Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help: Decide what I should do with my hair

So, longtime readers of mine might notice a sort-of trend: every six months to a year or so, I have a mini-crisis about what to do with my hair, and I turn to the blog for help. I know. I'm sorry. But here I am, doing it again.

There are three issues I'm stuck on. I need help with all three.

First: I have a stylist in DC that I love. But I don't live in DC anymore. And it's been six months since I've had my hair cut and it's turning into a shaggy, shapeless mess. And I don't know when I'll be back in DC, but I'm thinking it'll be in three or four months. And I don't want to wait that long. And I don't think I can stick to a twice-a-year haircut schedule indefinitely. But my stylist is great. And nearly every other stylist I've ever visited has been... not great. But I did find a salon here in Denver with a ton of fantastic reviews. Apparently they're cut and color geniuses. But I've heard that before. So, I'm torn. I think I'm leaning toward trying out the new place, and if they ruin my hair then I can go back to my regular guy in DC in a few months to have it fixed. What do you think?

Second: My hair has gotten really long. Normally this pisses me off because it weighs itself down and gets less curly and more frizzy. But with the dry Colorado air, this hasn't been as much of an issue, and once I have a fresh cut with good layers I think it will be less of an issue. So I'm thinking about maybe growing it out instead of cutting it all off the way I usually do. Torsten is a fan of the growing-it-out plan. But, I want more votes. So, here's a picture of me recently:

And here I am with my hair short the way I'm used to wearing it:

So, what do you think? Leave the length for now, just get a cut to shape it, and keep letting it grow? Or cut it all off?

Third: Color. I haven't colored my hair since, I believe, my sophomore year of college, when I got reddish highlights. At the time I was a fan, but I have since revised my opinion based on the feeling that that auburn tint doesn't look so natural. Now that the wedding is over, and I haven't done much with my hair for a long time, I'm feeling ready for some kind of change, and I think color might be it, especially if I go to this new salon where they are allegedly color masters (AND affordable).

If I do color it, I would definitely consult with the stylist on what they think would suit my coloring, but I'm thinking that adding low-maintenance (think two or three times a year for upkeep) lighter (maybe golden-ish) highlights would be fun. When I lived in Senegal I discovered that so much sun exposure caused my hair to get lighter on its own, so I'm thinking that might look a little more natural than the reddish. Here you can see a good shot of my hair color just after I got back from Senegal:

So, I'm thinking something in that direction, but a bit more dramatic without being over the top. Like I said, I want it to look natural, but I also want it to be noticeable. The point is, I want to do something new. Do you think highlights are the way to go, or should I just stick with my natural color?

Basically, I want to do SOMETHING, and I want to do it SOON, but I am stuck on what. So, please, help! Stylist? Cut? Color? I need input!


  1. I am a fan of longer curly hair, specially when it's as long as yours. I feel if it's too short, it starts looking like a mop or afro, mine does. Yours, in your photo, doesn't. I also am a fan of longer hair becuase you can do a lot more. I used to do so much more with my hairnwhen it was longer and it's not like it's short now. It's past my shoulders but I still feel it's short.

    Color, I have no advice. I sued to do the color out of a box all through college and now I haven't colored it in years. think I might get bright red highlights at some point :)

  2. I prefer my hair longer. Your hair looks great either longer or shorter though. I am no help! Why not try to grow it out some and see what happens, you can always cut more off if you dont like it. I am a huge fan of coloring and haven't seen my natural hair color (except in my roots) probably since I was 13/14. Highlights are fun and if they are placed right, just grow out with the rest of your hair and aren't really a whole lot of maintanence.

  3. Give me some time to get in touch with a friend on mine in the area. She may have a good referral for a stylist. Not sure if it will be convenient to you because I know nothing about Denver geography, but it would at least be a referral!

  4. I say reread those reviews to see what they say about CURLY hair. We both know that a salon can be masterful with straight hair and not know what to do with the curls!

    And as far as color goes, if you don't need to cover up any gray, I say hold off for a bit. Sounds like you two will be outside a lot more this summer (with Montana and just living the life in Denver) and maybe you'll get those natural highlights without paying for them. Why not wait until the fall or winter when you might actually need to pay for them instead of getting them naturally?!?

  5. you know I've never dyed my hair at all, but we just saw John's old neighbor and she had dyed her hair black, red, and blue, and then said it was just the red and black but then she added blue for the Lakers (I guess because red and blue make purple? unclear) and then after reading this post, I've realized that's what everyone should do - dye their hair to match their favorite sports team that is currently in season! So perhaps orange highlights for the Orioles, to go old school? Or bright red for the Nats for your more recent past? or ooh, ooh, I think the Rockies use some purple, perfect!

  6. I think your hair looks super cute short, but even in your long picture it's not that long. My hair is curly too, but starts to lose it's curl at about my shoulders. lol
    I think you'd look cute with highlights, but I have never dyed nor highlighted my hair so I am definitely an amateur.

  7. My hubby too prefers my hair longer. Right now I have it at about chin-length, and he likes that better than the pixy cut (i.e. extremely extremely short) that I got last summer. But he'd like it even better if it was down my back. I think it's some sort of feminine archetype that they want to see. Luckily he doesn't really care, but that's his opinion if I ask him.

    I am totally with you - I get a deep urge to radically change my hair every few months. It's been long-short-long-medium-short-medium-short-etc for years now. And also hair dye, but I've always done that myself.

    In tandem with cutting it uber-short last summer, I also got off of hair dye, since I cut it down below the last dye job, and I thought I wanted to keep it that way (no dye, but keep changing the length). But, I discovered that the hubs really loves red hair, so I compromised: short hair for me, red hair for him.

    Could you do a half-and-half like that with Torsten? One gets the length they like, the other the color?

  8. I vote to try the CO salon with the great reviews, at least for a trim for now, to tide you over until you're in DC next. Who knows, maybe they'll be even better than the one here!

  9. I understand not wanting to give up a trusted hair stylist back home but you live in CO now and it's time to bite the bullet. I had to do that when I moved to Seattle. I get the agony! I'd say make an appointment at the salon with great reviews, get some layers and trim and talk to them about color options and cuts for the future. If you like how they style your hair with just a trim and layers then go back and be more drastic.

    If you went all in right now and they screwed it up you'd be a lot less likely to trust another CO stylist. Ease into it. That's my two cents. :-)

  10. My votes are:
    Try the new salon. You really won't know until you try them. And you need to find somebody local who can cut your hair. Might as well start now.

    Let your hair grow. You can always cut it short later.

    Wait on the color. Until you find somebody who can provide a cut you love, there is no need to play around with color. That can be used in the future when you need a new pick me up.

  11. Long!! Keep it long!

    I have no comments on color/highlights, having never done it myself I don't feel qualified, but I do love the longer-haired look on you.


  12. I love the short hair! I would try the new place, and see what they say about blondish highlights. If they wreck it, you can go back to DC and have it fixed.

  13. I love it short, but if you've never had it long maybe you should experiment with growing it out since it's already on the way? You might want to get a trim just to keep a nice shape though. I think the color is so pretty and highlights are such a pain, don't do it! I am emailing you the name and number of my salon right now if you want to drive all the way downtown. :)

  14. Try the new salon. 2 or 3 more months is too long to wait for a haircut when you want one rightthisminute.

    I vote try your hair longer for three reasons:

    1) easier ponytails, good for hikes in your new outdoorsy lifestyle;
    2) fun for a change; and
    3) if you hate this new salon, and they muck it all up, you'll still have enough length when you visit DC that your old stylist can restore you to your previous haircut no problem.

    I fear color, because it requires upkeep, and is expensive (particularly highlights), so I vote no color, but I am boring.

  15. I like it longer.

    I've never colored my hair because 1) I like my natural color and 2) I can't afford the upkeep, so I generally say let the sun do its work and if you like it, spend the money to keep the highlights through the winter.

  16. Let it grow, if it gets to where you find it annoying you can always go in for a trim. I also recommend you finding a stylist by you. Don't go on "cut/color" geniuses, as much as find someone with curly hair and ask them or search reviews for good curly hair salons. I have often gotten people who had no idea what to do with my texture hair, and that is no good.

    I say go for color too! especially if they are reasonably priced. But I'm easy going with my hair like that. The philosophy is that unless you shave a chunk of it, it can be fixed.

  17. I have looooooong curly hair so I say, why not grow it? You can always cut it. I find mine easier long but everyone is diff. I love you short hair cut so...really I'm not helpful at all lol.

    As for the colour, you could just have them throw a few light foils in. That way you could try it out without making too much of a commitment.

    Good luck finding someone to cut it! It's taken me years since I moved so I understand.

  18. I think it looks fine now, but you clearly aren't loving it. So you should cut it.

  19. I'm on the let go get it trimmed in CO bandwagon and if they screw it up you have enough hair for a cut when you go to DC. Perhaps if they trimmed it and did the texture thing to take some weight off you might like it long.

    My thoughts on highlights - did it for years and years and years until suddenly I was more blonde than brunette which I never noticed until now that I have gone back to my natural hair color (wink, wink - hiding the grey) and look at old photos. I wish people had told me how horrid it looked all those years, nothing natural at all...

  20. i prefer the shorter hair. i also say, go for color. if you don't like it, dye it back. some golden highlights could be superfun!

  21. Well, sooner or later you're probably going to have to try a stylist in Denver so you may as well give them a shot.
    I like the idea about keeping it a bit longer- that way if the stylist makes a total mess of it you can ponytail, chignon and bun it until you get to your DC stylist.
    Also- I'm a fan of highlights- they are way more natural and grow out well :) Have fun!

  22. I say find a salon in Denver since this is HOME now :)

    What's the one you're thinking of going to?

    As for the cut and color - what about long layers keeping your current length? And I say YES on the highlights...they will give your hair some depth and interest and brighten you up for summer! I'm a big fan, as you could probably tell ;)

  23. The shorter is so much cuter!!

  24. Long hair! It's pretty easy to deal with in Denver.

    I went to the Aveda training salon in Denver (16th & Market) and they did a fantastic job with my highlights. You definitely can't wait 6 months between cuts and colors.

  25. Personally, I don't think you need to colour it now. The colour looks lovely as is.

    I'm a fan of short, curly hair and I think it looks really good on you. But, if you feel like a change I say grow it out a bit. Worse case scenario? You don't like it and can chop it off when you go to DC again. :)

  26. Hey,

    I think it looks great either way. I too have curly hair. If you want change go color and let it grow.

  27. I vote for growing it out. You have great curls and I think they would look nice a little longer.

  28. Color is not low maintenance. I don't care what anyone tells you. If you go with highlights you will need touch up every 8 weeks at a minimum. Unless they are highlights that you can barely see, in which case, keep your money in your pocket because it's a waste at that point.

  29. I am de-lurking to say (as a fellow curly haired girl) you should try going to Estilos II on Main in Grand Jct. That's where I used to live and still love going back to visit Alex there to get my hair cut. She does really good w/ naturally curly hair. It's not Denver but is a little closer then DC. Maybe you could make a weekend of it? Go to Glenwood, drive through the Monument in Junction, get your hair done? Good luck!

  30. Isn't there sort of a hair stylist mafia? Like, the stylist you love in DC could put word out to all of his or her connections and get you a great recommendation in Denver? I know that obviously you would never ask your own stylist for recommendations of other stylists to replace him or her ordinarily, but if you moved halfway across the country, I think it's OK.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!