Lovely reader Anne had this hairy query:
I’m in the midst of trying to find a hairstyle that suits me and it occurs to me that this might be a great topic for your blog. The relationship between hair and clothing. I don’t know about you, but I find that if my hair doesn’t look it’s best, or it is a ponytail vs. wear-long day it will affect how I dress. I think that’s why I have been having so much trouble finding a hairstyle I love since I feel like it has to go with my wardrobe.
So, I guess my question is: Do you think hairstyle is a major fashion consideration? And following that – any hairstyle blogs you could point a girl with long, lanky, straight boring-ass hair for some inspiration/ ideas?
First off, many hairstyle blogs are really specific. (Emo hair, anyone?) But Fashionising has a GREAT section on styles. Some are a little out-there, but many could be customized to fit normal-gal life. And if you’re interested in updos, you can check out the Braid Wednesdays group on Flickr. There’s also the InStyle Hollywood Hair Virtual Makeover tool – a very fun way to try out a few different looks without affecting your actual locks. I keep a Pinterest board of hair inspiration, and also just stash styles I think are gorgeous in there.
Now, on to the meat of the question: Is hairstyle a factor in personal style? Let’s use me as an example.
I love my hair, but have always been pretty lazy about it. It’s unruly and difficult to style, so I tend to pick low-maintenance cuts. Until recently I focused on whether or not a style was easy to deal with and paid less attention to how it aligned with my dressing preferences. But now I tune in a bit more. So do I think hairstyle is a major fashion consideration? Absolutely. I think the world’s most gorgeous, stylish, well-turned woman can completely ruin her look with a bad ‘do. I wore my hair in a style that didn’t suit my face-shape for YEARS before I got my current, more flattering cut. And I know that finding the right style is no mean feat.
Here’s what I’d say if you’re searching for a hairstyle that suits your fashion sense:
- Identify other women – celebrity or otherwise – who have hairstyles you adore. What about those styles appeals? Would they suit your personal style? Your hair type? Your daily time allotment for hair styling? Your face shape?
- Identify other women – celebrity or otherwise – who have personal styles you adore. What hairstyles have they chosen? Do the two seem to mesh? Could they for you?
- Make a list of things you want your hairstyle to do for you. I, for instance, want it to balance my square jawline and forehead, be long enough to show my natural curls, and gel with my edgy personal style. What does your hair need to do to make you feel awesome?
- Make a list of things about your hair that make it challenging. Is it limp, overly curly, difficult to straighten? Does it dry slowly, get static-y easily, not play well with product?
- Make a list of adjectives that describe your personal style, your wardrobe, your personality.
- Do some salon research. Mostly this will mean talking to as many women as possible – preferably ten or more – about their hair stylists. Find out who takes direction well, who can be trusted with color, etc. And when you think you’ve found someone who could work, get that person on the phone and make sure you connect on a personal level. This needs to be someone you can trust and someone who GETS you. When you find that stylist, book ’em.
- Warn the salon in advance that you need some consult time tacked on to the appointment and are willing to pay for it. Bring ALL your notes with you. You could even bring some photos of yourself – full-length outfit shots – to illustrate your style. Spend as long as you need discussing your desires with the stylist, and get input and advice. This person is an expert and should have loads of opinions. And if it seems like the stylist doesn’t know or doesn’t care? Ask if you can pay a partial fee and walk out. Socially awkward, yes. Worth it, also yes. You’re in a vulnerable spot and need someone who is going to help you, not brush you off and give you a cut you hate.
- Be sure to talk to the stylist about … well, styling, too. A great cut only gets you so far, if you can’t re-create it yourself outside the salon. So make sure you touch on your ability to commit to styling time and effort BEFORE the stylist starts snipping.
- For more input from an actual stylist, check out this interview with my long-time stylist Jaimie Stevenson! She gives you the scoop on how to discuss cuts that will truly work for you and your hair style.
Hopefully this combination of research and hunting down a trusted stylist will result in a ‘do that suits you and your wardrobe!