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Take a look at Jessica’s hair both long and short.

Jessica’s hair:

Thick, straight
Normal condition
Can go several days in between washes without looking dirty
No preference for length – (that’s where you come in!)
Doesn’t spend more than 10 minutes styling
Doesn’t use styling tools
The above photos are without any product and air dried
Doesn’t wear ponytails

Soooo…what do you all think? Long or short? I have to admit that if her shorter style looks THAT smooth and glossy with no effort, I’m leaning towards a shorter cut.

Here are some above-the-shoulder options to get your brain working.

Let Jessica know. Feel free to leave any ideas for styles in the comments too!

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Meet Joanne.

From Joanne’s email:

Just last night I turned to the bottle AGAIN. (Frost and Tip – I’m cheap, and I regret it every time!) Although I like that it’s really blonde, I know that it’s also really BRASSY! I also did a lousy job on the back so there are lots of dark roots still showing. I feel my best as a blonde, but I have a ruddy complexion and I rarely get the tone right. Any suggestions you can offer would be great! And I promise to take your suggestions TO A PROFESSIONAL and to not attempt it myself.

As for cut, I prefer it to at least my shoulders and would love to grow it out to the style like your last updated reader Shuchita, but I have a rectangular/square face, so I don’t know if it’d suit me. Also, I must admit, my hair is FRIED and could use a good hack. What do you think?

Joanne’s hair:

Naturally mousy dark blonde
Been bleaching since the age of 13
Chemically-processed and dry
Thick, curly at the back and wavy around my face with cowlicks.
Prefers shoulder-length or longer
Uses Frizz Ease Serum
Layers tend to “puff out”

Wait. Joanne, they still make Frost and Tip? I had no idea!

Here’s the good news – you are moving in the right direction. I like the longer length with your face shape and I also think blonde is your color, especially since you are a natural mousy blonde.

(Sidenote to readers – Joanne died her hair red last year and quickly realized it was NOT her color.)

Your two problems will hopefully be relatively easy to remedy.

#1 – Your layers DESPERATELY need to be texturized. Your thick hair is creating a shelf layer around chin-length that needs to be thinned out. You can really see this problem in the back of your hair. It’s almost like you have a bob with some little bits of longer hair hanging down. Not so good, Joanne. But this can be fixed easily! Does your hairstylist texturize your hair? If not, it’s time to get a new one. Once texturized, your layers will blend much better and you could actually wear your hair naturally wavy, which would add another look to your arsenal.

As for the cut, square face shapes have great hairstyle options to soften their angular facial structures. To make wide foreheads and jaw lines appear narrower, you should wear deep side parts or soft bangs, and choose face-softening textured looks like tousled curls or piece-y cuts.

#2 – It’s time to say goodbye to the drugstore bottle and let a professional even out your color, as well as take care of your roots. Add a little more golden blonde into the mix to warm it up a bit. Perfect for summer!

Here are my proposals.

I like Brinkley’s warmer color and Carrie Underwood’s cut is perfect. Notice how Underwood has the side part and lots of layers, but they are texturized to blend in with one another. I really think these little changes will make a huge impact on your overall hairstyle! Add in a shampoo and conditioner specifically made for dry, color-treated hair and a heat protectant such as Kerastase Ciment Thermique and you should be golden!

Can’t wait to see the results!

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Meet Lauren.

From Lauren’s email:

I am a college student and am moving to a new state and starting a new career path and would love to start fresh with a new hairstyle. I seem to have the most bland hair that can’t seem to do anything but fall flat. I would really appreciate the help!!!

Lauren’s hair:

Naturally medium brown
Normal to oily
VERY fine and VERY straight
Lengthwise, anything but a really short pixie will do
Uses a blow dryer on occasion, along with mousse, hairspray, and a curling iron that she hasn’t mastered yet
Only uses shampoo

I’m so glad Lauren sent me her plea (even if it was a year ago..yikes!) because it addresses an issue that I’ve learned a lot about lately. WHAT TO DO WITH SUPER FINE HAIR. And I have some great advice because I speak from personal experience! Well, not so much MY hair, but my son’s hair. (Who knew you could learn beauty advice from a preschooler, right?)

Take a look for yourselves.

He has really beautiful hair – great color, super shiny, but it is SO FINE.

I know we talk about layering a lot at Hair Thursday, but this is one type of hair that will not benefit from lots of layers. Trust me, I learned the hard way about a year ago. I was positive that layering my son’s hair would give it some movement and texture, when in reality, the layers made him look like he had a run-in with a overzealous weed whacker. Movement? No. Texture? Not so much. Wispy, flyaway and discombobulated? HELL YES. It looked pretty bad, but luckily layers grow out…as evidenced in the above photo.

The key to super fine hair is precision cutting. Those with very fine hair can pull off super sleek looks that most of us thicker peeps can only dream of! I do recommend shorter styles, as most below-the-shoulder looks will appear stringy.

Here are two looks to consider for Lauren’s new style.

(Uh, not saying Lauren should go blonde. Just happened to be the color of the cuts I liked.)

Option #1 would work beautifully on Lauren’s hair. The below-the-ear to chin-length is a great one for fine hair. It doesn’t become stringy and has a defined style. Some very (VERY) light layering is happening towards the ends to give that tapered look, but the layers are kept very long and blended. I also love the idea of bangs sweeping across Lauren’s forehead. Great accent for her eyes and cheekbones!

Option #2 is along the same lines, but keeping the length. In fact, Lauren could always cut #1 and let it grow to #2 when she wants to grow it out. (Love the side part.)

As for products and styling, I love the info that Tracey from Sweetney shared with us several months ago. If you have fine hair, this is a must read!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that adding highlights and/or lowlights can really give super fine hair dimension and a fuller-looking appearance. Food for thought, Lauren…

So…what’s the verdict? Option #1 or #2?

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Hannah has a hair dilemma.

I cut off about 10 inches of hair last year (Locks of Love), and I got it cut into the Audrey Tautou bob that you recommended for another woman with wavy hair. I really liked it, but I haven’t cut it at all in a year, and now it’s in that dreadful sort of in-between-styles sort of phase. I’m 19, and I just haven’t really found the right style for my hair yet. I’m really indecisive about my hair, so I’d love to hear any advice you have!

Hannah’s hair:

Dark blonde with natural golden tones
Never been colored
Normal condition, wavy and medium thickness
Wash-n-go on the weekdays, but loves to style on the weekends
Would love to accentuate her waves and give them staying power
Willing to try any length
Uses a little frizz serum in the summer or heat protectant when straightening it
Has tried using mousse and/or light gel to help hold the waves

I love the girls that want to embrace the curls. Let’s get to it.

First off, Hannah, at some point in your lustrous hair’s life, I would love to see this color on you.

Credit: © Steve Granitz/

Adding a little red would be incredible. HOWEVER, summer is coming up and if you didn’t know, RED FADES. I don’t think now is the time to do it, but definitely keep it in mind for the future. For now? Bask in your golden tresses, my dear!

As for the cut, take a look at these options.

I am loving Option #1. Here’s why. Hannah recently had her hair cut in a shorter bob and with summer coming up, I think a longer, sexy beachy wavy vibe is in order. Plus, she’s nineteen! Now, I could be wrong, but I am willing to bet that Hannah and I have very similar hair traits. One of those being that the longer my hair gets, the wavier it becomes. I think Hannah needs to trim the ends and add very light layering throughout to give her waves great bounce and definition.

Also, rocking a center part with her waves would give Hannah a totally different look. I can tell by her photo that she’s been wearing that part for quite awhile, so it might involve some new training, but a center part will really accent Hannah’s waves on both sides of her face and give her that summery, wavy vibe she is craving. Also, she should have her stylist layer around her face so that the long layers sweep over the outer corners of her forehead, like in Hayden’s photo.

Now, Option #2 is a great one as well. Hannah did say she liked her shorter bob from a year ago. However, instead of a center part, Hannah could cut longer sideswept bangs which would sweep across her forehead for a flirty look. My only beef is that her cowlick might not want to cooperate. Hmmm. Decisions.

As for making her waves the best they can be, Hannah definitely needs to try my Beachy Waves Tutorial. As for products, the David Babaii Wave Spray would work well, but I’m also partial to Pureology Real Curl Cream, Redken Soft Spin Curl-Enhancing Gel, Avon Advance Techniques Volumizing Mousse and Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Creme . (Trust me, I’ve tried everything out there. I’m a Authentic Wave Expert!)

Tell Hannah what you think!

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Meet Melissa.

Melissa needs a CHANGE. From her email:

I turn 40 this year and am having a mini mid-life crisis. I am a stay-at-home mom and have 3 boys – ages 5, 2 and 10 months. I knew things were bad, but once I took the pictures to send to you, I had no idea how bad. Ugh. Talk about a humbling moment.

I am in desperate need of advice. I must have a new style, but have no idea how to go about choosing one. I have had this exact same haircut, if you can call it that, for YEARS! Everyday, I pull it up into a clip and that’s my “style.” I am known around the preschool set as the, “mom who wears the hair clip.”

My lifestyle involves children, children and more children and that’s about it right now! I spend no time on myself, but this year I am going to change that, starting with make-up and fixing my hair several days a week. I have not had bangs since the 80s, but after viewing my forehead in the photos I’m sending you, I think I might need to invest in some! Maybe sideswept? I don’t think I can pull off the blunt ones.

I realize I will probably never get chosen, but I have decided to force myself to try new things this year. Just the act of taking the photos to send to you and stopping to right this email is more than I have done for myself in a long time! Regardless, I wish you and your family best of luck in 2010!

Melissa, thank you for taking the time and effort to send me that great email! Emails like this really give me good insight as to what kind of style would work best for potential HT participants. (Related- for those of you who send me one-word answers to my questionnaire or a tiny blurry photo, your email usually goes straight to my delete folder. What can I say, I’m a TYRANT.)

Okay! Let’s learn a little more about Melissa’s hair.

Naturally light brown. Blonde highlights applied about every 12-13 weeks.
Fine texture and stick straight
Would like to spend 15-20 minutes styling
Prefers chin length or longer
Uses no products, just shampoo and conditioner
Wears a banana clip almost every day (NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Melissa, THROW AWAY THE BANANA CLIPS. Seriously, right now. Walk over to your banana clip drawer and dump them in the trash. Okay? Great. Wait…I still see that one stashed away over there. That one goes too.

I completely understand that your daily life includes running after three children. I get it. But if you are going to pull your hair back, please please use a hairband. Or braid it! Or a chic headband! Or even a barrette! JUST NOT A BANANA CLIP.

Now for your options.

Forget the “mom who wears the banana clip” moniker. Melissa will be looking HOT with either one of these hairstyles!

Option #1 is a stylish shoulder-length bob – long enough for Melissa to get off of her face, but short enough to give her fine, straight hair some fullness and show off her shine. Since Melissa doesn’t need to coerce her hair straight, this style could be achieved in minutes. Just a quick blowdry and some serum and Melissa would be ready to go.

Option #2 would keep most of Melissa’s length, but the addition of sideswept bangs would give her tons of movement around her face and help make her overall look more sassy. (I hate that word, but I have pregnancy brain and can’t think of anything else right now.) Plus, if Melissa wants to pull her hair back (NOT IN A BANANA CLIP), those sideswept bangs would give her more of a style than the traditional SAHM slicked-back ponytail. I would recommend Melissa using a light, volumizing mousse to give her hair some bounce, as well as controlling her newly shorn bangs.

As for color, I definitely see some root growth in that photo. If highlights are only going to be done every 12-13 weeks, I would recommend some lowlights throughout to keep the hair looking healthy, modern and not so one-dimensional.

What do you all think? Which option would you choose?