How to Avoid Hairdressing Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes we make at the hairdresser is going in with a "simple cut" in mind and coming home with a complete rearrangement of our style, color and length—all because we were sweet-talked into "trying something new". And it usually ends with "and don't you look 10 years younger?!"—which just rubs salt into the wounds! Avoiding such errors requires thinking ahead and being strong. Here are some suggestions on what to do.


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    Have a firm idea of what you want in mind. Only go to the hairdresser when you have a firm idea of the exact reason for going.
    • If you want a cut, that's it. Know what length, what style, and what limits to the cutting before you go. Be prepared for the "at least an inch off to cure split ends" line and if it is not something you want done, say so. It is your hair and you have to live with it.
    • If you want a color, know about it beforehand and spend some time looking at color swatches online and in pharmacy aisles so that you can choose with certainty when you are there. Sometimes it even pays to spend 5 minutes visiting the hairdresser a few days before your appointment and asking to see their swatches when you aren't pressured to have the color done right then.
    • If you want a perm, choose the style ahead of visiting the hairdresser.
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    Just say no. Sure, it sounds easy. Oftentimes it is not. We sit in front of those mirrors looking all washed out and tired under the fluorescent lights and we start thinking a totally new hairdo will make everything all right and our tired eyes, sagging face, sore feet, bad work karma, and unfed pets will all suddenly miraculously be cured by a new haircut. Don't believe it; the rest of life won't be convinced by a new haircut, only an attitude change can do that! Be strong and tell your hairdresser firmly, "no". Say something like "Well, that's an interesting suggestion but it's not for me. Thanks for making it though."
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    Do be clear on what you do want. As soon as you say "Aw, I dunno, I sort of want this bit over there, with a little twirl here, and a kinda cutesy look at the back", you become fodder for suggestions. Don't go with this lack of clarity; you open yourself right up to temptation. Know exactly what it is you want. Say clearly point by point what you want done (for example, "I would like 2 inches off the back and a really neat cut across the bangs, with some razoring on the front layers"). And end your instructions with "Do you follow me?" or "Is it clear to you what I want?" If you have a photo of how you looked after the cut last time, feel free to bring this to complete your description.
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    Enjoy the visit. You will be amazed how a simple fresh wash, cut, and blow dry will still leave you feeling great when you leave the salon. It's the pampering that makes a difference and the beautiful new crisp cut. The spur-of-the-moment style change isn't going to build on this aspect of the experience; it will be quite the opposite if you don't like the outcome!
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    Return if you're unhappy. Don't sit at home fretting and crossing out the days until this time next year when it will have all grown out. Call back once you have made a decision that you can't live with it. Tell the hairdresser it is not working for you and ask for a new appointment to fix it. Do not be shy - as with any service, the service provider must be willing to remedy a fault. Wouldn't you call back the plumber if the faucet he just fixed still leaked? Well, call the hairdresser back too.


  • If you are looking for your hairdresser's advice, either get it in advance, or ask for it now but say you'll mull it over and maybe consider having their suggestion done next time.
  • Research your options. If you want natural vegetable hair dyes, for example, are you going to a hairdresser who offers these? If not, you'll get salon staff selling you the line that their dyes are healthy enough... And in the temptation of the moment to get it over and done with, you might find yourself excusing your otherwise firm intentions to seek only natural dyes. Be fore-armed!

Things You'll Need

  • Research tools, such as the internet and hair color swatches

Article Info

Categories: Hair Remedies