Get Out Of A Style Rut: Change Your Hair

Makeovers are my favorite thing in the world. I love the possibilities they hold and how one new, expertly applied blush or hair product can make a world of difference, turning a bad day into a great day. Or vice-versa.

Looking back at pictures I've posted of myself on this blog is a terrifying experience. Maybe it's because my opinion of what I think looks nice changes every few days. Or maybe it's because some styles aren't for everyone. Either way, you'll never know what's lurking around the corner if you don't experiment.

Once you're stuck in a style rut, it can feel impossible to get out. I used to work with a friend who would spend hours looking for a new hairstyle picture to take to the stylist. However, each new style had it's own caveats. These included:

No layers.
Don't touch the length.
Don't add highlights.
No bangs that aren't long and side swept.
I don't want to go with my wavy, natural texture.
It has to part on the side.

No matter what photo she took to the stylist, the end result would always be the same. It's hard to make a change when you box yourself in. You are not likely to make an amazing transformation if you put so many limitations on your style. If you often find yourself thinking, "I can't do bangs! "I look bad if I change my hair length," or "I'm too old for that!" then you need to get out of a style rut!

(This style is simple, but there is more to it than just long layers.)

Find a picture of a hair style you admire. Now dissect it like you are on the show CSI and lives hang in the balance. Don't look at how gorgeous the hair is with the dress. Examine the length of layers, where they fall, and if the model in the shot has added extensions or if it's all her hair. Does she have highlights? Does the cut accentuate her bone structure? Figure out what you like about it. Is it a "girlier" cut than you currently have? Sexier? Simpler? Then take all of your info to your stylist.

(This is what I want right now. I only need another 8 inches of hair!)

The next stage of rut-busting is where the rubber meets the road. Remember, you're thinking outside the box, which is probably also outside your comfort zone. To get out of your style rut, you've got to keep an open mind and keep moving forward. Make sure you really like and trust your stylist. It's a personal relationship and the results will be much better if there is a high level of trust. If you have to tell a stylist how to cut your hair, you need to find a new one. If your stylist doesn't listen, you need to find a new one. After all, they are in the business of making you happy. Good stylists should listen to you and offer feedback, as well as their honest opinions. They should be able to tell you if your idea will work or if you don't have the right hair for the cut. And you need to be willing to listen to their ideas.

Now keep in mind, your stylist's main goal is to make you happy. This means that if you come in and say, "I want to cut it all off," and previously everything you've ever said has exuded "don't touch the length," you're giving your stylist mixed signals. They want to make you happy, and past behavior dictates that you won't be happy if they chop off ten inches of your locks. So you are probably going to walk out of the salon with a slightly shorter version of your hair then when you walked in, because they want you to be happy. This is usually great, because it allows you to get used to the change gradually. After all, it's easier to cut it off then put it back on.

But if you are in market for a real change and you want it now, tell your stylist. Say, "I really want a change. I don't mean a small change, I mean a real and dramatic change. I've thought about it and I want something very different from what I have now. I won't be upset with you when you cut off the 10 inches I'm asking for. I know that goes against everything I've ever told you, but I'm ready. What do you think?" Don't forget to be sure to ask your stylist for the different ways you can style your hair. Ask them to show you how to take care of it and how to use the flat iron/curling iron/blowdryer/fancy brush. Don't be shy!

Now, when your stylist has listened to you and done what you have asked, don't start crying and say, "I really meant four inches". Remember, you're thinking outside of the box and going for a change. You can only change your style when you have an open mind, remove the limitations and go for it.

Now that you've made a change, embrace it and own it! I'd love to see your favorite before and afters! Post them in the comments!

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  1. You look stunning in the 5th photo. That stye looked amazing on you!

  2. Thanks For That! I've been looking for a new hairstyle for ages and thats really helped me decide!!

  3. Thank you! It's amazing how different you can look with a different cut and color!

  4. These are absolutely fantastic tips. I'm in a total rut and I've had so many bad stylist experiences, I've just been letting it grow wild! In my case the change I need to make is in the colour rather than the style (for now). Hopefully I can adapt your dissection technique looking at hair colour.

    Thank you for sharing all of your pictures too. You have been quite the chameleon!

  5. I'm changing things up at my next appt. New part! Woot! Of course, my haircolor's gonna be weird b/c the naturally lighter stuff won't be on top anymore, but whatever.

  6. Fun!!! I bet it will look great!


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