When New York City went into lockdown mode last March, the decision to close up businesses and schools came so quickly, there was no time for last minute haircuts or color touchups. So like many women here and around the county, I decided to make the best of the situation in many ways, and that included deciding to, what-the-hell, try growing my hair out.
It had been years since my hair had hit shoulder length or longer, as I kept it in layered chops which were easy to style and dry on rushed mornings before running to catch a commuter train. But with New York City salons closed for months, getting a hair cut or professional hair color was not an option. Like millions of other women in the past few months, I was on my own.
The first issue which couldn’t be ignored were the roots. Who knew how much grey had developed in the past few years? For the first time ever, I ordered a box of hair color and with a sympathetic assist from my daughter, Leilah, voila – my roots were gone- phew. But while my hair may have been darker and more one-color than in years, at least the immediate ‘grey’ issue was out of the way. But as salons re-opened I finally decided I’d had it with trying to blow dry volume and shape into my increasingly longer, limper locks. I was ready to end the ‘interesting’ untamed hair experiment. I bet lots of you feel the same way.
So, if you too are tired of wrestling your grown-out hair into behaving every day, book your hair cut and color appointment now. I did and I’m so glad I did. I finally put my hair into the expert hands at NYC’s Pierre Michel Salon of Style Director Jerome Lordet and hair colorist Joanna Delgado.
Jerome took one quick look at my thin wispy below-the-shoulder length hair and went to work with his scissors. As the strands were snipped off, I couldn’t have felt more of a relief. Enough with trying to blow dry volume into my hair which had long ago lost its layers. Jerome expertly shaped my hair into a chunky layered face-framing pixie with side-parted, piecey bangs.
If you want to get a similar look, it can work on you if you have a heart or oval-shaped face. For a square face, Lordet suggests keeping the layers longer ie closer to your shoulders, and he doesn’t advise the look at all for a long face. “The chunky layers give you pieces that create movement,” Lordet explains. “When hair gets longer it has a tendency to drag the face down. When you go shorter, it’s a younger, fresher look. It adds volume on the sides, and it shows off the eyes, cheekbones and your neck.”
Lordet warns that for most women, it’s hard to maintain longer hair as they get older. Too often, hair starts to get a little thinner. A lucky few women can still carry off the longer locks as they age if they have naturally thick, beautiful hair. “You either have it or you don’t,” Lordet practically points out. Step two was getting colorist Joanna Delgado to work her magic, making the most of my new layers and piece-yness.
My natural color is almost black, but now it is also sprinkled with grey. Joanna kept it looking natural but rich with a dark chocolate brown as a base color and added highlights for dimension, in a lighter chestnut brown. She put the highlights in a few key areas on the crown and hairline, but not too many. “When you over highlight you get more lights, but it can wash out your face,” she warns. If you want to get similar colors to mine, ask for warm tones like chestnut, caramel or mahogany. She recommends going darker with the base and only two shades lighter with the highlights.
Since my haircut was piecey she “sliced” the highlights into my hair rather than using a traditional weave technique. She put thin slices of my hair into foil. While Joanna says that it’s fine for women during quarantine to have been doing their own “base” hair coloring at home, she also cautions – “do not attempt highlights on your own.”
Once Joanna had used her coloring expertise on me, Jerome sprayed volumizer through my wet hair and combed it through to distribute it evenly, and then blew it dry with a one-touch round brush, lifting the roots to get some fullness. Then he blew it “everywhere” to get it messy and piecey, and added a light pomade, working it through the hair to get an even more piecey look. His final tip: “If your hair is fine, like mine, use the pomade with a light touch.”
I am thrilled with my fresher, lighter look and it is so easy to wash and blow dry quickly now. So don’t be afraid of trying out your own post quarantine hair makeover.
To keep your look, both Joanna and Jerome advise trips to the salon every five to six weeks.