Changing your Hairstyle

Sister 2 Sister Magazine, a magazine geared towards the African American woman sent me an interview about my opinions on women changing their hairstyles. Here are my unedited answers.

Why do you think women sometimes get bored with their hairstyle?

Many reasons: Women love to change their hairstyle when they have big changes in their lives. I’ve seen the trend. After a breakup, women want to change their color… new identity, I guess. After the wedding women want a new haircut. They’ve been growing their hair for the wedding, so it’s time for something new because they are not restricted by the wedding hairstyle. After a baby… new color and/or new cut. Women are limited as to what color process their doctors recommend or forbid while pregnant, so after the baby is born and they are finished breast-feeding, they are free to do what they want. 

What advice do you have for a woman who feels like she’s at a standstill with her hair?

Change something. If it’s not growing fast enough, use Nioxin Scalp Treatment, take lots of vitamins and get a trim to encourage healthy hair growth. Also, a lot of the time, your feelings about your hair reflects your feelings about your life. Sometimes, it’s easier to change your hair than it is to change your life. 

What tips do you have to add a little flare to a hairstyle?

Experiment with a new style that doesn’t involve a new cut or color. If you don’t like it, you can just wash it out. If you don’t know what direction to take with your new look, check out the new looks from the current season’s runways and the new looks of your favorite celebrities. 

Are there any precautions women should take when changing their look? Could changing up your hair too often be damaging?

Absolutely! Take care when changing your look! Go to a professional hairstylist that you trust. Take into consideration your facial shape, body proportions, your age, the amount of time you plan to spend styling your hair every day and the time and money involved in maintaining your style, cut and color. Also be careful mixing chemicals like relaxer, color and highlight. You can really damage your hair if used in the wrong combinations. 

We want our readers to be action-oriented and confident in their look, regardless of it’s for work or for play. Could you give me a brief step-by-step tutorial for a woman who wants to revamp her relaxed hair? Please include what tools are needed (hair pins, clips, combs) as well as any product recommendations such as hairspray, shampoo and etc.

The 2 most important things a woman should do to revamp her relaxed hair:

  1. Deep conditioning, reconstructive treatments. There are a lot of them. Stick with the professional ones suited to your hair type. At the Vince Smith Hair Experience we use Redken Chemistry System, which can be customized for your hair type, L’Anza Ultimate Treatment, which rebuilds and moisturizes, and Moroccan Oil Masks for moisture and strength. Those are my favorites.
  2. Trim your hair. It is not a “hairstylists’ myth. If you don’t trim your ends, they will just continue to split. Your hair will never get longer. You curls won’t hold. Your hair won’t shine. Your style won’t last. Don’t believe me. Try it for yourself. Trim every 6 weeks, just a little. You’ll see a huge difference in a short time.

Would it be possible for Vince to do a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to do blunt bangs?

I have the following 2 questions for him:

  1. How do you know if you have the face shape for blunt bangs?
  2. Could you give a brief step-by-step tutorial for how to do blunt bangs?

Question 1. How do you know if you have the face shape for blunt bangs?

Answer. Blunt bangs can be flattering on several different face shapes. They are especially good for women with a long face, narrow face, and rectangular shaped face because they give balance by creating the illusion of a more oval shape; lessening the length and making narrow faces look fuller. They can be good for some women with a short forehead for camouflage, and for high forehead – same reason. Sometimes they work well on heart shaped faces, enhancing the cupie-doll sweetness that person’s face tends to have.

They are not good for women with round or square shaped faces. Blunt bangs will “close” and widen those facial shapes; making these women fell that their “face looks fat”.

Be careful to check the growth direction of your front hairline. If you have a cowlick or a natural growth direction away from the face, it can be a styling nightmare. You’ll always be fighting the natural growth.

An important benefit of having blunt bangs for the woman over 40 is that they can hide a furrowed brow and forehead wrinkles and save money on Botox! :-)

Question 2. Could you give a brief step-by-step tutorial for how to do blunt bangs?

Answer. Creating bangs on yourself is not recommended. There are so many ways you can mess up. My best recommendation if you really don’t want to go to a professional hair stylist or, in fact, make the commitment of either loving them no matter what or being miserable for a year until they grow out, is to get yourself a clip on bang in your color and try them out for a while. Like these:

But if you must have bangs now, and you must cut them yourself, here are a few tips and precautions to avoid the mistakes that most people make:

  1. Do not take the section too wide. Only go to the outside corner of your eyes when deciding on the width of the section. If you go too wide, you’ll cut into the sides of your hair.
  2. Do not go too deep. Start with a triangle section about an inch deep into your hairline. You can always add more hair if they are not heavy enough.
  3. Do not cut too short. Measure to the center of your nose. If you are cutting them when they are wet, they will shrink when dry. If they are too long when they are dry, you can always take just a little more off.
  4. Do not hold them straight down when cutting. They will be way too blunt and heavy and that’s almost impossible to correct on your own. Lift the hair straight out, perpendicular to the floor and cut straight across. When they fall into place, they will have a soft curve that frames the eyes and cheekbones beautifully.
  5. To further soften the look, lift the bangs section straight up and gently cut off the point from the top of the section. That will soften the edge and round the shape.
  6. Reconsider. It’s worth the $10/15 to have a professional create your bangs for you. Most salons will do a bang trim for about that much. Then you can maintain them using my tips and precautions above.