Many of us have had a hair disaster at some time in our lives, and the prospect of spending hours in the salon and handing over our hard-earned cash only to leave disappointed or embarrassed by our new do fills us all with dread. Fixing or growing out a hair faux pas can take months or cost hundreds.

But you are in control of your hair’s destiny, and it only takes a bit of research and forward planning to avoid a catastrophe. Work with your stylist and provide them with all the guidance possible to ensure they know exactly what it is you are looking for. Here’s how you can say goodbye to bad haircuts once and for all.

Research the salon

Walking into a hairdresser’s on impulse without knowing anything about them can often be the route to disaster. Do you know anything about their reputation or that of their stylists? Are they specialists in what you are after? There’s a lot of information you can find out that will point to whether they will match up with your expectations.

Check out their website for prices, staff credentials, pictures of their work and reviews. Ask family and friends for their recommendations and visit before booking an appointment to get a good feel for them.

Come prepared with plenty of ideas

If you have a vision of how you wish your hair to look, be ready to give your stylist as much information and guidance as possible. Describe in detail exactly what you are after, and be just as clear in explaining what you don’t want.

A picture paints a thousand words and nothing will show your hairdresser what you want more so than a visual representation. Check out magazines for images of your desired style and take cuttings in for them to look at.

Build rapport

Key to getting the hair you want is having a stylist you have a good relationship with. You should be able to chat to them and feel relaxed, and comfortable in saying if you’re not keen on something.

Building up a rapport with a hairdresser and visiting them regularly will mean having someone who understands your hair along with your tastes.

Be realistic in your goals

As good as your stylist is, they are not a miracle worker, so if you are looking to transform your locks from black and curly to straight and platinum blonde overnight you are going to be disappointed!

Your stylist knows best and wants you to leave with something that looks good and suits you. After all, your hair is showcasing their work, so they want you to look as good as possible.