Woman with long flowing hair and backless dress

Photo: Torkil Gudnason

Question #1: What Was My Single Best Hair Day?
We know you've had one. And it's a good place to start when you're trying to find the perfect style for you. Was your hair really shiny that day? Were you complimented on your springy curls? Identify what you loved about your hair, even if it lasted only a few hours, and work with your stylist to create a look that plays up those strengths. A style that enhances what you have—rather than fighting against it—will always be the most flattering.
Woman examining her split ends

Photo: Thinkstock

Question #2: What Is My Hair's Fatal Flaw?
Unfortunately, this might be an easier question to answer. If you had to sum up your hair woes in one sentence, "My hair is too _______," how would you fill in the blank? Flat? Frizzy? Dull? Instead of sitting in the stylist's chair and rattling off a litany of hair complaints, tell him or her the main concern you want your new cut to address.
Woman with avant-garde bob haircut

Photo: Thinkstock

Question #3: Can I Afford a Long-Term Relationship with This Haircut?
Some cuts require frequent trims to keep their shape; others let you get away with quarterly or even biannual salon appointments. As a rule, the shorter and choppier the style, the more maintenance needed to keep it looking fresh. When hair is one length or has only long layers, you don't need to visit the salon more than three or four times a year.
Woman curling her hair

Photo: Thinkstock

Question #4: Am I Willing to Sacrifice Sleep for My Hair?
If your mornings already resemble a scene out of Mission: Impossible, a haircut that requires several products and two types of tools to look great isn't the one for you. On the other hand, if you have 15 minutes to primp every day, why not try those sideswept bangs that require a little coddling? Make sure your stylist understands what your time and energy needs are, and have him or her walk you through the styling of your cut.
Zooey Deschanel's signature hairstyle

Photo: Getty Images

Question #5: Who Is My Most Passionate Hair Crush?
Hairstylists universally say that they love it when you bring them pictures for inspiration. Even if the hairstyle of the woman in the photo isn't realistic for your hair texture, the image gives them a sense of the overall aesthetic that appeals to you. Sexy or classic? Elegant or beachy? Geometric or free form? So flip through magazines, or your own photo albums, and show your stylist the looks that you love most.

Next: 5 ways to deal with a bad haircut