Swish Swish: Tips for getting the haircut you want (and deserve).
So I’m going to start this by telling you a little story. I used to work with one of my friends, and she decided to get a completely new haircut in her lunch hour. An hour later, she came back to the office, with new locks in tow and very red eyes. There may have been tears. There may have been me frogmarching her down post work to get her money back.
It wasn’t quite a Fleabag pencil haircut scenario but you know, it wasn’t what she had wanted and felt mortified with her new do.
Whilst it might seem like an insignificant thing, getting a haircut is a big deal. Like many aesthetic choices we make, a haircut is often an expression of who we are – something we choose to bring out or hide certain aspects of our appearance.
Many of us aren’t hair stylists, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to translate what you want and hairdressers, after all, aren’t mind readers. So, after many years of leaving the salon feeling deflated, I’ve found four key ways to get what I want when I’m sat in the chair.
Find your hair soul mate
Obviously, it can take a number of years of salon hopping to find the right stylist but so many hair stylists have great Instagram accounts these days that you can usually find a style of cutting and colouring that works for you and then search for something local that accommodates that style of hair design.
Some stylists have a speciality too – for example, I found my hairdresser by calling around and asking if they had anyone who specialises in cutting thick hair. Mine can be a total mane, and terrible cuts stand out like a sore thumb on my head thanks to it’s unforgiving dead straight nature!
If you don’t like them, don’t go back!
I know so many people that visit the same stylist over and over again and endure the awkward small talk or just generally feeling uncomfortable for fear of going somewhere else.
Given my hair thickness, when I get my annual balayage top up I can be in the chair for over four hours and so I can’t think of anything worse than sitting there for that amount of time with someone who makes me feel uncomfortable or that I don’t get on with.
As someone who has to take an hour’s train journey to get my hair cut, I cannot stress the importance in finding someone who welcomes you with open arms, can judge exactly how much chat you’d like and knows your drink order off by heart.
Consult & Visualise
Whilst taking pictures (Pinterest is my go-to) are great in helping your stylist visualise what you’d like, it can help to have a consultation prior to your cut. I like to make sure I have time aside for this if I’m about to ask for something that’s different to my existing haircut.
During this process, make sure you include detail about your routine – how long you spend on your hair each day, the type of hair texture you have and any frustrations you have.
Not only do most hairdressers relish the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice, but they might offer different suggestions or recommendations that you can then go away and think about.
Pricey doesn’t always mean better
Luxurious salons pull people in with their gleaming shop fronts, and it can often feel like you have to invest big bucks to get the haircut you want.
In my experience, a lot of these salons are pretentious and charge for extras such as thicker or longer hair. You also, if you’re lucky, get a side of bitchy gossip on the side.
When it comes to treatments, I sometimes use platforms like Treatwell to find smaller, cheaper places that have great up-to-date reviews. Failing that, having a wander around the local area usually helps me find salons hidden away from the main high street where rent is higher.
They might be slightly rougher around the edges, but they often have less churn and as a result, tend to retain the skilled stylists who have a roster of customers who return time after time.