Here’s the thing: it’s just a haircut, right? But the second – and I mean the second – that ponytail was off my head, I suddenly felt…like myself. People keep saying “Do you feel so free?!” and YES.
All those long curls were such a security blanket for me – if I felt shy or tired or not like my best self I could sort of fluff them around my face and make my hair be what people saw, not me. And now I don’t have anything to hide behind, so whatever’s on my face – happiness, exhaustion, worry, whatever – is right out there in the open. And I like that.
It feels honest.
This is not to say that I wasn’t a little nervous chopping off what amounts to…I don’t know – maybe eight years of growth? I went to Karmela Lozina at John Sahag Workshop in NYC, who’s been cutting my hair since I was a teenager, and who is – and I mean this – a HAIR GENIUS. She just gets how to translate your fantasies in a way that makes sense for your face. I showed her my Pinterest Hair board, and we decided to go longer in front and practically boy-short in the back, and add lots of layers so that it would be nice and textured and natural-looking.
(Look at this face. I think someone was just as nervous watching Mommy’s hair get cut as Mommy was. Also, I handed over that ponytail the second after I took this shot, and it is now officially my son’s toy.)
Next stop: highlights. I really like my base color from the home kit I used a few weeks ago, but Karmela thought we needed to build a little drama on top of it, so she sent me over to Santino Acquista for some chunky highlights. He ended up being so into my son’s hair color that we decided to match the color of my highlights to Indy’s – which I obviously love.
And because I do not sit down with an expert without peppering them with questions, I got Santino to tell me the top three products that he recommends for the most gorgeous hair possible:
– “It’s A 10” Miracle Leave-In Product: A leave-in treatment that instantly softens, smooths, adds shine, detangles, defrizzes, and nourishes. I felt my hair before the product went in and after, and I went out and bought some immediately; it’s that good.
– J.F. Lazartigue Shea Butter Mask Treatment: A product created specifically for very dry or damaged hair that you leave in for 2 hours (or overnight). I haven’t tried it yet myself, but Santino swears it works miracles.
– John Sahag Workshop Shampoos & Conditioners: Make sure you pick the one that’s tailored to your hair type; it makes a huge difference.
Another thing he said which really hit home – because I’m totally one of those people who hates sitting in a salon chair for hours and just wants the whole process to move as quickly as possible – hair color is art. And art takes time. So let the artist do his thing; all rushing will do is lessen the quality of the final product.
My dream team (L to R): Franny (who you might remember from this video on curling with a flat iron; she does beachy waves better than anyone I have ever met), Santino and Karmela.
My favorite way to wear my new hair is tucked behind my ears (above), but below is a little composite image I mocked up so you can see the shape of the cut if you’re interested in going short yourself.
I totally thought I’d instantly want to start growing it out again, but nope.