I have an amazing hairdresser. She's one of my closest friends and I've known her for years (she's been a close family friend forever!). I understand that most people's hair stylists are not necessarily their best friends, but I'm lucky to have such an one for my personal hairdresser. In purely hairdresser terms however, anyone can have a Jacquelyn for their dresser if they just look around. The best hairdresser for you doesn't have to be a surrogate-like sister, but really someone who listens to you and understands what you want in your look,
In everything she does my hairdresser is an excellent listener and the hair is no exception. She would practice on my family and me when she came home from cosmetology school. Something she always did (and still does) is to listen to what we want and what look we want to achieve. Every good hairdresser listens and keeps tabs with you on the way. When I get my hair colored, Jacquelyn shows me the colors she wants to use and describes to me what the outcome will be. As she cuts my hair she keeps check with me to make sure she's on the right track and she usually errs on the side of not quite enough color or cut rather than too much (which is always an excellent quality—you can always cut or color more if you need to, but not so much the other way around).
Once you find a hairdresser who listens to you (one that takes notes on your preferences for next time is a gem in the hair world), make sure that whenever you work with him or her you give exact descriptions of the looks or concepts you do and don't want. If your stylist has boundaries you have a much greater chance of getting what you want.
Apart from excellent listening skills, it's always a plus if you have a good time talking with your hairdresser. Stylists who can make good conversation (whether it be expert small talk or deeper conversations) are always a good find because it puts you at ease and helps you better trust your stylist. Now if your stylist is an excellent conversationalist but lacks in the good haircut department, keep looking!
A great hairstylist is always a good passageway into great hair. Your hairdresser doesn't have to be an amazing friend like mine is, but they should be at least a best friend to your hair!