I tend to have the same problem when I have taken pictures to stylists. My last disaster was in 1999 when I took a picture of Meg Ryan's hair (from City of Angels) to my stylist. It turned out nothing like the picture...I later found out the Meg Ryan's hair was enhanced with a perm for that cut/style. It took me so long to manage and style my hair when it was this short...thank god it didn't take long to grow out. I haven't gone short again, nor have I walked into a salon with a professional or celeb picture.
I pretty much assume that any professional photo or celeb hair cut/style has been stylized to death and is therefore not necessarily realistic for me.
If I comment to my stylist that I like a hair style in a photo, he usually asks me what I like about it and it gives him a really good idea of what I am looking for in a hair style.
Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.