I recently had a client in my chair who told me she was TIRED of her "old" look. We had been doing a variation on a bob for five years. We have changed her hair color, added highlights, cut the bob short and sassy, made it look alternative, let it grow out and trimmed it up. We've done a lot with that bob! Now this Bob was thrilled to hear her say she wanted to try something different. She asked me about a retro long shag.

At first I was skeptical. Why? Because sometimes clients will tell me they want something new and different when in fact they aren't ready for it. I give them a new look and I might never see them again. Hair is personal as I've said in an earlier blog! I understand. Hey, I color my own hair. I give myself different looks. But then I'm a hair stylist who is going to be okay with whatever my stylist is doing, right?

Back to this client. I talked with her about her options. I thought the shag would look cute on her (and it really did look good). It took about 10 years off of her appearance, too. She loved that. She asked me why we hadn't thought of this before. The answer is simple. When the client is ready for actual change, she will let me know. I cannot just randomly create a new look without her being on board with the decision.

In this case, the shag looks excellent, the client is super happy, she tells me that she gets compliments right and left, and she feels GREAT about the new her. She is in the middle of changing career paths, too, so this is helping her, she says. Hey, I get it. I totally do.

Change is good. But like I've said before in earlier blogs, it's not something to jump into unless you are ready. Sometimes a slow movement toward really deep change is best. In this client's case, she started out five years ago with fried blonde hair that she colored at home. There was no style really. Just a lot of overly blonde hair. I saw her as a brunette with red highlights, but she wasn't ready for that much change. We cut her hair to a long bob and then darkened it. With each visit, we took her darker and shorter. She received compliments from day one. I won't go into detail, but I can attest to you that getting her hair done literally changed this woman's life. Overnight! Oh, the power of a good hair cut and color... You might be amazed.
 
Orange County stylists see a lot of clients who have outdated hair. In Santa Ana, they see a lot of long hair that would be better cut short to give the client a more updated look, but it’s hard to move that client toward change. Ultimately, the client says, "But it took such a long time to grow it out!" Her stylist may not say it, but is likely thinking into what?

Why not change?

Why do people keep the same style for decades? It boils down to simple psychology. People tend to keep their hair in the fashion of a time when they were at their happiest. Take a 70-year-old woman who continues wearing her hair long and bleached blonde. She may think it makes her look younger when in reality it makes her appear overweight and trying to be something she no longer is. There may be nothing a stylist can do to create a peace about change in this type of client. The client will not be happy. The stylist might do best to refuse to style that person’s hair, and this is allowed, by the way.

Change is good.

Have you kept the same color and style for years? It might be time to consider a change. Ask yourself why you are hesitant. It is a big step, and it doesn’t have to happen rapidly. Take gradual steps with color. Try a slight highlight or low light to enhance the color you already have. Ask your stylist for input.

Work with your stylist.

If you and your stylist work together to define the direction for your hair color and style change, agreeing that it should be gradual, you should be able to embrace it with less resistance. A slight color change with the new haircut could be the sugar that makes that medicine (the cut) go down better. Talk it over with your stylist. Hair is more than about good looks; it's how you feel with your new look.

Ask questions.

It is your stylist’s job to listen to you and answer your hair questions. Don’t be silent and never say, “I trust you to choose the right look.” You probably won’t be happy. Answer your stylist’s questions, too. Good stylists know to ask the right questions. They understand that your personality, your mood, your job title, your role in life and more play into how you feel about your hair and hair style. If your stylist isn’t asking you questions, it might be time for a new one. However, if you aren’t asking questions; if you are silent in the chair, that won’t work either.