Show your stylist examples
One of the easiest ways to communicate the style you're aiming for is to bring a photo to the salon. Go ahead, rip pages out of magazines, bring in a picture of your cousin's new 'do – stylists want to see it! Mark DeVincenzo, creative director at Frédéric Fekkai 5th Avenue in New York City, says "it's all about the communication" between you and your stylist. "That's why photographs are great," he confirms. So if you're hoping to look like the next Sienna Miller or Katie Holmes, bring along one of your gossip mags as an example.
Get inspiration by browsing our hairstyle photos here >>
Make it clear what you don't want
If you don't have a photo, it can be even harder to describe the style you want. But one thing you can do that will help your stylist understand your desired look is to be clear about what you don't want. For example, voice specifications like, "I want to be able to make a ponytail," or "I don't want any layers." DeVincenzo says, "If you have your limitations, you're setting yourself up for disaster. When I ask [clients] what they don't want, people can answer that question so much easier."
Consider your face shape when choosing a style
Even though DeVincenzo says no one has a completely definitive face shape, there are hairstyles that better suit different looks. "For a heart-shaped face, create width along the chin area, don't make the mid-section too wide and narrow it up top," he instructs. "Maybe do an angled bang, so it starts short but opens up the cheekbone." DeVincenzo also recommends creating softness for a square-shaped face and adding angles for a round face. There is a short 'do for every shape. "All that matters is the balance, proportion and style," he says.
See the best hairstyles for your face shape >>
Try on a new color
Even though you may think your new cut is enough of a change, consider getting highlights or a complete dye job. DeVincenzo says color can enhance your new look even more! "I would say 90 percent of the time, it's important to enhance. If gray isn't an issue, I would lean toward subtle highlights," he advises. Of course with this addition comes the maintenance responsibility – so if you're not up for the more frequent salon visits, you can always opt out or choose a color that may allow a longer wear time. "You don't want to go from doing nothing to doing everything," he adds.
Check out: Best products for color treated hair >>
Bottom line: It's time for a change. "Make sure you're ready for it," says DeVincenzo, and then just go for it!