Wish you could rock the 80,000 intricately braided strands that Daenerys Targaryen seems to have going on in every episode of Game of Thrones? Good news: If you care enough, you can. Here’s your 5-step process to mastering a new hairstyle with … well, style.

1. Get Inspired

First and foremost, you need to know what hairstyles you’re trying to achieve. Hop on the fashion sites, YouTube channels or Insta-feeds you love to see what’s current and get some inspiration. Ideally, you’ll have tutorials to work with, so if you can find those, all the better.

2. Get a Wall-Mounted Swivel Mirror

Photo by @harmaaco

Many hairstyles involve doing a bunch of stuff behind your head, where you can’t really see what’s going on. Sure, you could hope for the best and check with hand-mirror later, but it’s much easier to wall-mount a swiveling mirror so you can watch as you work. These don’t cost much, so make the investment upfront.

3. Put in the Time

Sorry, but you’re just not going to be able to master the beehive or triple fishtail in an afternoon. Learning to work with your hands behind your head, reverse your actions as you stare into a mirror, and find the products you need isn’t an overnight job. You have to work at it, but if you do, you’ll soon enough have some awesome hairdos in your repertoire.

4. Adapt as Necessary

Photo by @nuchy_minishirtshop

Sometimes the weather won’t cooperate. Figuring out to manage your pretty hairstyle in wind or rain, or to tuck it under a hat and have it come out looking fresh, will also take time, and that’s cool.

5. Don’t Skip the Salon

Old, brittle, split hairs are hard to work with, stick out at odd angles and make it difficult to tie off braids. Keeping your hair neat and trimmed at a salon will definitely heighten your success, so plan cuts for every 4-12 weeks and don’t forget to give your stylist a call.

And that’s it! Doing your own hair can be frustrating and require patience, but don’t quit before you have it down. Follow these steps, and you’ll love your locks each and every day. Or at least, most days, which is pretty darn good.

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