I think it's partly being taught not to be assertive (at least in my case), feeling some intimidation when confronted by a "specialist," and sometimes, being confused as to what we do want or how to ask for it. It's hard to go into a salon and say, "I want XYZ and nothing else." A good stylist should be willing to ask and guide, though.

When I went in for my curly cut a few weeks ago, I was really anxious for a lot of reasons: 1) Stylist was a man, and men I don't know intimidate me; 2) He's the salon owner, so even more intimidating; 3) I have old henna on my ends, and most stylists freak over henna; 4) I've been trimming myself for four years; 5) I just kind of chopped in a little bit of face framing hair so I could see if I didn't mind hair in my face; 6) I'm just a middle-aged housewife, a bit dowdy. I pictured all sorts of scenarios, most of which ended with me being embarrassed, never going back, and getting a bad cut.

But he was actually really good. He asked about the old color, but didn't bat an eye at the henna. Said it made sense when I told him about the face framing bits, and didn't say anything about my hair being wildly uneven. He was very casual, which helped my anxiety a lot. And he explained everything he was doing. We talked about how much I wanted off and he made sure I understood the difference between straight length and curly length. Then he cut, showed me how much, and asked if I wanted more off When he washed and styled it, he explained what he was using and how to use it, how to clip, etc. I've never had a stylist be that accommodating in terms of just making sure I could recreate the look at home (more or less, haha).

My only regret is that I didn't go shorter. I've lived with it for three weeks now and I think I'll go in next week and have another four inches taken off. It'll cost me another $80 (that's including tip, for two hours in the salon!), but it's worth it because I like to be sure before I cut, and I've already cut a good 18" since about March.
3a/b, F, normal porosity

Wash with either Suave Tropical Coconut, As I Am, or CJ Daily Fix
Condition with STC or Yes to Blueberries and detangle with Denman, rinse very lightly (baptismal rinse)
Add LAL gel, either Sport or Wet Look, scrunch with flour sack towel, and plop
Diffuse 5 minutes, then air dry