what would you do with this hair?
August 26, 2008 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a cool short(er) hairstyle for my thick wavy hair!

I'm having my occasional itch to do something relatively drastic with my hair. (It's been waist-length & pixie-short over the years, as well as flame orange, blond, and fire-engine-red.)

Right now it looks like the first few pictures here, you can see I've grown it out from a shag-like cut over the last year, and before that it was a kinda "meh" bob. I've been grooving on the big fluffy hair, but it's getting on my last nerve. I'm thinking short, mid-jaw or shorter.

I bike a lot, and do yoga occasionally. Something that survives a couple of miles under a helmet without looking totally f'ed up is very important. Plus, as you might imagine from that, I'm not much for lots of products or fussing, although I don't mind a bit of something or a little blow-drying. I'm in a professional, moderately conservative work environment, but I'd like to fall on the hip/artsy side of the spectrum.

My hair is very thick, inconsistently wavy, and grows freakishly fast. I'm starting to get a few grey hairs, and they have a crazy kinky texture, but they're not very noticeable (yet). IMO I have a tiny head for my body, although less so than I used to. :)

Although I like my stylist, I'm terrible at explaining what I want done with my hair, so good photos and especially terminology are appreciated. Thank you!
posted by epersonae to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There was a really similar question a couple of months ago that a got a bunch of comments, definitely look in that one for links to pictures and stuff. What I said to her was along the lines of: shorter in the back and longer on the sides, with a bunch of the bulk chopped out (so the heaviest part of the layers is in the center of the style, not the bottom a la 80's trapezoid). I'd say the same philosophy goes for yours, at whatever midjaw length you like. You're cute, it's a great color and you've got a lot of hair to work with so you have those going for you, I think you could pull off a croppy/messy cut easily.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:19 PM on August 26, 2008

Best answer: This sounds a lot like the history of my hair. I had what was practically an iridescent purple buzz cut in college and growing it out was always a struggle. I also felt like the shorter styles I've had were actually much more work.

I've been growing mine out (the linked picture hadn't seen a haircut in awhile and I'm finally getting a trim tomorrow), but for awhile I had sort of a bob-length cut. The key is to have some good choppy layers put in to encourage natural curl and body. Then you just have to flip your head, dry it, and then maybe rub in some smoothing-type product.

Without layers in, my hair is less curly and more wavy-straight and tends to look frizzy/poofy. With layers, it boings up like a mofo. Yours looks like it has some hidden curl too.
posted by stefnet at 1:41 PM on August 26, 2008

Best answer: Hi there - whee, we have the same hair! Here's a pic of what my hair looks like now.

- I bike a lot, too
- use a bare minimum of styling products
- work in IT, so it's ok if my hair looks tousled, but not "hip/artsy" :)

Anyway, I blow dry in the morning (upside down for volume), that takes about 5 min. Then I shape it a bit with a round brush, and go. If I have it under the helmet, I just shake it out a bit, and it's ok. Seems like my natural sorta wavy texture works better when my hair is shorter.

I got this cut by clipping out a bunch of pics that I liked, gluing them all on one sheet, then showing my stylist the sheet, with some explanation about what I liked/didn't like about each one. For example : avoid mushroom head at all costs. She did the rest!

Note : I once did a volunteer program in Spain, where I complained to a fellow volunteer from Ireland about my hair and its thick and inconsistently wavy texture, and she said to me "Oh, yeah - you have Irish hair. Welcome to the club." (My family is Irish and German, so who knows?)

posted by Liosliath at 2:41 PM on August 26, 2008

Best answer: It seems like we have pretty similar hair. The thing I've been doing with mine lately is washing with baking soda instead of shampoo and letting it air dry. It curls like crazy. You might want to give that a try and see if it does similar things for yours.
posted by MsMolly at 3:03 PM on August 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just wanted to say that I have very similar hair to yours and have been wondering what the hell to do with it, so I'll be watching this thread with interest. I can tell you that having hair like ours (thick, wavy) in a style as long as mine is now (little more than half way down my back) is not good. I have it too long and in a weird two-layer (only!) cut that is Very Bad. I like what stefnet's hair is doing in that pic--I think choppy layers (more than two!) is a good idea and I like the sound of a 5 min blowout. Good luck! And post an "after the haircut" pic!
posted by rio at 6:11 PM on August 26, 2008

Response by poster: MsMolly: my hair is grooooving on the baking soda (as is my scalp), thanks for the tip! I'm still going shorter, but already I'm happier with my hair.

Liosliath: Irish, huh? Many many generations of Irish heritage here (among 101 other things), although I thought I'd escaped the craziest of my family's hair. (see the pic of mom there in my flickr, with the white-fro.)

A choppy bob is sounding pretty good, if I can keep it from exploding around my face, although I'm still exploring everything in the answers to showbiz_liz's question.
posted by epersonae at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2008

I forgot to add: get a diffuser if you don't already have one for your blowdryer. If you aren't air-drying your hair (which I usually do), this will help to preserve curl and avoid the around-the-face-explosion of frizz.
posted by stefnet at 1:02 PM on August 27, 2008

Response by poster: I took a printout of one of my old photos, liosliath's picture, and from the other thread, Miranda July & Audrey Tautou, and chatted with my regular stylist. She took off quite a bit of length, layered, thinned, etc, and I ended up with this sweet bob. We'll see tomorrow how it deals with my usual routine of biking, shower, and air-drying. Thanks everybody!
posted by epersonae at 9:47 PM on September 9, 2008

Response by poster: (Still happy after this morning's wash & air-dry, btw. The bangs are being a little ornery, but otherwise I'm thrilled. Shaping & thinning was really the key.)
posted by epersonae at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2008

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