For this week’s reprise in honor of the 15th anniversary year of FocusOnStyle.com online, let’s take a look at some timeless hair makeover tips from 2003. And, a Polaroid of my hair during it’s brief blonde and choppy phase.
This time, my dramatic hair color change was a very conscious decision rather running to Gad Cohen for corrective color. I trusted him to let me see what it’s like to be a blonde for a summer. I have to say it was fun & yes, we should all go blonde once, just because. Mull over some of Gad’s beauty posts here. —S.H.
Hair Makeover, Get the Body You Want… Hairstyle tips and tricks from top celebrity hairstylists Gad Cohen and Luke O’Connor
Dear Sharon:I’m sick of my hair! It’s boring and dry. I want something different without having to chop most of it off.
It’s blonde, medium length and cut in a blunt, long shag. I’m trying to grow out my bangs so now they are a little past my chin. I thought about cutting bangs back, but it’s taking me so long to grow them out to where they are now.
The problem is that my hair is stick straight and just lies there. It really draws attention to my nose, which I find big. My boyfriend thinks I’m nuts but every woman has her vice.
I’m really confused.
I want more body but I have no time in the morning for curlers because I like to sleep late. A perm would be nice but every time I get one I’m never happy because it’s too kinky and I let it grow out.
I want something soft and natural looking— what I would call the romantic wave like Robin Wright-Penn’s hair in Message in a Bottle. Stylists act like they have no idea of what I’m talking about. Even when I show them a picture they say it can’t be done.
It’s the same thing every time and it’s not like I’m asking for the world, just a cute hair-do. Please help me, I feel very unattractive and boring. – Hair Despair (Cordova, TN via fashion advice)
Dear Hair Despair: Is that a red, white, or blonde whine? Crummy hair can get you down but don’t let it override your life to the point that you are living in one long, grueling bad hair day. You have everything down pat as what not to do but need to focus on what you can realistically manage with your hair type and lifestyle to feel great about yourself.
Stick straight, blunt hair, particularly with a center part or straight bangs does emphasize facial features. Your boyfriend is probably right about your nose not being big. However, you are the one who needs to feel comfortable about yourself. So if you feel self-conscious because you think you have a honker, opt for a softer, less harsh hairstyle with more movement.
But a wavy look for someone who has straight hair will take more styling time and expertise than you may be willing to commit on a daily basis.
A consultation with the hairstylist before your hair appointment will make sure everyone is on the same wavelength- couldn’t resist the pun! There are stylists who just don’t get what you want, even when you tag a photo along. And, there are times where you may not be explaining yourself as clearly as you think. “Blunt is blunt, a shag is layered,” says Luke O’Connor, ThermaSilk spokesperson, and celebrity stylist responsible for the many looks of the girl with the curls, Grammy award-winner Michelle Branch and curly diva, Deborah Messing.
You need to also be able to trust the skills of the stylist. Gad Cohen, the celebrity hair wiz who I turned to when I felt like becoming a short, shaggy, summer blonde (pictured left), says “a good cut plus color equals more body. Color for your hair acts like makeup to your skin”.
The haircut is the base of it all and to get the look you want Gad advises long layers, especially in the back. There should be “imperceptible layers” in a concave shape around the face to soften facial features and apply a weightless hair conditioner “that won’t weigh down your hair but provide moisture, body and shine”.
Luke says “Growing out bangs past your chin is a pretty good length to stop because your hair is stick straight. You can use this as a guide for a A-line shape to frame your face.”
“Perms in the eighties were huge and they may come back, but for that big hair look,” Luke adds. To achieve the soft, loose romantic waves that you want, instead of an overly kinky perm that just won’t be shiny, Luke suggests that you may need to make more time for styling. Follow his tips to style Michelle Branch’s hair by using a curling iron and misting each section with a flexible hold hairspray.
Get a haircut that you can manage in just a few minutes in the morning, then learn how to do the fancy stuff for special occasions or when the mood strikes. Just don’t get bogged down with a look that wasn’t meant for your hair. Make the most of what you’ve got and you’ll feel great about yourself.
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Original Publish Date: August 1, 2003