Pretty young woman getting a hair cut by a beautician at parlor
Pretty young woman getting a hair cut by a beautician at parlor

5 tips for getting a good haircut when you finally see a hairdresser again

Here’s how to be savvy with your stylist, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Sam Wylie-Harris
Friday 09 April 2021 15:30

Ready to come face to face with a hairdresser again? After several months of having to make do, most of us will be skipping into that seat with lots of enthusiasm.

But how can you get a head start, and ensure you leave the salon looking and feeling as fabulous as you hoped?

1. Do your research

“Choose the best hairdresser you can afford. Someone by reputation or through word of mouth – friends or colleagues who you know are happy with their hair, and essentially someone with good consultation skills who will listen to what you want,” says Michael Van Clarke, renowned London hairdresser with 43 years in the business.

“[Some] people will spend hundreds on a blouse, but have a barrier of spending more than about £40 on a haircut. You’re going to wear your hair for far more days than you’ll ever wear that blouse.”

2. Seek their professional opinion

“A hairdresser should be able to deliver a package and style that looks the most flattering, be able to manage and replicate at home, last well and grow out well. It should still be looking good right up to the next hair cut,” suggests Van Clarke, who’s a staple at the British Hairdressing Business Awards, and knows a thing or two about cutting and continuity. “It’s maintenance, it’s not an overhaul. In order to keep your hair looking great, it’s regular maintenance.”

3. Be frank during your consultation

Anything you can share with your hairdresser about your likes and dislikes will aid communication, and enhance the experience. “It needs to be a match with what the hairdresser’s going to give you, that actually works for you,” says Van Clarke. “Your individual hair type, your look, your lifestyle, what you’re trying to achieve. So the hairdresser needs to understand that first, and also your capabilities in terms of maintaining this at home; the more you’re able to do, the wider the choices.”

4. Consider colour as well as the cut

Colouring your hair can be a game changer, especially if you want to add lustre to your locks, try a new shade or rock a new look. New York hairdresser and colourist Rita Hazan, known as ‘The Hair Colour Authority’ is famed for her ‘face framing’ technique, which essentially uses highlights around your hairline to brighten, lift the face and some might say, make you look years younger.

5. Think about taking a clipping of a haircut you like

Anything that helps your stylist understand the look you’re after is going to be helpful. “Hairdressers who say, ‘Oh I don’t like people showing me photographs,’ are really just revealing they actually don’t know how to do the full range of work – and it frightens them that the client has a fixed idea,” says Van Clarke. “Often, it isn’t exactly what’s appropriate for the [customer’s] hair, or for them, but it always aids discussion, so you can move them towards something you know inspires your client.”