Is there any one of us who hasn't had the dreaded experience of asking for a haircut full of and hope and promise, and ending up with something that leaves you staring in the mirror as your stylist tousles your hair and saying, "Yeah... I... I think I'm just getting used to the change!"? Maybe you go into the bathroom after the cut and frantically send selfies your mom asking, "Do I look totally weird now?!" Maybe you sob uncontrollably (that one might just be me). In any case, successfully asking for and actually getting the haircut you want is no easy feat. The bigger the change, the harder it seems to be. At an event for the hair regrowth system qilib, I talked to celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson (a spokesperson for qilib) about how he ensures his clients get what they want every time.
First thing's first, if you aren't changing your hair often enough to think this article applies to you — you should be. But we'll get to that later. In terms of making sure his clients (some of whom are celebrities like Saoirse Ronan, Hailey Baldwin, and Caitlyn Jenner) get the look they want every time, Gibson has some pretty specific steps he takes when they come into the salon. Here are seven things you can learn from Gibson's expertise.
1. Never Tell The Stylist To "Do Whatever They Want"
"The thing that's the worst thing to do is to work with someone who says, 'Oh do whatever it is that you want!' And then when you do it, it's not what they wanted," Gibson says. No matter what look you're going for (or even if you don't know quite yet), Gibson emphasizes the importance of talking through your hair change with your stylist — and to discuss a lot more about yourself and your personality than just the cut and color basics. Rather, Gibson says what's most important is how you feel.
2. Know That The Consultation Is Key
Gibson stresses the importance of going into the consultation ready to answer some questions. "The consultation for me is the most important thing — the consultation that I have with every guest on my salon, every actress that I work on for every red carpet event...whatever it is," Gibson says.
Of course, every appointment will be different, but really, truly talking to your stylist is key in Gibson's book. This doesn't necessarily mean you know exactly what you want your hair to look like, but at least that you'll know how you feel in that moment in particular. Start by discussing that, and go from there.
3. Know Who You Are At That Moment
While you might go into an appointment stressed about how exactly you'll describe the length of the cut you want (or don't want), or what exact shade you are aiming for, Gibson says that being in touch with how you're feeling about yourself at the appointment is what's important to him.
"I always ask them who they are at the moment. I believe that a woman is different at every single moment. Getting clued into who she is at that moment is the most important thing for me," says Gibson.
4. Know Answers To A Few Important Questions
"The right questions I ask are, 'How are you feeling about your hair today?' 'How much sleep did you get?' 'Are you feeling really sexy? Are you feeling a little bohemian? Are you feeling classic?' There are different things that help me in questioning to get me where I should be with the hair," Gibson says.
So when you go into your appointment, assess where you are in life right now. The more clearly you can express that to your stylist, the more they might be able to learn about a cut that suits you in this particular stage of your life.
5. Change Your Hair Often
When's the last time you changed your hair in a big way? A year ago? Two years? According to Gibson, if you aren't getting a new style every six months, you should step up your game. The more change, the merrier. "I think that women should at least change their hair twice a year — with color or length or bangs or layers," says Gibson.
6. Know How To Take Care Of Your Hair & Scalp
All of us probably know by now that maintaining healthy, thick hair outside of a salon is key to getting a cool look inside the salon. But if you're suddenly finding that goal harder and harder to achieve, know you're not alone. Gibson notes that people would be surprised to know how many celebrities deal with hair loss, revealing that he uses extensions on "just about every single girl" he works with. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean they're all losing their hair, but in any case, as Gibson says, "A woman can never have enough hair." This is why Gibson says trying a hair loss prevention system and supplements like those from qilib are key.
"Trends come and go, but...the whole idea of having something that...can prevent hair loss. I think it's important that you start from a young age. As we age — all of us, we start to experience some kind of situation where our hair gets thinner, or from coloring it. There's so many different variables," Gibson says. "If you can have something like qilib that can help to maintain a sense of integrity in your scalp, I think it's important."
7. Know That, No Matter What, You Need To Leave The Appointment Feeling Powerful
The most important thing Gibson stresses? You should leave your appointment feeling simply amazing. No matter what. And if you don't? Then, from what I gather, you should probably find a new stylist. "I think that if a woman comes to me and she doesn't feel like she wants to go have sex after I finished with her hair, then I did not do my job," Gibson says. "I want her to feel a certain kind of way...I want her to feel sexy. I want her to feel like she can take over the world. I want her to feel like no one else matters except for her."
Like Gibson says, we all change, and often. How we felt yesterday is certainly not how we'll feel in six months — but however we feel in a given moment, a new hairstyle has the ability to emphasize that, and to show it to the world. So change your hair (and often), be willing to talk to your stylist and answer all their questions, know yourself, and (hopefully) walk out of that salon feeling like the hottest person on earth. You deserve it.