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Hairstyling/Good hair cuts


QUESTION: A few months ago I got a new person to cut my hair, and for a long time have been wrestling with the idea of shaving my head since I've been losing my hair, and the person who cuts my hair now as well as just barely more than half of my friends say I should keep the hair I have. However I can't help but think the way the person cuts my hair makes me look older. I can't help but think that if she were 22 instead of 40 something she would make me look younger, and she just assumes I want to look like I'm in my mid 30's instead of my mid 20's (I'm 32). I really hate the way I look. Is there anyway of knowing what a stylist has in mind when they are cutting ones hair?

ANSWER: Hi James,

The key to a great hair cut is a great consultation. It doesn't sound like that happened here. The age of the stylist isn't an indication of how well they'll do as much as you might think. I'm 51 but 75% of my clients are 35 and under.  

The only way to know for sure what someone is thinking is to ask them. If the stylist doesn't ask a lot of questions about what you like and don't like about your hair, what you do for a living, what you do for fun,  how much runs you're willing to spend in your hair, etc., then they're  guessing and have as good a chance of getting it right as they do of getting it wrong.

You said two things in your post that send up red flags to me. 1 - you hate how you look and 2- you know exactly how many people disagree with how you should wear your hair.

To resolve the first issue  you need to find a stylist that will do a real consultation with you,listen to you and make suggestions. Go to someone who will spend enough time with you to design something for you that suits your personality,lifestyle,  hair type and face shape. Most reputable salons offer complimentary consultations, usually by appointment. Take advantage of that service til you find a stylist that is a good fit.

As for #2 -  don't ask a plumber to fix your tv. And by the way,  you're exactly the type if client that ends up in my chair.  You need someone with a certain amount of expertise.  It sounds to me like you got a stylist who underestimated your needs or misjudged you in some way. It happens. I think you've already decided that your latest stylist is incapable of  making you happy. You might as well move on but start with a consultation. If the stylist doesn't do a consultation that gets you pumped about the cut even before it happens, don't feel obligated to get a cut.  

Keep looking. There are plenty of career minded, motivated and talented stylists ( of all ages ;c)  out there that can completely change the way you feel about yourself.

Good luck,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: She does ask many inquizative questions about my life such as my work, etc, that makes me very uncomfortable, but nothing about my hair. She says that slick back as I've had it for years is really the only way I can go with my bald spot. I tend to agree that there is a real limit to the direction my hair can reasonably go in and still not look fucked up, but still I hate how it looks. I think when I've gone to see younger hair stylists it generally looks better. I'm not sure what I am asking, but I just hate my hair.

Well James,

It sounds like you've already decided that you want/need a younger stylist. My advice remains the same. Take advantage of the free consultations. At the end of the consultations the designers will tell you what your options are and if you like the choices they give you you can make an appointment. If you don't like what they have to say, thank them and say you'll check your schedule then have another consultation with someone else. You might as well ask for a younger stylist when you make the appointment, by the way. You've already decided that age is a factor so don't waste your time in a consultation with someone you probably won't trust anyway.

As a side note, have you considered just letting your bald spot show? I tell all my male clients that are trying to cover something up with other hair that they aren't fooling anyone and they'll look much better if they just do what they want. Since you mentioned that you slick your hair back I'm assuming you're thinning in the back. If that's the case, Rogaine works amazingly well in bringing that hair back. It's least effective on the receding hairline but the back of the head does great. You might also consider Bosley. It's not a steroid and it works great too. everyone is different but we've had tremendous success with it in our salon.

And of course, If you've tried hair growing remedies and were dissatisfied, your idea of just shaving your head works too and it's usually my preference to allowing other hair to grow long in an attempt to covering up bald areas. That never fools anyone once the spot is bigger than silver dollar anyway. You'll look much more confident if you just allow yourself to be who you are. :c)

Regardless of what you decide to do, you need a different stylist. The one you have will never please you.  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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