bigredapmi suggested we stylists on the board start a thread on how to talk to a stylist to get a good cut, which was a fabulous suggestion (bigredapmi, if you could repost the suggestions you made on the other thread here, I think that would be very helpful).

I personally receive more than a few PMs from people who are looking for guidelines to tell their stylist about how to cut their hair. So, here are some of the "basics" I pass along. Please bear in mind this is NOT a guarantee you will receive the best haircut of your life: this is just an attempt to give you a few tools of communication in our own "language" to make the process a bit easier for you both.

- Curly hair needs to have layering of some sort, but this can be a minefield. Tell your stylist to give you long layers, but to keep the angle at 45 degrees and not raise you up to a 90 at any time. Reason: 90-degree angles are very tricky on curly hair and, if she doesn't know what she is doing, you could end up with the dreaded "mushroom" or "triangle" head.
- "Trim" can mean 1/4" or 1/2" or an 1". Be very, very specific about how much she should take off wet; for example, if you have a 5"-8" spring, a 1/2" trim wet can make you look 2" shorter dry. So, be very specific and say, "I would like a xx" trim of my layers and no more than that anywhere since it will be shorter than I want if you do."
- If you have a thin density, it is very, very important that she NOT take the layers up too far. Thin density needs more weight, not less.
- If she can, she needs to keep a solid "base" at the bottom and only start layering an inch or two up from the bottom perimeter. I hate seeing stringy ends from a cut on curly hair because the layering started too soon.
- With a wet cut on long hair, your shortest pieces should be no higher than about your chin, with the exception of your face frame.
- RUN FOR YOUR LIFE if anyone comes near you with a razor or thinning shears.

I'll add more as I think of them. And feel free to ask questions as well.
- Tiffany
Hair Stylist and Curly Hair Specialist - St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay)

Blog: Live Curly, Live Free
Facebook fan page: Live Curly Live Free

Sulfate- and non-water soluble silicone-free since 04/22/2002
3B, brunette: medium texture, low porosity, high density