Sometimes all thats standing between you and the perfect cut or color is knowing how to ask the right questions.  Here are some excerpts from an article in Ladies Home Journal we thought might help you receive the perfect service.

LAYERS
For a stylist, layering may simply be trying to give your hair movement. If you are okay with adding movement but dont want a choppy look, tell your stylist youd like to keep the density of your hair.

TRIM
For a stylist, the standard trim is an inch or an inch and a half.

TEXTURE
A client has wavy hair and asks for enhanced texture. The stylists goes in with a razor and gives her hair a full-on feathery look when all she really wanted was for her natural wave to be more prominent.

"WHATEVER YOU THINK IS BEST"
Granting total creative freedom generally backfires. Be prepared with a photo or a clear description of what you want.

BANGS
They can be anything from a thick fringe to just a few strands swept across the forehead. So specify length, width, weight and angles.

AUBURN
This tends to suggest brown undertones, but many clients envision something cranberryish. The term chestnut causes almost the opposite confusion: we think reddish; many clients think rich brown.

ASHY
This generally means a subtly whitish shade. But if a client complains of ashiness, she often means dull or brassy. We might then add warm or gold tones that you never wanted.

BRASSY
To some clients, its a term for "drab" or "not pretty" and may not mean the metallic look "brassy".

LIGHTENING
Its a simple word but it can mean so many different things-from brightening to bleaching. For blonde clients who want to go lighter, golden versus pale is a good conversation starter, whereas with darker-haired clients, warm caramel versus neutral brown is best.

VOLUME
You may think youre asking for a cut that allows for a little lift at the root. But the stylist could just as easily assume youre asking for all-over volume and will give you something that looks far more mushroomy than you had in mind.

IF YOU DONT WANT HIGH-MAINTENANCE HAIR, SAY SO. 
Some cuts look good only if youre willing to blow-dry and use styling products.  And dont forget to mention ponytail addiction, if it applies to you.  Then pull your hair back to where your pony usually resides so that no piece will get cut too short.

NOTE ANY FEATURE YOUD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT OR PLAY DOWN.
Its perfectly fair-and very helpful-to say, "I like the look of a bob but dont want the back of my neck to be naked or the bottoms of my ears to show. And PS: I really like how my eyes look when hair is grazing them."

TAKE A GRADUAL APPROACH TO DRASTIC CHANGE.
The trauma can be especially severe if you switch from very long to very short hair all at once. To acclimate, first try a few relatively short pieces around your face and leave the rest long. Then pull your hair back into a knot so you can see how short hair might look and feel on you. You can always go shorter over the course of your next few cuts.

EASE INTO BANGS.
If  youre getting them for the first time in a while, or ever, try a few wispy pieces across your forehead, and make sure theyre long enough to be swept to the side if you have buyers remorse.

TELL YOUR COLORIST WHAT LOOK YOU WANT BUT NOT HOW TO GET THERE.
What your last colorist might have used highlights and lowlights to achieve, a new person might do totally differently.  So, asking for highlights and lowlights would likely result in a big-not necessarily good-surprise.

INSTANT DRAMATIC LIGHTENING
Sometimes people with super-dark hair ask to go red or blond in one setting. They dont understand that chemically thats just not going to happen-or at least not without destroying their hair. For major lightening, allow a few sessions, perhaps over three to six months.

EXACT PHOTO-MATCHING
Yes, that beautiful honey blond you sported as a child can likely be reproduced down to the last highlight, but your skin tone has changed through the years, as has the way you wear your hair. And these factors, among others, will make the color look slightly different on you now. Or if youve brought in a photo of Cameron Diaz-but you have olive skin and dark eyes-even a perfect replica of her California blonde wont look remotely similar on you.

TOTAL LONG-LASTING GRAY COVERAGE
Theyre the bane of many womens existence: those few rogue grays that make a defiant return within weeks of being dyed. The texture of most grays make them tough to color-and tough to keep colored.  To date, no one has discovered the formula that keeps them all undercover for as long as anyone would like.



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