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It’s fairly easy to get a good haircut if the shape that you want is a classic. Half the ladies in Hollywood are sporting a lob these days, so if you want one, it’s easy to find someone with a similar color and texture to your own and bring your stylist a photo. But what if you want something a little more avant garde? What if you’re looking for something you saw once in a movie, or on the street, or maybe just dreamed up on your own? What if you don’t have a photo? How do you explain what you’re looking for? Click the notes to find out. ––  Laura Martin

Step 1: Learn some basic terminology. You don’t have to be an expert on layering, but you will find it easier to get your point across if you have a basic understanding of areas of the head and common cutting terms. Check out this list to get started.

Step 2: Find bits and pieces. You may not be able to find an image of exactly what you want, but you can still use pictures. If you can find separate images of the length, bangs, layers, etc. you’ll be well on your way to getting what you want. You could even make a collage if you’re feeling crafty.

Step 3: Be clear about what you don’t want. When looking for a creative cut you want to leave your stylist some room for interpretation, but be clear about what you don’t want. Not willing to loose length? Afraid those shaggy layers will turn into a mullet? Knowing what you dislike sets your stylist up for success.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter  @LarMarStyle

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