And lo, she looked in the mirror and thought, “I’m so over this.”
Whether you’ve been mulling over a potential haircut for months or just a few hours, switching up your hairstyle can be a big decision. Don’t agonize! Below, we’ve rounded up five critical commandments to think about before reaching for those Tweezerman hair shears.
Thou Shalt Commit to Change
A major change can be a huge commitment, and understanding how the later stages of a cut will play out is crucial. If you’re particularly attached to your hair, then opt to shorten it in stages instead of in one big cut. This gives you a longer adjustment period—plus valuable time to turn back if the new ‘do end up not being your thing.
Choosing a stylist is arguably the most important piece of the process, so do your research. It’s important to have someone who understands which cuts look best with your face shape and hair type—not everyone can tackle curls, coarse hair or baby-fine locks. Ask friends with great haircuts (and similar hair) who they see. Then take several photos of what you want to ensure the stylist is comfortable working on it. You’ll also want to inquire about the options you’ll have for at-home styling with your new ’do. Will you be using a curling iron or a straightener on the regular? After all, some cuts require more finessing than others once you’ve left the salon. If you’re a wake-and-go kind of person, you’ll want a look that works with your lifestyle.
Thou Shalt Do Math
Transitioning to short hair can vary in cost. Are you cutting your hair, then immediately growing it back out? Or will you be keeping it short? Will you be buzzing it off at home with clippers? Or getting an edgy pixie cut that requires regular maintenance? Each of these cuts comes with different costs. Assess how much you have and are willing to spend on a hair change. Ask your stylist about charges up front and how often you should come in for trims.
Thou Shalt Research Maintenance
Oft overlooked, style maintenance and cost are very intertwined—for something on the shorter side (like a pixie cut or a bob), you’ll likely need to see your stylist every six weeks. For a buzz cut, you may want to see a barber every two to three weeks. Consider which hair products—like dry shampoo or thickening cream—you’ll need to keep your cut looking fresh. The costs can add up quickly, so it’s best to know what you’ll need before taking the plunge.
Thou Shalt Not Impulse Chop
When you’re deciding on a haircut, make the call with a clear head. When life is stressful or overwhelming, grabbing those scissors is typically ill-advised. Some people, for example, cut their hair after a relationship ends. But it’s probably best to hold off until enough time has passed, and you’re 100 percent certain that a haircut is what you really want. Wait a week, and if you still want that cut, go ahead.
Thou Shalt Trend Not
Check out current hair trends, but don’t let them dictate what’s best for you. It can be risky to get a haircut that’s popular today, because it may become passé before you know it. Plus, trendy usually means it’s a look everyone is doing, and why get lost in the crowd? What matters most is getting the cut you want, but giving it enough proper consideration to confirm it’s a decision you can live with—at least for as long it takes for your hair to grow back, anyway.
Wishing you blessings on your big chop.