How To Make A Big Hair Change Without Making It A Big Production

You know when you want to make a huge change but you don't want any oohs and aahs or extra attention afterward?
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Lisa John
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You know when you want to make a huge change but you don't want any oohs and aahs or extra attention afterward?

I love makeup and all things beauty, but sometimes I shy away from trying things because I don't like the attention that comes with, say, a bright red lip or a different hairstyle. Especially in Detroit, where things can feel provincial or hyper-high school. It’s in the moments where my boredom becomes so extreme that it takes over and I no longer care that I take my biggest beauty leaps. 

After dyeing (and frying) my hair a variety of shades of red (ending on strawberry blonde) I decided to grow it out to my natural color. It took me a long time to get it back, and once I did I kept it for two years. 

strawberry blonde hair

My strawberry blonde phase. 

This March, I purchased my new favorite purple lipstick, Persistence by Kevyn Aucoin. Then I saw Chandra North in the pages of Aucoin’s Making Faces and I wanted (read: needed) jet-black hair. After that I fell into a Chandra wormhole, obsessed with looking up editorials of when she wore her hair dark. 

That's when I found this photo, shot by fashion photographer Glen Luchford and styled by Kate Moss for Mirabella magazine. I needed this haircut--on more than just a superficial level

chandra north short hair

Chandra North. (photo: Glen Luchford for Mirabella)

It's sort of reminiscent of Melanie Griffith’s wig in Something Wild, which is kind of how I’ve been feeling lately. It also called upon a lot of other cool cult film characters like Lydia Deetz, Mia Wallace, Mathilda, Amy Blue, and Abernathy Ross. Not to mention #GirlBoss author Sophia Amoruso and many a model during this past fashion month.

The problem: I wanted to cut my hair but I didn't want any oohs and aahs or extra attention from the people around me. 

Alyssa recently wrote about how to prepare yourself for a dramatic hair change, but how do you prepare those around you? Here's how I went about it. 

Step 1: Tell Your Inner Circle First 

My friends and I like to talk about potential hair changes. People tend to assert or casually mention that they are getting a cut, which is basically like holding up a sign that says, "Warning: I will look different the next time you see me." This enables a support system and prepares the people who really matter and see you the most. 

Step 2: Take Your Time

First I decided to dye my hair. I was absolutely set on the color, but was still wondering how I would feel with bangs. Every time I’ve had bangs I ended up growing them out because I hated not being able to hide behind my hair. The three weeks between when I dyed my hair at home and when I got it cut also gave me extra time to ease into the confidence bangs requires of me.

hair instagrams

Putting selfies to practical use. 

Step 3: Use Social Media

People love to hate on selfies, but when you're making a change, sharing the experience with friends or whomever you interact with on social media will dull down the attention you get IRL, if you want it dulled down, of course. Otherwise, celebrate! New hair! Oohs and aahs for everyone. 

But for example: if you have a new hairdo that none of your friends have seen and you're going to be seeing all of your friends at, like, brunch or something, maybe go ahead and Instagram a new hair selfie the night before.  

Here's what my hair looks like now! 

short haircut with short cut bangs

Thanks, Chandra. 

short haircut with short cut bangs

I love it. But don't look at me! 

  • Have you ever gotten an overly dramatic reaction from a friend or family member after a big change? 
  • How did you handle the situation?