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Cue your next Pinterest browsing spree.

Every so often, it’s good to spice things up at the hair salon. Whether it’s a subtle statement like adding some face-framing fringe or a full-blown transformation like finally rocking that pixie cut, a new style can instantly refresh your entire look. No matter how big or how small the change is, it’s normal to be a little hesitant. After all, you are putting your strands (and faith) into a stylist’s hands. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you and your hair dresser are on the same page before sitting down in the chair.

The surest way to express your mane intentions is through photos. “If you are planning to change up your look, whether with your trusted stylist or especially if you're going to see someone new, put a little effort in to what it is you're looking for,” says Thomas Osborn, TIGI Creative Director & VP of Education. “With the plethora of resources available today, from Instagram to Pinterest, it's not hard to find fresh ideas for your hair—even if it's images of what you don't like.” Gathering a few pictures is the best way to convey your personal sense of style and begin dialog between you and your stylist. “Communication is key and most times, a picture is worth a thousand words. After all, hairdressers are visual people,” he explains.

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One thing to keep in mind when you’re scrolling for inspiration is to be practical. “We hold a comb, not a wand,” says Osborn. “Although most people want what they do not have, you've got to be realistic about what is right for your hair type, texture, face shape, and lifestyle.” That’s why it’s important to schedule a consultation to talk over what you’re thinking—it’s the easiest way to discuss your images and make sure everyone is on the same page before the scissors meet your strands. Once you’ve reached an understanding, it’ll make the first snip of your new do more exciting—not to mention, completely stress-free.