Bored with the same ‘ol hair you’ve rocked for years? Want to make a change, but worried you’ll hate the result? Lucky for you, our experts take the guesswork out of finding the perfect new ‘do!
1. Consider your hair’s natural texture
“Fine hair generally looks thicker when shorter, and the longer it gets, the stringier and thinner it looks,” points out Rick Wellman, Schwarzkopf Professional Color Ambassador. That’s why people with finer, straighter hair may find it easier to go for a shorter look, as it will makes their tresses appear fuller, says Shaylee Blatz of NineZeroOne Salon in Los Angeles. “On the other hand, clients with curlier textures need to consider what cut will be best for their curls. For instance, they shouldn’t get a shorter cut that only looks good when it’s straight. Maybe go for a longer version of a shorter cut since curls bounce up,” suggests Blatz.
2. Want bangs? Take a closer look at your growth pattern (and texture!)
If you’re thinking about getting bangs, Wellman recommends paying close attention to your growth pattern, particularly any cowlicks in the front. “These can determine whether you end up loving or hating your new bangs.” Not to mention, comments NYC-based hairstylist Stefanie Fisher, for fine/thin hair types you’ll need to gather more hair then you may be willing to part with to create that thick of a bang. “If you’re not going for a mullet, this could be a very bad decision.”
3. Have a round face? Steer clear of short hair and fringe
Most of the time, it’s best for people with a round shaped face to stay away from shorter cuts and bangs because they accentuate the roundness, says Blatz. “However, that’s not to say you can’t go with a longer version of a short cut, maybe keeping the front longer.” Overall, longer, leaner lengths around the face narrow a chubby face or broad jaw, adds Pravana stylist Jamie Muniz, whereas adding rounded layers around the face gives the illusion of a fuller face.”
4. Have a long face? Avoid long hairstyles
Generally, if you have a long face, shorter hair will flatter you more and balance out your look by adding some width, notes Wellman. “Long hair, alternatively, could make your face look even longer.”
5. Ask yourself how much time you’re willing to spend styling your hair each morning
According to owner and operator of One Chair Hair, Sarah Olexa, when choosing a new ‘do it comes down to how much time you’re willing to spend fixing it. “Most styles can be manipulated into a certain shape if cut properly, but if you’re not willing to put the work in to achieve the desired outcome and it’s drastically different from what you have now, go a different route,” she advises.
6. Take note of your hair’s density
Bigger, fuller, denser hair is best left on the longer side, warns Muniz. “Length can help removed any unwanted volume. Plus, with the right kind of layering (long to mid-length layering) fuller heads of hair can still obtain ideal volume and movement without looking puffy.”
7. Thinking about going ombre? It looks more natural on wavy hair
While practically anyone can rock this grown out sun kissed look, Fisher has found that the best hair types for ombre are the ones that can hold a curl. “That doesn’t mean your hair has to be curly,” she says, “but a subtle bend in the hair can change what looks like an unintentional hair color grow out to a beautiful fade down the hair strand. If you have super straight hair, make sure to ask for something subtle and leave out a few base color hair strands to blend it together for a more natural look.”
8. Head to a local wig shop
When all else fails, why not head to your local wig shop!? Seasoned hairstylist DeShawna Brisco recommends applying your makeup and grabbing a close girl friend to go along with you. “Try on a long wig, and if you’re really liking what you see, let it grow or find a fab extension stylist and just go for it.” You can also experiment with shorter wigs if you’re considering chopping your locks off. Be sure to consult your stylist first though to see if a specific cut or style would work for your face shape, hair texture and density.
9. Ask your hairstylist for some help
The number one thing people who want to experiment a bit with a new hairstyle should do is to go see their stylist first, suggests Matthew Preece, owner of the Fred Segal Salon in Santa Monica. “Ask questions like, ‘Would bangs suit me?’ Or, ‘How would my hair look short or a different color. Is my hair too thin for this look?’ Also, ask questions regarding what to expect when your hairstyle begins to grow out and what could be done to rectify it if you decide you don’t like it after all.”
10. Remember: Confidence is key
When all is said and done, the most important factor in choosing a new ‘do is a client’s confidence, according to Blatz. “Ultimately, anyone can rock a version of any style as long as they feel good about it! By being confident with your new look, you convince others to be confident with it too.”