5 Mistakes Hair Stylists Wish You Knew To Avoid Before Your Appointment

For your best haircut, heed these stylist-approved tips.

Things Your Hair Stylist Wish You Knew
Photo: Peathegee Inc / Getty Images

Being unprepared for a hair appointment is a gamble only a few brave individuals take. On a great day, all goes well. On a not-so-fabulous day, you could leave unsatisfied with the final look. If you choose to show up unprepared for your trip, pre-cut and pre-color proceedings at the salon can be fraught with potential misgivings. Luckily, we have tips straight from the stylist's mouth to help you get your most flattering strands.

Aside from the core tenets of salon etiquette—arrive on time, tip appropriately, keep off the phone—other guidelines don't necessarily fall under the basics. Here are 5 things to know before your next hair appointment, according to stylists.

Minimize Hair Products

It's generally not ideal to arrive with heavy product build-up from styling your hair the day of your appointment, especially if you're getting a dry cut or highlights before washing. It can cause hair color to go on unevenly and affect how your hair stylist evaluates your pre-cut hair type and texture. Leza Duncan, a stylist at Salon U in Birmingham, Alabama, gave us a welcome exception: "It's fine to use products you normally use for your everyday blow-dry, but stay away from a lot of hairspray."

Bring Pictures

Perhaps the number one salon rule to remember: Always bring tangible inspiration that details your vision clearly and objectively. Describing the type of layers or shade of color you're looking for can be difficult, and the stylist might imagine your words differently. A picture is worth a thousand words. Don't worry. We have all the options to get you started.

Duncan adds: "Be prepared to really communicate with your stylist about what does and does not work for your hair. Start with a length you want, and find pictures of looks you could see yourself loving."

Keep Your Hair Type In Mind

Someone with thin or super fine hair might benefit more from one cut, while someone with thick or curly hair might prefer a different cut. Bring in inspirational photos to show your stylist that are plausible for your hair thickness and texture. Additionally, be open-minded if your stylist might recommend specific tweaks to your inspiration that will suit your hair type better. Odds are, any vision you have can be achieved to fit your head of hair, but it might take some flexibility to get there. Some typical flourishes can be easily adapted to suit different hair types: layers, bangs, and length.

Don't Fib About Your Hair History

The same way in which you shouldn't lie to your doctor about symptoms or habits in order to get the best care, be open and honest with your stylist. As in, they know if you have used boxed hair dye at home, so don't fib. The truth will come out as soon as they begin putting color over the boxed dye. It'll be much more beneficial to your final result if you are upfront about what you have done along with your hair goals.

Leave The Hoodie At Home

When you're about to spend hours in the salon chair, it's natural to want to be comfortable. However, skip the hoodie sweatshirt. The hood on the back gets in the way of cutting, coloring, and washing. To guarantee your best service, wear a crewneck style instead. Plus, you don't accidentally want to take home locks of cut hair, hm?

These snippets of salon advice will help prepare you for successful strands at your next appointment.

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