You know how when you get a new haircut, it takes a while for it to “settle in”? (I make it sound like moving into a new neighborhood or starting a new job, hahaha.)
But you know how there’s usually that period right after a new cut when you and the new hair are getting to know each other better on your way to eventually figuring each other out?
Well, mine’s finally settled in, and I love it.
It feels so great having hair graze my shoulders again and not feel like it’s just in the way. It’s also really nice to have an actual style again, too. I finally feel like my hair isn’t in transition to something or somewhere in the between stages. It’s like, finally! — I’ve made it to point B.
The style is called a long bob, or a “lob” for short. There’s a little bit of layering, but not a whole lot, and that’s on purpose. I have a slight wave on the top layers, and I know from having many, many terrible haircuts that if there are too many layers when my hair is shoulder length or shorter, I end up with an unintentional mullet.
Side note: If you’re gonna rock a mullet, best be damn sure it’s intentional; otherwise, you’re in for a world of hurt. I’M JUST SAYING.
If you have wavy, textured or curly hair and you’re thinking about chopping off a significant amount, I think it helps to consider these few things…
1. Squirrel away 4-6 inspirational photos (not just one!)
First, before you do the deed, it helps to collect a few style inspo pics on your phone or torn from magazines.
I repeat: not just one. I think the sweet spot is between 4-6 pics, all on different people, and all with a similar vibe.
Why so specific, K-Dawg?
Because this way both you and the stylist can more easily identify what it is exactly about the style that you like.
I think it’s also key to remember that if you’re giving a stylist examples of someone else’s work, they’re going to interpret the haircut in their own way. Hair stylists are artists, after all, and each person will put their own stamp and special sauce on the cut.
These are the pics I brought to my appointment. They’re all by Sal Salcedo, a stylist in Southern California I found on Instagram.
2. Jot down everything you know (and want your stylist to know) about your hair
Unfortunately, this is a lesson I learned the hard way over the course of many terrible haircuts!
So…your stylist can’t read your mind.
And just because you give them a few pics doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll end up with. In my experience, the more information I give a stylist about my hair and how it behaves, the better off I’ll be in the end.
You can bring a Post-It, or type everything into the Notes app on your phone.
Here’s the list I took to my appointment…
- Straight on the inner layers, slight wave on the mid and outer layers
- Right side has a tighter wave pattern than left
- Like to air dry overnight, rarely use a hair dryer, but will use a curling iron 4-5 times a week to add waves/texture
- Prefer causal, “cool girl” style, not too overly done
- Cowlicks/unruly baby hairs in front
- “Ramen noodle” gray hairs on top
- Left side has ends flip out, right side has ends that flip in
- Important: need to have it long enough to put up in a ponytail for working out
- I wash my hair hair every day, conditioner wash every other day (non-negotiable at the moment)
3. Peep their Instagram page
Many hairstylists showcase their work on Instagram now. I found the stylist who did this cut, Maya Lowe, using a hashtag search of #marinhairstylist. I scrolled through her page and liked that she shows lots of clients with wavy and curly hair, and shows different lengths and different styles.
Maya also posts selfies and has natural gray hair, and I got the sense that she’d understand the challenges I’m having with growing out my gray.
And, LOL, some people will laugh, but I also liked that she has pics of her two cats in her feed. I felt that she would “get me” in that way, too.
4. Ask if they do dry cuts
A dry cut is when the stylist doesn’t wet your hair before cutting. They cut your hair when it’s clean and air dried.
In my experience, it’s THE biggest indicator of whether a stylist really understands how to cut wavy, curly or textured hair.
You see, when you have wavy, textured or otherwise “not stick straight” hair, the curl pattern is obvious when your hair is clean and air dry, and so when a stylist cuts it while it’s in that state, they can see your natural hair pattern better and maximize what you’ve got.
Just IMO, at least.
5. Ask if they offer adjustments
How a stylist does your hair in the salon will always differ from how you do it at home with your own products and styling tools, so ask if they’ll do adjustments after you leave the salon and have lived with your hair for a few days. I like it when stylists do this because you just never know how your hair will act once it’s in your own hands, you know? Inevitably, mine will always have a wonky piece (or two or three) here and there.
Also, ask if they charge a fee for this because some stylists do offer free adjustments.
All in all, I’m really happy with my cut. I needed a big change, and a big change is what I got!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,