What you say vs. what your hairdresser thinks you said

Ever left the salon in tears? This is probably why…

You say, “Literally do not cut off any more than a few millimetres” so you can still whip your hair back and forth…

They cut 5 inches off while your head is in an old issue of Cosmo. Don’t worry, J-Law did the big chop – she has some great advice:

Our advice? Don’t just tell your hairdresser how much you want off – show them. Hold the ends of your hair and physically point to how much you’d cut. Then ask your hairdresser to show you where they’ll cut, so there’s a mutual understanding as to the amount that’s about to go. Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes on your hair prize, and speak up before it’s too late.

You request an effortless balayage look that’d even knock Leto’s socks off…

You leave the salon with uneven chunks of bleach that’s a little less Gisele, a little more JWoww (plus, you vow to pay the extra $50 and have someone more qualified than the workie touch your hair next time).

Our advice? Tell your hairdresser you want to steer clear of tiger stripes and that you’d prefer a natural graduation of colour, from darker at your roots, to subtly lighter ends. A toner can also help to blend the melting pot of colours which is now your hair, so ask if they’d recommend applying one for a more I’ve-just-been-holidaying-in-the-Caribbean-and-haven’t-had-my-hair-done look.

You tell the hairdresser to cut in some soft layers around your face, but keep the length a la Jennifer Aniston.

They pick up the feathering scissors and you know this is going to end badly. Next minute, you’re rocking a frullet.

Our advice? The key to avoiding an unwanted fringe and blunt layers is simple. Watch what your hairdresser is doing, and tell them to stop if you become anxious about where those scissors are heading. You want really soft layers, so essentially you don’t want to be able to tell where each layer starts and finishes – be loud and proud about the look you want to achieve.

You’ve got a wedding to go to, and want a blow dry that looks like a Victoria’s Secret Angel’s waves when they hit the runway…

Unforch, those curls they gave you never quite get around to ‘dropping’.

Our advice? Shirley Temple ringlets are hard to pull off. For a more modern, luscious style, explain to your hairdresser how your natural hair usually holds the curl (READ: tighter than Madonna’s latex garb). Tell your stylist you want the curls to look longer and looser come party time, and if you’re worried they won’t drop, ask for a few different DIY combing techniques to weight and pull the curl down.

You’re taking the rather serious step of going from brunette to blonde, and you’ve brought a small binder’s worth of Sienna Miller reference pics:

It’s not until you get home that you realise that toner didn’t quite take as well as it should have.

Our advice? The transformation from brunette to blonde can sometimes take an eternity - not just one visit to the salon. In the meantime, you’ll probs need a toner to keep your hair colour consistent and public-ready. If you don’t want warmer-coloured hair (think honey and caramel), tell your stylist you’re after an ashy, cooler blonde. Maintain it at home with a shampoo specifically made for the fair-haired lasses – they’re usually a violet pigment (which helps to neutralise brassiness).