Fashion & Style

How To Tell Your Hairdresser What You Want

9:17 PM

How To Tell Your Hairdresser What You Want
I think that the most important thing a woman can have- 
next to talent, of course- is her hairdresser.
-Joan Crawford

How often have you left the hairdresser with a hairstyle you don't like because you were too scared to say that you wanted something else? For example, you asked for a change in hair color from your natural blonde to red. 

But you're unsure if your hairdresser gave you the right shade after. It's quite lighter than you expected. Do you dare ask your hairdresser what's the difference between a redhead vs ginger

Here are some tips on how to be firm and stand up for yourself and tell your hairdresser what you want.

How To Tell Your Hairdresser What You Want

Why do so many otherwise self-possessed women feel intimidated by hairdressers? 

Hairstylists are on a pedestal, and we are quailing below, afraid that if we say the wrong thing before we put our heads in their hands, we will emerge looking ridiculous.

Not that hairdressers will actually take revenge and deliberately make you look that way, but that, artistic egos wounded, they will lose interest and do a half-baked job. 

We've had too many experiences with hairdressers who act as though they are doing us a favour: that we are the merely raw and poor raw material.

Well, a hairstylist wants to style, create, take your hair, and do something extraordinary. The problem occurs when she or his idea of something special does not coincide with yours. 

The hairdresser may either be fixed on the current trend or not possess an excellent eye for what flatters a face.

It is your responsibility to communicate your wishes.

Some hairdressers have become like spoiled children. Dealing with hairdressers involves an extra psychological dimension.
A hairdo has to be a collaborative effort: the stylist's expertise, plus your personal preferences, in light of what's possible.

Simply putting yourself into someone else's hands is an odd way of behaving. 

Would you call in a house painter and say, "Paint the living room any color"? 

Too often, women approach hairdressers as if they wield a magic wand instead of a pair of scissors.

It's scary to confront your own looks analytically, but force yourself! 

It's not vanity, just common sense. 

Going to a hairdresser with a vague fantasy is simply unrealistic. You lay open to having the hairdresser plant her or his ego on your head, and the chances are you'll be disappointed.

To get on the right track, here are some helpful tips.

How to find a hairdresser

  1. Best results come from dealing consistently with someone who knows you and your hair.
  2. Get recommendations from friends whose hairstyles or cuts you like. What you are looking for is a general indication of expertise, not a replica of how you would like to look.
  3. Ask for the head of the salon or for the head stylist.
  4. Ask the receptionist for a person who is good with your type of hair or hairstyle.
  5. Meet your new hairdresser before you change into a smock and are shampooed. Seeing you in your current hairstyle and clothes helps a stylist to give you advice.
  6. Check out a hairdresser first for a shampoo and set or blow dry. It's a perfect opportunity to talk long before severe cuts or colouring.
  7. Avoid the fashion dictator who gives every customer (regardless of age, face, or hair) the same style.

Smiling woman shaking hands with salon receptionist

What to discuss first with a hairdresser

  1. Tell the hairdresser as much as possible about your hair: how often it needs washing and how long it holds a set.
  2. Be honest about how much upkeep you can give a hairstyle. Can you set it or blow it dry or do you only have time for a wash and wear?
  3. Make sure that you are perfectly clear in describing what you want. Leave nothing to chance; don't forget to state the obvious.
  4. If you want a change but are unsure what and want the hairdresser's expert advice, you should at least say what you don't want.
  5. Confront your expectations and keep your wishes within the bounds of reality. Don't fall in love with a hairstyle that is impossible to have with your hair.

woman showing photo on her phone to her hairdresser

Beware of big changes.

  1. If you are contemplating a dramatic change of length or color or going from straight to curly or vice versa, go somewhere and try on wigs first.
  2. In the case of a perm, set your hair on lots of little curlers to try out the effect. And if you achieve just what you want, get it right before you go to the hairdresser.
  3. It is worth the effort to test the look of permanent waves, straighteners, and hair color because these are chemical processes. The results can continue to affect your hair for as long as two years, and no magic will take them away.
  4. Take pictures of the hairstyle you want, but remember, it's only a starting point.

hairdresser treating woman's hair in a salon

Feel free to complain to your hairdresser.

  • If things don't turn out entirely to your satisfaction, complain to your hairdresser, not to your friends, and if you continue to be unhappy, it's time to switch.
  • Don't be afraid to go back for a correction to a cut.
  • If you're not much at handling a hair dryer, ask to be shown how to blow-dry your hair. Or how to set it or comb it. The days of the weekly shampoo and set visits to the hairdresser are pretty well past; today, hairdressers mostly do the big stuff (cut, curl, straighten, colour) and are happy to help you learn how to maintain your hair between visits.

About the author:
Lifestyle blogger
Scarlett Hilton is a lifestyle blogger at Life Tips. She has the heartbeat of one 
passionate to share her beauty secrets on how to look pretty.

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  1. Great tips!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

  2. It took a while and many trials before finding my current hair stylist. Yeah there was one whose idea didn't coincide with mine but he thought his idea was better. I have to tell my current hair stylist to do only blow dry, otherwise she irons my hair, but she is the best so far :-)

  3. Excellent post (as always)!Thank you very much :)

  4. Beware of big changes :))) So right!


  5. These are such great tips! Its so important to effectively communicate what you are after

    Rachel xx

  6. Love! Great post dear.

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


  7. i love my $15 haircuts done by a true professional who pays attention to what i want even as i give her permission to do her thing.

    it's always a win/win!

  8. Ive experienced this and didnt know how to very politely say 'I dont like it'. Great tips that I'll defo implore if Ifind myself in this situation again.

  9. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!!
    Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

  10. How to tell your hairdresser what you want? Tell your hairdresser what you want ;)...

    When it comes to your hairstyle it's important you find a stylist who truly understands your hair, and although as a professional they give their insight it's important they take into consideration exactly what you want.

    Some great tips here :)

    Laura xx

  11. The best hairdresser I ever found was one I ended up moving away from. I had a friend with a similar type of hair and liked what she'd done with it. It's too bad we don't have teleportation devices, eh?

  12. Hi Lux, Just stopping by to say HI and thanks for the post. I'll leave other comments to those who know far more about this than I do. :-) Hope you are having a great week!

  13. Well I guess we need to trust our routine hairdresser!

  14. All great tips, thank you!

  15. lovely tips, thanks for sharing <3

    Capturing Life Memoirs |

  16. I try to bring a picture with me about what I want my hair to look like. It helps so much!

  17. Hehehehe. I've always been so hopeless with this. Thankfully my hairdresser can and has been reading my mind for over ten years now. Don't know what I'd do without her


  18. We sure communicate, She listens, I listen and then we get to hair business.

  19. I'm actually stuck with a hairstyle I really don't like at the moment because of this problem. I definitely won't be making the same mistake again now!