New season, new do, new you

FOR THE CHOP: Good communication with your stylist could make or break your haircut.
FOR THE CHOP: Good communication with your stylist could make or break your haircut.

Spring's here and it feels like a time for a bit of a style shakeout, but where to start?

How about a haircut? Not the same old same old - but something a bit different? A step beyond the tried-and-true.

Fine in theory, but how do you go about finding the sort of style that's right for you - and how do you let the scissor-wielder know exactly what fresh path you're taking.

I asked a couple of Melbourne's top male stylists how to talk hairdresser lingo so you can guarantee the best cut possible.

Nathan Armagnac of OscarOscar salon at Chadstone advises that you bring in a picture of the style you're after.

''Google it on your iPhone or smart phone," he says. "It's something tangible - a point of reference. Then we can say 'yes' it is possible, we can work towards it' or 'no it's not possible'."

Armagnac says if you choose a good salon you're much more likely to get a good stylist.

''I've had staff who've come from the suburbs before and they haven't got what Oscar Cullinan [the founder of the chain] calls 'the level of taste'.  They might technically be good but they can't seem to get their mind around it.''

Stavros Tavrou from Rakis also advises putting a bit of work in to your new look.

"Research the salon that you are thinking of going to," he says.

"Have a look at their website and ask around if anyone has been to that salon before. Or even walk past it or walk inside to ask for a price list. That way you can feel the vibe and make the decision if you want to go back and get your haircut.

"Or you could get a recommendation off a friend or work colleague etc whose hair you like and ask them where they go and who their stylist is. Word of mouth is a positive affirmation when selecting a salon or stylist.

He says consultation is the key. Ask your hairdresser to talk the style through and perhaps show an example.

"And be reasonable about your expectations and realistic. Really get to know what your hair is like and listen to your stylists' recommendations.

"When you do find a stylist you like, stick with them. Your hairdresser will get to know your hair more intimately, how you like to wear it, your personality, your style and work with you to create the best haircut. You can also be more open with them when you know them better and let them know if you are unhappy with the style so they can rectify it for you."

What is his most important tip? "Avoid going from hairdresser to hairdresser as there is a hair tragedy waiting to happen along the chain somewhere".

- Sydney Morning Herald