My hair is my crowning glory, so when it comes to caring for it, I'm very selective with who touches it. No matter how much older I get, the anxiety that comes with getting a trim (let alone an actual change-my-entire-style haircut) only gets worse. But since I turned 30, I'm feeling braver — and a haircut for summer 2019 is my way of facing my number one beauty fear.
My last drastic haircut took place when I was about 8 years old. My parents thought that a bob would look so cute with my curly and thick hair. In reality, it ended up being a very traumatic experience as I threw a temper tantrum, watching my long, wavy tresses fall to The Hair Cuttery floor. That was the last time I asked for "just a few inches off."
Aside from the occasional snip, I haven't touched my hair since. If anything, I prefer my hair longer for the sake of ease: I opt to throw my hair into a bun or a low-maintenance ponytail quite frequently, even though the uninspired looks make my hair appear duller than it actually is. So eventually, I began scrolling through Instagram and created a folder to remember the styles I liked. I noticed a theme of one-length lobs that dominated my ideas. I figured that this style would still be easy to manage and definitely easy to wear out of my beloved ponytail, and with some added color, my hair would have the vibrancy I craved.
I quickly pushed my Hair Cuttery memories aside for an appointment at the IGK Salon in SoHo, New York City, where I was introduced to hairstylist Jessie Meltz. I explained how I wanted my hair to be cut — down to the inch — along with photos of a few bloggers who nailed the look I had in mind. Meltz assured me that she'd find a silhouette within my comfort zone, and my fears washed away as I leaned back into the plush leather chair. I also chatted with Stephanie Brown, a master colorist, and gave her an in-depth description of the hue I wanted: Lighter pieces to frame my face, with my naturally dark hair looking rich and shiny.
Surprisingly, I felt a sense of calm as Meltz snipped my dead ends, then worked her way up. With each cut, I felt lighter in every sense of the word. My stylist made sure that I was still comfortable with it and to my surprise, I found myself requesting more off.
Once my hair was dried, dyed, and styled, I was so happy that I committed to my decision — my hair looks the best it has in a long time. I left the salon more confident wearing my hair down, and ready to try all of the styles that only lived in my Saved folder.
Ahead, see 10 of my favorite products that I use to style new look.
Crybaby Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum
My hair gets frizzy at any given moment — especially in the summer — so this coconut oil serum is a life saver. It feels weightless and doesn't leave my roots greasy. It also helped fight frizz off as I left the salon in the pouring rain.
Style Assist Blow Dry Mist
I never used a blow drying spray until this one, and now I won't dry my hair without it. It helps separate my curls, which cuts down on the amount of time it takes to finish styling my hair.
Speechless Dry Oil Finishing Spray For Hair And Body
This finishing spray contains avocado and alma oils, which keep my hair soft and shiny.
Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray
I grab this spray when I want effortless-looking texture. You can use it with your hair already dried, or spray it in before letting the air do its thing.
Heat Protect Spray
I admittedly use a lot of heat styling tools, so this protectant adds a helpful barrier.
Tres Two Extra Firm Control Hairspray
If I do wear a bun or ponytail, I add a few spritzes of this in the mix to keep flyaways in place.
Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo
This is another stylist recommendation that's well worth the price. My hair looks so much healthier thanks to the added cypress extract which gives my curls supreme hydration.
Reflection Mask for Color-Treated Hair
Since I colored my hair, masking is of the utmost importance in order to preserve my color in between appointments.
Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand Set
The interchangeable barrel sizes of this set makes styling my hair a breeze. I love that I can choose from looser curls or tight, beachy waves.
Tourmaline Ceramic Hairstyling Iron 1½” Wide Plate
Before I switched to this iron, straightening my hair took over an hour. Now I cut that time down to 30 minutes. The heat settings are great for my extremely thick and curly hair.