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1. Get some inspiration

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So, you’re ready to take the plunge and have a new haircut, and even if you know exactly what you want, it’s still a good idea to do a little bit of research and get some inspiration for your new cut.  Personally, remembering back to the good old days of physical magazines dedicated to hair is a lovely bit of nostalgia, but nowadays, there’s so much more online to draw from!  So have a scroll around and get inspired – this could be the best haircut of your life so far!

2. Do it because YOU want it

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People get their haircut when they need it, as maintenance and to keep it under control.  But where’s the fun in that?!  You’re spending your hard-earned cash on a little bit of self-care, so it’s important that you get it cut because you want it, not because someone else has told you that it needs taming!  You’ll tame it when you’re good and ready for a bit of pampering.

3. But understand what you want

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So you want your locks cut, and you’re ready, but do you know what it is that you REALLY want?  Is it just a little maintenance or are you going for a whole new look?  And why are you ready to have it cut?  Have you got a special event coming up or are you starting a new job?  Perhaps the only reason is to just spoil yourself with a lavish new style or treatment.  Whatever it is, be clear on what you actually want to do with your mop to save yourself from regret later on.

4. Remember that your face shape counts

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Now, people always say (including experts) that you should consider your face shape before deciding on a hairstyle.  Your shape could be a pear, a heart, an oval, a square, and so on.  But that gets us thinking and wondering why exactly we need to consider this…  If you research it, many of the reasons include: ‘enhancing your features’ and ‘creating a balance’, but the truth is your personal style and confidence are REALLY what matters when it comes to choosing a style, so don’t hold back!

5. Keep your hair type in mind too

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That being said, you should really consider your hair type when it comes to choosing a style.  Different hair follicles produce different hair types, whether that’s poker straight or tight curls.  In fact, there are many different categories when it comes to hair type and it’s recommended that you consider these before going for a specific style or maintenance routine.

6. Choose a cut that suits your lifestyle

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It’s always a good idea to choose a cut that suits your lifestyle.  The thing is, you don’t want a style that needs extra time and care if you just don’t have the flexibility to fit it into your busy routine.  Likewise, if you are in a position where your hair might get in the way, like if you enjoy an active lifestyle, you might want to think about this too, as well as what might be suitable for your job.  You see, you might need to be able to tie it back, for example.

7. But don’t play it too safe

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But to be honest, this doesn’t mean that you have to play it too safe.  If you want the funky style, then go for the funky style, whatever that means to you.  If you play it too safe, you run the risk of not only probably looking like everyone else, but you’re also likely to regret your decision when it comes to your mop.

8. Have realistic expectations

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When we imply that the world is your oyster when it comes to your locks, we don’t mean that you can achieve cascading wavy tresses that reach your ankles if you’ve currently got a shoulder-length bob… No wait, you can do that with extensions can’t you?  Ignore us, the world IS your oyster if you’ve got the budget and the guts.

9. Trust your stylist

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When you go to the hair salon, you want to be able to be completely comfortable with putting the fate of your head into someone else’s trusted hands.  But if you don’t trust them, all kinds of hypothetical hair-based disasters enter your head as they do their thing.  So head for someone you’ve used before or do a bit of research to find your perfect stylist!

10. Consider taking pictures

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Words can be hard to come by, especially when you attempt to describe exactly what’s inside your head.  When you try to find the right words, you’ve then got to deal with the fact that the stylist might not understand exactly what you mean.  So take some visuals; perhaps photos on your phone or magazine cut-outs.  They just make life so much easier.

11. Test the waters when it comes to bangs

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So you’ve wanted bangs for a while, ever since you saw Billie Eilish’s blonde do… But you haven’t actually had them since you were 4 years old so it might feel a little daring now.  However, if you really see yourself peering through wispy bangs like Billie, or even donning a blunter micro bang a la Bella Hadid, then be sure to test drive them first.  You might use the ends of your ponytail, a wig, bang extensions, or even an app to help you decide if you’re ready to take the plunge.

12. Are you getting the cut for the right reasons…?

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You should also ask yourself whether you’re actually getting your hair cut for the right reasons.  Are they your own reasons, or are you just doing it to please somebody else?  Perhaps they told you to do it, or you’re doing it because it’s what everyone else is doing.  Either way, just be sure that you actually want to get it done before actually doing it.

13. …Or is it just a trend?

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Just check that you’re not just getting the style because of a trend.  In this day and age; the glory days of TikTok; you might be considering a ‘far out’ style that has gone viral.  But remember trends whizz by faster than you can say ‘bad hair day’.  You remember the ice cube haircuts, right?  Oh, we thought not!  And besides, you don’t want to be left stuck looking like a jellyfish for a bit, do you?  Or maybe you do… The point is, you do YOU.

14. Do you know exactly what to ask for?

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When you’re in the salon, what’s with all the jargon?  You hear terms like ‘wolf cut’, ‘feathered’, and ‘micro’, and sometimes it can be hard to believe that they’re really talking about hair.  And we get it, you’re not about to go and revise the hair stylist’s dictionary (even if it exists) each time you’re thinking of heading into the salon so take some photos with you. They’ll certainly help here.

15. Consider all the things you can do with your offcuts

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When we say offcuts, we mean your hair, not something you get from the butcher…  And did you know, that the haircut from your head can actually be of use somewhere in the world?  That’s right, you could donate it for wigs or hair extensions, meaning that you’re not only indulging in a bit of self-care, but you’re also doing some good in the world while you’re at it.  What a bonus!

16. Can you really commit to the maintenance?

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Now going back to whether you can commit to the style that you’ve been daydreaming about, you have to also think about the maintenance.  You see, some hairstyles could actually take a good chunk of time out of your day just so you can properly maintain it.  So think carefully: Do you have time every day to perfect it, or will it just fall by the wayside and look crazier than ever?

17. Are you able to live without your stylist?

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Now having the time for maintenance is one thing, but what about the skill involved?  Can you really say, hand on heart, that you can style and maintain your locks without your stylist supervising you?  With this chop, can you really live without your stylist at your beck and call each and every day?

18. Consider the cost

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Depending on your stylist, and your chop, you’re looking at shelling out quite a bit of cash.  And to be honest, it can vary quite widely, particularly if you’re encouraged to buy just the right products for it too.  So be sure to consider whether you can really afford your new do, or whether now’s just not the right time.

19. Don’t stay quiet

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If your stylist looks like they’re about to cut an enormous chunk out of the side of your hair, or you feel like they haven’t cut it short enough, say something!  Don’t just sit there silently hoping that their mind-reading abilities are going to catch up with you soon and they miraculously change their course and actually do what you wanted.  Newsflash: Hair stylists cannot read your mind.

20. Unless you’ve booked a “silent appointment”

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Nowadays, you’ll find that at lots of salons, you are actually able to pre-book what’s called a silent appointment.  And it’s exactly how it sounds: if you don’t want to or feel like you can’t talk to your stylist throughout your appointment, they’ll acquiesce to your request and not pressure you to speak.  This is particularly useful and a safe haven for you if you struggle with social anxiety in a world that has just opened up after a global pandemic.  You’ll only need to have that initial conversation during your consultation, so use it wisely and make sure they understand exactly what you want!

21. Don’t bother washing your hair

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Well, when we say don’t wash your hair, we don’t mean: ‘DON’T WASH YOUR HAIR’.  What we mean is: to skip the shampoo for at least 12-48 hours before you head to the salon.  This is, of course, unless your stylist has told you to do so.  The reason for this is that your hair creates a natural oil layer that could act as a barrier to protect your hair and scalp from any chemicals in hair dyes and other products.

22. Detangle!

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To make sure that your hair appointment goes as smoothly as possible (pun intended), be sure to detangle your hair the best you can.  Gently comb through your strands, using a detangling spray or your favorite conditioner mixed with water.  Having tangled hair at the start of your appointment just lengthens the whole process and may even end up a little more pricey than you anticipated.  So do your stylist a favor and come as detangled as you can so your appointment can glide effortlessly.

23. Pause the products

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You don’t want to turn up to the salon with your hair stuck up with a tonne of products.  Your hair stylist is just not going to want to wade through your tresses if they are weighed down with hair sprays, oils, gels, and whatever else you got your hands, and hair on, in the week prior to your appointment.  So take a break, your hair, scalp, and stylist will thank you for it!

24. Naturally does it

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Cut down on heat styling too.  An experienced stylist will want to see your hair in all of its natural glory, not straightened or curled to the max.  They need to be able to assess your hair type, so a good help would be to allow your hair to just fall naturally in the days prior to your appointment.  But if you really MUST style it, then one expert recommends shaping it naturally, much like how you’d shape a topiary tree.

25. Patience is a virtue

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So you want the style right now, we get it, but sometimes, you’ve got to give it a little bit of time to achieve your desired look.  You see, some colors and styles might take more than one appointment, and sometimes, you might have to attend multiple appointments and wait for hair growth, let alone the process of color correction, and whatever else, but know that your patience will reward you.  It just will, we can feel it.

26. Timing is key

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Just be on time for your appointment.  Your stylist has got an appointment system in place for a reason and does not want to be behind on their clients for the day so that they end up being late home after work.  Besides, if you’re really late, you might even lose your appointment and your deposit too.  Some policies even charge you for the full appointment, and rightly so…

27. Take your hoody off for heaven’s sake!

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Just take your hoody off, or even better, leave it at home.  Why? I hear you ask!  Well, any stylist will tell you why, and the answer is pretty darn obvious.  The hood just gets in the way so if you don’t want holes cut into your precious hoody, or it being completely filled with hair (by accident of course…) just skip wearing it to the salon.  As comforting as it is, you don’t need it.

28. Hair history 101: No strands barred!

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When your hairstylist asks you about your hair history and how you wear it each day, don’t fib and pretend you have the perfect haircare routine.  In truth, they’ll be able to tell if you’re lying, and if they can’t, you’re not doing yourself any favors whatsoever leaving out important information that could help contribute to the correct treatments.

29. Go for a consultation

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Most hair stylists will offer an initial consultation to get to know you a little.  They’ll want to know about your hair preferences, a little history, care, and maintenance routines, and what your hair goals are.  So don’t pass up this valuable opportunity, even if you’ve booked a silent appointment because this is really where you’ll get to tell them exactly what you want.

30. Get ready for your new style!

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So after careful consideration, and meticulous preparation, you’re now ready for your new haircut.  We mean, what better way to get started than to seek guidance first?  We can’t think of a better way.  So get ready for the new you… Hair-wise, we mean!  Next stop – Get excited to be inspired!

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