My Haircut

How it all started


Occasionally I’ll be asked for details about my haircut, so I thought I’d do a quick update about it, talk about my thoughts on having longer hair and give tips for talking to your stylist about a hairstyle goal.

My cut is simply a long layered cut. It’s really nothing fancier than that. The color is, most recently, highlighted with lightener and often toned with Redken Shades EQ 9n. The placement of the foils is random, with heavier foils around my face.

I cut and color my own hair. I do not recommend this. I do it because I’m annoyingly picky and it’s pretty simple to do by myself in my bathroom at night. I’m also a professional. My husband will help cut the very bottom in the back for me, now that it’s longer, but I do the rest.

My hair hasn’t been this long, maybe ever? And I know many would still consider this a mid-length cut but it feels so long and feminine to me! I love longer hair! It’s been so fun to play with and wear in ponytails.

So, enough about my cut, let’s have a quick chat about how you can best communicate with your stylist about a certain cut or style you are looking for.

  1. Bring a photo.
  2. Bring another photo.
  3. Have a consultation, in the chair in front of the mirror, and this is the time when you will show the photo. Ideally you trust your stylists’ thoughts and opinions, and if he/she doesn’t think a certain style or shape would flatter your face, you should have a further conversation about what the new goal should be. You can talk about what aspect of the haircut you like (do you love how layered it is? The soft face-framing pieces?) and see if they can be tailored to your face shape.
  4. Be realistic about your lifestyle and maintenance. Despite wanting to style your hair everyday, do you? Make sure your cut isn’t too demanding because you’ll end up resenting it. On the other hand,Β a new cut can really be fun to style and it may push you out of a rut!
  5. Listen to his/her suggestions about products. This can be a touchy subject but if you trust your stylist you should trust their product recommendations. And, if you really can’t afford an entirely new haircare system, ask your stylist to choose just ONE product to start with.

Lastly, if you don’t feel like you can really talk with your stylist about your hairstyle goals or needs, I’d recommend doing some shopping. Hair is a really personal thing, and finding a stylist you trust is the best way to head towards happier hair days!

For a recent tutorial on my go-to hairstyle, see this messy waves tutorial!


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Beth Tessier says · 04.12.16

Your hair is beautiful long, and sophisticated short. You can definitely pull off both styles. My hair was in a chin length angled cut for a couple of years and is now several inches below my shoulders. It has been a fun/annoying journey to grow it out. I’m allowing it to grow long for the first time in years.

Amal says · 04.12.16

Wow that’s a lovely haircut! Congrats on doing that by yourself!
I’ve never left the hairsalon being happy about my haircut. I have curly hair and I feel like there are not a lot of stylists that truely understand how to cut curly hair… πŸ™

Cynthia says · 04.12.16

I have crazy thick and wavy hair, not curly like you, but I’ve also never left a salon with a haircut I love.

Moving forward, my husband will be the one to cut my hair. I trust his opinion the most, and he has a good eye. Plus, he loves my hair long, as do I, so I’ll never worry about him getting scissor happy.

Carly says · 04.12.16

Ugh, I so agree!! My curly hair needs layers and some height on top, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received “the triangle” at various salons across the country. We’ve moved a lot so it’s hard to find, and then keep a stylist who knows curls.

Charlotte says · 04.12.16

I don’t have curly hair, but I’ve heard good things about DevaCurl trained stylists from friends who do. They have a search so you can find the stylists’ names and what level of training they have.

Chrissy says · 04.12.16

Great post! And I wanted to tell you how gorgeous you look with the longer hair….very feminine and very pretty! You have beautiful style….never overdone or contrived, just lovely and classy and I think your new hair length is simply perfect. Love your blog keep up the great work!

LM says · 04.12.16

Hi Kate,

How would you recommend breaking up with your stylist. I always book ahead and don’t know how I should say no when she asks when I want to come back after my next appointment.

Jenn says · 04.12.16

I’ve never broken up with a hair dresser, but I never book ahead of time… When they ask I just say that my schedule is going to be pretty hectic in the next two months and that I’ll call in when I have a look at my calendar at home. πŸ™‚

Kim says · 04.12.16

I want to grow my hair out. Question, how often should you cut your hair if you are wanting to grow it out? Love your post and your long hair. I will be 50 and I want a little longer hair.

Julie Hood says · 04.12.16

Bringing 2 photos is a great idea. I have major trust issues with getting my hair cut (thanks to some really weird cuts I’d gotten in the past), so once I find a stylist I like, I never leave! Haha

Kirsten forshew says · 04.12.16

Your shirt is gorgeous too! Where is it from ?

Chrissy Korovilas says · 04.12.16

Love that shirt! Do tell….:)

Rebecca says · 04.12.16

I think the longer length is so pretty on you! Longer hair is gorgeous and feminine when it is styled and taken care of. I like your white top too!

Jennifer says · 04.12.16

I got an asymmetrical cut last month and there are no words to describe how much I hate it.
I had one when I was in my twenties (I’m 46) and I loved it back then but my hair texture has changed a lot since. It’s really got a mind of its own and unless I iron the bejeezus out of it, it looks like a giant mess.

I have a color appointment next week and I think I’m going to have him undo it.

Ariadna says · 04.12.16

This post comes at a perfect time! My hair is currently at my waist and I’m ready to chop it off. I had been looking at some pictures from some of your tutorials to show my hairstylist to get the length just right, this will be so helpful in explaining her what I want. Thanks!! πŸ˜‰

Stephanie says · 04.12.16

Would you care to share how long you’ve been growing your hair out? I feel like I’ve been following you for quite some time, and I always remember your hair being shorter. I need realistic goals for growing my hair out haha πŸ™‚

Becky says · 04.12.16

I’m not sure if this is the place to ask a question, but here goes…

My natural hair color is what I like to call a “light mouse-y brown”, so I prefer to give it a boost with highlights (LOVE yours btw). I’ve been highlighting my hair for years. Mostly I’ve had this done in the salon because my hair pulls red with the at home color. I’ve been to a handful of different stylists over the years. My frustration is, when I have foils put in my hair, some get pretty darn close to my roots while others do not. What should I be expecting? I get very frustrated when my regrowth looks terrible after only two or three weeks. Some stylists claim they don’t get close to prevent foil bleed, but I’ve had others who are very successful at getting close to my scalp…..but those are the ones who decide to change careers, move 100 miles away, etc., etc., LOL Again, so my question is what is normal and what is laziness on the stylists part. Or I feel it’s maybe a technique to get you back in the chair quicker when you can’t stand your roots. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and have always wanted to run this question by you to get your thoughts πŸ™‚ Thanks!!

Ashley says · 04.12.16

Glad to know I’m not the only one with mouse-y colored hair! My mom is my hair stylist and since she hates doing foils. I usually get her to “paint” my highlights and low lights on my hair. It’s kind of like the balayage technique that’s all the rage! Since I’m now blonde all over… I still need root touch ups more regularly (like now)….otherwise it was pretty low maintenance! Hope that makes sense!

Debbie m says · 04.12.16

I am not a professional and I always cut and color or highlight my own hair. My husband has got really good at helping me cut the back too. I just don’t trust anyone else and live on a budget.

Elizabeth says · 04.12.16

Hi Kate!

I need some advice! My hair stylist has been cutting my hair for 12 years and my mom’s hair for over 20 years! He’s amazing with my color, I don’t know if I could trust anyone else! And he’s great with my mom’s short hair. But I have long hair and I don’t feel like I’m getting stylish, great looking hair cuts. How do I start having someone else cut my hair, but still having him color my hair without hurting his feelings? Help!

Also- after years of boring hair cuts, I’m ready for a great one! Where do you recommend looking for solid pictures of hair styles to show your stylist?


Heather says · 04.12.16

I’m loving your longer hair! It looks great on you but more selfishly it’s now very similar to the cut and length of mine so your tutorials make more sense!

Kim says · 04.12.16

Thank you for this! I went to one hairdresser for about 15 years then moved across the country, so now I just cut my own hair as a blunt cut. I need to find a new hairdresser, though!

Kim … a new take on a pencil skirt!

Alicia says · 04.12.16

I love your cut! Mine is probably a little longer than yours is right now, and has been this length for most of my life. I’m seriously considering chopping it off into a bob again though…I chopped my hair 2 years ago into an inverted bob, and I LOVED it. It was oddly a lot more work than long hair, though. And my husband didn’t love the short hair. I’d love to do it again, but we’ll see. πŸ™‚

Julie Brown says · 04.12.16

I am growing my hair out and it is a painfully slow process since I am a natural blonde and 53 years old the hair is fragile, except for the grey that keeps springing out. I am curious to know what you think about women in their 50’s with longer hair? My hair is not long by any means…slightly past my shoulders but I have worn it shorter than that for a very long time. Of course in the 80’s I rocked the long spiral perm look…lol…I actually had serious perm withdrawals after choosing to not perm my hair anymore. Straight hair? Me??? But my cut is a long layer cut as well. I love it but am in the process of investing in several hair products to make it appear fuller than it is, because I have very thin hair as well. Another blonde curse I hear. Back in the day women who are 50 and older were told that longer hair was not the thing. What are your thoughts?

BTW I have followed your blog for a few years now and just love it!

Cami says · 04.12.16

Is it taboo to break up with a stylist and then go to another stylist in the same salon?

Amanda says · 04.12.16

Yes! And most stylists would refuse to take you on as a client if they knew you used to go to one of their co-workers.

Gina says · 04.12.16

Good tips as usual. May I add when you bring a picture to your stylist it is of an actual human being and not a cartoon character? Don’t laugh,,,true story! A Mom brought in her son for a haircut who is about 10 I am guessing? She showed me the pic on her phone of what he wanted and I laughed out loud and said “that’s a cartoon character!” They were serious and he really wanted it to look like that. I told them “it is not going to look like that–it’s a cartoon!” ugh! People! #storiesfrombehindthechair

Leann says · 04.12.16

How do you know you’ve found the right stylist, before they touch your hair and Jack it up? So frustrated, 30 plus years of not liking my hair. I always come home and end up trimming it myself. And I’ve made my husband trim the back for me. Lol. I used to dye it myself too, but being older, a mess up isn’t so forgiving anymore. So here I sit, with about 18 months of grow out, because of a bad dye job, and I am jonesing for it to be dyed but scared shitless to go, because I don’t know a good colorist. ?

Emily says · 04.12.16

From pics a few years ago your hair was much shorter. How did you get it to grow so fast? Read average growth 1/2″ month do you agree with that? In your professional opinion is there anything that helps increase length? Thanks for all the great tips!

Christine says · 04.12.16

I’m going to echo what others have said by saying I’ve never left a salon happy about my hair. It’s frustrating to think “now I’ll try this one” and feel that I’ve wasted my money. It’s so hard to make the decision to try another one after that. Wish there were more stylists like you in my area!

Anda says · 04.13.16

I have found a fantastic stylist that set up her own tiny salon a couple of years ago. She rents a chair out to another stylist also. My previous two visits prior to yesterday, I have had to raise the embarassing matter of cleanliness and hygiene in that there are mounds of hair on the floor behind the wash basin, dirty cups and cutlery at the coffee station and just general grubbiness. Yesterday it was the worst yet and I was upset that the brushes were full of other people’s hair, the scissors didn’t appear sterilised etc. Here in the
UK, salons are not regulated. I’m in a quandary because this is the best stylist I’ve ever had, what would others do?!

Jasmine says · 04.13.16

Hi Kate,
Your hair is gorgeous curled but do you have any pictures of the cut before you curl it? Especially the layers near the front? I’ve brought pictures of the final “styled” look to my hairdresser before but I never seem to leave with the look I was hoping for. I was hoping that if I went in with pictures of the cut itself, they would have a better understanding of what I’m looking for.

Nancy says · 04.13.16

Hi there! How do you highlight your own hair all over?! I too am a stlyist who color/cuts my own hair but would like to highlight it myself too just not sure how to approach it! Thank you! Nancy πŸ™‚

Mel says · 04.13.16

Your hair always looks amazing. Great tips. It’s time for me to change up my hair a bit…

Mel |

Ashley says · 04.13.16

I’m curious if your haircut has any texturizing? My stylist does texturize and I’m not sure my syle needs it!

Kacie M. says · 04.14.16

As someone who usually goes in with a TON of pics, I do get frustrated when a cut just isn’t what I thought it should be. But, that could also be due to my hair type not liking it or being unable to be styled in that way. Heck, I am still trying to grow my side bangs out as I can’t find a good place to part my hair where they don’t look odd!

Speaking of… I know you part your hair differently every few days, or depending on what style you’re doing. Could you do a tutorial where your part starts off one direction and goes another?? I’ve been trying this for awhile thinking that may be my issue, but never seem to get it to lay like how yours does. Granted, my dang cowlick may be the issue and something I have struggled with for a LONG time.

Jenny says · 04.14.16

I would love to hear your thought also on how to “break up” with a stylist. I have been seeing the same stylist for 10ish years so she is now a friend. I like to keep my hair around bob length and I feel like she doesn’t have any new ideas! I bring it pictures but still my hair feels the same. I think I just need a fresh eye on it. Do I say something to her? Do I just disappear? What is the appropriate way to do it without hurting her feelings because I do really like her as a person.

LazyLoop says · 04.21.16

Kate, Great description. One thing: I seem to have thinner hair on the sides (fairly thick overall). I’m so afraid of layers, I go “mullet” really easy. Any tips to get my mid-back hair layered, and avoid having “collar bone length” in the front, while everything that hangs behind my shoulders cascades very long??? Thank you!

Evie says · 07.02.16

My hair is also a “long layered cut” but I feel like my hair stylist makes very blunt cuts. How do I communicate to her that I want the layers and ends of my hair softer? I feel like I’ve said it before and I’m just not using lingo that helps her understand what I mean.

Colleen says · 06.07.17

What is the style of your most recent hair cut not this one?

Peggy says · 03.12.18

I am new to thesmallthingsblog and just have to say that I LOVE your hair! I just watched like 10 videos and learned so much, thank you! I have hair similar to yours and can’t seem to get the cut that gives me what I want. Any chance you know of a hairstylist around Dutchess County New York? Thank you!

Kate says · 10.09.19

Thanks for your photos and your hair thoughts over the years. I’ve appreciated coming back to your pics😊 God bless you in your blog.
Signed: Another Kate, in the South, w same texture & color hair as you, and style my hair same, and use two of your favorite products also for 15 years☺️ πŸ™ŒπŸ»