What Makes a Good...Haircut
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What Makes a Good...Haircut

In this new feature, we give you the advice you need to make sure every beauty experience is a successful one!

You'll Know You Got a Great Cut When...

  • You communicated with the stylist. All good haircuts begin with one essential step that has nothing to do with scissors -- the initial consultation. "This is the make-or-break moment between you and the stylist," says Steven Dillon, style director at Pierre Michel Salon, in New York City. If you aren't specific about what you want in the beginning, you're likelier to be disappointed later. For instance, if you're growing out your hair, say that you only want a trim, not a whole new look. Photographs, both of what you do and don't like, will help the stylist visualize your goals -- even if you're not completely sure of what you want. Also, expect the stylist to examine your hair texture and face shape and make recommendations based on them. If she doesn't -- or if you're uncomfortable with anything during the consultation -- speak up! "The best haircut happens when the client and the stylist work together as a team," agrees Francky L'Official, creative director of Francky L'Official, a New York City-based salon.
  • You can pretty much re-create it at home. The true test of a good haircut isn't how it looks when you leave the salon, but rather what happens when you attempt to style it yourself. "A cut can be well executed technically, but if it's too hard to maintain at home, then it's not a good cut for you," says Stephanie LaRochelle, senior stylist at the Adolf Biecker Salon, in Philadelphia. Dillon also points out that a decent blow-dry can disguise a bad haircut -- that's why you should always let your stylist know how much time you like to spend on your hair every day, as well as the type and quantity of tools and products you're comfortable using. Doing so will let him give you the best style for your needs.
  • It's versatile. A good haircut will work with your hair's texture, not against it. So if you like to wear your curly hair straight -- or vice versa -- the cut should look good both ways.
  • Your friends compliment you without mentioning the haircut itself. No one can pinpoint what's different about you except that you look better, prettier, fresher. That's because a good cut highlights your best features without calling too much attention to itself.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, June 2007.