We’ve all suffered through an unflattering haircut, color, or perm before and according to one survey, one in five women has left the salon crying after an especially bad hair experience. But most hairdressers will do whatever it takes to give you the locks that leave you feeling and looking good, you just have to know how to ask.

Having a consultation with your hairstylist before they pick up the bleach or scissors is always helpful. And bringing in a photo of exactly what you want is better than trying to describe it. Communication is key to getting the look you want, but if you’re unhappy with your new do, hairdressers are usually willing to fix it for free, as long as you speak up the right way. Here’s how to do it.

  • Speak up while you’re still in the chair - Your hairdresser can tweak your new do if you don’t like it and tell them before you leave the salon. They want you to be happy with your service, so they’re usually willing to fix hair color, add more highlights, or style your hair a different way if you ask.
  • Refer back to your consult - Tell your hairdresser, “During our consultation we discussed leaving it this length, but it looks a little short.” Or ask them to show you another way to style your hair, like you discussed. Just don’t say, “What did you do to my hair?” because that puts the stylist on the defensive.
  • Don’t immediately go to another hairdresser to fix it - Give your hairdresser the chance to make things right first. And most of the time, they’ll do it for free when you communicate without complaining.
  • Give the look a chance to grow on you - Wait until you wash it and style it yourself a few times to see how you like it and if you’re still not happy, let your hairdresser know.
  • Save demanding a refund or speaking to the manager as a last resort - Resolve your issues directly with your stylist and if you can’t work it out with them, then ask to speak to a salon manager.
  • Come back within two weeks for a fix-up - If you waited to see if your new cut/color/style grew on you but you still aren’t happy, go back to the salon and let them fix it. Just don’t forget to tip the second time around, even if they fix it for free, because a hairdresser still deserves the gratuity. And don’t wait a month to call back for a “do-over” - that’s just way too long.

Source: Moneyish