Letters From Your HairdresserThe Dos and Don'ts of the ChopKate Allen

Taking inspiration from the clean lines of the ’60s and the mixed textures of the ’90s, today’s fashion is all about modern structure with edgy details. Think black leather hot pants with a red, plaid flannel tied around the waist. Picture a fitted, long sleeved crop top paired with a matching high-waisted skirt in a bright hue. So chic, so glamorous. And there’s nothing that screams high fashion more than a freshly cut shoulder-grazing bob or a cropped pixie to finish the look.

Out with the long, uniformly curled waves and in with sleek, straight tresses. Out with long bangs perfectly curled out and around the face and in with an eyebrow-gazing blunt fringe. Out with the trying-way-too-hard extensions that hang to the hips and in with embracing what you were born with. For those of you taking cues from ladies like Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé by trading in your signature look, get ready for a lot of preparation and planning.

Making a transition as big as cutting your hair off is one that requires a lot of thought and research beforehand, no matter how excited you may be. From my experience behind the chair, the women who end up the happiest with their new look are the ladies who’ve taken the time to figure out exactly what they want and can talk openly with their hairdresser about it. So to help you ask the right questions before you update your look, making sure you feel gorgeous both before and after, I’m giving you my total list of what to do and what not to do when making the cut.

Do: Create a Pinterest Board

We all know the magic of Pinterest and I’m sure we’ve all used it to pore through photos. But I’m still surprised when someone comes in for a big change and they don’t have any photos to truly show me what they want, so I had to add this! Because there are so many ways to cut your hair short (blunt bob, piece-y pixie, longer in the front, layers), it’s important to know exactly what you want. Do you like hair left longer around your ears because you hate how they stick out? Or are you self conscious about your forehead and need to keep some length in the fringe area? It’s certainly okay to not know everything when you take a seat in your hairdresser’s chair. After all, that’s why you have a professional to consult! But poring over photos and taking notes on what you like and don’t like will make for a very successful chat with your hairdresser when deciding how to wear your hair short. And it will ensure that you end up with a haircut that you absolutely love and feel totally comfortable in.

Don’t: Place Boundaries On Your Search

I hear certain phrases from clients that I just hate. “I have a round face so I know I can’t go short” and “My hair is too fine, so I can’t have layers” are common statements in my salon. But what I hate more than these phrases is that because of false information, these women are wearing hairstyles they don’t love just because someone once told them they didn’t have options. And it’s simply not true!

If you don’t believe me, look at Ginnifer Goodwin, who has rocked a pixie and a bob with confidence for years, regardless of having a more round face. And Cameron Diaz, who has some of the finest hair in Hollywood but can still rock a longer, layered cut. If your hairdresser is a pro, she’ll know exactly what to do in working with your hair type. And if the answer truly is that you can’t do a certain style with your hair, she’ll tell you. But most likely, there is a way to make it work! The problem only comes if you never bring it to her because then you might not know. So be prepared with any ideas that you just love (regardless of what you’ve thought in the past) and let your hairdresser help you find the best solution!

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  3. My problem is trusting someone to cut my curly hair. I always tell the person I make the appointment with I have curly hair. I’m sad to say I have never had a great cut ever! It always takes me 2-3 weeks before I figure out how to handle my new do. :/

  4. Ginnifer Goodwin is an excellent example! She inspired my short do. I simply showed the hair dresser pics of Ginn from my pinterest and it came out perfect. The one thing I learned quickly though is you have to commit to your short hair. Once it gets a little longer, you end up looking like Justin Bieber. So another “Do” should be to visit your hair dresser at least every two months (before I would go six months without a cut).

  5. Good article! I have to go with you in “Don’t: Completely Listen To The Advice Of Friends”.. I used to have super long hair, nice ombre and blunt bangs. Suddenly I wanted “the Miley”.. I’m from Argentina, so that haircut wasn’t popular at all.

    My friends were desperate “you’re crazy, I’d die to have your hair!” “Don’t do it, you’ll get bored in a couple of weeks!” Even my stylist refused to shave my head..
    Anyway, the point is that I did it, I got myself a pixie and bleached it…Well… I don’t need to say HOW MANY people congratulated me, they would ask me where did I have that hairstyle (on the bus!!), I was able to pulled it off because I was sure of what I wanted. So, girls, don’t listen to rest, you know yourself better than anyone else!