Everyone has irrational fears—clowns, hitting 'reply all' on a gossipy email chain, monsters under the bed—but for me it's always been haircuts. I'm a relatively calm and reasonable person, but when I take a seat in that spinning salon chair, I'm done for. I sweat, bite my fingernails, and, well, bawl my eyes out.
It all started when I was in 7th grade. I had finally outgrown a terrible at-home haircut (thanks, Mom) and decided to go in for just a trim. One hour and five inches later, my waist-length hair was gone, and in its place sat short, stubby layers and curly bangs. It was then that I decided I was taking a haircut hiatus. And I did, for three long, split end-filled years. Even now, I trust only my hair guru, Halli Bivona, of the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman. (Who wouldn't love a hairstylist who shares your name?)
Bivona taught me that no matter how much of a wuss I felt about going in for the chop, it had to be done to maintain the health (and yes, the length) of my hair. Below, I've mapped out five important ways to make sure your cut goes as planned. Take a deep breath, and choose your stylist wisely.
- Do your research. Hit up Pinterest and find cuts that appeal to you. Bivona explains, "Clients that have a picture of exactly what they want are more open and excited about the process."
- Go in for a consultation beforehand. Most salons will book 15–30 minutes to allow you to get to know the stylist and see if you agree with their vision for your hair. If you don't see eye-to-eye, you can try another stylist until you find someone who puts you at ease.
- Get a dry cut. That way, they'll be able to take as little length off as possible while still getting rid of dead ends.
- If you need a wash, make sure the hairstylist sees your hair dry beforehand. Salons are busy and often, to save time, a stylist will have you start your shampoo while they finish up their previous client. Request a second to chat on the way to the sink.
- Have your stylist show you the amount they're taking off as they go. No scary surprises.