My Simpler Haircut

Over years and many haircuts that are nowhere near close to what I asked for, I’ve adopted a simpler haircut. Here’s how my stylist and I describe it.

All one length hitting about two inches below the vertical midpoint of my collarbone with low, face-framing layers that start below my chin. I considered a lob (long bob) but opted to eschew that for now.

Easy.

Simpler Haircut, Simpler Styling

Truth be told, I got tired of hunting for a stylist. It takes more time and money than I care to invest at this stage of my life, not to mention the disappointments (be it finished product or stylist ‘tude) that come along with that hunt.

My colorist actually does a nice job but because I’ve opted for this simpler haircut and because I’m only getting balayage highlights twice a year, why pay $40 + tip for what I can have done for $13 + tip?

Don’t get me wrong – if I wanted a more involved or challenging to produce-and-maintain style, I’d gladly fork over more to keep it well-maintained. But majestic dream hair takes monumental effort – ain’t nobody (who isn’t a hair model) got time for that. That’s just not where I am with life right now.

Sure, the experience with the colorist is nicer, but that’s mostly because of the shampoo and scalp massage. It isn’t 3x nicer and I get that when I get highlights anyway!

In fact, my balayage touch up is August 18 – so close, but so far away! I’m excited.

Speaking of Balayage

I’ve updated my inspiration board on Pinterest.

 

I want to go lighter this time, can you tell?

The Bottom Line

Do you have a haircut that must be closely maintained? How often do you go, and roughly (don’t share exacts if it makes you uncomfortable) how much do you spend when you go?

Adventures in Balayage

Beauty Skeptic's BalayageA peek at some of my balayage highlights.
Excuse my comically bad lighting that does not fully showcase how awesome my hair is.

After lengthy consideration, I decided to go forward with balayage highlights. I went for a consultation on September 13, which is where I gathered my information on how to prepare for my balayage highlighting appointment. Balayage isn’t something new, even if it is a new-ish trend in the United States; but I could swear, of all the haircolor techniques out there, this one was made with me in mind.

I did extensive research and chose a charming salon in my area, had a really positive consult, and was ready. By my September 20 appointment, I was rarin’ to go.

So, Tell Me What you Want

To my consult, I brought the following three photos, found on Pinterest, for inspiration:

Adventures in Balayage - Inspiration

Clients get caught up in trying (and failing) to describe what they’re looking for. Pictures help. But you know what else really helps? Explaining and or showing what you definitely, under no circumstances, do not want. Most balayage highlights create a lovely, ombre effect on the hair – but not all ombre hair is balayage. For me, “ombre,” leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Search Google Images for, “Ombre hair,” and you’ll see what I mean. Severe, harsh transitions. Lines, even. I want nothing about my hair to be harsh, and I grew out a misguided hair choice once before and dealt with awkward lines. Never, ever again. Balayage is french for, “sweeping,” and damn it, that’s what I want. Lines of demarcation are the enemy.

Decisions, Decisions

Armed with those three photos my colorist and I made some decisions together. Notice how I said together? It should be a joint effort. Most of these decisions took place during my consultation. But if you and your colorist don’t agree on the course of action – say, you want X and she thinks you ought to do Y? You’re going to have a bad time. As a client, you should have realistic expectations and asks for your colorist. She or he may well seem like a wizard, but it isn’t magic.

Based on those photos, my expression of my #hairgoals, my habits, and prior aversion to color we decided:

  • As far as color goes, the third option made the most sense to emulate. After all, it’s easier to make more changes down the road than to go, “Shit, I don’t like this as much as I thought I was going to!”
  • Overall placement somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd photo.
  • To place more product at the ends to concentrate a little more blonde color there (like the 2nd photo).
  • …But to overall play it a little safe.

It can be a little intimidating to be in the chair, but when you’re spending money on these services, it’s worthwhile to be 100% sure you’re on the same page. If your stylist or colorist is worth a damn, she or he WANTS to produce results you’re happy with. If the salon you’re working with is not eager to work to that goal, find another salon. Seriously.

Read moreAdventures in Balayage

How I Prepared for my Balayage Appointment

Balayage Prepvia Hair World Mag

I wrote, a while back, about considering getting Balayage highlights.

After a long time, a lot of consideration, and a consultation at which I asked my poor colorist half a million questions, I decided to take the plunge. I booked for Tuesday, September 20.

Here’s how I prepared for my balayage appointment.

What I Asked

Read moreHow I Prepared for my Balayage Appointment

Considering Going Lighter with Balayage Highlights

Considering Going Lighter with Balayage HighlightsBalayage Highlights via Style Weekly

The last time I colored my hair I was fourteen and misguided. I bought a box (read: one – I have long hair!) Herbal Essences Bold ‘N Brilliant 44 Radiant Ruby. It wasn’t one of my best life choices.

Difficult to maintain (the nature of the redheaded beast) and more costly than my jobless teenage self could manage, I gave it up. I then made other great life choices such as trying to strip it, then covering it with a brunette semi-permanent dye to help it be less…stark (less like Sansa, more like jarring and unpleasant). All in all, it didn’t grow out gracefully, but after three long years, I celebrated trimming the last bits of it away. My hair has been natural (except for the occasional DIY glossing treatment) ever since.

After the better part of another decade, I’m bored.

Read moreConsidering Going Lighter with Balayage Highlights