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?