How To Ensure You Always Get A Great Haircut

There comes a time in nearly every girl's life when she is faced with what is probably her scariest nightmare—a horrible haircut. If you've ever walked out of the salon with badly snipped strands, perhaps you can blame the stylist—or maybe you should blame yourself. Your haircut from hell was probably the result of miscommunication—unfortunate, yes, but it happens more often than not. Before you get on the chopping block again, follow these four guidelines for getting the haircut of your dreams.

1. Have a clear idea of what you wantand pass on your vision to your stylist. If you find yourself stumped for the right words to describe what you have in mind, bring a few pictures so that there's no confusion. And most importantly, rather than using numerics to describe how much you want taken off (1 inch, 2 inches), use your hand to physically show him or her exactly how short you want your new 'do to be.

2. Tell your stylist which products you use and your daily styling routine. Obviously, you want a fabulous cut—but it hardly matters if you walk out with a high-maintenance look that requires 45 minutes of styling when you're a wash-and-go kind of girl. By sharing this information, your stylist can work with you to create something that looks amazing, but is simple for you to recreate at home every day.

3. Speak up, but don't micromanage. If you suspect things are going wayward mid-cut, don't be afraid to voice your concerns immediately (after all, it's better to voice your concerns before you end up with pixie cut when you asked for a bob!). Just don't take it too far —putting a word in with every snip can be distracting and throw off your stylist's momentum. Politely mentioning that you're not sure he or she is sticking to the plan should suffice.

4. Whether you love it or hate it, let your stylist know. If you think the cut is amazing, sing your praises so that your stylist will remember when you come back in six weeks. If you're less than satisfied, he or she should do some damage control on the spot. If you're not sure, that's okay too—say you'd like to sleep on it for a few days. Then if you decide you can't live with the cut, you should be able to come back and have it fixed for free.