Talk it out first. Always make sure the stylist takes at least a couple of minutes to discuss what you're looking for and size up your hairstyle and texture before you're sent for a shampoo (once hair is wet, it's more difficult to analyze). Hairstylist Mario Russo of Salon Mario Russo in Boston sees another advantage in meeting clients before they're wearing a robe and towel turban: "It's important for us to see how you present yourself, how you dress, what your general aesthetic is." If you're contemplating a big change, consider booking a consultation (they're often free) before you commit. It will ensure you have plenty of time to discuss your options.