How To Avoid Getting A Bad Haircut
Yesterday I received a very shit lopsided haircut. It was 30 minutes and thousands of follicles I’ll never get back. What makes matters worse, it could have been avoided had I spoken up. For the record, I went back to have it fixed. That made it worse…
A good haircut, on the other hand, is an enlightening experience. Life-changing, even. The kind of life-changing that makes you want to go on Oprah and jump on a couch while talking about it.
The secrets to getting a couch-jump-worthy cut are preparation and communication. First, know what you’re looking for. A great haircut will:
- Draw the focus away from less desirable facial features and enhance your best features
- Have no lines, dark spots, or other visible points of demarcation
- Follow your natural hairline as much as possible
- Look good with or without product, although it may still look its best with a little help
Know What Suits Your Face (Before You Go In)
This is one of those rare occasions when staring at yourself in the mirror serves a purpose other than nursing your vanity. Get to know your face geometry before choosing a haircut.
Different facial structures are suited to different hair styles, so take mental note of the shape and size of your face, head, hairline, and the back of your hair. Knowing how your hair grows and sits on your head will make it much easier to take the plunge and try something new. Feel free to take a few selfies, if it helps. We won’t tell.
Pro Tip: A good stylist will be able to help with this. A hairdresser who knows his stuff can recommend the right cut for your head shape and hair type. When you find someone you can trust, hold on for dear life – you’ve hit one of the jackpots of men’s grooming.
Get Inspired (Before You Go In)
Although everything above does matter, it’s also helpful to come to the table (actually, make that “chair”) with something specific in mind. Whose hair is so good, you’ve seriously considered scalping them and surgically attaching their hair to your head? Bring a picture for your stylist (leave the scalpel at home). Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve makes it easier for both of you.
Pro Tip: Keep it close to home. If you have thick, curly hair, don’t bring in a picture of something fine and straight. Work with your natural hair, not against it. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you look for hairspiration from gentlemen with similar hair types, hairlines and face shapes.
For Goodness Sake Speak Up
Your girlfriend means well when she tries to give you style advice, but politely decline her input (and if all else fails, remind her of the hissy fit she’d throw if you tried to decide which shoes and bag go with the dress she’s wearing).
She may be trying to turn you into an idealise image in her head that isn’t at all practical or flattering for you in reality.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to speak up with your cutter. If the cut you’re getting doesn’t appear to be what you agreed on, say something. The sooner you let a stylist know things are getting off track, the more easily they can get back on the right one. One wrong snip is salvageable.
All the wrong snips spell certain follicular doom and possibly having to go back again.
Have A Well-Stocked Arsenal Of Product
Getting a good cut is only part of the process. You’ll walk out of the salon like you’re strolling down the red carpet, cut and styled to perfection, but your hairdresser’s hard work will be erased as soon as you hop in the shower, hit the gym or encounter a particularly strong gust of wind. Stock up on all the basic hair styling products you’ll need to keep your new look intact.
Pro Tip: Get the low-down from your stylist before you leave. He can tell you exactly what you’ll need to replicate the salon-fresh look and make sure you go home with products that complement your hair type.
Schedule Regular Tune-Ups
Timeliness is next to (sex) godliness. What separates a professional athlete from a weekend hobbyist is practice and dedication; what separates a well-groomed man from a rookie is maintenance. You don’t reach the upper echelons without putting in the work. A good stylist will probably recommend an appointment every 4-6 weeks to keep you looking dandy, but check in with yours before you leave for the specifics of your upkeep.
Worst Case Scenario: So you got a bad haircut? The good news is, it’ll grow back. The other good news is, you can fix it. The bad news is, repairing a botched cut requires serious skill – in other words, get it fixed by the guy you should have gone to in the first place, and don’t try it yourself unless you’re planning to go Bruce Willis bald.