7 Things To Do Before Making A Big Hair Change

All of us have experienced that exciting urge to change our hair. It gives us a little boost in our energy and our confidence. But along with the exciting urge, there’s a little bit of fear that we will make a hair decision that doesn’t look quite right for us. And just like feeling empowered with amazing hair, we feel disappointed and insecure with hair that we feel doesn’t fit us.

By Hannah Leah4 min read
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As a hairstylist, I see all walks of life come in and out of the salon, and it doesn’t matter where we came from – good hair always makes us feel better. Let’s talk about some things to consider before making the big change.

1. Don’t Be Impulsive

Listen, ladies, if you’re going through a rough breakup do not get bangs. In all seriousness, before making any type of commitment with your hair, make sure you aren’t making the change because you’re unhappy with your current situation in life. 

Sometimes we’re not content with what’s happening in our life, so we feel like making a drastic hair move will make us feel better. We’ve all been there, and I understand. But I've also seen the other side of it, and making an impulsive hair decision can just make you more miserable – on top of your breakup (or whatever situation you're experiencing), you now have to adjust to a completely different look! It will just make you more unsettled. So give it a little time, think about it, and then decide if it is right for you. 

2. Find the Right Stylist for You

Finding a hairstylist who gets you is so important. Maybe you already have a stylist that you’ve been going to forever, and if so, she knows your hair, and knows if this major change is for you. I have clients who let me do whatever I want to their hair, and I have clients who tend to stick with a similar style and color. Knowing the hair history of the client makes it much easier for me to gauge whether or not the new look is a good fit for them. If you don’t have a regular stylist, look for someone whose work you like (find their Instagram page or portfolio). 

Most stylists specialize in certain things, so if you’re going for a big color change, look for someone who does lots of color. If it's the cut you are focusing on, look for a stylist who loves to do drastic cuts. Each hairdresser has their own style, and we do things differently. It’s not going to hurt my feelings if you go to another stylist for a perm, because they’re not my specialty. But come to me if you want the best balayage you’ve ever seen, because I can do that with my eyes closed! Find the one who specializes in the thing you are looking for! Chances are, if you like their work on Instagram, you will like what they do on you. 

3. Bring Inspo Pics to Your Stylist

There’s a myth that hairstylists don’t like when clients bring pictures, but I find it helpful when communicating with my client. Show your stylist a few different pictures of the hair goal you have in mind. Pinterest is an endless pit of hair photos, so you could look there, or google it, or even scroll through the stylist’s Instagram page for a reference photo. 

Remember, the model in the picture might have thicker or longer hair, or a different hair history that made it easier to achieve the color they have, so keep those things in mind. Also, watch out for photoshop! Some Pinterest pictures have been altered to be a different color or to hide any damage. Nevertheless, a picture of the hair you like makes it easier for the stylist to envision what you picture in your head. Ask your stylist if the hairstyle in the picture is realistic for your hair type. 

4. Get Realistic about How You’ll Be Styling Your New Hair

Your stylist will most likely discuss this, but think about how you wear your hair day to day. Is your new style going to be realistic for that? Or are you willing to adjust your styling time/technique to make the new hairstyle look good? If you don’t ever curl your hair, having choppy layers won’t work well for you. If you wear your hair up all of the time, then cutting it short could be an issue for you. If you feel helpless when it comes to styling your hair, you might need a lower maintenance style. Go over your hair routine with your stylist, and they can tell you if it would work or not. 

If you don’t do much styling with your hair now, but you want to, ask your stylist for some tips and tricks to help you do more with your hair. I’ve taught clients how to curl, blowdry, and work with different products for their hair type and it can be life-changing for them. 

5. Is It in the Budget?

We all have a different price range for what we can afford, so figure out what that is for you and go from there. Getting a drastic change to your hair color can be an investment. It might take multiple appointments to achieve the desired goal. If you have dark hair and are trying to go lighter, without any gold or brass, you might need multiple sessions. Don’t go to someone who will make too many promises and rush the process, because it could damage your hair. 

A good stylist might be a bit pricier if they have lots of experience and have a busy schedule. They have to cover the cost of the product and mark off lots of time to give you the hair you want. Invest in your hair, because it can make you more confident in yourself. All salons have different ways of breaking down the price, so look into that before you schedule. Or schedule a consultation (which is often free) to ask lots of questions about what it's going to take to achieve your intended look. 

Here are some questions to bring to the consultation:

  • Is this style realistic for me?

  • How do I have to style it to get it to look this way?

  • Will it take multiple sessions?

  • What is the cost per session?

  • How long between appointments can I go to maintain this look?

6. Get Someone Else’s Opinion…but Not Too Many Opinions!

Sometimes we just need the perspective of our closest friends and family when we need help deciding something. Ask your husband, your best friend, your mom, or your stylist if this is a change you should make. These people know you best, and they know what looks good on you. 

Your husband might be extremely particular, or he might not care at all, but it’s worth asking because we all want to look attractive to our man. I find as a stylist that most of my clients’ husbands prefer long, natural hair. Sometimes we want to try something outside of that, and that's okay. But keep his opinion in mind. 

Your closest girls help you out with every other aspect of life, and hair is no exception. My friends have talked me out of drastic hair changes before, and they’ve also encouraged me to try new things. My mom might be the most honest opinion I get (though she is also a hairstylist, so I do trust her opinion on hair). But as they say, mother knows best!

7. Be Open-Minded

It’s not the end of the world if we try something new and then we decide it’s not for us. Hair continues to grow, and we can always change it up. Don’t be too afraid to try a new style. It might be the best thing you ever do, or it might be something you don’t try again. Either way, you tried it, and now you know. I have clients who will literally tell me what pieces of hair I can and cannot cut, and it’s frustrating as a stylist because I know what the possibilities are with their hair. Let your stylist be creative and see what happens! 

Closing Thoughts

Making big hair changes is fun. It’s something we have control over when things in life feel chaotic. It can make us feel like a new person. Consider all of these tips before making any drastic changes, because you want to feel better about yourself when it’s all said and done. Finding the right stylist for you can make or break (literally break!) your hair, so find one who understands you. Don’t be afraid to bring pictures of ideas and ask lots of questions! You’re investing money into this, and the better the communication between you and your stylist, the better the outcome will be. 

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