New Year New Hair? 3 Suggestions to Ensure the RIGHT Cut

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I kind of love the emotional aspect of women and their hair. This isn’t true for everyone, of course, but quite often in my life, and the life of my clients, a drastic haircut would follow a wedding, a birth of a baby, a move to a new state, etc.

If something significant happened in their life, they wanted to do something significant to their hair.

So here we are at the beginning of 2019, are you changing your hair? I’m on the fence (like I always am) about the length of mine. At this moment I want it short and blonde but I’m trying to keep this newer slightly darker, root-y look for a bit longer!

I did have the chance to chop about 7 inches off of my sister’s hair right after Christmas and MAN that was fun. Nothing really significant has changed in her life, and I mean that in the most neutral way possible, but I think she just grew tired of how long it was. Plus her hair grows extremely fast so it’s sort of no big deal to chop it off. Regardless, it’s fun to start a new year with new hair!

It was cute to see Mike, her husband, react to it. He knew she was cutting it but when we saw it he went right over and put his hands through it. It was sweet!

Anyway, if you are planning a drastic change soon, here are 3 things to keep in mind to make sure it will work for you!

1. Be realistic about what kind of time/effort you want to put into it.

I always asked clients what level of maintanence they were interested in signing up for before I did their hair. Whether it was cut or color, I did not want to create a high maintenance style if they only wanted to devote 5 minutes and no product to their daily hairstyling.

2. Bring a photo with you!

I say this constantly but there is almost no point in trying to explain using only words what you are going for to your stylist unless it’s a very specific haircut like “mullet” or “shave it off”. Those are pretty much the only two haircuts that everyone pictures the same thing in their head after hearing the descriptive term. So, bring a photo with you! That’s what Pinterest is for guys! Blonde doesn’t just mean blonde. There are a million variations in the tone, brightness level, amount of blonde, etc.  Having a visual reference is the best way to make sure you and your stylist are on the same page.

3. Be open to new products or tools to get the look you want. 

Product knowledge was always something I majored on when I did hair. I wanted my clients to understand that they may not be able to get a specific look or feel to the hair without product. This doesn’t mean you have to buy e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g your stylist may recommend, but be open-minded to the fact that products can really make or break a hairstyle. From smoothing frizz to adding out of control volume, it’s usually the products that are the star of the show more than a haircut in itself.

Alright, let me hear it. Are you planning a hair change soon?

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Comments (57)

  1. Emily says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Lauren is so cute! Love the cut! I might get bold at my next hair appointment and get a good chop!

  2. Megan DeKinder says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Yep, I was considering growing my hair back out after having it short (shoulder length) for the summer. But it’s getting in knots easier so I have an appointment Friday to get it cut. Would like your input on what kind of cut for a heart shaped face you would recommend. Thank you

  3. Leigh Ann says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I am really contemplating adding bangs! Almost 50 with a layered bob that seems to need “something”. Just dont know how to incorporate the bang or how heavy to make it.

    • Val says
      Posted January 5, 2019

      Me too! Grew out my bangs a few years ago – such an ordeal! But now I am thinking they will add some coverage to my high forehead (and wrinkles). Bangs will, however, require more upkeep and I will need to commit to that. Decisions, decisions!

  4. Evie says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I just chopped my hair after getting married two and a half weeks ago! I’ve been growing it for the past four years and it feels so different!

  5. Posted January 2, 2019

    I recently went shorter, with a new stylist and made the mistake of not having a picture with me. So we weren’t on the same page. I have it a few days to see if I would ‘grow into it’ but it just wasn’t my vibe. I contacted the stylist and she was MORE THAN HAPPY to do more layering and thinning out (I have thick hair with a curl).
    I think communication is key, it’s not exactly how I wanted it, but after a few weeks I can get it cut again properly with my pictures in hand!

  6. Posted January 2, 2019

    I was planning to cut my hair short just today! Still thinking of what style to get since I’ve had the same hairstyle for the past… six years? It’s time to freshen up! Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  7. Karly says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Your sister’s hair looks ah-mazing! Nothing better than a fresh look for the new year. These are great tips, too!

  8. Kaitlyn says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Hey Kate!
    How thick is Lauren’s hair? Can you achieve a similar look with thick hair without it looking too bulky?
    It’s so cute! Great job 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted January 2, 2019

      Her hair is medium/fine in my opinion. If your hair is thick you just need to make sure it’s thinned out a bit and perhaps add more layering so it isn’t bottom heavy!

  9. Katie says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Such a cute cut!! I recently cut mine about the same length after my brother got married and wedding pictures were over. It is true that drastic cuts happen around big events.

  10. Kerry Rabusin says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I love her hair. Is it naturally straight or does it have some wave? How did you make it look so cute with the bend at the face? Iron? Color looks amazing on her too.

    • Lauren says
      Posted January 2, 2019

      My hair is naturally pretty straight. If I let it air dry, it will have a bend here and there and the ends will curl in/out, but the majority of it will be straight. I used the 25mm barrel on my curling wand to curl it in this photo!

  11. Kaitlyn says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Do you find that fine/thin hair does okay with bangs? I really would like to give bangs a try; however, I don’t want them to look stringy or pasted to my head. My hair does get oily fairly quick since it is so fine.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      It depends on your hairline, face shape, texture, etc. It’s hard to say without seeing your hair so I’d ask your stylist what he/she thinks! Bangs can certainly be cute but they take a decent amount of work as well!

  12. Allison says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Hi Kate! Thank you!

    I would like to dye my hair to cover my greys, but I can’t pay to have it done by a stylist. I have never dyed my hair at home before. Do you have any suggestions as I go on the hunt for a color?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      I don’t have experience with at home hair color so I’m afraid I don’t have a suggestion for you. Sorry!

    • Megan says
      Posted June 29, 2019

      Hi Allison! I’m not a stylist so this is not a professional recommendation, but I’ve been looking into the same thing. I found a company called madison reed that is supposed to be professional quality at home color. I haven’t tried it yet but the before and after pics on the website look really good. Check it out!

  13. Debra Kreeger says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I got bangs! More wispy than heavy..as a matter of fact, I took YOUR pic in when I went to the salon!😀Love them ..for now, but I definitely enjoy the change it made!

  14. Allison says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    No hair change for me but I would love to know what product you recommend for out of control volume. I have fine straight grey/white hair. Thanks!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      I really love Aquage Uplifting Foam + Alterna’s Volume Spray!

  15. Stephanie Dunavin says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Nooooo! I had a pixie cut for several years and growing it out is taking forever. My hair is a little shorter than your sisters. Hope by summer I’m past my shoulders. I think you should take some length off. I’ve been dying for you to go short and or do a short hair tutorial on a friend with short hair. Happy new year!

  16. Kristin says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Don’t cut it. I like it longer. Look around you a the women who are 10 years older than you. The ones with shorter hair look older and dare I say (practical). If that’s what you’re going for, great, but the women who are older than you and have longer (2-4” below shoulder) look much more youthful. Just saying, short bobs and pixies look amazing until you turn 25, then they just age you.

    • Jill says
      Posted January 2, 2019

      I’m curious how old you are? I don’t think short hair ages anyone unless it’s a frumpy style. Some people just don’t look good with long hair or don’t have the hair for it. I say go for whatever you like as long as it looks nice.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      I completely disagree! I think short hair can look youthful and fun.

  17. Kim says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I’ve had the same hair pretty much my entire life (with the exception of side bangs in JR high… never again lol). I need to switch it up! Thanks for the tips!

    Kim

    http://trendkeeper.me .. how to keep your resolutions!

  18. Jeannie Schnur says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    So how do you get her hair to look like that with those waves? I love the cut and style!!

  19. Rebecca says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Knowing haiircut terminology would be so helpful, more so than showing a photo. I can’t describe the photo, and, apparently, I can’t describe what I need. For example, the back layer of my hair (closest to my scalp) always grows faster and thicker. No stylist I’ve has understood me when I’ve explained that, or that I want that layer shorter, or that I want to get the back layer cut while maintaining/trimming the rest. Being able to describe what I want specific to my hair would be great.

    • A says
      Posted January 5, 2019

      I also have this problem. Of course I pin a gagillion examples of cuts and colors I like, but I’m not always sure what exactly I’m looking at or how to describe it!

  20. Rebecca says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I’m 32 and have gotten more compliments on my bob (when styled and flat ironed) than I ever, ever got when my hair was shoulder length or longer. It all depends on face shape and hair type, not age.

  21. Jennifer says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Does Lauren have natural curl? What tool did she use to style it?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      No. She used a curling wand to style!

  22. Debbie says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Speaking of products, I have been having a hard time with frizzy/fried ends! Is there a product you recommend for this? I thought of changing my hairstyle to a shorter bersion just because of that., but really would rather not.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      A creamy product will help tame frizz! I love the Frizz line from Living Proof!

  23. AA says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    The mullet/shave off part made me lol!

  24. Heather says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Love her hair! Also, love the lip color. Would you share with us what it is? Thank you!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      I’m not sure what it is but check her Instagram account, I believe she shared it there! She’s @LaurenEBown

  25. Megan says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I’ve got an appt Saturday and have no idea what to get yet!

  26. Andrea says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    A picture is key! I created a pinterest board of hair cuts and colors I like and I share it with my stylist. It helps her understand the vibe I’m going for and to see what I’m thinking. Then she can synthesize what I’ve shown her and talk me through a style that will achieve that vibe, but with my face. I’m ready for a change and my appointment on Friday couldn’t come fast enough!

    My friend wanted something new and short and I showed her some pictures I thought were cute that hit on the style she was describing. I talked her through the pictures so she could show and tell her stylist. Well, she decided to just tell and not show. She ended up with a cut that was way shorter than she bargained for (still way cute, in my opinion.) She kept saying, “I just wanted a cut like my neighbor.” I told her, well, then take your neighbor’s picture and show the stylist. She doesn’t know your neighbor!

  27. Kayla says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I’m actually growing my hair out to be the length of Lauren’s! Is a tad shorter right now but I’ll be there in a few weeks.

  28. Rachael says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    Love this! Today I went for a toffee balayage and trim with these suggestions in mind. I denied the itch to go for a lob knowing how much I love my current long length and layers that style nicely into soft waves. Having hair inspos and your tutorials has made it so much easier to play with different colors and cuts while still looking/feeling like me. As always, love your content.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 3, 2019

      Thank you!

  29. Stacy Theisen says
    Posted January 2, 2019

    I will bring Laurens picture but how would you describe this cut to a stylist?

  30. Chris says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    No way! LOL My hair is the longest it’s been since I was in elementary school (it’s to my bra strap) and I get more compliments on it than I ever did at any of the intermediate lengths- I probably can’t wear it long forever (I’m 40ish) But for now, I look younger with it than without it and I’m loving having long, long hair for the first time in 30ish years! LOL I did have lowlights (like really low) put in last time and I love it because I’m naturally really, really blonde and it really brightens me up in the winter! 🙂

  31. Megan says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    Love Lauren’s cut, good job Kate! It’s so funny that you mentioned the emotional aspect of hair. I tend to always drastically cut mine after a big life change (especially bad ones). Apparently a lot of ppl do bc my hair stylist has a joke with all her clients “do you really want to chop off all your hair (or add bangs, dye, etc) or do you just need to talk about it?” Lol!
    Side note, seems like everybody wants your input on haircuts. You could prob offer a haircut consulting service on the side!

  32. lilly says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    lauren’s cut looks great! i will be cutting mine soon, its past my bra line, LOL! i have little waves to my straight thick black hair. what do you suggest for static hair? our climate is so dry this season. some kind of oil or more conditioner? thanks!

  33. Jennifer Gilbert says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    Thank you!

  34. Amy says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    Great cut! And, where is your sister’s cute sweatshirt from??

  35. Jo Ann says
    Posted January 3, 2019

    I had my first hair appointment of the year yesterday. It was just for a trim and a color. After talking to my stylist we decided to take about 1 1/2″ off and it looks (and feels) great!

  36. Melinda says
    Posted January 4, 2019

    Love to see the video of you cutting your sister’s hair! I had an appointment to get my new Hairstyle this week and I love it!! I took a video of the Hairstyle I wanted my Hairdresser was thrilled! She knew exactly how I wanted it. She did a wonderful Job!

  37. Gina says
    Posted January 4, 2019

    Love your sister’s cut. Last month I actually told my stylist to shave it off! I’m so tired of my hair. I have thick, naturally curly hair but with any length it pulls me down and if it’s too short it’s a puff ball. I love a wash and go type cut but my natural curls never cooperate so then I have style it. My stylist can make it look great yet it never looks the same for me even with products. I’m 60 and many of my friends are no longer coloring their grey (I’m tempted). Many are growing it out which I think really ages them. I stuck as to what to do. Any suggestions….need a older client to work on?? Always love what you do with hair and makeup!

  38. Sarah B says
    Posted January 4, 2019

    So cute! My haircut is about the same length as your sister’s and I love the low maintenance aspect. It was also a game changer for me when I started going to a stylist who specializes in curly/wavy hair- she really knows how to cut the layers in a flattering way for my texture!

  39. Kate says
    Posted January 4, 2019

    Yes! I’ve been talking with my husband about starting to color my hair and I don’t even know where to start in talking to my stylist! I wish you were my stylist. I feel like you’d have awesome suggestions and totally get what I am looking for.

  40. Anne says
    Posted January 5, 2019

    Hi Kate!

    Coming to you from Canada! I love your blog! You always reference Aquage Uplifting form as your favourite root lifter. I can’t seem to find it in my area (and the shipping charges on Ulta are pricey). Any other suggestions for a “second best” root lifter?

  41. Posted January 5, 2019

    You mentioned on your Instagram stories about having trouble finding something to watch at night. We have Netflix as well and we come across a good CLEAN family movie one night and my boys loved it. The name of the movie is Hoovey. Would love to hear from you if you get to eat h it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did☺️

  42. Kacie M. says
    Posted January 8, 2019

    My last cut, I just trimmed it up a few inches and went a little darker. My next cut is next month, and I am planning on brightening it back up with highlights (and some low lights), and going for a layered LOB. Definitely something similar to Lauren’s, and I liked her short hair in the past!I struggle with where to part my hair (first world problem), so I am hoping something different might get my hair to get back to what it used to be. I also made the mistake of cutting some longer side swept bangs last summer, and am still awkwardly growing them out.

  43. Ali says
    Posted January 14, 2019

    Kate, what tools did you use to style her hair? A curling wand? I love this cut and this look!