Hair Hair Tutorials

how to always get a good haircut.

Heaven knows I’ve had my fair share of bad hair days.
I’ve also been the sad recipient of a more that one hair cut I wasn’t thrilled about.
And it’s not always the stylists fault if you walk out unhappy.
More often than not it’s a communication issue.

Communication is everything. It might seem like over kill but taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’re both on the same page is totally worth it. Everybody wins, cause your stylist wants you to leave happy too and they can’t do the cut of your dreams unless they know what that is!

The things is, cuts cost money and hair doesn’t grow on trees either:)

So here are some strategies for getting it right, right off the bat.

Bring a few photos.
Two people can look at one photo and see wildly different things. Bringing more than one photo of the cut you want is CRUCIAL but it’s only the first step the second thing is to


Ask stylist if it can be done.
Nick shows me photos of guy hair every time he gets a haircut wondering if he should get that cut. 9 times out of 10 I have to break it to him that the guy in the photo has a completely different hair texture/head shape and the cut just won’t look the same on him. Your stylist should be able to tell you what (if anything) about that cut will be different on you. That way you can decide if that’s ok with you before the scissors get clipping.

Explain how cut as you see it.
Show them where you envision it hitting on your body. Collar bone? Chin? Bra strap? Do you want it to hit that length curly or straight or wet or dry? Be specific!

Have them explain it back to you.
One of the best ways to make sure someone understood what you told them is to have them tell you what they heard.

I tried so hard to find a photo of me with baby bangs (not a good look on me) that I ended up with after a major miscommunication in my hair past but I guess I was shying away from cameras at the time so I’ll show you an example of the time (most recently) when I got exactly what I wanted, in large part due to the fact that my sister is an awesome stylist, but also because we talked it through.

First I showed her  photos of Kim K. (don’t be mad. I just liked her hair!)
Rachel said, yep we can totally do that.
I said: don’t take off any length, give me some blended layers starting (lengthwise) at the nape of my neck, shorter layer around my face hitting at about lip length.

annnd she totally nailed it:



Hope this helps you get some fantastic hair cuts!

Love you guys!!!!!


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  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 5:29 am

    She did totally nail it, gorgeous. Glad you went with this pic of Kim k and not the new platinum crop she got for fashion week.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

    You look beautiful Cara! This cute brings more attention on your pretty blue eyes!! Love it!!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Have to say, in those side-by-side pics of you and Kim K, Kim has nothin’ on your beauty!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Totally agree. Cara blows Kim out of the water! 🙂

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 8:31 am

      I totally agree, as well! Cara is a bombshell!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Agreed! You blow her out of the water!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Amen to that! I daresay Cara is prettier.

  • Reply
    Jenn Bagley
    March 6, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Great post! I am a hairdresser and these are great tips! I have been following you for a while and this is my first time commenting! I love what you do!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Love your haircut! The last time that I got my hair cut I actually brought in a picture of you and I think my stylist did a great job! I like your advice of having the stylist repeat your thoughts back to you because you’re right, more often than not people have different interpretations.

  • Reply
    Tristan B.
    March 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I think the ‘blended layers’ is really going to help! I have been so unsuccessful with getting the bangs I want, I love the Bridgette Bardot/Sienna Miller bangs LOVE. We just moved to Seattle a couple of years ago and I can not for the life of me get anyone here to do it. It seems easy enough, I have long straight hair and I have had the bangs in the past so I know it can be done. I’ve brought in photos-front view side view, any other suggestions on how to explain these types of bangs?

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Gorgeous! Congrats to the hairstylist.
    My pet peeve at the salon: half inch shorter does not mean two inches shorter.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Yes, your sister did a perfect job! My cut and texture is similar to yours, Cara, and I ADORE how you have it styled in the last photo. Could you do a post on how to create that look? (Or, have you already done one and I missed it?)

    I absolutely love your blog and am over the moon for the new MaskCara foundation!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Ditto on Sara’s request for a post on how to create that look. Please!

      Where is your sister located? Salon name?

      • Reply
        March 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        Third the request!

  • Reply
    Christina Trapletti
    March 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Wow that is so crazy how similar she cut it and styled it!!! Great post thanks cara!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hey Cara! I love the tips here! I recently chopped my hair off and it was liberating. Plus it’s so much easier to style and have fun with!

    But I have a question I’ve been wanting to ask for a while that I desperately need your help with!

    Based on your mascara post a while ago I decided to start using L’oreal Carbon Black, which I love! However, I have always had a major issue with mascara ending up on my brow bones and under my eyes. It’s so embarrassing to walk into the restroom and see that I’ve been in meetings and chatting with co-workers with mascara all over my face! I’m so grateful for my long lashes but WHY must the mascara end up everywhere?! Any tips to help prevent this??

    PS: I ordered your new foundation, HAC, blush kit and I LOVE it. At first I was a little worried because it seemed to sink into my pores, but a little Smashbox photofinish primer underneath worked wonders! Thanks so much for working so hard to create a fab product!!

    • Reply
      March 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      I’m not Cara, but I had the same problem with mascara forever until I recently read somewhere that you should put powder where the mascara ends up. It made sense to me, since I use liquid foundation and then spray on a setting spray. But I haven’t had the issue since putting “clear” setting powder (I use Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, since I have no less than 500 lbs of the stuff) on those areas. I guess the powder keeps your skin dry and dry skin won’t eat all the mascara!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse
    March 6, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I love your hair!! The darker look is gorgeous on you as well!

  • Reply
    Ems Tate Vivre Blog (@taaaaate)
    March 6, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Great tips! I am saving your wording for your current style for future reference because you hair turned out amazing and looks exactly like kim k’s (yes i like her beauty/hair too). xx

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Great post!

  • Reply
    Kiely Edmonds
    March 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    no one can deny that kim k has amazing hair…well when its not blonde 😉 good thing you’re still around to do that look justice!!

    xo, k

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Can you do a tutorial of your makeup? It’s stunning! Also, love love love the haircut!

  • Reply
    Angie A
    March 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    This is great advice! As a hair stylist, I love when clients bring pictures, but my advice is to cover up the face and body of the picture and ONLY look at the hair. I don’t know how many times someone has brought in a pic of an actress with a tiny body and perfect boobs with lots of enhancements/airbrushing and want their hair. Also, talk with your stylist about what it will take to style a certain cut. If you don’t want to blow dry or curl it, make sure you adapt a style that is lower maintenance that doesn’t require a lot of styling time. And there are very few true “wash and wear” styles that look great with a lot of effort!

  • Reply
    Liz Tea Bee (@LizzTeaBee)
    March 7, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Pinterest is great for this. Pinning 3 to 5 pictures that give a feel for what you want makes it really easy to pull it up on my phone.

  • Reply
    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is
    March 7, 2015 at 7:42 am

    […] tips on how to always get a good haircut. […]

  • Reply
    March 7, 2015 at 11:15 am

    We NEED to know your hair color routine. Need.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve been debating on getting a hair for the past few days. This is just what I needed for motivation to go ahead and do it! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sweet Tea Sweetie
    March 7, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Its always so terrifying to go for a new look but its worth the risk!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    It’s official: your dark hair is my favorite! I just love it! Followed your blog for a long time and also thought the blonde and “bronde” were cute but this is just awesome! Please share your color formula of you can 🙂

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Cara, how do you know what’s going to suit you or not? Have you got any tips on how to pick a flattering hair cut for your features??

  • Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Could you do a tutorial on this makeup? It’s stunning! Love the hair, too!

  • Reply
    Daniela Sicuranza
    March 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Great post. Do you color your own hair? Would love a post about hair color. I get mine done at the salon on occasion, but mostly just do it at home. A neighbor of mine told me she gets her hair color at Sally Beauty supply and does it herself and its way better than the boxes at CVS. Any insight/recommendations/future posts on hair color????

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

    You blow Kim K. out of the water! Love that cut on you

  • Reply
    March 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I have to agree. You blow her away.

  • Reply
    Around the Internet | Kalin's Blog
    March 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    […] How to Always Get a Good Haircut — I am sure we have ALL gotten a haircut or style that doesn’t meet our expectations. […]

  • Reply
    April 7, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Your hair looks amazing! I also have a light ash brown hair color and recently dyed it a dark brown. How do you keep yours from turning a redish color? How do you upkeep it? Do you have a post on this?

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    September 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I had to really communicate with my hair dresser and now have my hair cut dry. The reason is I have springy hair. If I say cut it at my nose, then it is too short as it curls up. So I if I want it cut at my nose, and to be that long, I have to have it done dry. Learned the hard way, I would say cut it to my chin and when fixed it would be way above my chin. Other wise my hair dresser is great as she only does what I want, she will only cut a little at a time, because she doesn’t want anyone to be disappointed. Unlike a lot that hack away. She also understands my hair is curly and she has adapted to doing it dry.

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