Why a decent haircut matters

5 Sep

I got a haircut this weekend. Since cutting off my hair, again, into a pixie last November, I visit my stylist every eight to 10 weeks without fail. Haircut Day might as well be a holiday. I consider a decent haircut a priority right up there with diaper-buying and just as important to style as shopping.

Every time I get my hair styled, I get an instant mood lift and feel like everything in my closet looks just a little better on me. I’ve had long hair — I’ve donated 12 inches or more twice — and short hair and every length in between, but short hair is what feels most like me. Because of that, I carry myself with more confidence when my hair is short. And isn’t that what style is?

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Short hair is not for everyone. What is for everyone is a haircut that makes you feel put together and polished. Your clothes can be stylish as all get out, but if you’re sporting a limp ponytail or an air-dried nest on top of your head, you’re going to look frumpy.

The hardest part, I think, is figuring out what hairstyle you need. I know I like short hair — and still, I struggle to pick what length and cut to get. I was flipping out this weekend because my regular stylist, whom I’ve been visiting for six years, was on maternity leave. I actually had to explain how I liked my hair cut around my ears! There was hand flapping involved in my (pitiful) explanation.

Rather than give you my advice — um? bring a picture? — I went to the expert: my hairstylist sister, Lexi.

“Hairstyles make you feel completely different,” Lexi said. “It’s not being vain, it’s called having self-esteem.”

When you go to your stylist wanting a new haircut, Lexi suggests you avoid celebrity pictures if you can help it. Red carpet styles are not everyday hair styles and require way more work, time and product than most women want to spend. If you are using a celebrity picture for inspiration, be sure to cover up the face with your thumb to make sure it’s the HAIR — not the pretty face — that you like.

Whatever pictures you bring, these are the things you should be asking: Will this work with my face shape? Will this work with my hair texture? How much time will this take? How much product? What kind of product? Really listen to the answers before your stylist starts snipping. They might change your mind.

If you’ve been with her for awhile, listen when your stylist suggests small changes like adding swoopy bangs or face-framing bits. She’s trying to break you out of a style rut. Lexi said she makes it a point to try to suggest something new, something special to one client everyday. When she goes to hair shows and sees new styles, she makes notes of clients they might look good on. (Take note: It pays to be loyal to a stylist.)

If you’re going somewhere new or aren’t sure your stylist is being honest with you about whether something will look good, listen for key words like “soften,” “harsh” or “adding length,” Lexi said. Chances are, she’s concerned the cut will work for you.

And if you feel like a stylist is ignoring you when you’re in the chair, well, you probably should be going somewhere else.

Lexi said the biggest mistake women make with their hair is not using enough or the right products.

“It doesn’t have to be time consuming … it doesn’t have to be goopy,” Lexi said. “Products help to control your hair and they help style it. You just have to find the right product for the hair type and for that style.”

And remember, she added, your hair changes with stress, hormones and the weather, so you can’t just buy something and assume it’ll work always and forever. Same goes with haircuts.

Lexi has been styling hair for 12 years. She works in our hometown and is pretty much like everyone else on this blog — a regular woman trying to look put-together on a daily basis. She works full time and has two boys, 5 and 6, and a third — a girl! — on the way.

She’s volunteered to answer any other questions you all might have about cuts, styles, products or color. Ask away in the comments.

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6 Responses to “Why a decent haircut matters”

  1. Erica September 5, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I agree with everything you said! Ah, I hate my hair so much right now. I’ve had two bad stylists and my hair is horrible. After 3 terrible times with my current guy, I’m throwing in the towel. What does your sister say about finding a new stylist? And for me, asking people isn’t really the thing. I love my friends but I don’t love any of their hair particularly (my LOCAL friends). I was thinking haircolorist.com or something? Ideas?

  2. Becky September 5, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    This is so awesome.
    What percentage of people who get bangs hate them?
    I like the suggestion of generally not looking at celebrity hairstyles. Do you have other suggestions of where to look for hairstyles I might like?

  3. Melissa September 5, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I hate that every time I get it cut the stylist then leaves the salon. I’ve been through three people at this local salon so I’m switching it up next time. I’m going out of town, to a small town salon, to a girl that I trust for waxing and I’ll soon (29th) find out if she does good haircuts too. I’m pretty hopeful, I’m not asking for much, a cut and some layers and if she does well, some future color maybe. I’m also hoping that if I like her and she leaves this small town salon, she’ll tell me where she goes. I also prefer my hair longer so I’m suspicious of stylists that want to cut it too short. Obviously I don’t know how to pick a stylist or a style for myself 🙂

  4. K September 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    If your sister could recommend one hair product which would it be?

  5. audrey September 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    I second Erica’s question — how do you go about finding a good new stylist? I had a wonderful stylist for years. I’ve never been happier with my hair than when she styled it. And then, she moved out of state. 😦 I went to a walk-in place for a trim the other day, trying to be budget conscious, and rather than look at my current style (which I LOVED) and maintain it, the woman hardly took any length off and butchered my layers. It’s so frustrating! So now I need to find a new stylist who will fix my butchered hair and hopefully also not break the bank.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Breaking out of the Mom Uniform rut « Style All Over - September 7, 2012

    […] not being vain, it’s called self-esteem. My hairstylist sister said this in my last post, about the importance of a decent haircut, but it’s true in general. You deserve to wear your cutest clothes, no matter what it is […]

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