We can all relate to the feeling of leaving the salon a little underwhelmed. The reality is far from the dream, you’re left wondering what the f*ck went wrong and, more to the point, how your colourist didn’t understand what you meant by “a not-too-warm but caramel blend of blondey, tonal highlights”.

We figured the only way to break-down the language barrier at the hairdresser is to learn to speak their language. But don’t worry, we’ve done all the homework for you.

Here’s six tips for getting what you want from Valonz editorial stylist Diane Gorgievski.

1. Research research research. 

The best hairdressers specialise in something. Call the receptionist, explain what you want, and pick their brains about who’s most suited to the task. No two hands can do the same thing, so call around and go for the one who speaks your language, too.

2. If you’re considering doing something drastic, a consultation is a must.

Your hairdresser should be able to talk you through the process, and tell you whether what you want will suit your face shape, skin tone and lifestyle. This is a great opportunity to “try before you buy”, essentially, because once you give them the green light, there’s no turning back.

“If your hairstylist looks vacant in their eyes – run!” Diane says.

3. Photos are great, but be realistic. 

If your hair is naturally black and curly, chances are you won’t walk out looking like Lara Bingle.

4. If you think you want a fringe, you need to be prepared to own it. 

5. Know the difference between ‘blunt’ and ‘feathered’ ends. It’s not rocket science, but it’s important to be clear about which one you want.

6. Be a boss about it.

Don’t be afraid to be firm. Say it with me… “I DON’T want to lose my length”. “I DON’T want a fringe like Beyonce”.