hair thursday makeover 56

This is Suzan.

Suzan’s hair:

Would like to get rid of gray
Looking for a relatively conservative cut
“Insanely” curly hair
Coarse texture
Thinning a little on top, but thick overall
Lets it dry naturally

Suzan works for the government and needs a professional look that will highlight her natural curls.

I think Suzan has nice curls, and I’d like to see her grow her hair a little longer. Hitting just below the shoulder (when dry) would be a nice length with her face shape.

I love the length of the first photo for Suzan. Although Suzan’s curls don’t look to be as tight as Bernadette Peters’ curls, I think the overall look will be very similar. Plus, with Suzan’s curls, the look will be a little less WOWZA and a little more tame for her job as an government attorney. Also, the length will allow Suzan to pull her hair off her face if necessary.

Now, the change I would like to see the most is Suzan’s hair color. I’d like to see more warmth in her color – maybe some subtle auburn tones like the above photo. It seems Andie MacDowell now uses L’Oreal Excellence Creme in 5G – Medium Golden Brown (here’s a photo of her recent color), but I think the above photo might have been when she was using the 5RB Medium Reddish Brown shade.

I don’t want Suzan to go too light, but as most of us know, at-home hair color usually comes out darker than you think it will. I would stick with the medium brown shades for a nice, subtle change.

Let me hear from my home hair color gals. Do you have any suggestions for shades for Suzan?

  1. Sara

    January 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I agree that she can handle a longer cut. I think there’s sort of an exemption to the “conservative styles” rule for curly girls. It’s obvious that there’s no way that she could possibly achieve something “sleek”, given the wild wondrousness of the curls, so I think she should embrace it and shoot for something flattering and not too huge, and still hold her head up as a professional. I think that Bernadette Peters style is a good start, and it will look a bit tamer on Suzan because of thee differences in their thickness and curl pattern.

  2. Lindsey

    January 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I’ll second that Bernadette Peters look. I think it would look great on Suzan. I think one of the difficulties with curly hair is finding a stylist who can cut curly hair well (because many of them? they suck), to decrease the volume on the sides. So find a good stylist (hopefully Suzan already has one) and some L’Oreal Feria. Possibly in French Roast? It’s a darker brown, but with subtle reddish highlights. Feria also has one of the best box dye conditioners, which is a plus for coarser hair.

  3. Jamie

    January 15, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I have no color advice (red hair doesn’t take color very easily, so I don’t bother) but can say this – one way to tweak the Bernadette Peters suggestion is to have the front cut in a very long, swing-bang-esque shape. Curly hair often pulls away from the hairline and can end up looking severe. An angular line across Suzan’s gorgeous face will soften up the curl a bit, and add interest. Plus it makes tall foreheads look less obvious. I say that with love, as I am endowed in the forehead department as well.

    Great recommendation as always, Whoorl!

  4. Lindsay

    January 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Question for Suzan —
    What kind of hair product do you currently use? I’ve tried (almost) all the curly hair styling products known to man, so I bet I could make a suggestion or two. But everybody’s hair responds differently to things, so I’d want to know what’s in there now and extrapolate…. :)
    I’d also say that in the mean time, while waiting for your hair to grow a bit, you might want to try separating your hair (notice I didn’t say “part”, because it looks like you technically don’t have a part — yay! curly hair + defined parts = yuckiness, generally) closer to the center of your head, which will look a tad more modern. Not AT the center, just closer.

  5. kat

    January 16, 2009 at 11:35 am

    OOh i love the idea of longer – very Juliane Marguiles when she was on ER. And if it were longer, couldn’t you pull off more updos? I don’t have curly hair so these are just ideas! :)

  6. Jessica

    January 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I know this may sound wacky, but when I color at home, I like to mix two colors to avoid the monotonal effect. I have very dark hair, and often going medium brown shades looks nice initially, they get brassy very quickly on dark hair. (My own hair is a similar color to Suzan’s). I tried the new Feria stuff as portrayed on HT a few months ago, but it didn’t age well on my hair. Here is my advice.

    Choose one a hair color line that you like. I like Loreal products. Start by buying a black to match the base tone in your natural hair color. Then find a shade that is warmer also in the same product line. Try to avoid cherry cola type colors, but auburn is usually pretty safe. Then mix the two colors in the same bottle. I know, it’s unorthodox. However, you get much better tones. Why? Because when color companies make black, they don’t give you any variation in the tone (I have tried them all). Even the darkest shade of medium brown is way lighter than your natural color, and they don’t make shades in between.

    Black pigment doesn’t stay for long. So a couple of washes will lighten the tone and then the auburn will start to naturally shine through, as if that were your natural color. If it seems too black, go to Sally’s and pick up one of the Reddening shampoos, and that will add some warmth to the color in the meantime.

    Good luck, and I am sure that the hair growing will look fantastico on you.

  7. Suniverse

    January 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

    You all are so many kinds of awesome!

    I love the Bernadette Peters-hair idea. I guess Sara is right, trying to go sleek is not going to happen.

    Lindsey, I do have a good stylist, but haven’t had the time to see her in almost 4 months. I’m planning on going in the next couple of weeks to get a decent shape. you are absolutely right – most stylists have NO IDEA how to deal with curly hair.

    Jamie, I like your long sweeping bangs idea – I tend to just pull my hair back/behind my ears because it’s just long right now. Something different to try.

    Lindsay – Right now I’m using Aveda’s Be Curly line, including the Curl Enhancer, and every once in a while I’ll use the Aveda Dry Remedy conditioner. I like the Confixor to kind of control things. I am open to suggestions if you have any, and I’m also looking for something a bit less expensive. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

    Kat – I loved Julianna Marguiles hair! It’s so pretty.

    Jessica – Thanks for the coloring advice. I haven’t colored my hair in over 15 years, and even then, it was more about stripping the color and dying it pink.

    Thanks so much to all of you, especially the delightful WHOORL for taking the time to do this! You are truly awesome.