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14 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Haircut

Consider these before you step into the salon.
June 20, 2022

We’ve all got a bad haircut story, but it stings even more when you went into the salon with a dream haircut in mind — just to be disappointed after the big reveal. 

That’s why — before hopping into your stylist’s chair at the salon — it’s always a good idea to ask yourself a few simple questions that can help you decide on your new cut. Whether you’re considering a short hairstyle, a medium cut, or a long one, or deciding between the latest hairstyle trend and something traditional, make sure to ask yourself these 14 questions before you start chopping your locks.

1. Am I Cutting My Hair for the Right Reasons?

If other people’s opinions, a recent breakup, or your favorite celebrity’s new ‘do is swaying you to get a little scissor happy, consider holding out for a while to think about whether or not you really want to get a new haircut. When you make an impulse decision, you may end up regretting it in the long run. 

Long story short — make sure you want whatever haircut you’re thinking of getting because it flatters your face and your personal style. As a general rule of thumb, once you have a new haircut or new hairstyle idea in your mind, hold onto it for a couple of weeks. If you still want to try it out after a bit of time has passed, go for it.

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2. Does This Haircut Fit My Face Shape?

You already know that you should think about your sense of style — as well as your skin tone — when coloring your hair or deciding on a makeup look. When it comes to getting a new haircut, it's your face shape that you really need to take into account. 


That’s because depending on the way your hair is cut, certain facial features could end up looking more prominent — and if you choose a cut that’s not the most complementary to your face shape, you might end up highlighting features you’d rather not.


To make sure that the cut you choose fits your face shape, it’s best to sit down with your stylist beforehand and discuss your options. 


3. Does This Haircut Fit Into My Lifestyle? 

Before you get a new cut, you should also think about how much maintenance this style will require. What’s most important is to find a haircut that will fit into your lifestyle. If you’re more low-key, for example, then a super-short pixie cut might not be the right haircut for you, since you’ll have to get trims often. Or, if you never use heat tools, you might want a haircut that’s more low-maintenance and necessitates minimal styling.


Another example: Do you work out frequently? If so, then you’ll probably want a haircut that’s easy to pull back into a ponytail. Whatever your lifestyle, just be sure to do your research or talk it out with your stylist before they pick up their scissors.


4. Will I Be Able to Style This Cut Daily Without My Stylist?

We’ve all been in a stylist’s chair wondering the same thing: Will I be able to recreate this look on my own? Professionals are able to create bouncy blowouts, sleek-looking strands, and the most beautiful curls with what seems to be almost no effort at all. But, you want to make sure that you choose a haircut that you’ll be comfortable styling by yourself on a daily basis.


If you aren’t savvy when it comes to hairstyling, ask your stylist for a cut that only needs one styling product to look salon-ready. We love the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty because it adds texture to the hair to create any style.


5. How Much Maintenance Will This Haircut Require? 

Similarly, you’ll also want to think about how much upkeep this look will require and whether or not you’re on board with how frequently you’ll need to come in for trims. Are you getting a stacked bob? We love it, but just know that you’ll probably be back in the salon for frequent touch-ups. Whatever you choose, much like trying a new hair color trend, it’s important to think about the long-term maintenance of the look.


6. Am I Able to Donate What I Cut Off? 

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to make a big chop, one of the best ways to help make up your mind is to find out if you'll be able to donate your locks. A new haircut and contributing to a good cause is always a motivating factor.


7. Have I Tried This Cut on For Size?

An easy way to see what a new haircut will look like on you— before actually getting it cut — is to download a virtual makeover app where you can upload your picture and try on different styles. Gotta love technology these days.


Editor’s tip: We also love that good quality wigs are easier than ever to get our hands on. If possible, braid your hair down and pop on a wig that mimics your cut for a day so you can see how you like it. This is also a great way to try out a new hair color without making the commitment.


8. Do I Trust My Hairstylist? 

Finding the right hairstylist is like finding a significant other — it isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth it to find someone you’re truly comfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable with your hairstylist — for whatever reason — simply part ways and seek someone else’s opinion. They are taking scissors to your hair, after all, and even though hair grows back, you don’t want to get stuck with a haircut that isn't what you've been envisioning.


9. Does This Haircut Fit My Personal Style? 

This one may seem obvious, but when trying out an entirely new or different haircut, take a second to pause and ask yourself if the look you’re considering suits your personal style. We’re all for trying out new trends and looks, but the reality is that veering too far away from your personal style can make you feel uncomfortable in the long run. 


10. Does This Haircut Fit My Budget? 

First off, some haircuts are more complex than others, and therefore they could cost more. If your stylist is spending more time on your hair or maintaining lots of length, your bill can go up. How high- or low-maintenance your style is can also factor into your budget — if you’ve chosen a more high maintenance look that requires frequent trims, you’ll be spending more money. So, do a little math before making a decision. 


11. Does This Haircut Fit the Thickness of My Hair? 

This one is more important than you might think. That’s because your hair’s thickness — whether you’ve got thin hair or thick, curly strands — can factor into how well you can pull off some cuts. For example, if you have thick hair, your stylist might suggest that you go with a longer haircut over a short one, and vice-versa.


12. Does This Haircut Fit My Hair Texture? 

Along with hair thickness, it’s also important to take your natural hair texture into account. It’s probably not best to heat style your strands every day, so it’s important to go for a haircut that will work with your natural texture — not work against it. For example, those with straight hair can easily rock blunt bangs, whereas those with curly hair may have to commit to a styling regimen for the cut.


13. Is This Haircut Just a Trend? 

While there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by the latest trends, if you base your cut entirely on what’s trending at the moment, you might not be taking into consideration whether that particular hairstyle complements your features. Just because the bixie, modern mullet and octopus haircut are super popular, that doesn’t mean it’s for you. And sometimes, when a haircut is super-trendy, it’ll fade from popularity pretty quickly — leaving you to deal with that awkward grow-out phase for the next few months.


14. Do I Know What to Ask For? 

As much as you may trust your stylist, knowing how to ask for the haircut you want properly is so important. You’re not a hairdresser, so it can be easy to mix up terms and accidentally give your hairdresser the wrong impression. Make sure you’ve done your homework and have the language and always bring a visual example so that there’s no confusion if you don’t describe the cut precisely.


Next: The 8 Best Pixie Haircuts We’re Double-Tapping On Every Time


Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Photo Credit: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy

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