hair blogger

How To Get The Best Hair Cut

We’ve all been there….

You head off to the salon, with an idea firmly in your head and come out with something completely different.

It can be very tricky trying to describe the image you have in your head to your stylist and sometimes that life changing haircut you’ve got firmly fixed in there, doesn’t actually work or exist. By that i mean, all haircuts are a blend of 6 classic shapes and techniques. Unless your going for something extreme and disconnected, every section relates and flows into the next one, so if you fancy a short bit somewhere, unless it is blended into the adjacent sections, you could look as though you just grabbed your scissors and chopped it in the bathroom.

Communication is the biggest part of the job with being a stylist and we know it can sometimes feel like your under interrogation during your consultation but we just want to get it right for you.

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Our Top 5 Tips For Getting It Right!

1) My top tips for getting the haircut you want starts with bringing in a picture!

This is the best way to make sure you don’t get lost in translation, you can show your stylist exactly what you are trying to achieve and they can identify any potential issues and see if it will work on your hair.

2) If you can’t find a picture, keep looking! find pictures similar to what you're looking for or even 2 or 3 pictures that show an aspect of the style you’d like so your stylist can blend them together. Equally valuable, is an image that you really don’t like so they can avoid doing that too. Failing that, if you really cannot find it, it may not exist. We occasionally get told of a style that would simply not work and would look a mess, your stylist does not want to upset you by saying no, they are just trying to save you from yourself.

3) Don’t try to use technical lingo… often clients can try to communicate with technical terms, unless your a qualified hairdresser, we recommend you don’t venture in to this territory. It is absolutely fine to waft your hands about, grab bits and call things “fringey bits” and “feathery bits” we know exactly what you mean. There’s nothing more scary than a client getting a technical term wrong and not liking it when its been done….

4) Be honest about how much effort you want to put into styling your hair every day so that your stylist can recommend a style that you can do at home.

5) If you can’t do it, tell us! If there’s a bit that doesn’t hang right after you’ve washed it, tell us! Please don’t keep quiet or we will think you loved it and do it again!


What is the difference between balayage and highlights? Salon jargon explained!

Pink Hair

Hairdressing jargon has changed in recent years, we’re going to try to demystify some of the terms for you, so you don’t feel quite so daft when you shuffle into the salon and ask for your usual highlight because you have absolutely no idea what all these new fangled services are.

Foils, Meshes, Wraps

Traditional highlights, the term foil, meshe or wrap just describes what your salon likes to use to apply them. It is all highlights.

Highlights

Highlights are where you lighten your hair, but not all of it, just strands that are weaved through the hair, section by section. It’s a similar effect although way less painful than the cap of the 80’s. Highlighting or Lowlighting, where darker colour is applied rather than the lightning solutions, (you see what we did there) are applied more evenly than with the cap. Placement of the strands of colour was not quite random with the cap but not a great deal of control nor was it very close to the root. You were also limited to 1 colour as this was painted all over the hair that had been pulled through the holes of the cap. With foils the number of colours you have is only limited by the number of bowls your stylist owns and his or her patience!

Cap

Not seen as much these days although for short hair it can be handy, hair is pulled through a rubber cap that is put on your head, attractive! The stylist uses a crochet hook which has just been renamed a highlighting hook, yes it was painful!

Babylights

Super, super fine highlights, see above. Only a very small amount of hair is left out of the foils, takes longer than normal highlights, you will get a stronger result as more hair is coloured than in standard foils. You may also get stronger regrowth depending on the colours you have applied.

Back To Back Foils

This is where we leave none of your natural hair out of the foils, you takes even longer than baby lights. Can be used as slices to achieve a blonder result, often used in colour correction.

Balayage

A free hand technique where your stylist paints each of your light strands with a brush and a paddle. A very creative technique, that requires skill and artistry for it to look beautiful. Unlike foils, there is no set pattern or sectioning. The stylist manipulates the hair’s tension, angles, elevation, pressure of the brush, product on the hair and how much colour is painted on to achieve the look. In other words, there is a lot that can go wrong, if it just so happens your confident your stylist could re-create the Mona Lisa, go ahead if not find someone specifically trained and practiced, make sure you see examples of their work! Balayage is a work of art!

New York Lights

Put simply, a half head of balayage.

Glaze

= Toner, a glaze is a semi-permanent colour gloss that will tone, add shine and condition your hair. Our Gazes process for 20 – 30 mins depending on the starting tone and desired look, meaning they last longer than standard toners.

Toner

Toners counter-balance undesired tones in the hair. So, if your hair lifts to warm or you like a cool ash we will use a ‘toner’ if your hair needs just a little help, we will use a toner that’s on 2-10 mins at the back wash. If it needs more help, we will use a glaze to kick its ass! Toners do fade quicker than glazes, sometimes if your hair fades fast, your stylist can leave it on a little longer so the toner is stronger when you leave the salon ie, your hair has a blue or purple tinge but will probably give you an extra week of perfect colour as perfect after your first wash and sinks in better. Your stylist can do this but don’t freak out if you look like Papa Smurf! Your getting 1-2 weeks extra out of your colour, better to be blue than yellow!

Re-Touch and Glaze

Root’s covered and re tone, it’s a maintenance service used to refresh balayage or certain looks when you have totally changed your base colour or have grey.

Blow Wave

There’s even multiple options for drying hair now! Blow wave is where your stylist creates curls or waves in your hair using just a brush. All cut and finishes or blowdrys come with a standard smooth blowdry, if you want your hair dried curly, wavy or curled with the irons this is charged extra unless you ask for a blow wave then its included in that services price, always say which you like when booking so they can book the correct time and quote you correctly.

 

Last but not least, when is haircut a restyle or redesign? What’s the difference?

Re Design

Is a total major change! Think long to Pixi cut

Re Style

Is when your hair has gone out of shape or you add layers or a fringe, a small change to your existing style or take more than 2 inches off

Cut and finish

Is a trim, this is to keep your hair in shape so it doesn’t go out of style. Think of it as maintaining what you have, less than 2 inches off.

Cut and Blow Wave

As above with a bouncy curly or wavy finish

Dry / Wet Cut

This is usually used as an add on to another service that already includes a blow dry.

Although it’s quicker and cheaper, a good haircut is in 2 stages, so you will compromise an area of your cut.

The drawbacks with a wet or dry cut if that’s what you specifically like to book for are….

1) Wet cutting, this created the structure and the shape, think clean straight lines. Your stylist can comb your hair flat and have greater control when getting the hair straight. If it’s dry, it has kinks and bends in the hair that can make the style totally different or uneven once washed and dried at home.

2) Dry cutting, this is where we check if the base line has any graduation or areas of imperfection that will affect you styling your hair. Your stylist will check through the balance and the weight of your hair cut, thicker hair can require more dry work to remove thickness and bulk, meaning your hair will style easier and last longer. Fine hair may need weight removing to encourage movement, body and volume. Your stylist may shatter the edges to give your style a softer or more textured appearance. The dry stage is the personalisation, the design of the cut.

By opting for one or the other you are compromising one aspect of your cut, in most cases, there are the very rare odd exception to this rule.

 

If you can think of anything we’ve not covered, get in touch and ask us for an explanation. Our front of house Annie is happy to help!