My hair keeps TOUCHING me, so I'm cutting it off. Help me pick a style.
August 31, 2011 2:27 PM   Subscribe

I need your recommendations for lady haircuts. Key points: needs to be away from my eyes, and truly 'wash and wear'.

So my shoulder-length hair has gone all wispy/broken at the hairline and keeps getting in my eyes and basically touching me all the time and omg can't deal with it. It's time for my quadrennial pixie cut! But this time, I'm hoping the green can help me pick something I'll actually be happy with longer-term.

I'm a short, stocky woman with T&A out to there and strong features on a more-or-less oval face, and my hair is heavy, thick, straight, and *voluminous*. I mean, I had a 'posh bob', and most people styled that by blow-drying the back with a round brush for volume - but my hair, when freshly washed, just *did* that. Just so you see the largeness of my hair.

I don't wear makeup or accessorize much, and usually dress pretty plainly, but not androgynously, I don't think.

See my profile for a picture of me today for reference - might be a bit before I get it loaded, so just FYI I am not in fact a steeplechase-racing bunny.

OK, the specifics of what I'm looking for:

Everything that could reach my face needs to be too short to get into my eyes. This means bangs have to be eyebrow-length or shorter.

I don't need anything particularly law-office conservative, but I'm not a punky trendy sort, so not too far out. I just want it to fit me.

No Bettie Page bangs - I had them as a toddler and I don't like seeing them on myself.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, it needs to be truly 'wash and wear'. No styling. Right now I just pull my hair into a ponytail every day. It gets washed and towel dried, and maybe combed, once dry, brushed if it's lucky. No products. No blowdry. No flatiron.
Stylists, even when I tell them this, are constantly describing styles to me with "wash, towel dry, and then..."

So, what do you think? I'll be looking online, and will come back and post links to anything that catches my eye, but I want to see what you guys come up with!
Thank you for making my hairs behave!
posted by dust.wind.dude to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I have thick, straight hair, and a lot of it. I also have T&A out to there. (Well, at least the T.)

I have been rocking the inverted bob for quite a while now. A couple years ago I let it change from all-one-length-in-front to long-layers-in-front-with-long-bangs, and it seems to work better. Basically, I just ask for it to be as short as possible so I can sweep it to the sides and tuck behind my ears.

Because my hair is so thick, the back sort of stacks on itself nicely, especially if I get decent layers. ("Layers" was a term that scared the crap out of me, fearing I'd end up with some sort of butch Farrah Fawcett look, but I have grown to appreciate them. They are Very Necessary when you have so much hair.)

I wash my hair every three days or so -- used to be every two days until an arm injury several years back made me lazy. I use Head and Shoulders, which actually is better than anything fancy, but then I use a wee bit of Aveda Shampure conditioner (because it smells nice). The conditioner is also very necessary. Then I just towel dry and go.

I have resigned myself to using bobby pins if necessary. I have one piece of hair in the front that DOES NOT COOPERATE, and so I just pin it back. It's not that bad.
posted by Madamina at 2:41 PM on August 31, 2011

Hey! It sounds like you and I have similar hair types and styling desires. I just asked a question about cutting my bangs, so you'll see that my hair is long right now (heh, well, for me it's long), but I just got out of a series of really wonderful relationships with pixie cuts.

I printed out pictures of the following haircuts and took them to my stylist. I talked to her about the things I liked about the cuts, and asked her to figure out what parts of the cuts would work on my hair and face shape, and got results I was very happy with.

Selma Blair
Michelle Williams
Gennifer Goodwin
Random chick from flickr

Now, I'm going to be honest here, you will have to style it. "Style" it. Only a little, I promise. But if you don't do something, it'll look like boy hair. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I use one of the Fructis texture pastes that comes in a tub (Surf Hair and Fiber Gum Putty are both good), take a fingertip-dip amount, rub it in my palms, and distribute it through my (towel-dried) hair starting in the back first. I sweep it into a rough side part and piece out the bangs some, and I'm done. Out of the shower and on with my life in under 60 seconds.

You also sound like me in that you get a quadrennial pixie cut. The last haircut I got was five months ago, into a pixie cut, and the result (in the photos in my bangs question) has grown out well. I've been trimming the back (haphazardly, by jabbing at it with an electric trimmer) and bangs along the way to keep from looking too shaggy. If you get a good cut to start with, it'll grow out just fine.

Enjoy your new hair!
posted by phunniemee at 2:42 PM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]

MOST IMPORTANTLY, it needs to be truly 'wash and wear'.

Wow, this is going to be the tough part. I have hair as short as you describe and almost as thick (though mine is wavy, not straight). I have to at least run a brush and spray something on it or I look like a crazy person. But seriously, I can spend literally less than 2 minutes on it and it looks fine. What is your objection to taking two minutes?

On preview - Madamina's on track with the "don't wash every day" advice.
posted by desjardins at 2:43 PM on August 31, 2011

If your hair is at all wavy (my hair isn't very curly unless it's cut into layers), I suggest something like this: OR (actually the styling in this pic looks a little cheesy, but the cut is what I mean and I'm at work and lazy)

I just like this style. Honestly, without layers I have to use styling product and a flatiron to "throw it up" into a halfway decent ponytail, so I'm a huge champion of layers layers layers. They just make hair easier to style, in my slightly-wavy, medium-thick opinion. I have a shorter version of this cut, and people say that it looks like I've styled it with a curling iron despite doing nothing other than using a decent conditioner. If your hair is 100% straight, it'll still probably look cute. I could also possibly be biased since I love big hair.

I also agree with don't wash every day, and though this isn't what you asked for, I second using at least one product just for definition/flyaways/reducing tangles/whatevs. If you wash it every day product really is indispensable!
posted by stoneandstar at 2:52 PM on August 31, 2011

Long side bangs and a tapered bob?

It took two decades but eventually I found a hairstylist who listened to "I am going to 'style' it maybe once every two months, so it should be wash and wear," and from then on I have had different hair. There is hope. I found the stylist by asking a stranger with great hair, albeit hair sort of like mine, who did it. Be shameless and firm! "I do not know how to style my hair using a blow dryer and have no interest in learning." I think most better stylists have too little exposure to people who don't style, and spelling it out helps. "It has to work without product."
posted by kmennie at 3:52 PM on August 31, 2011

Best answer: Wow! This sounds like me. My hair is wavy and super super thick. I always pulled it back into a pony.

I just got a pixie cut in February and LOVE it. It's similar to Alysssa Milano's pixie cut. I didn't want to style at all. And typically I don't. I wash it, pat it into place and ta-da!

However, I do find that I have to spend a bit of time styling it once it grows out a little. So I suggest keeping up on the cut - every 4-8 weeks (8 weeks is pushing it).

For once in my life I feel like I've put effort into my appearance, even though I haven't. I feel like I have a style to my hair, instead of the pony tail. And I've achieved this with only patting my hair here and there! No more blow drying, no more hot iron, no more defrizzing hair syrum!

I'm freeeeee!
posted by Sassyfras at 3:53 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi guys! This is great! Thought I'd come in to answer questions so as to keep the good stuff coming.

Well, reverse bob or sideswept bangs are right out, unfortunately. I've had them both, and they look great the once every couple of months that I wear them without tucking behind my ears or clipping/pinning out of the way. And that is what I'm trying to get away from. (sorry.)

I will point out that I don't wash my hair every day - maybe 2-3 times a week.

My objection to taking 2 minutes, as desjardins asked, is that I know myself and my habits, and even if it's only 2 minutes, it just won't happen. I don't style. I don't do makeup. I don't wear outfit-related jewelry or accessories. I don't take care of my skin. It's a struggle to remember to even brush my teeth every morning. This is me. It's not changing - in fact, it's gotten worse as I've gotten older. I've learned to work around it as best I can, and that's what I'm aiming for with this haircut.
posted by dust.wind.dude at 6:31 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ilike the Dorothy Hamill wedge cut. I've been wearing it for a couple of years now and find it works beautifully in that I don't have to do anything to it at all except wash it and shake it out - and keep the haircuts up to date.

Here's a good photo:

You need to be sure the person doing the haircut knows what a Dorothy Hamill wedge is, though. My lady thins my hair just a bit to make it fall correctly and your hair would probably need the same thing.

My hair is white and straight and fairly thick. I get a lot of compliments on this cut.

Good luck.
posted by aryma at 10:49 PM on August 31, 2011

Oh, fooey - I guess I don't know how to add a link to the photo after all.

Well, I'll try this way: [url][/url]

If that doesn't work, just go to for a good photo - there are also many photos on Google images, but many of those photos under "Dorothy Hamill wedge" aren't even close.
posted by aryma at 10:53 PM on August 31, 2011

I do wash and go with this haircut - except with short bangs

While I have embraced a product I work into my hair while wet, (no styling just like second conditioner) I've been very happy with no product or work at all. The product just makes it more shiny and less fluffy.

I ask my stylist to not use any product when she does my hair. Maybe this request will help her understand how serious you are? I actually prefer my hair air dried, so i find I don't always like it after she blow dries it. It's too puffy - When dried naturally, it lays straight to my head and I have longer pieces than the picture that flip away from my face naturally if I wear a hat. This hair is hat proof if short in the back!
posted by Gor-ella at 8:41 AM on September 1, 2011

Response by poster: Hey guys! Got my hair all cut off yesterday. I'm convinced that I somehow got the same haircut my boyfriend has (and he's gonna flip when he sees it next month) but I'm loving it. Wash or wet, towel dry, comb or fluff depending on what look I want - it's brilliant. I got something close to Alyssa Milano's cut, but used this image as a guide, in case any future readers need it. (Athough I didn't get the color striping - I have my own 'silver' highlights - and I'm not wearing the spiky bits.)

Once I take a good pic of it on me, I'll post it for posterity.

Thank you for all your help! Everyone was very nice, but I marked the Alyssa Milano suggestion as best since that's what ended up the closest.
posted by dust.wind.dude at 9:06 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh my gosh! I love that cut. I can't wait to see pictures of you!
posted by Sassyfras at 7:09 PM on September 3, 2011

Response by poster: hahahaha totally forgot that I was supposed to come back and post a picture of my new hair.
You have also forced me to actually get photohosting.
Here is the new hair, and since I now have photos, here is the old hair, in case anyone wants to look at it for reference years from now or something

so thank you all, my head feels much better now.
posted by dust.wind.dude at 11:09 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

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