The right haircut can make or break your whole look, and we all know that a hairstyle is extremely personal. For one person, cutting it short can be extremely liberating, while put the fear of God in another’s heart. That’s why it's so important to know what the perfect haircut looks like, how to ask for it, and how a hairdresser is going to achieve it. We spoke with hairstylist Jan Spagnuolo from the Rossano Ferretti salon in New York City, and Traci Sakosits, regional creative director for Sassoon Academy in Los Angeles (yes, as in Vidal Sassoon).
The ideal cut can be determined by a lot of things: the way the hair falls into place, how much product you have to use to style it, and if it grows out well. If the cut looks as if you could have been born with it, and it suits both your face shape and lifestyle, then it's perfect for you. "The right cut is one that works with your bone structure, body proportion, lifestyle, and personality," says Traci. "It shouldn't wash out, meaning that the cut should stay even after you shampoo and don’t blow-dry." Using a picture for reference is also a great idea, but don't expect to look exactly like the woman in the photograph. "We can use an image for inspiration," says Jan. "But the perfect cut is more about how a haircut makes you feel, so if the woman in the picture looks glamorous and done up, then that is how you want to see yourself, and we'll create a cut that makes you feel that way."
Different salons and hairdressers use different techniques and methods, which is why it's so important to investigate the salon, stylists, and the type of work they do before you book an appointment. Look at their websites, ask your friends for recommendations, and even call your prospective salon for a consultation prior to getting a cut. "We have a specific technique at Rossano Ferretti," says Jan. "Rossano himself developed the technique, which we call metodo, and we focus on the client’s hair texture, lifestyle, and how they want their haircut to make them feel. We never cut directly into the hair and always cut with the hair’s natural flow. Finding a hairdresser who understands the way your hair sits and looks naturally is very important, as you need to have a haircut that works with your whole look."
The best way to get a cut that's perfect for you is to be open-minded. "Be willing to talk through different looks with your hairstylist," says Traci. "Be prepared to answer lots of questions about your maintenance and everyday routine, and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions yourself! If you don't like the look or something the stylist suggests, you need to say so." And if you love a friend’s haircut, don't be afraid to ask where she got it done! Everyone has myriad variables that will affect a haircut, and every cut will look different on another person. It's all about finding what's right for you.