Oct 092014

I got a haircut today (October 8, 2014). It is exactly what I asked for and a fabulous cut. My stylist really wanted to do stacked in the back, and I agreed; in fact, if I had sketched my own haircut design this would have been it. So why, when I looked at the back, did I think it was old (albeit stylish) lady hair?

Rerun, from September 11, 2008:
In Staging Your Comeback, Christopher Hopkins hints humorously at how he interprets what clients say.  For example, if you say, “I don’t want it too neat”; he thinks, “she doesn’t want to feel old”.  (And isn’t that the truth?  And more than that, I don’t want to look like an old man.)  If you say, “I don’t want to look frumpy”; he thinks, “she needs more makeup”.  If you haven’t already, buy the book and read the rest of the list yourself.

In answer to the question “What is the most effective way of communicating what you want to your hair-stylist?”, Imogen’s comment is representative of the most commonly recommended way of handling it:

If you have a picture bring it – but look for a picture of someone with the haircut you want who appears to have a similar texture of hair – because what you want may not be possible if your hair won’t do the cut you want.

Interestingly enough, I think the second most popular advice was just to let the stylist decide.  Lots of other good advice in the comments back there.  Describing what you want seems to be the universally ineffective way of doing it.

Anyway, once upon a time, eons ago, I picked up this book – and I mean, picked it up in the bookstore and stood there and read it – which defines and explains the different kinds of hair textures and what kinds of styles work with them.  There’s no substitute for understanding your own hair texture.

The most common communication frustration for my hairdresser, and probably yours too, is people coming in with a picture of a hair style that simply won’t work with their hair.  Which is probably the reason some hairdressers prefer you bring a picture of yourself when you liked your hair.  Which makes no sense to me.  How could I then get something new every fall?

New for Fall 2014. Old lady or trendy?

  17 Responses to “TBT: Communicating With Your Hairdresser”

  1. Did you get that extra length taken off?

    I got my new hair cut back in July. I even blogged about it with pictures!

    They are a little fuzzy, but I really like it. The shape is working well with both my texture and my curls!


  2. No. I called and left a message, waited for a half an hour, then got busy. I’m totally busy tomorrow (dd and I are doing CEF at the fair!) and mostly busy Saturday. I’ll post a picture, I am planning on doing it.

    Yours is super cute! I like my hair and my hair texture, but if I could have curly hair for the next year I’d have a haircut like yours. 🙂

  3. I cut mine a month ago to get it out of the reach of little fingers. With my first, I patiently taught her, over several months, to be “gentle, gentle.” With #3 and 4, off it goes. There’s a picture at the bottom of this post.

    I really like it. It doesn’t look as frumpy even when it’s frumpy. 🙂 And it’s practically maintenance-free. But I still miss having long hair.

  4. Thanks! It feels really good to have a new ‘do. What a great idea… getting your readers to link up to show off theirs!

  5. Thanks, Rebecca. I forgot to take the picture with me:-( So, all I said to the stylist was: Cut it shorter; you know what you’re doing. (I figured it grows so fast I could change it next month if need be).

  6. O.K. I’m behind – a lot – the hair thing is, I think, the hardest part of the makeover for me to commit to. The cost of having to cut every six weeks far exceeds my clothing budget. I’m also scared of having to commit to any color maintenance. The closest I’ve come is getting a stylist from church ( she lives a good hour from me ) to teach my teen daughter to layer my hair.
    I do have a few new questions for her though so this will be my spur to ask her.
    Is your color natural – is it blond, white, or grey its hard to tell from the pics?

  7. I know I know what you mean about the cost of the cuts. Before now I would never have considered it. (For the record: my stylist charges $20 for a haircut and I gave her a $5 tip). It helps that I don’t color my hair. I can’t imagine spending the money to have my hair cut and colored, it would be over $100 a month and that is far above my clothing budget as well!

    My hair is grey, but it’s a pretty enough color to just leave it. Which is a good thing. It’s one thing to get sloppy with keeping your hair cut up, something altogether more humiliating to have a silver stripe in your part!

  8. I have a pricier stylist than yours, but I do my own colour. (When she worked at a different salon, she used to get the colorists to come and see it because it surprised everyone I did it myself.) I couldn’t afford to have professional colouring as well. (Okay, I could, but I’d have to give up something else I really wouldn’t want to.)

  9. Every now and again I consider blonding my hair myself. I think I could do it and have it look pretty natural, plus the silver strip effect wouldn’t be bad.

  10. I took along a picture, walked through the swatch book with my stylist, and she checked in with me throughout the cut. It took nearly twice as long as normal, because she wanted it to be just perfect. I like it!

  11. Oh, and Rebecca, I loved your hair blonde!

  12. I like your haircut and here’s what I think about the old lady business. My hairstylist – with whom I don’t communicate very well else I wouldn’t have any metallic or foil element to my color! – also gave me a stacked back but it turned out to look rounded like yours. It wasn’t what I understood her to be saying. You might need to think about how you could apply the curve and line bit of design you discovered. Anyway, “old” is now what baby boomers wore and didn’t we wear bubble cuts? That’s why I think it reads old to you.
    And you may be right and it could use tweaking on those grounds.

  13. Your new haircut looks a lot like what I was going for in my last cut (I don’t think I remembered to send you pics – I’ll do that). My stylist didn’t believe me that I wanted the back SHORTER than the front – despite all three of my pics having that feature. In the end, she did cut it shorter, but only by an inch or two – not enough to tell if I don’t straighten it, and stand very still. Oh well. I’ll try again next month, with maybe even more severe pictures.

  14. The stacked bob is not old by any stretch. It’s is very popular now and I see it all over the place, on everybody. I would be more concerned about having a style that’s too common (but that’s just my personality—I always want to be unique). What I’ve read on the topic is that it’s difficult to grow out again gracefully. All that being said, though, I think it looks nice on you.

    When I see my stylist, I always take pictures of what I hope to get and I have learned about the texture of my hair and what it will and will not do. For instance, there is no point in cutting my hair in a stacked bob because it is too wavy and susceptible to moisture. It just won’t stay in that shape. I’m also fortunate in the fact that my stylist’s own hair is about the same texture as mine, so she really understands it. I’m always happy with the result I get from her and she appreciates that I bring photos.

    • Thanks, Mastery, your input means alot to me. And, like you, I do not like to wear my hair the same as everyone else. This will probably end up being a step on the way to something else. At least my hair will look good on the way!

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