Cut away at thick hair.
Credit: Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

Thick hair needs to be thinned, right? Yes, but it's not that simple. The hard rule is that your hair person should never take thinning shears (those scissors that look like hybrid combs) anywhere near the top of your crown.

"That's a sure way to make it look like you have cat hair," says Vaughn.

The thinning shears are fine (in moderation) for the sides, but you should ask the barber to rely more heavily on a tool that can be used with a little bit more precision: a razor. According to Vaughn, "this allows for more shaping and will give the hair motion."

In order to keep the cut looking good, reach for a strong wax that gives your hair a soft but malleable finish. And run your hair through it a few times a day so it doesn't become a helmet. [Uppercut Deluxe Featherweight, $18 for 2.5 oz;]