How to Get Your Hairstylist to Execute Your Exact Vision Without Seeming Like a Try-Hard

It’s time for a change, and whether that’s highlights or an aggressive overhaul to your eyebrow situation, you are due for a trip to the salon. While you have spent the past month perusing every variety of “messy bob” on Instagram, measuring your hair to figure exactly how many inches you want cut off, and stopping a stranger to take a picture of her dachshund because it’s exactly the warm chestnut color you’ve been looking for, it’s important to also convey that you are low-key and don’t really care that much about your appearance. Here’s how to make sure your exact vision is met without seeming like too much of a try-hard.


Act like your precise and specific hair concept just came to you on the spot.

When you’re asked what you’re looking for, it’s important to act totally startled like you hadn’t anticipated that you would have any say in your own haircut. Then say something like, “Oh, I don’t know….hmm…hey, how about you do my eyebrows 70% Khaleesi, 30% this medieval painting of Mary Magdalene I have here. And, oh, I want my hair to be the same length as Alison Brie’s in Community Season 1 but the same color as Alison Brie’s hair in Mad Men Season 3. Or whatever.”



Pretend the elaborate mood board you brought was just something you threw together.

You’ve spent months carefully curating a series of Instagram screenshots, photos of Winona Ryder, and free-verse poems to convey the exact look and mood of new ’do. But when you unveil your concept, you have to disguise the fact that you are a micromanaging freak by saying something like “I just threw this together this morning!” You have to convince the people who work in the beauty industry that beauty isn’t super important to you!


Grab a magazine so it looks like you aren’t about to micromanage their every move.

A magazine is the perfect cover for pretending to occupy yourself with more substantial matters while you’re at the hair salon. As you pretend to read that story on vaping in Cosmopolitan, keep an eye on the stylist in case she starts using that conditioner you know will make your hair just flop all over. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, apologize profusely before outlining exactly where and how they went wrong. Way to play it cool!


You now have the knowledge to seem like you don’t really care that much the next time you go to the hair salon with a rigid, unyielding vision. After all, casual and low-maintenance was the hair concept you were trying to achieve.