1. When you show up late, you're not just throwing off their schedule, you're compromising your cut. The refinement of your cut happens in the last 10 minutes -- after your hair is dry -- and it's crucial. If time is tight, your stylist will have to rush through it.
2. Not only is your cell phone conversation annoying, it's messing up your hair. When you're on the phone, you tilt and move your head. Some stylists say that even gum-chewing causes slight movements that can lead to an uneven cut.
3. A running critique won't improve the result. "Don't micromanage a cut in progress," says stylist Shin An. "Make sure you have a detailed consultation -- with photos for reference -- then let your stylist concentrate." If you feel your cut is veering way off track, ask your stylist to stop so you can discuss your specific concern ("My bangs are getting too short").
4. Myth: A good stylist can talk and skillfully cut hair at the same time.
"Cutting hair is a technical craft that requires a lot of concentration," says salon owner Eva Scrivo. "Can you carry on a conversation while you're typing? No. I see a lot of haircuts with typos." Catch up with your stylist before she starts cutting, then pick up a magazine and let her do her work.
5. Myth: All highlights are created equal.
Most colorists use foils to create highlights, but balayage* can give more sun-kissed and natural-looking results, says Marie Leppard, senior colorist at the Julien Farel Salon in New York City.
6. Myth: Stress created gray hair
No amount of fretting can affect the production of melanin and the enzymes that influence pigmentation in your hair.
*A process of highlighting hair by painting on bleach without using foils (from the French "to sweep").