I’m going to take a break from recapping the wedding planning process today to share what many brides might consider a “rite of passage”: The Post Wedding Chop.
While planning a wedding, one thing you obviously need to figure out is how you’d like to wear your hair. (I wrote about my wedding day hair inspiration here: Watch Out When You’re Faced By What You Don’t Know and about my hair/makeup trial here: Sandpaper Tears Corrode The Film.)
As you can see, I was pretty set on an updo. The thing about updos, though, is that your hair has to be long enough to actually go up and stay up. Sure, I could have gotten extensions … But that’s not really my thing.
So I grew my hair out. It wasn’t crazy long or anything (I’ve definitely had longer hair in the past!), but I kept the layers to a minimum and requested that my regular hair stylist only trim up the split ends and shape up the long layers each time I visited. I also kept my hair color the same. I’ve been dying my hair black since the second semester of my senior year of college (so it’s been black for 8 years now!), and I didn’t think my wedding (or any time immediately before) was the time to try something new.
But … I’ve been getting bored with my hair. Every time I go to the salon, I think, “Okay, this will be the time I try something new.” And then I chicken out at the last second. It never fails.
Here is one of the most recent pictures I’ve taken. Yes, it’s a selfie. I sent it to Eric while he was at work before I went out to dinner with my friend, Elaine. I rarely wear makeup, so it was a rare moment of looking “nice.”
It’s not the greatest picture, but you can see my “usual” hair pretty well. Personal photo.
I think part of the problem was the fact that I hadn’t really spent much time looking for inspiration photos. Without visuals, it’s kind of hard to describe exactly what you like and don’t like to your stylist. If I wanted to make sure I got the look I wanted, I needed to do my research.
As I often do when I need beauty inspiration, I combed through the zillions of pictures on Pinterest. I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I literally spent about an hour and a half searching for the type of haircut and color I was picturing. (And trust me, when you have something specific in mind, it’s nearly impossible to find exactly what you’re looking for!)
In the simplest terms, I was looking for the following:
- Choppy layers
- Face framing layers to elongate/slim my round face
- Shoulder length or a little longer
- A cut that would look great with side-swept bangs
- Dark hair with highlights
- Highlights in red or auburn (possibly caramel, though I was more interested in a shade of red)
- Different ways to highlight hair
I got a lot of ideas, and started a new inspiration board. I had a hair appointment today, so I knew if I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new, I needed to get all of my inspiration pictures in one easy to access location. Otherwise, I’d never bring it up to my hair stylist and I’d come home with pretty (but boring) hair.
So … A little over 4 months after the wedding, I took the plunge. I figured I may as well try something new and fun now. There’s really no reason not to. And … It’s hair. It grows back. The color can be changed. Nothing is permanent. (Or so I had to convince myself all the way to the salon.)
Unfortunately, the natural light was long gone by the time I made it home, and when I tried to take a picture that would show the highlights in the light, my face was instantly washed out. I wanted to take a picture to share it anyway, though, because this is (kind of sadly) a big moment for me. This is quite literally the first time I’ve made any sort of major change to my hair since I had layers and bangs cut in back in 2007! Personal photo.
Here’s a picture of me in different lighting so you can see just how subtle the highlights actually are. I know I look weird and serious (and I’m not wearing makeup, so please don’t judge!), but I was concentrating on finding the right angle so it looked completely black. Personal photo.
And finally, a picture of the actual highlights. As I said, I wish I could have gotten a good natural light picture … But this will have to do for now. (I may update this at another time with a picture of it in natural light so you can actually see what it looks like in real life.) This is just one side after I lifted up the top layers of my hair.
I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. The change is subtle, but it’s definitely different. I had 4 inches taken off, new (choppier!) layers cut in, and, of course, the addition of red peekaboo highlights around the front. I’m going to see how I like this over time, but I may continue tweaking with each appointment until my look is changed a little more drastically.