Perfect Cut

Everyone knows the feeling — walking out of a salon with an empty wallet and a haircut worse than the one you got for the fifth-grade dance. And, if any well-meaning friend were to try to cheer you up with “It’s only hair, it’ll grow back,” you’d probably cry. It’s tough to know what the worst of it is, the cut, the waste of money, or the utter disappointment when you had such high hopes just a few hours before.

How to Get the Cut You Want

The secret to getting a cut you can not only live with, but actually like is to be open-minded and straightforward. “Listen to the designer’s ideas and then be honest,” says Paolo Bivona, owner of Compagnia della Bellezza Chicago. “Customers who try to run the show and intimidate the designer are more likely to be disappointed with the end result, as are those who simply nod ‘yes’ to anything.” Communication is the key, notes Bivona. Following are his tips for a positive salon experience.

  1. Contrary to popular wisdom, don’t bring a picture. Instead, turn the tables on your designer and ask him to show you pictures of what is possible with your hair. Too often, clipping pictures at home gets your heart set on styles that just aren’t possible for your hair type or flattering to your face shape.
  2. Avoid sticker shock. Call ahead for rates and be thorough. Be certain a haircut includes blow-dry and styling — and won’t leave you with just a wet mop plastered to your head. Once you know the costs, you’ll be more comfortable and able to focus on the cut without worrying about the cash register total.
  3. Go to a salon that schedules extra time for first-timers. When calling for an appointment, ask whether the salon is allowing time to get to know you and your hair. Compagnia della Bellezza Chicago, for example, adds 20 minutes to first-time appointments for a pre-cut interview.
  4. Know if you can handle a change. A good salon will ask you whether you want to look different when you leave. Think this over ahead of time as unhappiness with a cut is often as simple as wanting a change and not getting one, or vice-versa.
  5. Be specific about what you want. Use concrete descriptions, and if you ask for “two inches off” make sure you and the designer agree on how much two inches really is.

Explain your maintenance threshold. If you really hate styling your hair in the morning, say so. Or if you are going from long to short and like to play with your hair, be sure your short cut will offer some versatility.

Remember change is scary — as your precious locks drop to the floor, it is easy to panic. Try to be objective but also be honest with the designer. If you’re not sure you’re happy, say, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle this, can I try it for a week and come back if I can’t manage it?” Chances are good the designer wants you to be happy and will gladly reshape or rework until you are pleased.

Compagnia della Bellezza Chicago

1500 North Wells Avenue
Chicago, IL 60610


Validated discount parking at Carriage Parking next to Boston Market.


Sunday - Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am - 6pm
Wednesday: 11am - 7pm
Thursday: 10am - 6pm
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm