#1 You Did the Wrong Kind of Recon
You can spend hours checking Yelp, but those in-depth reviews about the manners of the receptionist aren't going to show what kind of haircut you'll wind up with. Instead, use social media to inform your decision when trying a new person. "What's great about Instagram is you have everyone's portfolio at your fingertips," says Riawna Capri, Clear Scalp & Hair celebrity stylist and co-owner of L.A.'s Nine Zero One Salon. "You can pick out a picture from their feed and know that you can get that or something close to it."

#2 You Didn't Bring a Picture…
"A lob, a bob, a shattered haircut—all those words can mean one thing to the client and another to the stylist," says Capri. "It's all about photos, so I can see exactly what you want." You don't have to look to celebrities for inspiration either—a photo of you with your best-ever haircut will help a stylist understand what you're requesting. It's equally important that you give your stylist examples of the cuts you don't like, so that she gets a complete idea of your tastes and has the best chance of making you happy.

#3 …Or You Brought the Wrong Kind of Picture
When you're researching possible cuts, look for people who have the same hair texture as you to ensure you're being realistic with your request, says Juan Carlos Maciques, a stylist at New York City's Rita Hazan Salon. Meaning, if your hair is naturally curly, Kim Kardashian probably shouldn't be your reference point.

#4 You Didn't Tell the Stylist About Your Morning Routine—or Your Lack of Curling Iron Skills
Beachy waves aren't born that way and sleek, glossy lobs don't just happen. "Some haircuts require more effort—and that's when mistakes happen," says stylist Nunzio Saviano, owner of the Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City. Make sure to communicate how capable you are with styling tools and how much time you're willing to spend with them; tell your stylist if you want to get out the door in 15 minutes without plugging anything in, so he can steer you away from a look that requires a blow-dryer, flat iron and an arsenal of products.

#5 You Tried Too Hard to Make It Work
Sometimes it's not you, it's them. If you have to keep repeating your request to skip the straight razor or continue reminding the stylist you said one inch (not three), that's a sign you're in the wrong chair. "When you're going to someone good, you shouldn't need to tell him how to do his job," says Maciques

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