Expectations vs. Reality. We see these memes all over social media, and while they bring a giggle and smile as we’re scrolling being a recipient of such an outcome is no a laughing matter. So often we set our expectations based on a photo of a product or service only to be disappointed at the outcome. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Sigh. But, wait. I have good news.
When it comes to your hair, I have some tips for you to make sure you receive the best possible hair cut, color, or style for your authentic hair. Let’s dive in.
- Find photos. That’s right, browse Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, and blogs for photos of hairstyles you’re attracted to. Collect the photos and lay them out so you can see them all at once. Place them in an album on your phone or print them out if you wish. A Pinterest board is an easy way to do this too.
- Curate your photos. Once you have your collection of photos, review them and think to yourself, what do they have in common? Do you see similarities with hair length, texture, thickness, or color? Make a quick list of what you see in the group.
- Reflect on your hair. Now here’s where it gets a bit more challenging. Go to the mirror and look at your hair. Feel your hair. Think about what describes where your hair is now, not in your dreams or the past. Realistically evaluate it’s length, texture, thickness, and current color. Jot down your thoughts.
- Compare and contrast. It’s time to compare the 2 lists you made, the hair from the photos you like, I call this goal hair, verses your hair right now. Are there any similarities between the categories? For example, does your hair have a similar visual thickness to the hair in the photos? What about the texture and length? With color, how many shades lighter or darker is the goal hair from your current color?
- Evaluate and set expectations. Darling, it’s truth time. Ask yourself, how different is your goal hair from your current hair? Do you share similarities in all categories except 1? Or is it more? If you love long, thich, curly textured hair and have a fine, silky hair that’s shoulder length, achieving that goal may never be possible or could be possible with a big investment including multiple visits to your stylist, extensions, money, and an extensive maintenance routine. Ask yourself, is that a commitment you’re willing to make for your goal hair or could a variation of that style or a different style better suit your lifestyle and budget?
- Talk to your stylist with photos. Schedule a consultation with your stylist, and share your goal photos with your stylist. Explain what you like about the hairstyles and acknowledge what you found in your evaluation of your own hair. For example, if you aspire to platinum blond, wavy locks and have short, dark, thin hair. Share that you really love this color and wonder if it would be possible to ever reach that color with your hair, and if so, how long and how many appointments? An educated, high quality stylist, will tell you the truth. They will advise you on what’s realistically possible in 1, 2, or multiple appointments. Ask them to show you samples of the hair colors that aligns with their vision for your hair. Then, go home. Do not move forward with a cut or color. Take time to think about what you’ve learned.
You might think I’m crazy, right? I’m recommending you go home after your consultation and not get a cut or color immediately. This will allow you time to think on the advice of your stylist and your dreams for you hair. If you’re truly not pleased with their advice, you can schedule another consultation with another stylist for a second opinion. I will warn you, if they are an educated, experienced stylist, they will likely tell you the same thing.
Once you’ve reflected on the advice of your stylist, perhaps revisit Instagram or Pinterest and look for hair photos that are in alignment with the feedback of your stylist. If you find something you like, save it. Now, if you feel ready to move forward, schedule an appointment with your stylist and inform them how you’d like to proceed. Bring your new photos and newly aligned expectations to your appointment and share them with your stylist.
Your stylist’s goal is to help you leave the chair feeling positive and more confident in your new hairstyle. I’m always happy to help new clients transform their hair into a style that compliments their unique personality and showcases the best qualities of their hair. To see confidence and a smile at the end of the appointment brings me absolute joy.