There's something so refreshing and fun about getting a new hairstyle, and something even more fun about getting one on a whim. But sometimes, a truly life-changing haircut requires a bit of forethought — mostly so you don't find yourself with something you totally hate.
I can speak from experience on this subject, because I'm often the victim of spontaneous haircut ideas. I'll be walking along and suddenly think "pixie cut," and it's just about all I can do to not run over to the salon. On the occasions that I have given in to spur-of-the-moment calls to my stylist, I've left the salon with both great, and not so great, haircuts.
Of course, when the the latter happens, the world does keep on turning. I've lived through bad last-minute haircuts, and so will you. I can, however, totally appreciate people who want to be a more cautious when it comes to lopping off their strands. After all, some hairstyles are a pretty big commitment, and if you don't plan ahead, you might find yourself with some annoying (and embarrassing) hair disasters.
If you'd like to give your next haircut some thought, then here are a few things to consider before heading over to the salon, so you can walk away with the best strands ever.
1. Do You Really Want The Change?
Yes, I am constantly dreaming up grand hairstyle ideas. The thing is, I'm often apathetic about the ideas the next day. That's preciously why running to the salon when the mood strikes isn't always the best idea — especially you're desiring a drastic change. As Erin Torrejon said on CandyMag.com, "If you're half-hearted when it comes to chopping off most of your hair, we suggest you wait it out until you actually want it."
2. How Much You're Willing To Spend
Unless your best friend is working his or her hair magic for free, then price may factor into your haircut decisions. "It's important to remember that quality comes with a heftier price," noted Vanessa Miraples and Katharine Tiitson on HerCampus.com. It is possible, however, to find stylists that are talented and still within an affordable price range. It just may require a little research.
3. Your Face Shape
Of course you can cut your hair any way you want, but keep in mind that not all styles look great on every face shape. For instance, you may fancy yourself some Zooey Deschenel bangs, but they require a larger forehead for the fringe to lay right. Spend some time Googling celebrities who look similar to you, and see what styles they're wearing. Or feel free to ask your stylist.
4. The Best Style For Your Hair's Texture
Hair texture is another thing to keep in mind when considering a 'do, so be prepared for a little bit of a letdown if your hair and desire style don't match up. As Susan Cernek said on Glamour, "Your ideal hairstyle might not work with the hair you were born with — and a good stylist won't try to do the impossible, which could result in a less-than-sexy do."
5. Will It Fit Into Your Lifestyle?
A long, layered look may be cute, but it's probably not the best choice if you don't want to take the time to style it. That's why you need to be honest with yourself when it comes to how the cut will fit into your life. As beauty expert Julynn Derrick said on About.com, "It's important to communicate your lifestyle needs with your stylist. The last thing you want is to leave the salon with a highly complicated haircut that only looks great if you spend an hour getting a professional blowout."
6. Which Adjectives To Use
It's important to "speak hairdresser" when trying to communicate your hair hopes and dreams. Saying you want short hair isn't very descriptive, and can leave you with no hair left on your head. To avoid this, say you'd like the cut up to your shoulders, or your jawline. Communication is especially key when you get into tricky territory like bangs, according to Cernek. Avoid mishaps by using words like "strong" or "soft" to describe the level of fringe you're willing to commit to.
7. What Amount Of Styling It'll Need
Like it or not, many haircuts require a decent amount of styling to look as good as they did in the salon. So before you chop, decide what you're willing to do each day. Are you OK with blow drying for an hour in the morning? Will you need to flat iron your bangs every day? These are things to consider.
8. Problems You've Had In The Past
Hairstyles may require a bit of maintenance and styling, but they shouldn't be the bane of your existence. If your last cut was bad, be sure to you tell your stylist. In fact, make a list of all the problems you had in the past, such as styling issues or chemical problems, according to Cernek. Hopefully your new cut will address, and fix, all the negatives.
9. Are You Cool About The Upkeep?
Despite my love for a good cut, I've always been the girl who doesn't do much else to her hair. I don't style it, I let it air dry — it's easy, and I love it. If you're equally as low-maintenance, think long and hard about any potential upkeep. Pixie cuts, for example, are notoriously needy as they require salon visits every month or so to keep them looking short and fresh. Keeping maintenance can prevent you from ending up with too much work.
10. Do You Have The Right Stylist?
OK, so you've put a ton of effort into choosing your hairstyle. It's perfect for your face shape, your texture, and your lifestyle. But who will be the lucky stylist that gets to make you over? As Torrejon said, "A major hair change can be a really big deal, so make sure you trust the person that's in charge of cutting and styling. If you don't have a go-to hairstylist or salon, make sure to do your research and read up on reviews beforehand." Or, ask a friend. I'm sure they'll be full of amazing recommendations.
11. Get A Consultation
Still totally confused? Then consider getting a consultation before you book a haircut appointment. As Gisele Castro said on Women's Health, "Come in with those photos you've gathered, and make sure to rock your hair's natural texture (and wear it dry). This will give the stylist a better sense of how your hair falls." Afterward, you may have a better sense of what will work with your features, and your life.
Always remember, that hair is just hair. It will grow back, so don't worry too much about the end result. Have fun, and enjoy your new style.