are techniques to thin and reduce the bilk for thick, heavy hair.
An assessment of what you really have and what your options are should be a MAJOR part of every consultation. Also there should be that discussion of what your hair cutter can do to alter, with with or support the density you have.
Density is an element of your hair that can be tweaked (within reasonable expectations) to meet a style objective.
Have you ever had a bad haircut?
Tell the truth... no one can see your hair when you are on the web... Webcam off? Right?
How bad was your bad hair cut?
Bad haircut? - Maybe try a hat! :)
Here are a few hats for sale if needed.
Your hair color
Yours is natural or applied?
Light hair colors reflect light. Dark hair colors absorb light. The same hair cut on the same head of hair will appear quite different depending on the color of the hair it is cut into.
Hair color can be changed. New, modern hair color products make nearly anything possible on nearly ANY natural or base color. A discussion of hair color is a must as a part of any haircut consultation. When discussing hair color there is more to the conversation than just the color. The time needed to process and execute the color service, the costs involved and the frequency of touching it up are all important considerations. They are all part of the color discussion and decision.
Hair color also plays a role in hair texture. All hair color is a form of controlled chemical damage. This damage alters not only the color of the hair but its surface quality and its physical health. Non-color treated hair is smooth, shiny, slippery and slick. Non-color treadted hair is less likely to want to coopearate with styling efforts and create desire outcomes. Some degree of chemical dammge through hair color makes hair easier to style and more compliant. Thin, fine hair textures feel buliker and can be coaxed into biger, bolder and fuller styles and looks when exposed to the effects of hair color chemicals.
Your Hair Doing Skill Level
How talented are you? How hard are you willing to work. Can your old dog learn new tricks?
Some people are naturally gifted with hair styling skill. Some of those people become hair stylists. (some non-gifted folks take up the job as well, beware!). If you have the talent to make hair happen or are willing to make the effort to learn and try you can ask your hair to do amazing things.
Most people have good basic instincts as to what is realistically posible with their hair. Often a particular look or style requires a simple tip or trick to excecute. These tips and triscks are not to be protectred as industry secrets. Information is powerful when shared. An important element of a haircut consultation is a discussion of what it will take to do the do on a daily basis. Have this discussion upfront so you go into the project with the real the information needed to make the look happen. It is the hair cutters responsibility to train the client in the skills needed to execute the look.
Yikes! I have had a bad haircut. I do not want to go there again!
Bad haircut? - maybe a bandana would be better? :)
Your Time In The A.M.
Spend it, waste it, use it on what matters to you.
How much time are you willing to invest in your hair each morning? If doing your do requires getting up a bit earlier are you willing to make that sacrifice?
Breakfast or hair? if the look you are after requires more time will that cut into time with food or family?
A realistic understanding of the time needed to execute your didaily hair creation is necessary so you go in knowing what you have signed up for. Many great haircuts have turned to dissapointment when the realities of the investment needed is realized. Many people choose to go with a shorter haircut simply because short hair takes less time. In surveys time savings is one of the key elements in the decision t go short (in addition to fun, sexy, attention getting, sassy, empowering, etc.). There are lots of reasons to wear short awesome hair. You can tell I am a fan.
Be realistic about the time you have, the time you are willing to put in and the time it will take to get to amazing each day.
Cut to the chase
If you read and use nothing else from the web page... Use this one tip. Get a picture. Bring in a picture of the look you want. Bring in a picture of yourself with a look you are looking to recreate.
Pictures can clear up a lot of miscommunication in a snap. It is easier to show a hair cutter what you mean than to try to tell a hair cutter what you mean.
Keep in mind that just because a picture of a celebrity or a trendy style will have you and your hair cutter on the same page does not mean the style can be a reality for you and your hair. As we discussed earlier, differences in density, texture, color, skill in styling, etc. all will come into play. Just because you can have the picture and just because your cutter can TECHNICALLY duplicate the structure of the cut does not mean the finished result will be the same.
Use pictures to communicate. Do not bring in a picture expecting exact duplication. Do not let a picture create unrealistic expectations.
Check your hair throughout the day... - ... a pocket mirror perhaps?
Road test a stylist
More trial, less error
Stick your toe in the pool before you jump in. Road test a hair cutter before you make the big change commitment.
If you are considering a hair stylist at a salon make an appointment with your intended hair cutter for just a shampoo and blow dry. See if their finished style is to your liking. Determine if their consultations skills are up to par. Now that you know what makes up a good consultation you will know if you are experiencing one or not. Now you know the difference.
If your hair cutter is to be a barber where a styling visit is not a reality go for just a light trim. See if this cutter has the discipline to go easy on your cut. Scissor happy cutting on a light trim request is a sure sign of a poor listener. Worse things will happen when you attempt to make a big style move.
What is worse? - Please share your opinion
What is worse? A bad hair cut or a bad cold? Which is more likely to keep you home in bed?