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A haircut can be an extraordinary experience — a sort of renewal, a miniature transformation. You go from an overgrown, shaggy version of yourself to one who’s precise, updated, and ready to take on the world. But it’s how you get there that many people — especially men — don’t put much thought into.

Some believe that it’s the fast fix that counts: walking in, walking out. But when you opt for a quick cut instead of full-service treatment, you may be missing out on a few key benefits. A salon pro shares a few reasons for upping your hair game.

1. Get the full experience.

A haircut isn’t just about taming an overgrown mane: It’s also about hair health, updating your style, and taking a little time for yourself. You want to come out of your appointment feeling refreshed and renewed. The basic parts of a complete salon haircut experience include the consultation, shampoo, scalp massage, haircut, rinse, and style. If your appointment is missing any of these steps, your hair isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

2. Plan your style.

One of the most important aspects of a haircut is the consultation. It requires both time and expertise to determine the style that best suits you. There are a number of factors to consider, including how you wear your hair, to what (if any) styling products you use, your facial structure, and more.

According to Michelle Bode, spa manager at LifeSpa in Chanhassen, Minn., this is an important part of the role of the stylist. “Looking at face shape, determining lifestyle and learning how much work someone wants to put into styling, play huge parts in determining the right style,” said Bode. This conversation sets the tone for how the stylist will plan your cut.

 3. Enjoy the full wash-and-rinse experience.

One of the easiest ways to skimp on the experience is by substituting a full wash with a couple squirts of water from a spray bottle. However, this is a shortcut that could affect the health of your hair.

“Washing removes any products on the hair and also cleanses the scalp,” says Bode. “Also, a wash with a scalp massage ensures a good, clean scalp which is great for promoting hair growth,” added Bode.

 4. Develop a relationship with your stylist.

One of the biggest limitations of a budget haircut is the first-come, first-served nature of appointments. When you think of a haircut as a quick errand, you never know which stylist you will get. This leads to a different cut each time you go. Bode recommends creating a relationship with a stylist who will get to know you and your hair. “We have a very large client base of regulars,” says Bode. “Building relationships with each guest allows us to know their lifestyle and their goals. It also builds trust.”

 5. Make it part of your self-care routine.

If you are used to a quick haircut, you may be hesitant to give up the convenience of a “walk in” salon. However, when you think of your salon appointment as a regular part of your healthy routine, it becomes a lot easier to make it a priority.

LifeSpas are located inside many Life Time club locations and patrons often schedule appointments for before or after their workouts. Many salons also have easy-to-use scheduling apps, so you know exactly when to arrive versus delaying your haircut by having to join a lengthy waitlist.

Bode points out the simplicity of using the Life Time app to book at the LifeSpa: “In today’s world, it makes life so easy when you can go right into the app and choose what, when, and who at the tip of your fingers,” says Bode.

There are many practical reasons to invest in a “real” haircut, but perhaps the biggest one is, you deserve it. Treat yourself to a little self-care. You won’t regret it.

Jack Fahden

Jack Fahden is the director of copy and content creation at Life Time.

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