Sep 102008

before-hair.JPGToday, many of you know, was my hair cut day in this comeback series (“comeback” is beginning to feel like a loaded term to me).

The before picture.

True confessions:  I didn’t take a picture with me. 

  1. I didn’t have one that I felt exactly captured what I wanted; most have the bangs draping across the face, which I didn’t want. 
  2. I didn’t think it should be a problem to say, “I want the kind of layers you’ve been cutting, the same shape around the face, this piece being the longest length.” 
  3. I have enough confidence in the gal who cuts my hair to know that she’s not going to send me out looking ridiculous and there’s a fair chance I’ll get something more fabulous than I was expecting.

This is what it looks like after just letting it air dry.  (My normal routine is to blow-dry upside down, product at crown, and blow the top layers around a round brush.)


I’m still deciding whether I am going to call her tomorrow and ask if I can come back to get another couple of inches off the length, so if you have suggestions (maybe even links to pictures!) please leave them in the comments. But in the meantime, I have a question for you:

What is the most effective way of communicating what you want to your hair-stylist?

  • the name of the cut
  • the name of a person with the cut
  • a picture of someone with the cut you want
  • a picture, plus some instructions such as “shorter fringe”
  • a picture of yourself when you liked your hair
  • a verbal description of what you want
  • just let the stylist pick
  • other

What works for you?

  24 Responses to “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”

  1. I like it. A lot. A little length off the bottom layer would work, too – simplify the shape a bit.

    I’m very curious to hear the answers to your question, because I struggle with that, too.

  2. It’s cute, and I agree that a few inches shorter might be fun too.

    I hope you get some answers to this question before *my* appointment on Sunday. I have not decided on anything yet (except the color, and my future plans for color maintenance).

  3. I tend to ask the stylist for recommendations. Stylists know hair and know face shapes and frankly they know a lot more than I do about what looks good. So I usually go in and give an idea of what I’m going for — as in — “I want something very easy and low maintenance that is long enough to tie back” or “What do you think would be a great very short haircut for my look and lifestyle?”

    I would tell your stylist about your style idiom. I have heard you should wear an outfit that screams “you” so they get a good idea of you. I have been doing roughly the same cut for a while but changing it around. I had no bangs for a few years, then bangs, now back to no bangs and it’s longer. I have told myself I will never have hair beyond shoulder length again, and I am tempted to try a very very short cut, but the shortest I’ve gotten is maybe right at the bottom of my ears.

    I would ask the stylist to talk you through a few of her/his ideas and how they see the cut working for you, then go for it!

    I’m glad you’re experimenting with your hair! It’s exciting. I would love to see you consider something shorter although I don’t have an eye for hair and can’t make specific recommendations. I would love to see you do one of those software programs where you can put photoshopped hairstyles on yourself to see.

  4. Also, I notice your face more and hair less now, and I think thats nice!

  5. I think that an extra inch or two of the length would look great! But def. no more layering. You look fantastic. I agree that your face is much more noticable now. 🙂

  6. I think it’s an improvement, but as The Makeover Guy said, you should make a commitment to it and go a couple of inches shorter! You do look younger with the new hair – and if it air drys that well yoiu are very lucky!

    Having spoken to hairdresses about communicating with them the feedback I’ve had is:

    If you have a picture bring it – but look for a picture of someone with the haircut you want who appears to have a similar texture of hair – because what you want may not be possible if your hair won’t do the cut you want.

    Good luck!
    Wear clothes that scream ME! So that the hairdresser can get a feel for your lifestyle and personality when they’re cutting.

    yes hairdressers should be well versed on face shapes etc, but many I have found are not actually very good at this – which is a huge disappointment, and I’ve ended up with volume on the top of my head that doesn’t suit my face shape. So unless you really trust your hairdresser, don’t not give them any guidance. Also, if you find a couple of pictures you can talk through them with your hairdresser, what you like and don’t like, what you’ve found works or doesn’t work for you in the past.

  7. I like it — but I think I’d like it even better shorter!

    If I am making big changes, I take a picture of what I think I’d like, and discuss it with my hair stylist. I try to be realistic about my lifestyle, the work I am (not) willing to put into it, and what my hair will actually do — but I also rely on my stylist for advice. As I’m in and out of the pool a lot, I keep my hair short and easy. My stylist suggested we shape the back in a design that basically follows my natural hairline, which is a wonderful touch and adds a distinctive look to my cut.

  8. Two inches shorter, I say, with more of a blunt line along the bottom!

    I had a marvelous stylist when my husband and I lived in a larger city; I trusted her completely to keep me updated with just the barest suggestions (“A little shorter this time!”). We live in a much smaller community now, and my current stylist–the best of several I tried, based on recommendations–gives a good cut, but just doesn’t seem to have very many ideas. I always bring a photo now when I want to make a change. I have to go to great lengths to find a model with a similar hair texture (very fine and straight), but this approach seems to work pretty well.

  9. It looks good, but yes, I agree, it would look even better shorter.

    I took a pic last time, but it was really unnecessary since I have a simple cut. “Trim the ends, layers up to here.”

  10. Well, the good news is … it looks even better after sleeping on it. Strangely, my hair often does.

    The bad news? Well, I called my stylist and left a message, but it may be tricky to get back in there. In the meantime, at least I’m comfortable that I don’t look ridiculous; better two inches too long than two inches too short, right?

    Also good that my face is more noticeable now. 🙂 And I like what she did with my “fringe”. And I already have my appointment scheduled for six weeks from now.

    More on the communication question in a post to come.

  11. First off, how cute are you?!? I loved seeing both of the photographs!!

    I love the new cut – it really opens your face up a lot!

    As far as how I get what i want at the stylist — I often don’t. And that is definitely lack of communication. If I take a photo, or suggest someone’s hair style that is well known, along with some more detailed instructions, I usually get more of what I’m looking for, rather than just trying to explain it myself. Ironically, two of my favorite cuts came from telling a TRUSTED stylist what I wanted to go shorter and she could pick a style that would suit me and be easy to care for. Both times I did that, I was beyond pleased with the result. It wasn’t something I would have chosen myself, but that was the beauty in it – I am not a stylist and can’t always tell what would look best on me.

    But I love the shorter on you, definitely. A few inches more would look great too, but it’s already a fantastic change!

  12. It looks so nice!
    I do vote for a little shorter, though.

  13. Remember – hair grows – so if it’s 2 inches to short, it won’t stay that way forever, but if you don’t try it, you won’t know if it looks fantastic on you or not!

  14. That’s true. What is really taking some getting used to is the idea that my hair looks okay without all that strenuous blow-drying and bending over. You were right, I didn’t need the extra fullness. And I confess – some of it was probably cover for not getting my hair cut often enough!

    Anyway, it’ll probably be next week before I have time to get back down there, but I’ll get a picture up when I do. 🙂

  15. […] second most popular advice was just to let the stylist decide.  Lots of other good advice in the comments back there.  Describing what you want seems to be the universally ineffective way of doing […]

  16. The new cut is nice in that it evens out the colour, now it’s more of a brilliant, lovely white —

    BUT i’m in the decided minority that longer is better, as long as the hair isn’t thin or scraggly — which yours isn’t. You are blessed w/ a thick, full head of hair, I would go with a cut no shorter than it is now but with a blunt cut for movement, with a few very, very long layers around the face for softening the lines (not as in wrinkes, but in overall shape, hahaha) of your face. I actually think you look terrific in both pics, I like longer but the shorter pic trimmed away the remaining bits of colour which might have been distracting.

    As for hairdresser/stylists: I never go to one, since I know my hair texture and propensity to frizz/curl etc. better than anyone else — plus I feel I can also determine best what looks good for my face shape — I don’t look trendy and up-to-the-minute, in fact my hair is somewhat unusual in that I cut it myself but I’m quite happy w/ it and have the confidence not to care too much what the crowd thinks.

    It’s funny sometimes since my sister owns a very trendy, hip styling salon and she loves to point out things she’d do to my long, simply-styled hair, but we joke around about it and we respect each other’s differences. Her hairstyle is almost exactly like Victoria Beckham’s new pixie ‘do, except my sis is 6’1″ and colours hers a cool eggplant shade — she’s always changing the colour and I will probably get her to do my hair too one of these days (a wild fun colour).

    Anyway, I’d never even thought of bringing in a pic of someone else’s hair, since most pics of celebrities and such are the result of LOTS of fussing and primping and spraying and styling — and that’s not feasible for moi! With a simple blunt-cut long hairstyle, 5 mins/day, if even that, is what I spend on my hair styling . . . .

    In the end, it’s what YOU like – do you have a preference for one pic over the other? If you wnted to shave it bald, or grow it down to the floor, and you are happy with your choice, then I say go for it!

  17. hi!
    how was your summer? love the haircut! did you get a couple more inches cut off?
    hope to see you before too long!

  18. One of the pieces of advice that I give my clients is to look for a hairdresser who has your sort of hair – so if you have really curly hair, go to a hairdresser with really curly hair, because they’ve lived with it all their lives too, and know what a bad haircut will do to it and how it will react to different cuts.

    Also I’ve found it’s best to see a colourist who has similar colouring, so if you’re warm, go and see a warm person, if cool seek a cool colourist out, as they know which colours are more flattering for their own skintone, so are more likely to choose a better colour for you.

  19. Ellem – thanks for the encouragement. You’re right, my hair isn’t thin or scraggly; in fact, the idea of a blunt cut strikes fear in my heart because it’s so thick. Layers kinda camouflage the fact that it’s going to turn whichever way it wants anyway. Which is also why I need to get it off my shoulders.

    Mary – unfortunately I haven’t been able to get back in contact with my hairdresser, and she is off on Mondays, so it may be awhile.

    Imogen – that is super good advice. I think the lady that cuts my hair has thick, straight hair, so we’re not a bad match. I can especially see doing that with color. Do most people have a different colorist from the person who cuts their hair?

  20. I forgot to tell you last week that I liked your new cut! Good for you. Change is hard. It’s fun observing your comeback! Praying for you…

  21. Oh and about going shorter, I love having hair shorter than my shoulders — I’ve actually sworn to myself that I’ll never go longer than shoulder length again. If you go shorter it would also be easier if you decide to try growing out your bangs — there’s so much more room for experimentation!

    Have fun!

  22. […] But one thing has changed:  I am not going to take the time to go back in for an adjustment to my hair cut.  No time!  I’ll just wait until my next scheduled appointment, take the picture with me, […]

  23. Go 2 inches shorter, it needs to life you up, The overall shape and idea is a winner!

  24. […] second most popular advice was just to let the stylist decide.  Lots of other good advice in the comments back there.  Describing what you want seems to be the universally ineffective way of doing […]

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