November 08, 2019
Haircuts don’t always come cheap – so why do we often leave them unhappy ?We’ve all been there in the chair, watching uneasily as the hairdresser goes to town on our hair – only to hear ourselves say “I love it!” – before dashing out, distraught we didn’t get the life-changing look we really wanted.
How Not To End Up With A Sh*t Haircut – We Asked The Experts
From a cut that’s too short, uneven or not enough to a blow-dry that looks nothing like you normally wear your hair, it’s easy to put up and shut up. 
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
To help your next trip to the salon go more smoothly, we’ve asked some of the UK’s leading hair experts to share their top tips for getting a haircut you’re actually happy with – and how best to help them.Related... 'Hair Is Everything!' This Is Why Fleabag Is Totally Right (As Usual) Know your stylists from your senior stylists.Distinguishing between different types and levels of hairdressers can be tricky. Paul Windle, hairdresser and co-founder of Windle London, advises going in for a chat first. “Good salons will offer a pre hair cut consultation, so don’t be afraid to book one in first. It’s important to meet your potential new stylist.” 
From junior stylist to senior stylist, the difference in experience of who cuts your hair can be significant to the outcome. Charlotte Mensah (pictured below), a leading Afro hair stylist who specialises in natural hair, tells HuffPost what the different titles mean. A junior stylist will be recently qualified, she says. They’re less experienced, so command a lower fee – which can be good if you’re on a budget. “Their role involves helping senior stylists with their daily tasks of shampooing hair, mixing colour, general cleaning, meeting and greeting clients, keeping the salon tidy and simple cutting, like trims,” Mensah explains.
Next up are stylists, who “work independently on your hair” and whose skills can range from cutting to colouring – their time costs more. Related... 'I Feel Badass and Unstoppable' – 3 Women On Why They're Happy To Splash Cash On Hair Colour Senior stylists are “at the top end”, delivering the highest quality of service, which means they can charge a higher fee, according to Mensah. “It’s also often their role to train and mentor junior stylists.”
You might also be able to book the artistic director or creative director of a salon, she adds who has “accumulated a great amount of experience behind the chair”. They’re well equipped to offer the most advanced cuttings, says Mensah, but for a cutting, styling and colouring, she recommends booking in with a senior stylist in most instances – if your budget allows.Do your research – and take along a reference.Bringing a picture – whether’s it’s your favourite celeb or a grab from Pinterest – can be a great help to hairdressers. Nicholas Hardwick, principal stylist at Josh Wood Colour, tells HuffPost UK: “I personally love a picture reference as this gives me an idea of my client’s inspirations, likes and dislikes and allows me to then guide them according to their hair type.” 
Paul Windle agrees. “Any reference aid such as inspiration pictures are very useful. Freely express yourself, and don’t feel intimidated to do so,” he says.The best thing you can do as a customer, says Windle, is be open, honest and engage with your stylist to make sure the end result is something you’re happy with. “I always advise people to research, prepare and really think about what they would like to have done.”
Be direct – a stylist can’t read minds after all. As Charlotte Mensah explains: “It’s not just about what you want to change, but about your hair routine – if you often throw your hair up in a messy bun because you don’t have time to deal with it, tell the stylist so they can create a cut that’s easy to manage.”If your haircut doesn’t go to plan, be honest.Hands up if you’ve sat in the salon chair cringing at the piles of hair littering the floor or grimacing at yourself when the stylist shows you your new barnet. You pretended to like it before going home and having a cry, right?
While for a short time, it can feel like the end of the world, our experts say it’s rare that a haircut is unsalvageable. But honesty is key, explains Windle (below), who recommends saying straight away if you’re not satisfied. “Give your stylist the opportunity to explain and discuss; transparency is key, try and be as articulate as possible. A classic mistake is when people leave the salon and don’t say anything and get more upset – it may get blown out of proportion.”If you’ve left the salon without saying anything – or perhaps even knowing your mind – don’t be afraid to go back in to discuss your concern with your stylist at a later date. In fact it’s actively encouraged in Mensah’s salon, The Hair Lounge.″If a client is unhappy we will invite them back to discuss why,” says Mensah, whose salon policy offers a complimentary treatment to set your mind at ease.
As Nicholas Hardwick at Josh Wood says: “The haircut is for you, so if you aren’t feeling it, be honest. The only feelings you’ll hurt by not communicating this are yours, and there’s always a remedy.”
We couldn’t agree more. READ MORE FROM HUFFPOST FINDS... This Is How To Keep Your Hair Healthy Throughout Winter Is Living Proof's £18 Dry Shampoo Better Than A Bottle Of Batiste? This New Beauty Website Makes It So Much Easier To Shop Sustainably We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.
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