By Sandra Nygard
Photograph by David Raccuglia
If you’re the kind of guy who rolls out of bed every morning with perfect hair, this article isn’t for you.

But if you have to put in serious work to consistently achieve the style you want, here’s how to pull off great hair in half the time.

1. Know What You Want

The first mistake many guys make when they get their hair cut is not knowing what kind of style they want—or just leaving it up to their stylist to decide.

Neither of these approaches results in the right look for your hair, says Sandra Perovic, a stylist at Bonds Gentlemen’s Barbershop in London. Perovic recently won the American Crew 2015-2016 All Star Challenge, an international hair styling competition. (You can see her winning hairstyle in the photo above.)

Do some homework before your next hair appointment. Take a look at your friends’ and celebrities’ heads to see what cuts you like, and snap photos to show your stylist.

“Bring in a few pictures so you can have a proper consultation and we can sort out what would work best with your hair texture and what you can maintain at home,” says Perovic.

2. Work With Your Hair Texture 

Half the battle of owning a consistently good-looking style is getting a cut that suits your hair texture. Ask your stylist what shapes work best for your hair and length, so you can narrow down your options.

“For instance, the specific look in the winning hairstyle I created works best with medium hair texture, with a slight curl and medium length,” Perovic says.

3. Use a Blow Dryer

Once your stylist gives you the cut you want, he or she will probably tell you to use a blow dryer at home to give your hair fullness.

Relax—you won’t end up looking like 1970s-era Elvis. Instead, a blow dryer will help your fine or thinning hair feel thicker, and make your strands look less stringy.

4. Lay a Foundation Of Product

You need to work a dab of gel or cream product evenly into your strands to create a strong base for your style. Otherwise, your hair will fall flat.

“A pre-blow dry product fuels up your hair so you don’t need to use as much product in your hair when finishing it off,” says Perovic.

5. Give Your Hair a Boost

The last step to achieving great hair is using a thickening product to give it a little volume. If you can run your fingers through your hair without losing any of the style, it will look great all day long.

Choose one that gives the hair volume and grit with a matte finish. You’re still able to use it with other products and the hair won’t feel as though it’s being weighed down.