Getting a new hairstyle can be truly transformative. Whether you’re going through a breakup, looking for a mental health reset, or just wanting to mix things up, switching up your hair is a great way to ensure that things never get dull. Of course, the first step is finding a hairstylist that’s skilled and trustworthy. A trim is one thing — a total cut and color makeover is another.
Be sure to scroll through as much online inspiration as possible — show them to your stylist on your phone or print them out and bring them to your cut. Here’s everything to know before changing your look and getting a new hairdo.
- Don’t focus on spending as little as possible
When you’re cutting off a half-inch or just getting rid of dead ends, it’s no big deal to cheap out with your local salon. But if you’re getting a totally new look, that involves skill and expertise so don’t worry about splurging on over $100 cuts — maintaining that cut will be much easier than the initial major chop when switching up your look.
2. Check out review websites
There’s nothing like a good customer testimony to help you figure out whether a stylist is right for you. It’s also the best way to avoid an irreversible nightmare that’ll require you to wear a wig for the next few weeks. Look on Yelp, Google, and any other reputable review sites.
3. Use an app to see what your makeover will look like
Sometimes we have an idea in mind, but in reality, it doesn’t go with our skin tone, face shape or style. Using a hairstyle visualizer will help remove the stress from changing your hairstyle to something extreme. It can help guide you and figure out what will look best — thank goodness for technology! Consider one of these Apple or Android compatible apps.
5. Book a consult
This is a great way to dip your toes in the water without committing to a cut. Generally, a consult should be included as part of the cut, but you can always visit a stylist before. For instance, consider booking it with a blow-dry and after having a conversation with your stylist, you can figure out if you feel more comfortable seeing them for a cut or color.
6. Hold your ground
Sometimes a stylist will think they know better in terms of what will look best on you. But ultimately it’s your cut and your decision. If you let someone convince you, you may not end up happy with the final result and are just giving in to what somebody else wants — somebody that’s not you.
7. Consider your hair texture and other characteristics
If your hair is thin or fine, layering and highlights may be best. This can add fullness and dimension. Thick, coarse hair might work best with a medium style rather than extremely short or long. A short hairstyle will look completely different on fine hair than it will on thick hair.
8. Consider your face shape
Your hair should flatter your features, so don’t be afraid to analyze in the mirror and see what shape your face is. If you have a very angular face, a softer and flowing cut may compliment you more. If you have a round face, consider an edgier look or asymmetrical angle to create some balance.
9. Your at-home styling routine
Sure, when a stylist gives you a wash and blowout at the salon, you’re bound to leave looking and feeling like a supermodel. But how easy is it to recreate that look at home without the help of a stylist? Your new hairstyle should match your styling routine. And if you have to commit to switching up that routine, it’s something to think about and accept beforehand.
10. Before a cut, consider new products
Perhaps the reason your hair is laying flat and has lost its va-va-voom factor is that you’re using the wrong products, or need to switch to a higher-quality brand. Drugstore options aren’t great and can contain cheap, harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens. Also, remember that oil can seal in moisture, but it doesn’t actually provide hydration. If you’re suffering from dry or limp hair, remember to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner before applying any hair oil products.
11. Acknowledge that your makeup may need to change
Changing your hair is a big decision, and it may cause you to change up your cosmetics as well to avoid clashing. For instance, dying your hair or getting highlights might make you want to change the color scheme of your makeup. Getting a cut that suddenly draws attention to the cheekbones or eyes means you might have to change up your blush, shadow, or mascara.