In my 20’s I dressed like a hipster clown, and generally the reaction was ‘only you could pull that off.’ But I really think that I did. Were my parents mortified when, at my brothers college graduation, I mixed a red sequin tube top with an oversized camo shirt (tied in a cute knot) and a knee length, home-made, preppy blue and white polka dot skirt? YES. Years later they copped to being embarrassed. And maybe that one was too far, but generally I took risks, was super on-trend, and gave zero effs because I had no money. I couldn’t experiment too much artistically in my tiny apartment, so I put all that creative expression onto my body.
My story isn’t unique – you are more creative and risky when you don’t need to look very professional. The higher up you get in a career the more you want to be taken seriously, which means dressing less ‘totally unhinged’ and more controlled. Don’t get me wrong, I like ‘my style’ but I’m going through a bit of a mid-blog crisis, and after years of playing it kinda safe with hair/makeup/fashion I’m ready to be more creative. For a while there was a voice in the back of my mind that said ‘sure, thats awesome, but YOU can’t pull that off anymore‘ both in beauty and fashion… But you guys, I SHUT THAT LADY UP. If you are confident enough you can do anything, right? RIGHT???
But today is not about my style revolution in general – it’s focused solely on my blonde locks. It’s very important.
I’ve been too long with the same ‘do and it’s time for a change. My New York hair and makeup artist Agata Helena first told me it was time.
I’m collaborating with Kristin Ess to help design her studio, while she re-designs my hair. Because if there is anyone in the world I would trust to do the whole shebang (the cut, and color, and style of my hair) it’s her. I don’t think that she is necessarily taking clients (girlfriend is busy with red carpets and product lines at Target) so this was an OPPORTUNITY I was not going to say ‘no’ to, but more importantly not one on which I was going to waste getting a good version of what I’ve kinda had FOREVER. She could give me something new. Cutting Edge. Forward.
No pressure, Kristin.
Here’s where I started being photographed regularly, but long-ish blonde hair has been on my head since college.
Over the years I’ve gone blonder and learned how to put on makeup properly (excuse me while I fire Sara for putting that 2012 photo in that collage, despite my approval) but generally I’ve done the SJP in SITC meets LA with sometimes a little too RHOOC. So many letters, not enough change.
If you really want to know, my hair is naturally curly, and it’s fine (as in, not full) but with good texture (so I’m told). It’s naturally very blonde, but if I don’t highlight regularly it looks dull. I have fair skin and zero eyebrows or lashes – before spray tanning existed I was mistaken for an albino quite often in middle and high school. I’m that fair.
So the blonde hair has just gotten blonder while spray tans keep me from becoming all one pale color, and generally I’ve felt that it’s a good thing.
Above is where we are right now – well, actually it’s shorter than that. I like it. I’m not saying that in a narcissistic way – she is just a nice looking blonde lady. But lately I’ve been so inspired by both young and older women taking more risks and the voice in my head is now saying ‘GO FOR IT.’
Remember when I did this shoot above for Rue? I LOVED it then and still do now, and you know why? Because it’s more editorial. It took some risks, but I still looked like me. Then I thought to myself, my job is editorial – I tell visual stories for a living, so why shouldn’t my hair follow suit? I know you might be thinking what Brian also suggested, which is ‘why not experiment with hairstyles and not cuts and colors?’ Indeed.
But it’s mostly because the ends of my hair are thin and I just need a haircut to keep it healthy, and while long hair will never be ‘out’ I do think this mid-length hair is very happening, and as an all-of-a-sudden-super-edgy-lady I obviously need to be in on that action. Plus… bangs.
My hair appointment is Monday. Kristin is VERY opinionated and she sent through lots of styles she thinks will look good one me.
First up? The shaggy with curtain bangs:
Now it’s hard not to love that look. Also because they are all such stunning models. I definitely want bangs, that is one thing that I don’t need your help on. But is the rest of the hair wavy, or curly, or is it blunt or layered? I know that Kristin has opinions and I’m personally loving the blunt look, but I’m not convinced it will work on my fine hair.
The below gets my heart pounding in both excitement and FEAR:
Those girls are so cool. That hair is so beautiful, feminine, French, and forward. The key to that for me is keeping the texture super messy and even frizzy (I recently have been using Kristin’s texture spray, and it really does give it this effortless frizz that looks modern and less real housewives). It’s neither straight nor curly. I mean, it’s prefect.
But let me tell you a story:
One of my best friends, 7 years ago when she was 33, impulsively went from a long ‘Zoey Deschanel with bangs’ style to a cut similar to the bottom right (above). Now it could be because it wasn’t trendy at the time, or maybe it was an off cut, but she admittedly looked 10 years older INSTANTLY. Her commercial agent who reps ‘edgier’ actors told her that she had to get extensions ASAP or he wasn’t going to be able to book her. He said she instantly looked like a Texan soccer mom (obviously no offense to Texan soccer moms, but she wasn’t a mom yet … although she is from Texas). Her husband agreed. She agreed. Even I agreed. She got extensions, went back to looking 26, but it was a terrifying lesson. Does long hair always make you look younger? I’m currently in the ‘I don’t think so’ camp, but for years I felt that way.
As a blonde with larger boobs and two kids, I’m super scared that I will look more suburban when my goal here is to look more fashion forward. I will say that I’m willing to put in more time on my makeup and fashion, which some of these hairstyles require. As if now is the time in my life when I need to spend more time on my looks (because as a mom of two small children I have SO much leisure time).
The following is the riskiest of all, and the one that most people are pushing me towards – based on fashion and my particular texture.
Curly with bangs is a thing right now that I’m seeing amongst the hippest of folks. Pretty sure that last sentence disqualifies me from joining this group. That top left photo is what I want, I LOVE it, I’m just terrified that I’ll look like this:
Yes. that is me photoshopped into Meg Ryan’s hair in Harry Met Sally, and if you are terrified imagine how scared I am. WAIT, imagine how scared BRIAN IS. That dude would be effing terrified if he read this post. Will medium length curly hair with curly bangs make me look like an 80s mom???
Follow up – is 80s mom a cool look right now? I mean there was ‘norm-core’ and now ‘meno-core’ with mom-jeans and oversized button-ups flowing from the runways, so maybe ‘early 80s mom’ (you know, with a 70s bent) is exactly what I want to be.
Then we have a question of color. Do I keep the same natural blonde look or go blonder? I mean, when in Rome … Or should I say Norway …
I don’t think I can go platinum, but I could amp it up a bit – although that would take more maintenance, but if it looked THAT much better then maybe I should?
Or I could do the opposite, something I’ve never considered ’til right now – the BRONDE.
Typically this means brunette with blonder highlights, and it’s probably the #1 request in LA right now. Justin Anderson, who I recently went to for color (who I LOVE and is good friend’s with Kristin), said it’s the only request he gets, even with extremely brunette women. They all want to look sunkissed. For me that would be Kristin putting in darker undertones so that my highlights could stand out. I will always be blonde around my face, but I wouldn’t mind some deeper tones too…
So Sara, upon my request, which I realize now was a masochistic one, photoshopped my face onto some of these hairstyles. Enjoy:
With all that is happening in the world, I sure am grateful/ashamed that this is what is properly occupying the ‘worry’ portion of my brain.
Head to insta-story to see my hair right now and what it looks like with extensions (which I’ve currently been rocking), as well as what it would look like if I cut it.
Obviously the question is WHAT DO I DO?
Bangs? Lobb? Darker?
None of the above truly show what it would look like on me, but if you had to pick one or a couple for me what might you suggest? Monday is the day – and while it’s just hair, now that I’m writing this post it’s all of a sudden too soon. I don’t want to be safe, but I also really don’t want to regret it.
Your consistently normal blonde, with fine but textured hair, who wants to look fashion forward but is afraid of looking dated and older,