If you don't love your hair, we have suggestions for you.
STOP FIGHTING IT.
Most hair has texture—curl, often, according to Bottega Salon's Kelly Dailey, who encourages clients to go curly. Scrunch hair with sculpting foam or gel. Coax out beachy waves with a diffuser. Those without texture or curl should choose easy styles. Don't spend a lot of time. "A classic bob is always good—maybe a few layers for volume and body. For curl, sock buns and braids are great ways to bring out texture." If frizz is an issue, treatments such as a Brazilian blowout may control it.
"It's all in a great haircut," says Allison Burr at Hotel Venus Salon. "A perfectly executed haircut requires minimal styling." She visually assesses clients, asks questions about jobs, activities, and more, and encourages clients to state what they want. "It's up to me to come up with something that works—to create a refined, effortless style. I want you to walk out feeling comfortable with your look." Change is difficult for us, especially for hair. Burr suggests hearing others' input. "When you make a change, listen to others."
Consider your natural texture and how you wear your hair, advises Design 1 Salon Spa's Becky Werkema. "Ask yourself what you love, versus what you hate." Ask your stylist about tips and products to enhance your likes and manage your dislikes. "You should never have to fight your hair. With the right cut and styling aids, you should only have to guide it into place."
WORK WITH IT.
"There's no such thing as wash-and-go hair, unless maybe you have a super-cute pixie," said Dailey, noting there are many products available to tame frizz, add volume, and create texture. "A great stylist should be able to recommend a product that suits your hair."
Burr's philosophy is simple: "People shouldn't see your hair; they should see your face. When your hair is good, your face comes out—that's the focal point." The older we get, the more we tend to gravitate toward the hair we were given. "We embrace what we have."
Your hairdresser should be your how-to reference, walking you through what, why, and how. "There's no reason you can't recreate what your hairdresser does," Werkema said. "If she isn't teaching you what she's doing, ask her to!"
LEARN TO LOVE IT.
Tell your stylist about your hair struggles and goals, Dailey said. Ask to be pointed in the right direction. Burr suggests going home and working with your hair for a week or two, using your stylist's instruction. "Have patience." Listen to people whose fashion sense you appreciate—they may see the great hair you don't. "Find what your hair can do." Werkema adds. "There's a way to dress your hair for every occasion."
"A simple chignon or knot is quick and versatile," said Dailey. Dry shampoos allow restyling and add volume. For longer hair, washing tonight and braiding adds texture and volume for tomorrow.
"Make sure the shape of your hair flatters your face and features," Werkema said, and don't forget color! "Whether it's highlights or lowlights, you can use color to intensify your favorite features." Burr concurs that color and cut create the best ready-to-wear hair. "It really boils down to a great haircut and being able to communicate with your stylist to find out how to achieve your look at home with the right product."
Written by Amy L Charles, the editorial director for West Michigan Woman.
Photos courtesy of Allison Burr.