When it comes to hair, most guests in the chair are left thinking that their stylist is speaking another language. Is it ombre or sombre, a bob or a lob? If you are constantly doing a confused nod during your hair consultation, then it’s time to get educated on all that lingo and know exactly what to say during your chat. Below is a helpful list of what you should be talking about to walk out of the salon with the best hairstyle EVER.

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1. Do your homework before the appointment. When you show up unprepared, it could be a recipe for disaster. Share your visions, wants and needs and don’t worry about appearing too high maintenance. It is your hair, so don’t settle. And remember that stylists can only work with the information they are given, so make sure what you are saying is helpful. If you’re curious, just ask questions — that’s how you educate yourself!

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2. Bring in pictures. You can sit and talk all day about a hairstyle that you’re trying to explain. Bring a picture and the visual will be much, much clearer. Snap it on your phone to show your stylist what you’re talking about. You could also bring in a picture of what you don’t want as well.

3. Explain in great detail. Tell us everything about your hair routine at home. Stylists want to know what’s ideal for you. The goal is to make the process as easy as possible. If there are any details that are unclear, ask about them. Be open and honest. Providing a good service takes teamwork.

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4. Ask for the stylist’s opinion. The pictures you bring will be the inspiration. This is called the wishful-thinking pile. The ideal style may not work with your hair, and a good stylist is not going to try the impossible.

5. Spill your hair history. Tell your stylist what you’ve had done to your hair previously. This can include any color, straightening, whether you heat style often or if you’re a swimmer. All of these things can affect how a cut or color turns out.

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6. Know the key words that should be used. Descriptive words are relative from person to person. Demonstrate how much length you’re looking to lose. Also describe if you want a blunt, strong look or a soft and wispy look. Discuss layers as much as possible. Are you wanting to see layers throughout the cut, or just around the face? And be sure to tell the stylist if you’ve had a bad experience with particular tools, such as thinning shears and razors.

Do you feel more confident with these tips? Let us know in the comments below!

(Photos via Tristan Fewings, Araya Diaz, Donna Ward, Clemens Bilan/Getty )